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Microsoft May Be Collecting Windows Disk Encryption Keys

SansVarnic

Microsoft May Be Collecting Windows Disk Encryption Keys

By Jennifer LeClaire / NewsFactor Network

 

http://www.newsfactor.com/story.xhtml?story_id=133004L6SLMA

 

Ok get out your Tin Hats everyone another speculation article!

This is getting ridiculous. Seriously if this was Apple or Google we wouldn't be hearing so much BS.

 

If you recently bought a new Windows computer, Microsoft probably has your encryption key. Or at least that’s the news that's causing a flurry of speculation as this holiday season winds down.

 

“But what is less well-known is that, if you are like most users and login to Windows 10 using your Microsoft account, your computer automatically uploaded a copy of your recovery key -- which can be used to unlock your encrypted disk -- to Microsoft’s servers, probably without your knowledge and without an option to opt out,” said The Intercept's Micah Lee, who first reported the story.

 

Basically if you have installed Win10 (WinX) and use the BitLocker Encryption function Microsoft probably has a copy of your Encryption Key. But you need to log in with your MS account for it to upload the encryption.

What A Load Of Crap.

 

Honestly I am having a hard time with this not because it may or may not be true, My problem is every little speculation, theory, misfit idea that pops up is becoming news worthy were it concerns Windows these days. If Apple or Google was doing this people (masses) would be 'Eh, its is what it is'.

 

Thoughts?

 

*edit

Ok apologies I got all ranty there for a moment.

I know MS collects Encryption keys for usage and error reporting stuff, this has been going on since Bit Locker came out (originally Win7). The point of the this article is useless and make implications toward MS for no reason. People who do not understand how the BitLocker works or how MS data collection works will automatically think they have a faulty encryption and that MS purposely puts at risk any information that is encrypted with this program.

This is untrue, besides I refuse to believe MS would purposely do kind of thing that would have long term detrimental damage to enterprise and non-enterprise client software on this scale.

Edited by SansVarnic

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They've been doing this since at least Windows 8.1. This is not new. Of course, since these "journalists" don't know how to research, they won't tell you that and act like it's a new thing when it's not.

 

Here's the two (now completely irrelevant) keys I have sitting on my OneDrive.

7jhKOgH.png

 

Notice the dates the keys were uploaded. 2014. Windows 10 was not released until 2015. You know what was current in 2014? Windows 8.1.

 

And idc if people decipher those keys, they're not even relevant anymore since I decided to decrypt those drives (and no longer own the device).

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They've been doing this since at least Windows 8.1. This is not new.

 

7jhKOgH.png

 

Notice the dates the keys were uploaded. 2014. Windows 10 was not released until 2015. You know what was current in 2014? Windows 8.1.

 

And idc if people decipher those keys, they're not even relevant anymore since I decided to decrypt those drives (and no longer own the devices)..

I am aware, its part of their way to keep the encryption safe. Mostly a data compilation for usage demographic what not.

My point is its utter BS that this article was written.

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I am aware, its part of their way to keep the encryption safe. Mostly a data compilation for usage demographic what not.

My point is its utter BS that this article was written.

tbh it shoulda been written after windows 8.1 was released and not now. Just serves to incite meaningless drama over something that MS has been doing for a few years now by pretending it's a new issue when it's not.

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This made me chuckle on the inside. I'm not worried about it much since I don't use windows for anything BUT gaming. All of my financial and school documentation is on an encrypted drive (using ubuntu Gnome)

 

I love how the media goes in a circle, a little late on the draw with this article  :lol:

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This has been known for some time and it's why people avoid using bitlocker in a lot of cases, though if your use is just say business laptops then it's definitely a good tool to prevent a lost a stolen laptop causing any trouble. 

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Microsoft May Be Collecting Windows Disk Encryption Keys

By Jennifer LeClaire / NewsFactor Network

 

http://www.newsfactor.com/story.xhtml?story_id=133004L6SLMA

 

Ok get out your Tin Hats everyone another speculation article!

This is getting ridiculous. Seriously if this was Apple or Google we wouldn't be hearing so much BS.

 

Yes, we absolutely would. What kind of argument is "if privacy / security / encryption defeating behaviour were done by other company, nobody would mind"? Of course everybody who uses that privacy / security / encryption would mind. The singular purpose of encryption is to have data be secure. If there's a copy of the encryption key in existence anywhere other than where the user stores it, their data is no longer secure and within their sole control. Therefore the singular purpose of using encryption will have been defeated.

