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Re: Windows 95 Espionage ( ?? )
From: John.Mayo () CSCOE AC COM (John Mayo - NSM)
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 1995 12:02:39 -0500

 Microsoft officials confirm that beta versions of Windows 95 include a
 small viral routine called Registration Wizard.  It interrogates every
 system on a network gathering intelligence on what software is being run
 on which machine.  It then creates a complete listing of both Microsoft's
 and competitors' products by machine, which it reports to Microsoft when
 customers sign up for Microsoft's Network Services, due for launch later
 this year.

Microsoft has stated that the Registration Wizard has to be run by a user,
and the user has to "authorize" (via a dialog box) sending the info.
According to them, the Registration Wizard is simply supposed to
replace the paper-based resgistration card.

 "In Short" column, page 88, _Information Week_ magazine, May 22, 1995

 The implications of this action, and the attitude of Microsoft to plan
 such action, beggars the imagination.
 An update on this. A friend of mine got hold of the beta test CD
 of Win95, and set up a packet sniffer between his serial port and the
 modem. When you try out the free demo time on The Microsoft Network, it
 transmits your entire directory structure in background.

I can think of at least one reason for this (not that it is necessarily
a good one):

The MSN downloads new versions of itself automagically. Transmitting the
directory structure *could be* a way to find somewhere to put the
downloaded files (i.e. Where's the temp directory?).

Of course, conspiracy theories are more fun. :)

Disclaimer: I am a Unix admin, not a Windows 95 wizard.

For more info, lots of trade magazines had followup articles last week.
There were several letters to the editor in Information Week, I believe.

Jack Mayo

mayojoh () cscoe ac com    | Disclaimer: What I say isn't what they say.
Liberal: Freshly-arrested conservative. | Visualize Whirled Peas.
Conservative: Freshly-mugged liberal.   | Ignore my spelling mistakes.
When does summertime come to Minnesota, you ask?  Well, last year, I
think it was a Tuesday.  - /usr/games/fortune

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