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
    ttt, 10 Dec 2008 @ 9:24pm

    if a criminal wanted to view data over the net and not get caught they could use knoppix on a computer with no hard drive so this type of set of tools is useless in some situations and with out the hard drive data isp data is useless

    and is this set of keys remotely exploitable i am absolutely sure it is and if not as part of a Trojan it is still useful for criminal activity

    any time a backdoor is written for any purpose it is bad news this will get out to the hackers no doubt and they will at the very least pair it up with a remote admin/user hack and be able to download all your private data with ease as ms did half the work for em ms should be doing everything in their power to make the system uncrackable not a open book for the select few

    but micro$oft has a very big market share that they use as a product in it of the system so they can enforce computing rules of the rich and powerful and we all buy the product we have a problem of vendor lock in

    for those who fear terrorist do you the theft of your bank records being used to found terrorism yes banks use windows as well as you and me

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