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Thread: Windows 8 Tells Microsoft About Everything You Install, Not Very Securely

  1. #1

    Default Windows 8 Tells Microsoft About Everything You Install, Not Very Securely

    http://gizmodo.com/5937649/windows-8...-very-securely

    I've recently been using the final, Released to Manufacturing version of Windows 8 on one of my computers, to much delight. I've been very impressed by how fast, well-designed, functional and capable this latest iteration of Windows is. However, my tinkering around from a security/privacy perspective has left me concerned.
    Nadim Kobeissi may be young, but already the hacker and programmer has done more to fight for privacy and internet rights than most of us ever will. Now, he sheds light on the fact that Microsoft knows everything we install on our Windows 8 devices.


    Windows 8 has a new featured called Windows SmartScreen, which is turned on by default. Windows SmartScreen's purpose is to "screen" every single application you try to install from the Internet in order to inform you whether it's safe to proceed with installing it or not. Here's how SmartScreen works:

    1. You download any application from the Internet. Say, the Tor Browser Bundle.

    2. You open the installer. Windows SmartScreen gathers some identifying information about your application, and sends the data to Microsoft.

    3. If Microsoft replies saying that the application is not signed with a proper certificate, the user gets an error that looks something like this.

    There are a few serious problems here. The big problem is that Windows 8 is configured to immediately tell Microsoft about every app you download and install. This is a very serious privacy problem, specifically because Microsoft is the central point of authority and data collection/retention here and therefore becomes vulnerable to being served judicial subpoenas or National Security Letters intended to monitor targeted users. This situation is exacerbated when Windows 8 is deployed in countries experiencing political turmoil or repressive political situations.

    This problem can however get even more serious: It may be possible to intercept SmartScreen's communications to Microsoft and thus learn about every single application downloaded and installed by a target. Here is my analysis:

    A quick packet capture showed the following activity happening immediately when I tried to install the Tor Browser Bundle:

    SmartScreen appeared to connect over HTTPS to a server in Redmond (apprep.smartscreen.microsoft.com, 65.55.184.60, run by Microsoft) in order to communicate information about the application I was trying to install.

    (story continues on link...)
    (Theres a couple of embedded links and screenshots I didnt include in the post from the original article.)

    Now, just think about how this could be used AGAINST you.

    Heres the thing about your privacy most people are too unconcerned with. What they know about you is used against you. And your personal preferences are marketers wet dreams come true. But heres the thing everyone says. If you arent doing anything wrong, then why are you trying to hide it to begin with? #1 They do not have my permission. #2 To someone, you ARE doing something wrong. If you like Pepsi instead of Coke, you are the enemy of Coke. If you like Apple over Microsoft or Google, you are the enemy of Microsoft and Google. If you are a Non Christian in Southern Alabama, you are the enemy of the Christians. You are the enemy of someone, some where for every aspect of who and what you are. If Coke wants to win you over from Pepsi, and they know who you are and what your preferences are, they are going to market around what they know about you. Your lack of privacy comprimises your ability to make an uninfluenced decision for yourself and come to your own conclusions. Those conclusions might not be the same as a conclusion that someone else makes, but that is the nice thing about Privacy, is it doesnt matter if you come to a different conclusion than someone else has because the DONT know what decision youve made, if any at all. Now, take it a step further. Replace Coke and Pepsi with Democrat or Republican, Socialist or Facist, Liberty or Slavery. They are all going to do everything they can to manipulate the outcome of your decision. This influence that they exert usually ends up causing you to make an influenced biased decision, which many times is in complete contrast to what you would have chosen for yourself. And when eventually this country turns as Facist as it possibly can, words spoken out against anyone will result in you being slapped with a Terrorist dissenter and hauled away for re-indoctrination or worse.

    How the hell does any of that rant have anything to do with the next version of Windows? Microsoft is opening doors into your private life that you would not normally leave open yourself. You lose even more privacy. You will end up losing even more and more of yourself to these corporate facist $#@!s that want nothing more than to slap a Facebook or MySpace label on your sorry ass and put your private information up for sale to the next corporate buyer. I say you lose yourself because you are the result of your own decisions, and the more of those decisions you make that have been biased, the more you become the mouthpiece of Farcebook or MySpace (couldnt think of any other FedBook competitors by name) and the more you represent either of those companies, the less of yourself exists.
    1776 > 1984

    The FAILURE of the United States Government to operate and maintian an
    Honest Money System , which frees the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators, is the single largest contributing factor to the World's current Economic Crisis.

