MicroSloth Registration Weasel Update
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 95 10:36:37 PDT
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: MicroSloth Registration Weasel Update
[The latest episode in this oh-yes-you-do! oh-no-I-don't! shouting match... -psl]
Forwarded-by: firstname.lastname@example.org (Larry Yaeger)
Hoo boy. I kind of hate to forward this, because the really meaty bit (at
the end) has all the earmarks of a Modern Urban Myth... it is related to
something that is actually real, but note that the only factual data derives
from "a friend of mine", and the only email address missing from the chain
is the originator of this most damning bit, "David Bromage".
On the other hand, do I trust Necrosoft? Not for a moment. I could
believe that the information gets sent regardless of your answer, along
with a couple of bits that tell them how you answered, so they know
which ones are the most likely to have pirated software (the ones that
answered "NO"). And on the off chance that this is legit, people really
ought to be forewarned...
So, here's either the latest Modern Urban Myth, or the most heinous
invasion of privacy to come down the electronic turnpike in a while.
Forwarded-by: Kara Hayes <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ed Chan)
Forwarded-by: Rick Palmer <rick@CS.Cornell.EDU>
Forwarded-by: Brian Smith <bsmith@CS.Cornell.EDU>
Forwarded-by: Bernardo Carneiro <piquet@CS.SunySB.EDU>
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
"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.
Chris Norloff email@example.com
An update on this. A friend of mine got hold of a copy 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.
This means that they have a list of every directory (and, potentially every
file) on your machine. It would not be difficult to have something like a
FileRequest from your system to theirs, without you knowing about it. This
way they could get ahold of any juicy routines you've written yourself and
claim them as their own if you don't have them copyrighted.
Needless to say, I'm rather annoyed about this.
So spread the word as far and wide as possible: Steer clear of Windows 95.
There's nothing to say that this "feature" will be removed in the final
David Bromage - .sig transit gloria mundi
© 1995 Peter Langston