[ubuntu-uk] Ubuntu on the BBC!!!

David King linuxman at avoura.com
Thu Oct 22 23:43:56 BST 2009

Although I have no hard evidence, it was years ago that I heard about 
the US govt/FBI having  a backdoor into Windows, and that all antivirus 
software by law cannot be allowed to detect what the FBI, etc., put onto 
people's computers.

It might be true, it might be partially true. But the fact is that, 
AFAIK, this kind of spyware can exist on Windows PCs, but not so much in 


As for WGA, this is the Windows Genuine Advantage tool, that checks if 
the Windows you are using is valid or not, and if not, reports back to 
Microsoft. It is a type of spyware which might also be used to report 
other information to MS.


This article suggests that early versions of WGA did report to Microsoft 
at every startup time, but later versions were modified not too after 
people complained about it.

At least two of the people who replied to that article wrote that they 
switched to linux, and the WGA was one of the main reasons why I 
personally decided to return to linux and try to use it full time at home.

As in all things, I expect the truth is out there.

David King

Alan Pope wrote:
> 2009/10/22 Alan Lord (News) <alanslists at gmail.com>:
>> There was a story (poss. last year or earlier) about a FBI(or Police)
>> conference in the US where MS apparently handed out a USB key to all
>> delegates that had "backdoors" into Windows. If I get chance I'll try to
>> search for it.
> Interesting, I'd not heard about that. Google turned up this:-
> http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080429/095514977.shtml
> "Apparently, they're giving out special USB keys that simply get
> around Microsoft's security, allowing the holder of the key to very
> quickly get forensic information (including internet surfing history),
> passwords and supposedly encrypted data off of a laptop."
> ...
> "Update: Some folks in the comments, and Ed Bott, claim that this post
> is a misreading of the original story. The USB key includes a bunch of
> standard tools, not access to a "backdoor." The confusion, on my part,
> was due to the original article claiming that the device "can decrypt
> passwords and analyze a computer's Internet activity, as well as data
> stored in the computer." In saying so, it appeared that the device
> must have access to a backdoor to decrypt the password -- but an
> update claims that it's merely "password security auditing
> technologies.""
> Which could be achieved with one of many Linux based Live CDs or USB keys:-
> http://www.darknet.org.uk/2006/03/10-best-security-live-cd-distros-pen-test-forensics-recovery/
> Cheers,
> Al.

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