 

Your remark is akin to saying "I bet if any company other than Michelin was selling new tires with holes in them, that nobody would mind".

 

You suggestion is bizarre, as is the use of the "tin foil" ad hominem, when the concern regarding the action in discussion is that encrypted information would be non-secure, which... if Microsoft has people's encryption keys, is true, and therefore is not an instance of paranoid conspiracy. It's as if you hold a paranoid conspiracy towards people being concerned about security, and are being tin-foil-hatted about it.

 

Here's an Ars article giving a bit more information about the subject:

Microsoft may have your encryption key; here’s how to take it back

You own the software that you purchase - Understanding software licenses and EULAs

 

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we already know about this . snowden leaks

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1) Not news. This has been known since Windows 10 came out.

 

2) There is no "they might do it". They flat out do it. You just need to enable bitlocker and one drive and you will see it working. This is not some conspiracy theory, and we did not need some leak to notice it. This is not some "oh journalists don't understand what is going on", and yes it is a security risk. Microsoft are trading security for convenience, which is why BitLocker is still a joke.

 

3) This has not been going on since Windows 7. Why does every person in the Microsoft Defense Force have such a terrible understanding of when things were introduced? This started happening in Windows 8 (or maybe it was 8.1), not 7.

 

4) Stop playing the victim card. Microsoft are doing bad things and deserve what they get. The reason why you don't hear privacy related issues getting brought up towards Apple is because they actually care about their users' privacy (but they do get a ton of shit for even the slightest mistake with their products), and Google has been getting a ton of shit for like a decade now. You'd have to have lived under a rock to not notice it. Constant bombardment of attacks on them for their practices related to privacy. Hell, just a few weeks ago they got a ton of crap for leaving the "sync bookmarks and history" on by default on their Chromebooks they sold to schools.

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Arstechnica have a nice write-up on the topic that includes a way to stop Microsoft backing up your Bitlocker key in the cloud.

 

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/12/microsoft-may-have-your-encryption-key-heres-how-to-take-it-back/

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They've been doing this since at least Windows 8.1. This is not new. Of course, since these "journalists" don't know how to research, they won't tell you that and act like it's a new thing when it's not.

Yes it's bad that they haven't reported it until today. But you're focusing too much on that. The discussion should be "we know they might be doing it" followed by my next stop which is "We also know government agencies really want encryption to be eradicated for consumers and civilians so how long before a bullshit secret courts attempts to compel Microsoft to share said information?"

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Yes it's bad that they haven't reported it until today. But you're focusing too much on that. The discussion should be "we know they might be doing it" followed by my next stop which is "We also know government agencies really want encryption to be eradicated for consumers and civilians so how long before a bullshit secret courts attempts to compel Microsoft to share said information?"

Microsoft gave NSA and other government agencies access to OneDrive (and thus your password for the encryption) back in 2013.

Here is a citation from The Guardian's article about it:

• The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;

 

The original text from which that statement is based on can be seen here:

Screen-Shot-2014-11-03-at-5.39.24-PM.7da

For those wondering, Skydrive is what OneDrive used to be called, but Microsoft had to change the name because the UK company Sky took them to court for violating their trademark.

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Knew this. True that some things that existed in older Windows tend to be news like it's first time in W10 than all paranoia is focused on W10 this W10 that. But yeah some things should be differently and users should not be locked down on some options and customization.

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Ok:

1- It doesn't matter. If you think that using Windows encryption system to protect your multi-million dollar business data is a great idea, then you have a huge problems right there. That is like using your home router as firewall protection in an enterprise environment, and wonder why it fails to protect you. The Windows encryption system is just to protect you against normal theft stealing your laptop, and you don't want them to access to the data. Much like your home router can protect against basic and automated attacks, but not much more. It is not a several thousand dollar firewall. Windows encryption system should be seen as basic.

2- If you walk on the street, and you find a key on the floor. Is the place where the key belongs to compromised? No! You need to find the door. It can be anywhere in the city, and assuming it is not a tourist that dropped it, or an old key from an old lock no longer in use. Good luck. So in other words, if someone has your key, they need your device as well. With the millions of laptops, desktop, tablets on the market... I think it will be a bit difficult to find the key goes where.

