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Computer Security?

Discussion in 'All other topics' started by tblossom, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. tblossom

    tblossom Member

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    There´s an article in a leading German news magazine that refers to the new Microsoft windows "vista".
    The article states that because of Microsoft´s obsession with security it collaborated with a major US intelligence agency in writing this aspect of the program. The article further suggests that there is an element of security/spyware in this program.
    Has anyone heard anything or read anything similar?
     
  2. Dunker

    Dunker Regular member

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    Although Vista almost certainly has upped the amount and extent of information collected, Windows has had embedded spyware for a long time. Automatic Updates has been known to collect a listing of all installed software (and, presumably, hardware, and probably serial numbers) for four years now. Windows Genuine Advantage qualifies as spyware and can potentially disable functionality, although WGA is now standard in Vista anyway.

    Although I don't know if I can say I actually discovered it, I did find Windows Media Player as far back as version 7.1 keeping a database of everything played on it. The data is stored in the WMP*.DB file (where the * varies by version number) and is tied to WMP's feature to download artist information whenever a disc or file is played. I don't know if MS switched to a new naming system with newer versions of WMP; I have only tested up to version 9.

    I have little doubt that Vista makes that look like child's play, but I don't know whether it transmits encryption keys or the like. Only a large-scale reverse-engineering of Vista, or maybe a lucky break due to an bug in the OS, would reveal any specifics. Time will tell.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/02/28/windows_update_keeps_tabs/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Genuine_Advantage
     

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