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Re: Google Desktop Search
From: Dave King <davefd () davewking com>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 12:26:35 -0600

<snip>
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?
</snip>

I completely agree and possibly by use of the word automagically was confusing (sorry). Just in case I was misunderstood, like I said I tested this with Hotmail and was unable to replicate the results because I didn't have the little box marked "Sign me in automatically" on the Hotmail Login page. So, I tried this again after logging into Hotmail and asking it to "Sign me in automatically" and it allowed me to view the message automagically, just as I expected. After logging out of Hotmail and trying again, it again brought up the sign in prompt before it let me view my message, again as expected. So, once again, I was unable to replicate the automagic sign in without having explicitly enabled it on a previous sign in, looks like Google's not pulling any crazy hacker tricks after all.

Dave King
http://www.thesecure.net


mike () ampeisch com wrote:

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.

M.




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
automagically?

Dave King
http://www.thesecure.net

DogoBrazil wrote:



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