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Germany warns against using Windows 8 due to security risks

Government claims it offers a back door for the NSA
Fri Aug 23 2013, 10:05
Windows 8.1 Start screen resizable tiles

THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT reportedly has warned against using Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, claiming that technology in PCs running it makes them more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Zeit Online reported, (Google Translate link) that Germany's Federal Office for Information (BSI) said in a leaked document that people should be aware of the risks in using Windows 8.

The risk reportedly relates to the use of the Trusted Platform Module chip, or TPM 2.0 that is built into Windows 8 devices to support Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). The BSI claimed that the joint implementation of Windows 8 and TPM 2.0 chips could lead to a "loss of control" over both the operating system and accompanying hardware, especially for federal and critical infrastructure.

The statement obtained from BSI read, "Windows 8 and its successor Windows 8.1 and TPM 2.0 are already not because of their current technical specification and implementation regarding the lack of controllability and the related opposition to the corners of the federal government in the federal application."

Windows 8 also reportedly allows Microsoft to control devices remotely through a built in backdoor, keys for which likely are accessible to the US National Security Agency (NSA). By now we all know what that means.

Since the report came out, however, the German government seemingly has changed its mind, saying in a later statement, "The BSI warns neither the public nor the Federal German company prior to any deployment of Windows 8."

Still, despite the German government's hedging, Microsoft has been dealt another blow regarding its struggling Windows 8 operating system.

Microsoft has declined to comment on the report from Germany. µ


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