Also, it must be noted that this affect Windows 10 HOME only, meaning the edition that target consumers that are not tech savvy, and will most likely not bother backing up the encryption key, like they don't backup their data in any case. That is why Microsoft put it in their OneDrive, instead of popping up the backup encryption utility for your to back it up like it does for Pro edition. It is for normal users to not loose their data because they didn't backup their key.

This reminds me of xkcd comic:

security.png

Source: https://xkcd.com/538/

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Why would you use bitlocker and microsoft accounts and one drive? isnt that obvious that these services are made to work togheter? 

 

Get over it, use windows with offline accout disable all useless apps/onedrive/bitlockers and use 3rd party tools/software and services for your needs that you reasearched and they provide the security you need.

 

Everything that is from microsoft has moved in the direction of "cloud" and unifying experience/data/passwords/sync settings and everything you own + data collection since 8.0.

Not that its a negative thing by default, they have your encryption keys, so what? you chose to use their services, you think other services dont have some of your data/passwords/keys?

 

At worst im worried that their servers security is crap(which probably isnt) and someone will hack the keys and then what? a hacker will get hold of your drive filled with useless data, or maybe work data that its useless to most hackers? aand nope.

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Bitlocker existed since vista, and that random key is a backup, just incase the usb flash drive or tpm module dies and fails to work.

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The reason why you don't hear privacy related issues getting brought up towards Apple is because they actually care about their users' privacy

For the record, Apple is also involved in PRISM, although they were a late add. They're also in cahoots with the US government, although like other companies involved in PRISM they also denied being part of PRISM, but the proof is right there. Stop pretending they care about privacy when they don't.

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Well, it was news to me...

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Yes, we absolutely would. What kind of argument is "if privacy / security / encryption defeating behaviour were done by other company, nobody would mind"? Of course everybody who uses that privacy / security / encryption would mind. The singular purpose of encryption is to have data be secure. If there's a copy of the encryption key in existence anywhere other than where the user stores it, their data is no longer secure and within their sole control. Therefore the singular purpose of using encryption will have been defeated.

 

Your remark is akin to saying "I bet if any company other than Michelin was selling new tires with holes in them, that nobody would mind".

 

You suggestion is bizarre, as is the use of the "tin foil" ad hominem, when the concern regarding the action in discussion is that encrypted information would be non-secure, which... if Microsoft has people's encryption keys, is true, and therefore is not an instance of paranoid conspiracy. It's as if you hold a paranoid conspiracy towards people being concerned about security, and are being tin-foil-hatted about it.

 

Here's an Ars article giving a bit more information about the subject:

Microsoft may have your encryption key; here’s how to take it back

 

 

Obviously you missed my edit....

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1) Not news. This has been known since Windows 10 came out.

 

2) There is no "they might do it". They flat out do it. You just need to enable bitlocker and one drive and you will see it working. This is not some conspiracy theory, and we did not need some leak to notice it. This is not some "oh journalists don't understand what is going on", and yes it is a security risk. Microsoft are trading security for convenience, which is why BitLocker is still a joke.

 

3) This has not been going on since Windows 7. Why does every person in the Microsoft Defense Force have such a terrible understanding of when things were introduced? This started happening in Windows 8 (or maybe it was 8.1), not 7.

 

4) Stop playing the victim card. Microsoft are doing bad things and deserve what they get. The reason why you don't hear privacy related issues getting brought up towards Apple is because they actually care about their users' privacy (but they do get a ton of shit for even the slightest mistake with their products), and Google has been getting a ton of shit for like a decade now. You'd have to have lived under a rock to not notice it. Constant bombardment of attacks on them for their practices related to privacy. Hell, just a few weeks ago they got a ton of crap for leaving the "sync bookmarks and history" on by default on their Chromebooks they sold to schools.

 

Its a news Article I found an posted and there are those that did not know, so yes it is news.

 

The tin foil hat conspiracy thing was meant to make fun of the article itself not issue it is reporting.

 

It has been going on since Win7, bit locker first was introduced during WinVista, You had to have an MS Account and signed up in your WIn7 system for it to happen. I had both.

 

What makes you think I am playing victim here? I ranted (see the edit I posted it before your response). I am not a victim I was aware of this going on since using Win7.

