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pulaw

microsoft probing

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i heard from a friend that when the windows xp beta is installed, microsoft is able to probe your computer when youre on the internet to retrieve personal information, check for pirated software, etc.? is this true?

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to my knowledge...No but if your worried run a firewall...It will stop it if this is accuring

-Chris

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I'm sure that M$ can set up your computer to be probed in several ways but I doubt that they do it to attack you personally if they do it at all. I am thinking of Windows Update or sending error reports. Technically, M$ could grab all kinds of info but if they do, there is nothing that they can legally do with it because their disclaimer says that none of your computers info is being sent to M$. It is an illegal practice so if you're worried about getting yout computer taken away by the M$ police, forget about it. They may just use the info to try to make better anti-piracy software.

Rick

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Plus... with as many people poring over XP in as much detail as possible, I'm sure any such MS spyware would be discovered in short order and plastered all over the Net! Since that hasn't happened, I guess the only thing MS does see are Error Reports (and only when you choose to send them)...

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Right after I installed XP I downloaded and installed the latest version of Tiny Personal Firewall. It is better than the Internet Connection Firewall CRAP that comes with XP because it'll let you block OUTGOING traffic (from worms, trojans, etc.) AND keeps MD5 database of all applications to prevent replacing them w/ trojans.

Since I first connected to the Internet and while using my computer I have had several instances where my computer has notified me of communications attempts to Microsoft's servers. Among these servers are:

time.windows.com

sa.windows.com

I noticed it tried to connect when I set the time/date and also when trying to do a search. I blocked both attempts of course and set up appropriate rules.

You shouldn't feel secure with ICF and definately shouldn't trust Microsoft to protect you system. If I had left ICF as the only firewall on my system I NEVER would have noticed anything weird.

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im not sure about the sa.windows address, but the time one is a time server, lol it just sets you pc clock to the same as the clock on the server... try it and see lol :)

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The sa.windows.com is connected to whenever I try to do a search. It's for the "Search Assistant". I turned the off the little b@st@rd as soo as it popped up and blocked the address. I have no idea what information it might be sending to Microsoft.

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Yes, that is part of M$'s .net strategy to get more info. from the web. It can be a helper (there's a lot of info on their server instead of clogging our little PC's) I am not for them probing computers but seriously, I think that we can get a little too paranoid sometimes. Put on a good firewall and give M$ access to what you trust them with and you will be fine.

Rick

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I don't trust Microsoft first. Second, I don't know what's being transmitted to them from my computer and what information they might want to gleam from it. .NET strategy seems okay but there's a trend towards automating a lot of the stuff I'd rather do myself (like set the time). The whole point of the thread was wodnering what Microsoft might do by probing systems. I think they've already got enough stuff built into XP that it will "phone home" enough on it's own without them having to probe for anything.

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