NSA Helping Microsoft to Improve Windows 7 Security

A little help on security from the NSA. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

The National Security Agency has been working with Microsoft Corp. to help improve security measures for its new Windows 7 operating system, a senior NSA official said on Tuesday.

The confirmation of the NSA’s role, which began during the development of the software, is a sign of the agency’s deepening involvement with the private sector when it comes to building defenses against cyberattacks.

“Working in partnership with Microsoft and (the Department of Defense), NSA leveraged our unique expertise and operational knowledge of system threats and vulnerabilities to enhance Microsoft’s operating system security guide without constraining the user’s ability to perform their everyday tasks,” Richard Schaeffer, the NSA’s Information Assurance Director, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a statement prepared for a hearing held this morning in Washington. “All this was done in coordination with the product release, not months or years later in the product cycle.”

The partnership between the NSA and Microsoft is not new.

In 2007, NSA officials acknowledged working with Microsoft during the development of Windows Vista to help boost its defenses against computer viruses, worms and other attacks. In fact, the cooperation dates back to at least 2005, when the NSA and other government agencies worked with Microsoft on its Windows XP system and other programs.

The NSA, which is best known for its electronic eavesdropping operations, is charged with protecting the nation’s national security computing infrastructure from online assaults.

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If you buy Windows 7 or even use it, you are an idiot

You have no rights, so buy Windows 7

The Windows Vista replacement, Windows 7, will be released before Christmas. Photo / AP

Rant Forced updates and reboots, then shutdown

MICROSOFT IS DOING its level best to make Windows 7 seem more palatable than the Broken OS, but it is all just show. As usual, once you look beyond the hype and spin, you will see it is once again a cynical scam.

This time, Microsoft is dipping its toes in the water around its latest WGA / WAT control freakery. It will forcibly shut down Windows 7 RC machines every two hours. It will start to do this three months before the RC programme ends in June 2010, but Microsoft will kindly give you two weeks notice before it starts shutting you down. This kindness can be thought of like two ‘just out of prison types’ showing up at your door saying, “Youze wanna pay for dat softwarez? If youze don’t, youze kneez just might break on dere own, ya know? Mista Balma don’tz likez peoplez like youze.”

Microsoft has every right to do whatever the heck it wants with the RC, and it also has every right to get paid for its software that you are using. But then again, is it insane? No, don’t answer that, it is not. It is cold, calculating, and doesn’t give a rat’s *ss about your rights. All Microsoft cares about is forcing money out of you, repeatedly and as often as possible. If you buy Windows 7 or even use it, you are an idiot. Consider this about your 17th warning, as if everything Microsoft has put people through over the years wasn’t enough. Maybe someday you will get a clue.

Read moreIf you buy Windows 7 or even use it, you are an idiot