    The Elimination of Privacy is the Architecture of Genocide

    You are Ron Paul's Media!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Our central bank is not privately owned.



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  3. #2

    Default

    All the more reason to dump Windows and their bugs and viruses and use Linux. I rarely ever use Windows now, I don't miss it at all.

  4. #3

    Default

    Windows for gaming, Linux for everything else

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by DGambler View Post
    Windows for gaming, Linux for everything else
    Gabe Newell of Valve said Windows 8 sucks, even for Gaming, thus is transitioning toward Linux. Microsoft has shot itself in its own foot again.
    1776 > 1984

    The FAILURE of the United States Government to operate and maintian an
    Honest Money System , which frees the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators, is the single largest contributing factor to the World's current Economic Crisis.

    The Elimination of Privacy is the Architecture of Genocide

    You are Ron Paul's Media!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Our central bank is not privately owned.

  6. #5

    Default

    If anybody is interested, it's REALLY easy to install Ubuntu's version of Linux on your computer. Most everything should work right away. If it doesn't, usually a quick google search will get you the answer, which will likely come in the form of a few basic unix commands (sort of like using MS-DOS prompts in Windows, just copy and paste into the command line.. pretty much the main thing to remember is if it says you don't have permission, put a sudo in front of the command, it asks for your password and your command now retains admin powerz!), although Linux actually looks and runs more like MacOS as far as the GUI.

    You can partition off a space on your hard drive and dual boot to test it out, or just start from scratch, install Ubuntu and if you need windows for anything (i.e. Netflix) you can install VirtualBox and install Windows 7 or XP on a virtual disk and run it through Ubuntu. Although that probably isn't the best solution if you're doing high performance gaming of specific games, might want to stick to the dual boot until more games get ported over in the future.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc


    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  7. #6

    Default

    Can I use all my windows programs and such with Linux? /curious
    Quote Originally Posted by Torchbearer
    what works can never be discussed online. there is only one language the government understands, and until the people start speaking it by the magazine full... things will remain the same.
    Hear/buy my music here"government is the enemy of liberty"-RPEphesians 6:12 (KJV)For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

  8. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    If anybody is interested, it's REALLY easy to install Ubuntu's version of Linux on your computer.
    For that matter,, any Flavor of Linux is pretty easy.
    That is one of the best things about Linux,, a freedom of Choice..
    Several window managers (KDE, Gnome XFce, Enlightenment, etc)
    http://www.techradar.com/us/news/sof...anagers-909223
    Highly customizable environment,, Choices of Software,,
    pretty much every Distro has a support forum and helpful folks.

    Used a few,, but my Fav,, PCLinuxOS
    http://www.pclinuxos.com/
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  9. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by heavenlyboy34 View Post
    Can I use all my windows programs and such with Linux? /curious
    Many,,Most. There may be some odd ones that may need some tweaking to work.
    There are Open Source Programs for nearly everything. There are Linux equivalents for almost anything.
    Last edited by pcosmar; 08-24-2012 at 06:22 PM.
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  10. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by heavenlyboy34 View Post
    Can I use all my windows programs and such with Linux? /curious

    What programs do you need? Linux has firefox and chrome, chat programs that can handle all of the popular chat platforms, plenty of movie/media players, email clients, gimp (for photoshop stuff), video editors, music editors, OpenOffice, pretty much everything you need can be installed straight into linux. It's only the proprietary stuff, like most games, that might not work (although apparently many do) and in many cases for most programs there are alternatives.. or if all that fails you might be able to install using WINE, but I'd suggest going straight to VirtualBox.

    If there's something you need specifically from windows, you can setup a virtual drive on a program called VirtualBox, install XP or 7 or whatever your favorite windows version is, and then install your windows program from there. It's pretty easy, all you need is to install VirtualBox which takes a couple minutes, a windows install CD or an image and then you tell VirtualBox how much hard drive space to use (I use dynamic, which resizes the drive as needed), how much memory to steal, how much CPU or how many processor cores to steal, how much video card memory to steal, setup drive shares, etc.. Then it boots up the windows install image or the CD like a regular computer, you install windows just like normal, then use VirtualBox everytime you want to boot up the machine.

