Bioshock installs rootkit...


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 16, 2006
I don't know if anyone has seen this on macrumors but there seems to be some info out there saying that Bioshock installs a rootkit, even on their demo and Steam. Some people have been having crashes etc...

from slashdot...

and even in the 2K forums...

from 2k forums...

My biggest problems concerning securom are :

-you only get 2 activation keys
-upon uninstalling, you do not always get your activation key back !
- it conflicts with many normal programs, like AVG anti-virus, system explorer programs, ... thus I consider it as an intruder program.


macrumors regular
Oct 28, 2004
well...not exactly a rootkit..look

The SecuROM website defines its service, which might clarify what is being installed and how to remove it in a more simple manner:

SecuROM™ will install a Windows™ service module called “User Access Service” (UAService) on your system. This is a standard interface commonly used by several other applications as well. It is no spyware or rootkit at all. This module has been developed to enable users without Windows™ administrator rights the ability to access all SecuROM™ features. Please be assured that this service is installed only for security and convenience purposes. Since it is a standard Windows™ service, you can stop and delete this service, like any other Windows™ service. If deleted, the access for non-administrator users to SecuROM™ protected applications will be affected.



macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 16, 2006
Thanks for the info. I guess I will wait to buy until all of this is sorted out as there seems to be other criticisms.

From Kotaku

As if 2K wasn't taking enough flak from yesterday's widescreen debacle, now gamers who have spent their hard-earned cash on the PC version of BioShock are finding that they can only install the game twice, ever. The game uses SecuROM copy protection, which verifies the install of the game remotely, disabling further installs once the game has been installed twice. This means if you are the type of person like me who formats your computer frequently to to get rid of generic crap buildup, you are screwed. If you frequently shift around games to free up space, you are screwed. If you are a pirate...well, you'll probably come up with a work around, so at least the criminals are safe, right? Be gentle with the link below. Seems 2K's forums are getting slammed for some odd reason.

UPDATE - Elizabeth from 2K has repsonded on the forums, clarifying the copy protection issue. The key lies in uninstalling before you reinstall. Uninstalling registers the same as installing does, so if you do not perform an uninstall first SecuROM thinks you are just installing the game on different systems over and over again. Hit the jump for the full text of Elizabeth's message, and thanks for everyone who followed up on the issue.
and then it was updated...

First I posted about the problems with BioShock copy protection. Then I edited the post to add in 2K's statement on the issue at the behest of several readers. Now i wake up to even more problems. Elizabeth's post was all well and good, but when people are having problems uninstalling the game in the first place, the whole uninstall it to get your install token thing doesn't work. From what I've read in the forum thread, even if you uninstall properly there's no guarantee it will register, and as illustrated by the graphic above, contacting SecuROM as 2K suggested often gets you directed back to 2K. You know, I used to hate CD keys, but they're looking better every minute. Let's hope there is some sort of official response to the issue soon (REMOVE THE DAMN COPY PROTECTION), or 2K will continue hemorrhaging loyal PC customers.
BTW 2K seems to have increased the activation limit from 2 to 5 in order to address some people's concerns.

Interestingly wikipedia has this to say about SecuROm:

Known problems
The version of SecuROM that comes with Armed Assault, S.T.A.L.K.E.R (European release only), Neverwinter Nights 2 , Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars (patched to v1.04), Tomb Raider Anniversary (demo and Full version), Overlord and Bioshock prevents the game from running at all if Process Explorer, a free tool offered by Microsoft, has been run since the previous reboot.
Certain games installed using SecuROM will prevent other select games from working correctly, and will continue to do so even after game is uninstalled.[citation needed]


macrumors member
Jul 26, 2007
Does anything like SecuROM exist for Macs? I only ask because Command and Conquer 3 is listed under games that install SecuROM and there is a mac version now. I wouldn't put it past them to try their voodoo on OSX.


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 16, 2006
Does anything like SecuROM exist for Macs? I only ask because Command and Conquer 3 is listed under games that install SecuROM and there is a mac version now. I wouldn't put it past them to try their voodoo on OSX.
I don't know. Remember that Sony a couple of years ago did the same thing on music CDs and didn't tell anyone (SecuROM is owned by sony). So will EA take the same approach with C&C, and not tell anyone if they've slipped them something? All I know is that this DRM according to SecuRom website is available for macs...

SecuROM™ for Apple Macintosh

SecuROM™ now available for Apple Macintosh Applications

Good news for Mac software developers: we now offer a SecuROM™ version for the protection of your Apple Macintosh applications.

SecuROM™ supports the following Macintosh operating systems:

· OS Classic: OS 8.6 to 9.x
· OS X : OS 10.1 or higher

SecuROM™ supports the following Macintosh file formats and technologies:

· PEF format for OS Classic
· Mach-O format for OS X
· Macromedia Director MX for OS X
· Carbon application for OS 9 and OS X

SecuROM™ offers unique protection for three kinds of discs:

· Discs for Windows only,
· Discs for Macintosh only, or
· Hybrid discs for Windows and Macintosh. In this last case SecuROM™ can protect up to three .exe-files (for Windows, for Mac OS Classic, and for Mac OS X).

Encryption of a Macintosh executable will be organised for you by our engineering team in Austria for the time being.

So far there is no Online Encryption Toolkit for Macintosh available - it will be offered in future according to demand.

SecuROM™ requires a storage capacity of only 1,5 MB on the disc, which means
that most of a disc's capacity remains available.

For further information please contact


macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2006
Developers should stop all this piracy anti-measure crap... all it does is add troubles and complications to LEGITIMATE users. Pirates are not bothered by it because they are not paying anything for their pirated games and release groups are entertained cracking the games (and they WILL crack it, no matter what the hell it uses). Slowing down pirates isn't going to increase sales for them given that a high percentage of people who pirate the game won't actually buy it if they can.

Take a look at Oblivion, that game uses NO copy protection at all (just a cd check) and it sales and profit margins for its developers are huge... if your game is good, people will buy it and people who want to pirate it, WILL pirate it (have no doubt about it). These things only hurt the legitimate users.

Halo2's activation was cracked... and it was also cracked to run in XP. Windows Vista was cracked before its release... what the hell makes you think anything you put in your game is going to make it any harder to crack?

Please developers, stick to the regular CD-Check, these things only hurt legitimate customers. To be honest, pirates give a crap about copy protection methods because they always get cracked, ALWAYS. If your game is good, it will sell, it is THAT simple.

To be honest the only way they could stop piracy is by bringing down the groups of distribution and blocking torrent ports in every ISP or something but copy protection in the actual applications is good for nothing. Even if they brought down all the release groups and banned torrent apps... piracy still wouldn't end.

Just accept one fact, piracy will ALWAYS exist, there is NOTHING you can do about it and everything you are doing right now is hurting no one but the LEGITIMATE users. It's pathetic. All you can do is make good games and people will buy them, maybe lower prices or something to cater to more budgets but still.

/end of rant