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[News] [Rival] Microsoft is Big Brother, Windows Just a Sieve

Microsoft device helps police pluck evidence from cyberscene of crime

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft has developed a small plug-in device that investigators can use to 
| quickly extract forensic data from computers that may have been used in 
| crimes.  


No wonder military operations around the world quietly move to GNU/Linux.


,----[ Quote ]
| "Is this a good idea or not? For the first time, the giant software maker 
| is acknowledging the help of the secretive agency, better known for
| eavesdropping on foreign officials and, more recently, U.S. citizens as 
| part of the Bush..."


Microsoft could be teaching police to hack Vista

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft may begin training the police in ways to break the
| encryption built into its forthcoming Vista operating system.


UK holds Microsoft security talks

,----[ Quote ]
| "UK officials are talking to Microsoft over fears the new version of 
| Windows could make it harder for police to read suspects' computer files."


Microsoft patents the mother of all adware systems

,----[ Quote ]
| The adware framework would leave almost no data untouched in its quest to 
| sell you stuff. It would inspect "user document files, user e-mail files, 
| user music files, downloaded podcasts, computer settings, computer status 
| messages (e.g., a low memory status or low printer ink)," and more. How could 
| we have been so blind as to not see the marketing value in computer status 
| messages?     


German spyware plans trigger row

,----[ Quote ]
| The e-mails would contain Trojans - software that secretly installs itself on 
| suspects' computers, allowing agents to search the hard drives. 


FBI ducks questions about its remotely installed spyware

,----[ Quote ]
| There are plenty of unanswered questions about the FBI spyware that, as we 
| reported earlier this week, can be delivered over the Internet and implanted  
| in a suspect's computer remotely. 


German Security Professionals in the Mist

,----[ Quote ]
| This hope was important because earlier this year the German Government had 
| introduced similar language into Section 202c StGB of the computer crime 
| laws, which would have made the mere possession of (creates, obtains or 
| provides access to, sells, yields, distributes or otherwise allows access to) 
| tools like John, Kismet, KisMAC, Nessus, nmap, and the ability to Google 
| effectively a crime.     


Did NSA Put a Secret Backdoor in New Encryption Standard?

,----[ Quote ] 
| Which is why you should worry about a new random-number standard that 
| includes an algorithm that is slow, badly designed and just might contain a 
| backdoor for the National Security Agency.  


On back doors in Windows XP...


Vista as the mother of all spyware...


Police eats your CPU cycles and disk space...

,----[ Quote ]
| Vista—Microsoft’s latest operating system—may prove to be most
| appropriately named, especially for those seeking evidence of how a
| computer was used.


Will Microsoft Put The Colonel in the Kernel?

,----[ Quote ]
| "The kernel meets The Colonel in a just-published Microsoft patent 
| application for an Advertising Services Architecture, which delivers targeted 
| advertising as 'part of the OS.'   


Austria OKs terror snooping Trojan plan

,----[ Quote ]
| Austria has become one of the first countries to officially sanction the use 
| of Trojan Horse malware as a tactic for monitoring the PCs of suspected 
| terrorists and criminals.  
| [...]
| Would-be terrorists need only use Ubuntu Linux to avoid the ploy. And even if 
| they stuck with Windows their anti-virus software might detect the malware. 
| Anti-virus firms that accede to law enforcement demands to turn a blind eye 
| to state-sanctioned malware risk undermining trust in their software, as 
| similar experience in the US has shown.    


Schäuble renews calls for surreptitious online searches of PCs

,----[ Quote ]
| In his speech towards the end of the national conference of the Junge Union, 
| the youth organization of the ruling conservative Christian Democratic Union 
| (CDU), in Berlin the Federal Minister of the Interior Wolfgang Schäuble has 
| again come out in favor of allowing authorities to search private PCs 
| secretly online and of deploying the German Armed Forces in Germany in the 
| event of an emergency.     


