Sunday, September 16, 2007

Microsoft Installs New Software Without Permission

Get ready for another big hoo-ha...

On one hand, it is worrying to find out that M$ does this kind of things. But on the other hand, I'm looking forward to someone (or myself?) finding out how it is/can be done.

Microsoft Installs New Software Without Permission (Slashdot)

Microsoft downplays stealth Windows Update (Digg)

1 comment:

hamster said...

Eh... How about this?

Learn to write a program in Windows that does something simple - like show a clock.

In the background, as part of the code, write a piece of code to do time syncs with nst.gov.

Also, write a little chunk of code that keeps a track of keystrokes typed by the user that is sent to a server of your choice when the software does a time sync. (firewall will not block this if the user says no, right?)

Get someone gullible to install it saying it's a nice new tool that is fun to use and will aid productivity.

Why so many people are against M$ is largely because of the shroud of secrecy over their codebase. Also meaning that we're not just paying them a lot, we're actually putting ourselves at risk if and when they decide to do something nefarious. Such as secret updates.

I'm definitely not propounding that they HAVE to release their code - I AM against their habit of trying to make things work only to their advantage instead of the user's (Such as insisting that all suppliers stop selling Windows XP and sell Vista despite the underwhelming popularity of the system). But it's a constant risk -when you install software that someone else has made, you're opening another possible route to your privacy.

Put another way - how much of the software that you use has back doors installed that you don't know about?

Even in the computing world, we have to rely on God. Ha!