Microsoft has joined other security vendors in pursuit of the rootkit component to Sony's now-infamous anti-piracy measure.

Jason Garms, Microsoft anti-malware technology team architect and product manager, wrote in a blog entry over the weekend that its December update to the Malicious Software Removal Tool will detect and remove Sony's rootkit.

Beta testers for Microsoft's Windows AntiSpyware, now called Windows Defender, also will receive the security fix in the weekly security update.

Garms also noted the patch will be included in the first public beta of Windows Defender, as well as the Windows Live Safety Center.

''We use a set of objective criteria for both Windows Defender and the Malicious Software Removal Tool to determine what software will be classified for detection and removal by our anti-malware technology,'' Garms stated in his blog entry.

''We have analyzed this software, and have determined that in order to help protect our customers we will add a detection and removal signature for the rootkit component of the XCP software to the Windows AntiSpyware beta, which is currently used by millions of users.''

The rootkit component has been in use for months, but it wasn't discovered until recently.

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