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Win-XP denounced as terrorism tool
From: InfoSec News <isn () c4i org>
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 02:46:47 -0500 (CDT)

Forwarded from: Nelson Murilo <nelson () pangeia com br>

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/22281.html

Win-XP denounced as terrorism tool
By Thomas C Greene in Washington
Posted: 17/10/2001 at 07:43 GMT

A computer forensics specialist warns that default security features
in Windows-XP might bring civilization to its knees at the hands of
pedophiles, tax cheats, and, of course, international terrorists.

Forensics outfit New Technologies' President, Michael Anderson, a
former Fed himself, is claiming that the secure file-wipe feature in
Win-XP Pro is going to "make it impossible for federal agents and law
enforcement to find and reconstruct digital evidence buried on
computers, particularly those seized from terrorists," according to an
article by Network World. [my emphasis]

Of course there's BCWipe, Norton Wipeinfo, Evidence Eraser, the PGP
wipe feature, and so on. But these require crooks to lift a finger;
and as we all know, the 'science' of computer forensics depends on
really dumb criminals who think deleting a file is the same as erasing
it. Arguably, there would be no computer forensics industry if naive
point-and-drool crooks didn't screw up so often.

Perhaps the Network World article's touchingly un-skeptical author,
Senior Editor John Fontana, might have troubled to take a peek at the
New Technologies' Web site. There, in a welcome message, we're told
up-front that the company subsists on "the exploitation of the
security weaknesses in DOS, Windows, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows
NT and Windows 2000 to find computer evidence and computer security
data leakage."

That's right, the company feeds on intrinsic security weaknesses, and
naturally is appalled that Microsoft should do anything so unpatriotic
as mass-market a more secure OS.

Clearly, Anderson's lament has nothing to do with fighting terrorism,
and everything to do with preserving the crummy security status-quo
that earns him and his employees a living. Like most bottom-feeders on
the WTC atrocity, he lays on the Stars-and-Stripes anti-terror
rhetoric with a trowel.

"This is an intelligence issue....the government and Microsoft need to
think this thing through," Anderson warns. He wants the US government
(presumably the now-panicky DoJ) to delay the 25 October XP retail
launch until he and his geeks can figure out a way to defeat its
file-wipe feature.

How long that might take is anyone's guess. Naturally, if the
forensics industry has been living off the slack they've been given,
they're in a poor position to gear up for an effective assault on
readily-available, decent file security.

Or maybe Anderson's company is simply worse than most at recovering
data not attributable to 'security weaknesses'. Either way, he's a
loathsome bastard for trading on the WTC outrage to muscle the DoJ
into accommodating his cash cow.

It's ironic. First we had tiring propellerhead Steve Gibson claiming
hysterically that the inadequate security measures in Windows-XP would
bring the Internet to its knees at the hands of sociopathic teenage
brats. Now we've got a would-be profiteer telling us that civilization
is in mortal danger from terrorists exploiting the superior security
measures in Windows-XP.



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