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
    Leslie Allen, 9 Mar 2016 @ 1:15am

    Re: Backdoor Keys in the wild and with police.

    Well I know for a fact that in Philippines and Indonesia from my own experience... almost anything can be bought for a price from the most honest looking police officer and or politician or individual who has access to almost anything.

    Bribery is all well and official in almost all Asian countries... and I expect it is in most countries including the USA. Look at how many dishonest police there are...and that is only the ones we hear about. We all know there is a certain percentage of police... fbi and all legal professions who are dirty and will sell nearly anything for the right price, doesn't matter who the receiver is.

    I know this for a fact, as I have experienced this myself... in the many Asian countries I have traveled. Fact is... bribery is the normal way for those in the know to get out of trouble. And it is practiced quite openly. If you travel abroad... and don't know this... I pity you, you will have little way for redress in Asia in most cases. Even most attorney's split there fees with public officials, and so you can now imagine where at least 50% of your attorney's fees automatically go. If you don't believe me... ask and you will find out for yourself.

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