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ED#118 : Spyware In Microsoft Windows 7
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Microsoft Windows 7 Service Pack 1

A similar (but much more capable) spyware component will be included in Windows 7 Service Pack 1. It will not only employ better scanning algorithms, it will do more than just scan for "terrorism-related" materials. The scanner can be programmed via Windows Defender updates to scan for any "subject of interest". Amongst the subjects of interest mentioned were :

  • illegal pornography
  • illegally downloaded media (music and videos)
  • illegally downloaded software
  • stolen intellectual property

It will also include a remote access capability for "authorised personnel" - a backdoor, in security parlance. If Internet connectivity is unreliable, the scanner can be instructed to compress and upload files of interest whenever Internet connectivity is available.

The Service Pack 1 spyware component is not expected to be activated immediately on installation. Instead, this will be a new revenue stream for Microsoft, as the scanning capability and even remote access will be offered to "qualified authorities". It is not mentioned how much these "qualified authorities" are expected to pay, but you can be sure it won't be peanuts!

If you are using Windows Vista or Windows XP, you would be foolish to think it won't affect you. The document also states that similar updates for Windows Vista and Windows XP are being prepared. Yes, Microsoft's spyware is coming to an update near you!


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