 

 

Ok:

1- It doesn't matter. If you think that using Windows encryption system to protect your multi-million dollar business data is a great idea, then you have a huge problems right there. That is like using your home router as firewall protection in an enterprise environment, and wonder why it fails to protect you. The Windows encryption system is just to protect you against normal theft stealing your laptop, and you don't want them to access to the data. Much like your home router can protect against basic and automated attacks. It is not a several thousand dollar firewall. Windows encryption system should be seen as basic.

2- If you walk on the street, and you find a key on the floor. Is the place where the key belongs to compromised? No! You need to find the door. It can be anywhere in the city, and assuming it is not a tourist that dropped it, or an old key from an old lock no longer in use. Good luck. So in other words, if someone has your key, they need your device as well. With the millions of laptops, desktop, tablets on the market... I think it will be a bit difficult to find the key goes where.

Also, it must be noted that this affect Windows 10 HOME only, meaning the edition that target consumers that are not tech savvy, and will most likely not bother backing up the encryption, like they don't backup their data in any case. That is why Microsoft put it in their OneDrive, instead of popping up the backup encryption utility for your to back it up like it does for Pro edition. It is for normal users to not loose their data because they didn't backup their key.

This reminds me of xkcd comic:

 

<snip>

Source: https://xkcd.com/538/

 

I have to agree with you here, any company or corporation that uses bit locker for their enterprise level encryption is asking for trouble. I doubt any do (I hope that none does). Usually that level of encryption costs upwards more than I want to admit to, BitLocker was designed for the masses to use on laptops and desktops, consumer level stuff. I use BitLocker on some of my stuff and I like it, it works well and is very easy to use.

My thing is that having the encryption key uploaded to MS servers cant really be that much of an issue. As you pointed out you have find the house/locker/place/lock that the key goes to first.

Edited by SansVarnic

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It has been going on since Win7, bit locker first was introduced during WinVista, You had to have an MS Account and signed up in your WIn7 system for it to happen. I had both.

Are you sure about that? I never heard anyone say their BitLocker key was uploaded to OneDrive (or SkyDrive) back in Vista or Windows 7.

In fact, the only Microsoft article I can find regarding it specifies that it is only for Windows 8 and up.

 

 

Usually that level of encryption costs upwards more than I want to admit to, BitLocker was designed for the masses to use on laptops and desktops, consumer level stuff.

Any encryption software worth using is open source, such as VeraCrypt and that's completely free (as in freedom and free beer).

 

 

2- If you walk on the street, and you find a key on the floor. Is the place where the key belongs to compromised? No! You need to find the door. It can be anywhere in the city, and assuming it is not a tourist that dropped it, or an old key from an old lock no longer in use. Good luck. So in other words, if someone has your key, they need your device as well. With the millions of laptops, desktop, tablets on the market... I think it will be a bit difficult to find the key goes where.

Also, it must be noted that this affect Windows 10 HOME only, meaning the edition that target consumers that are not tech savvy, and will most likely not bother backing up the encryption, like they don't backup their data in any case. That is why Microsoft put it in their OneDrive, instead of popping up the backup encryption utility for your to back it up like it does for Pro edition. It is for normal users to not loose their data because they didn't backup their key.

That's one of the worst analogies I have heard all year. You are thinking of things the completely opposite way. It is not that someone will gain access to your OneDrive and then try and find your computer. They can find your computer and then gain access to OneDrive.

The password is also tied to your Microsoft account, so they know which person the password belongs to. If someone saw my personal email address they could find my name and address with a single Google search. The same goes for a lot of people who use their name in their email address. Hell, I can figure out the real names and addresses of people on this forum by just using their username.

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Well well well.....Look who's laughing now.

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Well well well.....Look who's laughing now.

This is also a Windows 8 thing. It's not a Windows 10-only thing like journalists want you to believe.

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This is also a Windows 8 thing. It's not a Windows 10-only thing like journalists want you to believe.

And here I am on Windows 7, laughing my ass off (with all the bullshit updates removed and automatic updates blocked)

 

:P

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And here I am on Windows 7, laughing my ass off (with all the bullshit updates removed and automatic updates blocked)

 

:P

Well hey, you can still save the key to a flash drive and skip uploading the key to OneDrive altogether! It's just a bit hidden-ish...

 

Personally I'd rather trust a proven, third-party encryption solution than the one included with the OS. Haven't even used Bitlocker outside of a few experiments.

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