Reply to post: Re: Offensive, sure, but is it actually HARMFUL?

Microsoft backports data slurp to Windows 7 and 8 via patches

Kiwi Silver badge

Re: Offensive, sure, but is it actually HARMFUL?

It depends on your circumstances. Are you a home user, who only ever works on your recipe collection and other such things that have no privacy or other such issues, your banking not done online (or not done with that machine) and so on, little to nothing you use passwords for?

Then fine.

Are you a home user who sometimes takes work home, has client data or works with documents relating to clients on your home machine (under at least some privacy laws ALL client information is to be considered "sensitive" to avoid resultant lawsuits and public shaming if you let it out)? Or perhaps you have something in the family or something with your friends you (or they) want kept absolutely private, perhaps researching some embarrassing medical condition or into gay furry or other such stuff and stuck in the closet? Then maybe not - according to the article they could get stuff from your ram including documents you're working on.

If you're in a work environment and this affects your machine, then it's simply not on. If you have any government contracts, NDA's, deal with client data or company secrets then this must be a no-go. You're trusting a party who has stated they could (read would) pass your data on to another party to make sure they never leak your data accidentally and never deliberately pass it on, "anonymised" or not (am I the only one who remembers the fun we had when AOL(?) released dumps of peoples search terms, making it "anonymous" by removing user names but forgetting to remove vanity searches, home address lookups and so on?).

Actually something that could perhaps be even worse - what if a leaked memory dump holds parts of a couple of documents (IIRC there was something not to long ago about a "new" word document containing data from documents worked on in that session?) where you have some name and address from the first document and some disease or some other nasty in the second, making it appear that you're saying "Jane Doe from xxx street is actually Joe Bloggs on yyy"?

tl;dr If you're in business and handle personal information/data or have NDA's/government contracts etc, or at home and have documents you don't want the world to read, this could be very harmful.

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