2007/01/10

Windows Vista, NSA Edition

Windows NSAYour Computer, Our Data

Given the mind-boggling number of security issues with Microsoft's operating systems, it's not surprising that they called in some professionals to help out with Vista. What is surprising is who they called.

So...before you upgrade to Vista, ask yourself one question: In light of NSA's new found willingness to break the law in the service of national security, do you trust the agency not to tamper with Windows in ways that compromise your data?

22 Comments:

"All your cookies, are belong to us." - NSA
do you trust the agency not to tamper with Windows in ways that compromise your data?

Or at least to figure out a way to access it anytime they want.
"All your cookies, are belong to us."

All your everything, actually, and Lew's correct. With a couple of changes to key device drivers, NSA wouldn't even need their 'fat pipe' to AT&T.
You guys, how unpatriotic can you get? I mean really, they already HAVE your social security number - they already have your numbers - so what's a little operating system among friends, hmmmm? I mean really.

Someone just wake me when this fucking nightmare is over.
Ya, I'm with Divajood...do we have to report you guys for your unpatriotic activity?
Ubuntu is the first Linux distribution I've tried where everything on this pc (notebook HP zt3000) worked out of the box. Mute/volume buttons, function keys, wireless, everything. Windows is sitting to the side for emergency use only. If you've been wanting to try Linux, it's worth a shot.

But the commenters are right: the NSA doesn't care. I could use a custom written roll-my-own OS and they'd still see everything that flows through the tubes on the internets. Encryption doesn't slow them down much either.

If you don't want to be bothered by the government, make sure you don't get noticed. "It works the same in any country."
Diva...guess I'll just let you sleep late today. ;-)

Fred, no worries already done in my case.

Michael, though I agree that they're watching the Internet, encryption does exactly that...slow them down. If any agency can break a strong encryption scheme (AES-128 or above) it's NSA, but it's the work factor involved.

For example, I use encrypted volumes on my laptops. Walk off with it, and you've got nothing. But with NSA in there, they could grab everything while it's in the clear and shunt it who knows where. Aside from being the biggest mass violation of the 4th Amendment in history, it would leave my data exposed in ways that I'm unwilling to accept even if NSA weren't mucking around with the OS.
Dude I found a camera in one of my quarters!

Not really... not yet anyway.
Back when MS was facing that anti-trust suit, Bush said during the 2000 campaign "that he would take care of MS if elected." He did....this is MS's repayment.

Short of a blinking text board next to the freeway, I've long considered this to be the most unsecure medium going. I just assume I'm watched every minute, then say F'em, and write my posts.:)
Dude I found a camera in one of my quarters!

Well...it's only an RFID transmitter, and it's in a Canadian quarter. So it's can only broadcast 75% of the information of an 'Merican quarter.

TFWY, agreed. One shouldn't count on privacy on the Internet, but on one's own computer? Guaranteed in the Constitution, IMHO.
From what I can see in that article, the NSA has had their grubby little paws in XP anyway, so perhaps the moot is point?

err........

wait..........


Yeah, something like that.......
I really didn't realize that the guys at the NSA were so desperate to get their hands on internet porn that they feel the need to haxxor into everybody's computers to get it.

*laughing - because it isn't really funny*
I really didn't realize that the guys at the NSA were so desperate to get their hands on internet porn that they feel the need to haxxor into everybody's computers to get it.

That's probably because everyone else has better collections than they do.
That's probably because everyone else has better collections than they do.

Sewmouse, Haris...they're after my porn?! Goddamnit! Is nothing sacred...
-vista's encryption was designed to stop changes to the registry without user approval
-xp had many security flaws that have been resolved as a result of updates
-IE 7 has also increased it's security as far as phishing for passwords and pop ups that store unwanted information on the local machine or network
-there isn't a computer big enough or the resources to hold the world's pc data, media has a way of building paranoia
I need a new word for unbelievable.

...And I have to start forcing myself to start using Firefox more often until I can ween myself off from MSIE.

Seriously though, thanks for posting that up Kvatch. I han't heard a thing about it.
Gorn, thanks for dropping by Blognonymous.

I don't agree with many of your assertions about XP and IE. Though Microsoft has added numerous pseudo-security features such as phishing control, they've neglected many other important areas such as standards adherance, overly agressive calls "back to the mothership", and overly lax certificate validation (enabling SSL for your browser and other purposes). But your last statement:

there isn't a computer big enough or the resources to hold the world's pc data, media has a way of building paranoia

...is particularly objectionable. We're not talking about whether a government or agency is capable of dealing with that much data. We're talking about the potential for NSA to build in "back-doors" to Vista that would allow them to compromise a system...or anybody else who happens to gain knowledge of how to exploit a built-in weakness. At least with an open-source system (e.g. Linux), experts can verify that no such code exists. Not so with Microsoft.
kvatch, it's my pleasure to visit Blognonymous. I thank you:)

You are in your right to not agree with me. Not all things are 100% perfect on God's green earth. I'll beat around the bush on this because from my own experience, I have hacked into Linux (my own machine of course) from another location with a G5. I was able to go to the root and set a sudo command to email myself. Of course I knew my password, but the proof is in the puddin, it can be done! I also know through creating my own experience that MAC's are hackable in the form of a firmware upgrade.

This can also be done on many other devices such as, cell phones, print servers(jet direct cards) et al. I have seen instances where a hacker was using the printer's storage for their own purposes, all they needed was an IP.

So the question is...what OS can I use that guarantees my privacy? ...hello? it's gone quiet.

We need to talk to Louis Cern and go way back to get a more secure protocal for packet transmission, the ISP's know exactly what you're up to, too they keep traffic logs.

PS. Please excuse my writing skills, I write better in code
So the question is...what OS can I use that guarantees my privacy? ...hello? it's gone quiet.

None. One's privacy is in one's own hands, but that's exactly the point. We don't need a government agency that's proven it cannot be trusted (NSA did violate their own charter to conduct illegal surveillance) making our lives more difficult. That's why I raised this point. You have a choice here. Think carefully about what you're doing. Don't just assume that, because the Internet is dangerous place, your personal data is at risk. It doesn't have to be.
Michael, thanks for the Ubuntu tip. Now, if I could only get a word processor I liked for LINUX (don't like Open Office for English keyboard), I'd kick the MS habit forever!!!
who says they want ALL PC data. Maybe they just want information from your PC if you type in things like bom_b or nucl_ear or por_n. Then it zips the data off to another ip address to be analyzed.
that is why i bought a 32 gig usb flash drive, I put all my information on it, I carry it around with me always, when I access my usb flash drive I turn off the internet "unplug it" I do not trust computers they were built by the goverment "I do not trust the goverment" the internet was built by the military i do not trust them either, My suggestion is use one computer for online and the other one that is not online to hold all your valued information.

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