Microsoft's control over your internet access and your computer appear to emerge as a priority with Microsoft's Windows 11 ...
With Windows 11, Microsoft appears to be seeking greater control over your computer and your life.
Specifically, Windows 11 Home appears to require both internet access and a Microsoft account to install, configure, update, and in some cases, simply use your computer as you wish.
For those of us who may use our computers to store personal information or access financial accounts, defaulting to the necessity of using a Microsoft account to log in to your computer is insane. I want to keep using a local account and, if necessary and desirable, then log in to a Microsoft account as necessary.
I am not interested in making my personal computer more susceptible to Microsoft's security breaches, vulnerable to government access, constant monitoring by Microsoft's "telemetry feature," including the use of my data to assist Microsoft in improving their business -- and all without any legal rights to bring a cause of action in court or receive compensation for a loss of access or a data breach.
SolarWinds Hackers Continue Assault With a New Microsoft Breach
The company says the Nobelium hacking group compromised a support agent's computer and levied brute-force attacks against some of its customers.
The nation-state hackers who orchestrated the SolarWinds supply chain attack compromised a Microsoft worker’s computer and used the access to launch targeted attacks against company customers, Microsoft said in a terse statement published late on a Friday afternoon.
The hacking group also compromised three entities using password-spraying and brute-force techniques, which gain unauthorized access to accounts by bombarding login servers with large numbers of login guesses. With the exception of the three undisclosed entities, Microsoft said, the password-spraying campaign was “mostly unsuccessful.” Microsoft has since notified all targets, whether attacks were successful or not.
The discoveries came in Microsoft’s continued investigation into Nobelium, Microsoft’s name for the sophisticated hacking group that used SolarWinds software updates and other means to compromise networks belonging to nine US agencies and 100 private companies. The federal government has said Nobelium is part of the Russian government’s Federal Security Service.
“As part of our investigation into this ongoing activity, we also detected information-stealing malware on a machine belonging to one of our customer support agents with access to basic account information for a small number of our customers,” Microsoft said in a post. “The actor used this information in some cases to launch highly targeted attacks as part of their broader campaign. <Source>
Microsoft VP: Federal Targeting of Americans’ Texts, Emails, Data ‘Routine’
Federal law enforcement agencies secretly request the data of Microsoft customers thousands of times per year, according to the congressional testimony of Tom Burt, the company’s VP for customer security and trust.
“Most shocking is just how routine secrecy orders have become when law enforcement targets an American’s email, text messages or other sensitive data stored in the cloud,” said Burt, describing the widespread clandestine surveillance as a major shift from historical norms. <Source>
De-fault may be in the default...
Beware of the default settings selected by Microsoft, especially those hidden under layers of menus or have names with fuzzy meanings. They almost benefit Microsoft over the consumer.
I am tired of finding out that I have less and less control over the devices I have purchased and abhor those software vendors who are converting their one-time purchase cost into a reoccurring revenue stream that benefits the vendor and increases the user's cost without an increase in benefits.
And there are those unilateral “take it or leave it” terms of service agreements that asserts a vendor’s right to control your machine, your software, and your data – removing most of your rights as a consumer to seek remedies for the harm that the vendor's mistakes, whether negligent or not, may have caused.
Best practices -- separate your data and programs on the disk, using non-proprietary file formats where possible. Back up your files faithfully to at least two different devices that are not on your network. Keep all programs updated, especially those relating to the operating system and anti-virus and anti-malware programs.
It may be painful, but you might want to start preparing for a non-Microsoft, non-Apple, Linux world. Looking at open-source software that can process your favorite file formats.
We are so screwed.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS