Microsoft blocks SafeDisc DRM in all Windows releases

September 24, 2015 | 13:09

Tags: #digital-rights-management #drm #patch #safedisc #securom #windows-10 #windows-update

Companies: #microsoft

Microsoft has extended its anti-SafeDisc campaign, issuing a driver-blocking security update to Windows Vista and above which will prevented selected older games from running.

Microsoft made headlines back in August by removing the SecuROM and SafeDisc drivers from Windows 10. Used in an attempt to block users from pirating CD-ROM and DVD-ROM based games - which failed, naturally - the drivers were known to introduce security vulnerabilities into systems. This was used by Microsoft as an explanation for actively blocking both digital rights management (DRM) drivers in Windows 10, arguing that with only selected games - and none from the last few years - relying on the software it was safer to break it than risk leaving it embedded into Windows.

Now, the company is extending that thinking to previous Windows releases. In a security update released this month and first spotted by RockPaperShotgun, Microsoft has removed the SafeDisc DRM driver, secdrv.sys, from all supported versions of Windows. Any games currently installed which rely upon the SafeDisc driver will not operate once the patch, KB 3086255, is installed.

For those who want to play their games without installing a DRM-bypassing no-CD patch - itself a common vector for malicious software - Microsoft has provided instructions for re-enabling the driver either temporarily or, through a registry modification, permanently, while warning that doing so decreases the security of the computer.
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