Microsoft Windows Kill Switch?

Bruce Schneier on the growing rumor that Microsoft’s Windows Genuine Advantage system components enable Microsoft to disable a working Windows installation if they believe it isn’t “genuine”:

The stupidity of this idea is amazing. Not just the inevitability of false positives, but the potential for a hacker to co-opt the controls. I hope this rumor ends up not being true.

Although if they actually do it, the backlash could do more for non-Windows OSs than anything those OSs could do for themselves.

See also this follow-up from Ed Bott, with a rambling non-denial denial from a Microsoft PR flak.

(Via Nat Irons via email.)

Thursday, 6 July 2006