Encrypted E-Mail Company Hushmail Spills to Feds

,----[ Quote ]
| Hushmail, a longtime provider of encrypted web-based email, markets itself by 
| saying that "not even a Hushmail employee with access to our servers can read 
| your encrypted e-mail, since each message is uniquely encoded before it 
| leaves your computer."   
| But it turns out that statement seems not to apply to individuals targeted by 
| government agencies that are able to convince a Canadian court to serve a 
| court order on the company.  


No email privacy rights under Constitution, US gov claims

,----[ Quote ]
| This appears to be more than a mere argument in support of the 
| constitutionality of a Congressional email privacy and access scheme. It 
| represents what may be the fundamental governmental position on 
| Constitutional email and electronic privacy - that there isn't any. What is 
| important in this case is not the ultimate resolution of that narrow issue, 
| but the position that the United States government is taking on the entire 
| issue of electronic privacy. That position, if accepted, may mean that the 
| government can read anybody's email at any time without a warrant.       


Microsoft exec calls XP hack 'frightening'

,----[ Quote ]
| "You can download attack tools from the Internet, and even script kiddies can 
| use this one," said Mick. 
| Mick found the IP address of his own computer by using the XP Wireless 
| Network Connection Status dialog box. He deduced the IP address of Andy's 
| computer by typing different numerically adjacent addresses in that IP range 
| into the attack tool, then scanning the addresses to see if they belonged to 
| a vulnerable machine.    
| Using a different attack tool, he produced a security report detailing the 
| vulnerabilities found on the system. Mick decided to exploit one of them. 
| Using the attack tool, Mick built a piece of malware in MS-DOS, giving it a
| payload that would exploit the flaw within a couple of minutes.   


Duh! Windows Encryption Hacked Via Random Number Generator

,----[ Quote ]
| GeneralMount Carmel, Haifa – A group of researchers headed by Dr. Benny 
| Pinkas from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Haifa 
| succeeded in finding a security vulnerability in Microsoft's "Windows 2000" 
| operating system. The significance of the loophole: emails, passwords, credit 
| card numbers, if they were typed into the computer, and actually all 
| correspondence that emanated from a computer using "Windows 2000" is 
| susceptible to tracking. "This is not a theoretical discovery. Anyone who 
| exploits this security loophole can definitely access this information on 
| other computers," remarked Dr. Pinkas.        
| Editors Note:  I believe this "loophole" is part of the Patriot Act, it is 
| designed for foreign governments.  Seriously, if you care about security, 
| privacy, data, trojans, spyware, etc., one does not run Windows, you run 
| Linux.   


"Trusted" Computing

,----[ Quote ]
| Do you imagine that any US Linux distributor would say no to the
| US government if they were requested (politely, of course) to add
| a back-door to the binary Linux images shipped as part of their
| products ? Who amongst us actually uses the source code so helpfully
| given to us on the extra CDs to compile our own version ? With
| Windows of course there are already so many back-doors known and
| unknown that the US government might not have even bothered to 
| ask Microsoft, they may have just found their own, ready to
| exploit at will. What about Intel or AMD and the microcode on
| the processor itself ?


,----[ Quote ]
| In relation to the issue of sharing technical API and protocol
| information used throughout Microsoft products, which the
| states were seeking, Allchin alleged that releasing this
| information would increase the security risk to consumers.
|        "It is no exaggeration to say that the national security is
|        also implicated by the efforts of hackers to break into
|        computing networks. Computers, including many running Windows
|        operating systems, are used throughout the United States
|        Department of Defense and by the armed forces of the United
|        States in Afghanistan and elsewhere."


How NSA access was built into Windows

,----[ Quote ]
| A careless mistake by Microsoft programmers has revealed that
| special access codes prepared by the US National Security Agency
| have been secretly built into Windows.
| [...]
| The first discovery of the new NSA access system was made two years
| ago by British researcher Dr Nicko van Someren. But it was only a
| few weeks ago when a second researcher rediscovered the access
| system. With it, he found the evidence linking it to NSA.


NSA Builds Security Access Into Windows

,----[ Quote ]
| A careless mistake by Microsoft programmers has shown that special access
| codes for use by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) have been secretly
| built into all versions of the Windows operating system.


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