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
    Ray, 29 Apr 2008 @ 7:21pm

    The software is called Cofee

    and my guess would be.. downloads will start appearing... yesterday... when the news hit from PC world that microshaft invited so many people to their Washington State USA headquarters for training... I wont run Vista... not even a Vista Certified machine that my mother purchased 6 months ago has withstood the test of a non-computer savvy user. the worst part... she didn't ask me to help her pick one out.. she spent 2800.00 on a Compaq (gaming Rig) that cant even seem to boot correctly... if she had asked me... i would have sold her my personal rig, and built another from scratch for 1000.00 Compaq has made the machine pretty much useless... they wont even offer a XP alternative... you would think that for the kind of money spent... she wont let me put xp on it because i told her that if she buys a Vista rig.. i cant support it...

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