    I can boot up my linux box in about 25 seconds or so and have windows running in less than a minute.. though I rarely use it except for Netflix because Netflix requires a proprietary program called SilverLight. I also use it to connect to my computer at work through citrix, although it appears that there is a citrix client for linux so I might not even have to do that anymore.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc


    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  11. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    What programs do you need? Linux has firefox and chrome, chat programs that can handle all of the popular chat platforms, plenty of movie/media players, email clients, gimp (for photoshop stuff), video editors, music editors, OpenOffice, pretty much everything you need can be installed straight into linux. It's only the proprietary stuff, like most games, that might not work (although apparently many do) and in many cases for most programs there are alternatives.. or if all that fails you might be able to install using WINE, but I'd suggest going straight to VirtualBox.

    If there's something you need specifically from windows, you can setup a virtual drive on a program called VirtualBox, install XP or 7 or whatever your favorite windows version is, and then install your windows program from there. It's pretty easy, all you need is to install VirtualBox which takes a couple minutes, a windows install CD or an image and then you tell VirtualBox how much hard drive space to use (I use dynamic, which resizes the drive as needed), how much memory to steal, how much CPU or how many processor cores to steal, how much video card memory to steal, setup drive shares, etc.. Then it boots up the windows install image or the CD like a regular computer, you install windows just like normal, then use VirtualBox everytime you want to boot up the machine.

    I can boot up my linux box in about 25 seconds or so and have windows running in less than a minute.. though I rarely use it except for Netflix because Netflix requires a proprietary program called SilverLight. I also use it to connect to my computer at work through citrix, although it appears that there is a citrix client for linux so I might not even have to do that anymore.
    I need iMakeSheetMusic, Adobe CS3, Voyetra Record Producer,Sony Acid music studio, Snowflake Pro, Miroslav Philharmonik, Sonar 6. I've had problems with dual boot up systems, so I'm kind of leery of it. :/ Could I run Linux from an external drive?
    Quote Originally Posted by Torchbearer
    what works can never be discussed online. there is only one language the government understands, and until the people start speaking it by the magazine full... things will remain the same.
    Hear/buy my music here"government is the enemy of liberty"-RPEphesians 6:12 (KJV)For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

  12. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by heavenlyboy34 View Post
    Can I use all my windows programs and such with Linux? /curious
    The answer to that is yes with a simulator called Wine. But, unless you really need those Windows programs then you can use the free open source programs for Linux that do everything the non-free versions of most Windows programs do, like Office, and Photoshop.
    Last edited by RickyJ; 08-24-2012 at 06:58 PM.

  13. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by heavenlyboy34 View Post
    I need iMakeSheetMusic, Adobe CS3, Voyetra Record Producer,Sony Acid music studio, Snowflake Pro, Miroslav Philharmonik, Sonar 6. I've had problems with dual boot up systems, so I'm kind of leery of it. :/ Could I run Linux from an external drive?
    What problems with Dual Boot? Have set up several computers to Dual boot..using both LILO and Grub. Never had a problem.
    And there are quite a few Music Writing,, and editing and mixing programs,,I'm not a musician,,but have seen them.
    http://linux.about.com/od/musicsoftware/a/musicswrv.htm

    And yes,,you can run it from other drives.. Live CD or Thumbdrive..
    Options,,Linux haz them.
    Last edited by pcosmar; 08-24-2012 at 07:01 PM.
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  14. #13

    Default

    I used to run SETI on several computers.

    One ran it under Linux. It would run and run and run and I would never have to keep an eye on it like the other machines. There was something I could punch in to see how long the machine had been running. Something like "runtime". ??? Anyway I can sort of remember it being up near a year of running steady 24/7.

    I was always finding the other machines hung up for some reason or other like Updates.

    They have some new project now other than the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Actually the way things have been looking maybe we should point some of the dishes more in the direction of home...but anyway here is a link to the new platform if you haven't checked them out in a while.

    BOINC platform needed to run projects:

    http://boinc.berkeley.edu/



    The SETI Project;

    http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/



    Other projects:

    http://boinc.berkeley.edu/projects.php

  15. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by heavenlyboy34 View Post
    Can I use all my windows programs and such with Linux? /curious

    That is one of the drawbacks. Many will not install.

