Microsoft is Watching You

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Hobbit, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean it's not true.

    Today, some jackass picked my computer at random and dropped a trojan bomb in it. This act was malicious, and a-hole's IP was sent to the FBI. That'll teach him to mess with a geek, and if I ever see his IP again, I'm gonna scratch his hard drive remotely (it can be done if you know the hex override commands to park the hard drive read heads while it's spinning, which I happen to know from dissecting a virus that almost got dropped on my computer), but I digress. The point of this little rant starts with the fact that these trojans that were in the bomb jacked a bunch of my Windows settings, such as disabling the task manager (making cleaning of the trojans difficult) and locking my desktop background. I spent a lot of time fixing these settings. Some had downloadable utilities. Some, I had to manually edit the registry for. The rest involved a DOS boot disk and some obscure data files. What I found was shocking.

    While I was tooling around with DOS, I decided to clear a bunch of files that Windows opens on startup. They'd gotten a bit big and you can't delete them when Windows is running because of the 'this file is in use' error message. Well, I found a file withint the Internet Explorer file tree that I'd never seen before, index.dat. I made a note of the path and wondered how I could have missed it. I went back to Windows, and sure enough, it wasn't there. The search function couldn't find it, and entering the file path and name directly into notepad left a 'file not found' error. I went back to DOS and again, the file was there, so I opened it to see what Microsoft was hiding so well. What I found shocked me. It was a complete log of every web page I had visited using Internet Explorer since September, 1998, when I first got my own computer (I've been copying the hard drive image when I switch computers), along with a brief description. What the hell? The worst part, though, was Outlook. I never use outlook, so the index.dat file was empty, but I have a feeling it logs your e-mails. Why is Microsoft spying on me? What possible reason could they have for not only logging my entire e-mail and web history, but then hiding the file from everything and making it immune to cache, browser history, and temporary file deletion.

    Fortunately, the log all but ends at about 2002, when a near fatal error caused me to give up IE forever. Still, though, there were research sites from my history project in 11th grade in this file. Hold me, I'm scared.

    :tinfoil: :tinfoil: :tinfoil:
     
  2. Said1
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    Said1 VIP Member

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    Wouldn't that be the case for everyone using IE? :huh:
     
  3. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    Any evidence that the index file has been transmitted?
     
  4. CockySOB
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    CockySOB VIP Member

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  5. Gurutoo
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    Gurutoo Rookie

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    Cool Utility Cocky!

    I ran it and I was clean because I've running Firefox for years! :)
     
  6. CockySOB
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    CockySOB VIP Member

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    If you want to test it out, fire up IE and do a little surfing, then run the program, choosing hte option to "Find index files." Then you can select the one you want to browse through.

    BTW, anyone not using a US Department of Defense 5220.22 M compliant wiper/eraser should be aware that a lot of stuff stays with you even after you "delete" it. I use one called SecureClean. Another one (free and open sourced) is Eraser at http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/. SecureClean will clean a lot more, but it is a low-cost commercial program. For down-and-dirty erasing of files, Eraser should fit the bill though.
     
  7. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Same here..
     
  8. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    I use both, I'm gonna be shocked aren't I?
     
  9. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    Yeah, you can't just 'delete' things in windows. The reason things delete so fast but install so slowly is because when you delete something, Windows only deletes the file pointer. The data is still there, you just can't get to it unless you're pretty determined. The only way to get rid of it is with a cleaning utility. Even a reformat doesn't eliminate it. You actually have to get a utility that resets the individual bits of the hard drive.
     

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