Microsoft Gives Vista Backdoor Keys To The Police

from the meaning-the-crooks-have-it-too dept

It's long been assumed that Microsoft has built in various "backdoors" for law enforcement to get around its own security, but now reader Kevin Stapp writes in to let us know that the company has also been literally handing out the keys to law enforcement. Apparently, they're giving out special USB keys that simply get around Microsoft's security, allowing the holder of the key to very quickly get forensic information (including internet surfing history), passwords and supposedly encrypted data off of a laptop. While you can understand why police like this, the very fact that the backdoor is there and that a bunch of these USB keys are out there pretty much guarantees that those with nefarious intent also have such keys. The second you build in such backdoors, no matter how noble the reason, you can rest assured that they will be used by criminals as well. No matter what, for those of you who didn't already know it, now you have more evidence as to why trusting Microsoft's "security" isn't such a good idea. Update: Some folks in the comments, and Ed Bott, claim that this post is a misreading of the original story. The USB key includes a bunch of standard tools, not access to a "backdoor." The confusion, on my part, was due to the original article claiming that the device "can decrypt passwords and analyze a computer's Internet activity, as well as data stored in the computer." In saying so, it appeared that the device must have access to a backdoor to decrypt the password -- but an update claims that it's merely "password security auditing technologies."

Filed Under: backdoor, security, vista
Companies: microsoft


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  1. identicon
    Todd, 30 Apr 2008 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Unbelievable, Mr. Balmer.

    GeneralEmergency regurgitated:

    Steve...Stevie buddy...What a monumentally stupid thing to do.
    This single action will do more to kill off closed source OS software in private and corporate use than anything else I could imagine.

    GE, GE Buddy, what a monumentally stupid post. Try reading the story (stories) and thinking a bit before posting. (Note: This may require removal of a cranial-rectal impaction) Do you really think that MS NT-based Operating Systems, having been around for about 15 years, would have not been discovered to contain backdoors by now. Surely, you must admit that the hackerz and haters would have found and revealed them by now.

    If the key were to exist, it would be illegal in many locales - do you think MS would PUBLICLY announce the presence of a tool to exploit this supposed backdoor and expose themselves to untold legal liabilities? Usually conspiracy creators at least try to make them plausible. Please insert another quarter andtry again. It's almost as if you are biased or something....

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