Feeds

MS denies Win 7 backdoor rumours

Oooh, spooky!

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft has once again denied rumours that it built a backdoor into Windows 7.

Long standing conspiracy theories that Redmond outfits Windows with a covert entry point for law enforcement resurfaced after a senior National Security Agency (NSA) official told Congress it had worked with Redmond on the operating system.

Richard Schaeffer, the NSA's information assurance director, told a Senate homeland security sub-committee on Tuesday that the agency had worked with developers on Windows 7's operating system security guide. He added that the NSA has worked with Microsoft as well as Apple, Sun, and RedHat in the past in developing "secure baselines for their products".

Conspiracy theorists saw any involvement by the NSA in developing the OS as evidence that it made modifications to allow its agents covert access.

Microsoft categorically denied this on Thursday. 'Microsoft has not and will not put 'backdoors' into Windows 7," a spokeswoman told Computerworld. "The work being discussed here is purely in conjunction with our Security Compliance Management Toolkit."

A Windows 7 version of the Toolkit, which provides a guide to hardening Windows-based networks, was released last month.

The NSA main role involves signals intelligence, or spying. Information assurance (i.e. helping to make US IT systems in critical areas of the economy more secure) is a more recent priority.

The agency was the chief backer of the discredited Clipper chip plan back in the '90s, so it's not altogether surprising that sections of the information security community view any of its actions with suspicion.

It's well known that lawful interception (ie. wiretapping) capabilities are a mandatory requirement for telecoms carriers in the US and Britain. However, no credible evidence has ever emerged of a law enforcement backdoor in any operating system. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?