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Re: Google Desktop Search
From: mike () ampeisch com
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 12:24:53 -0400 (EDT)

Hello All;

At the risk of being flamed, I would submit that you didn't know it
indexed web history at all, because you didn't read the part of the info
page where it says:

"It's a desktop search application that provides full text search over
your email, computer files, chats, and the web pages you've viewed."

This can be found at:  http://desktop.google.com/about.html

Where it also says:

"The Google Desktop Search program does not make your computer's content
accessible to Google or anyone else. You can learn more by reading the
Desktop Search privacy policy."

And, whether security pro or good consumer you should READ the privacy
policy, before using the product.  What if it said "by downloading this
software, you agree that we can access all contents of your hard disk
whenever we want to, and share the information with all of the vendors on
the planet"?

Admittedly, that first quote sounds scary, and it certainly doesn't hurt
to test and see what information, if any, is being sent out, but really. 
You people are security professionals. . . do you honestly think that it
"magically" came up with the password to your email account from a cached
web page?  Read the javascript in the headers of Yahoo's login page:

<-- Begin javascript comments from Yahoo -->
 * A JavaScript implementation of the RSA Data Security, Inc. MD5 Message
 * Digest Algorithm, as defined in RFC 1321.
 * Copyright (C) Paul Johnston 1999 - 2000.
 * Updated by Greg Holt 2000 - 2001.
 * See http://pajhome.org.uk/site/legal.html for details.

<-- End Javascript comments from Yahoo -->

THEY don't even cache, or pass, your password. Like all secure programs,
they store, and transmit, an MD5 Sum. Besides, why would you keep
confidential information in a Yahoo email account anyway?  I don't mean to
chastise anyone, and it certainly isn't my place, but we should all try to
avoid generating FUD when we can.


If you noticed during the install, it gives you the opportunity to
include https pages in web history caching.  When it said this it made
me curious since I didn't know it indexed web history at all, but
apparently it does and this option can be disabled on the preferences
page if you don't want it.

I tried to reproduce what you said happened with Hotmail and it did
index the messages I have viewed and brought them up in the search
results, and it did let me view a cached copy without a
username/password, but it did not allow me to access the real message in
my account without my username/password.  Are you set to login

Dave King

DogoBrazil wrote:

Hi everybody!

I decided to test Google Desktop Search yesterday, 10-14-04. It's
supposed to seach almost any kind of information "inside my
hard-drive". In the beginning I put my nick to play with, Dogo. The
research came with a bit more than I expected 'cause the engine  went
to some webmail based accounts: Yahoo and MSN. I could click in the
results and opened my Yahoo Mail inbox page without a password. Maybe
some password lost in my HD? Maybe some page cached? I really don't
know yet but didn't like to see my mail exposed this way.
Well, I just used for maybe 20 minutes until the index was being
prepared. I uninstalled the tool.
Did someone try it? Any opinion?


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