    The pleasant surprise of giving Linux a try you find there are many programs that can be installed for free. The first time I tried it I bought a distribution that came with several disks. When I installed it part of the installation ask you to check the programs you wanted to install while you were doing the operating system. The list was extensive. I think if you go with one of the distributions you can download for nothing you may have to gather up some of those programs yourself but lotst are free I'm thinking.

    Here is a spot to check out.

    http://sourceforge.net/


    A couple of programs I'm thinking may help get over it not being the other guys is;


    Open Office (word replacement:

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/open...urce=directory


    Gimp (photoshop replacement):

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/gimp...urce=directory


    As for games, Tux Racer is a must have. He may already be in what ever distribution you choose. Here are some other games:

    http://sourceforge.net/directory/os:...dated/?q=games

  16. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    If anybody is interested, it's REALLY easy to install Ubuntu's version of Linux on your computer. Most everything should work right away. If it doesn't, usually a quick google search will get you the answer, which will likely come in the form of a few basic unix commands (sort of like using MS-DOS prompts in Windows, just copy and paste into the command line.. pretty much the main thing to remember is if it says you don't have permission, put a sudo in front of the command, it asks for your password and your command now retains admin powerz!), although Linux actually looks and runs more like MacOS as far as the GUI.

    You can partition off a space on your hard drive and dual boot to test it out, or just start from scratch, install Ubuntu and if you need windows for anything (i.e. Netflix) you can install VirtualBox and install Windows 7 or XP on a virtual disk and run it through Ubuntu. Although that probably isn't the best solution if you're doing high performance gaming of specific games, might want to stick to the dual boot until more games get ported over in the future.
    System requirements?
    * Enforce Border Security – America should be guarding her own borders and enforcing her own laws instead of policing the world and implementing UN mandates.

    * No Amnesty - The Obama Administration’s endorsement of so-called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, will only encourage more law-breaking.

    * Abolish the Welfare State – Taxpayers cannot continue to pay the high costs to sustain this powerful incentive for illegal immigration. As Milton Friedman famously said, you can’t have open borders and a welfare state.

    * End Birthright Citizenship – As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be granted U.S. citizenship, we’ll never be able to control our immigration problem.




    Reprinted from http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/immigration/ [Nov. 29, 2011]

  17. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    System requirements?
    Not sure what Ubuntu is,, but generally less than windoze.

    And I can install linux on old systems with limited resources.. Don't expect it to handle high Graphic stuff though.
    It really depends on the Distro and what you are doing. An old low resource box is not going to do high end Video editing no matter what OS it has.

    PCLinuxOS Requirements,
    http://www.pclinuxos.com/?page_id=2

    Processor

    Any Intel, AMD or VIA processor.
    Memory & storage

    RAM : 512 MB minimum, 1 GB recommended.

    Hard disk : 3 GB minimum, 8-10 GB recommended for a full setup.
    Video card

    nVidia, ATI, Intel, SiS, Matrox, VIA.

    3D desktop support requires a 3D instructions set compatible card.
    Sound card

    Any Sound Blaster, AC97 or HDA compatible card.

    Creative Labs X-Fi cards are not currently supported.
    Other

    CD drive required.

    SATA, IDE, SCSI, SAS : most controllers are supported in non-RAID mode.
    Last edited by pcosmar; 08-24-2012 at 10:01 PM.
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  18. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pcosmar View Post
    What problems with Dual Boot? Have set up several computers to Dual boot..using both LILO and Grub. Never had a problem.
    And there are quite a few Music Writing,, and editing and mixing programs,,I'm not a musician,,but have seen them.
    http://linux.about.com/od/musicsoftware/a/musicswrv.htm

    And yes,,you can run it from other drives.. Live CD or Thumbdrive..
    Options,,Linux haz them.
    Back in the win98 days or so I tried using dual boot with win 3.1/dos so's I could use my old games. IIRC, it locked up every time I tried to get into 3.1. I haven't tried it since. However, it was probably a mistake on my dad's part. I was only ~15 at the time and didn't set it up.

    Thanks for the info. ~hugs~ I have a quite sizable external drive, so I will try Linux.
    Last edited by heavenlyboy34; 08-24-2012 at 10:09 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Torchbearer
    what works can never be discussed online. there is only one language the government understands, and until the people start speaking it by the magazine full... things will remain the same.
    Hear/buy my music here"government is the enemy of liberty"-RPEphesians 6:12 (KJV)For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.






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