German government says Windows 8 is a security risk


The NSA PRISM initiative is slowly backfiring on the American government, but as it stands, American companies could suffer the most, as foreign countries grow weary of using American software. According to German website Zeit Online, German government officials believe Windows 8 contains backdoors for the NSA to take full control of any computer with the operating system installed.

The main problems German officials are worried about is how Windows 8 interacts with Trusted Platform Modules. Officials fear they won’t be able to deactivate TPM 2.0 when is it paired with Windows 8 in 2015. Additionally, German researchers believe whenever Microsoft updates Windows 8, they won’t have the option to know exactly what the company is doing to the OS.

To combat this problem, Microsoft might have to deactivate or remove TPM 2.0 altogether from the German version of Windows 8. If not, the government might very well consider switching to a competing platform such as the plethora of Linux distros, or Google Chrome OS.

Strangely enough though, the German government currently plans on still using Windows 7 until 2020, but what comes after that is unknown at this point. We have to wonder: what makes the German government think Windows 7 is more safe than Windows 8? Do they think the NSA not exist when Windows 7 was released?

To be fair to Microsoft, the German government has publicly come out and denied they ever made such comments. However, we all know how honest governments, so we will let you decide who to believe.

This move by a foreign country was bound to happen since the PRISM scandal came to light. Furthermore, Microsoft might come under more heat since leaked Edward Snowden documents claim the software giant and the NSA were working together. Let’s see what happens.

[via Hacker News, Zeit Online]

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  • DoktorThomas™

    [@AT] Even they were offended by NSA’s actions.

  • DoktorThomas™

    The back door must be noted in the descriptions of the product and published to purchasers prior to sale or the sale maybe fraudulent. Check with your personal high powered hating law firm (if you can find a lawyer that doesn’t buy into the big brother philosophy; thank the socialists at the ABA).

    It is vitally important that every user of the Internet make her/his feelings regarding the violations of their privacy, US law and the Constitution by NSA and its overseers known to their elected representatives. The actions NSA engaged in are treasonous and the appropriate punishment should be rightfully be administered. (God bless, Edward.)

    A “skate” on this single issue reveals whether or not the USA is still “thet home of the free” (Congress and Senate validate every day that it is not the home of the brave). After “the shot heard round the world”, the NSA global spying incident is next most significant issue in the Nation’s history. Are bureaucrats living under a separate legal system or does equal justice really apply? Is Big Brother institutionalized beyond dismanteling? Do terrorists really inhabit D.C.? Is the Constitution now void?

    Foreigners, you have rights under the US Constitution and you should be seeking the appropriate legal advice. Ditto foreign governments. The US government rightly deserves a half billion law suits … Don’t forget to name agencies and individuals. ©2013 All rights reserved. This comment is opinion and should not be construed as legal advice; to do so misuses the comment and violates its intend purpose. Use for any other purpose is strictly prohibited. Protected under Amendment 1 and other federal laws.

  • AT

    The Germans have a lot of experience in spying on their own people. See Stasi.

  • J.L.

    [@Seamus McSeamus] From a German website of all places:

    Then again, there are people who stay with older Windows because those components were possible (or at least easier) to rip out.

  • Seamus McSeamus

    I can remember stories from before the turn of the century claiming that an NSA back door into Windows was imminent. There was probably one in 7, XP and maybe even ME, so this really shouldn’t be a surprise. Didn’t Lotus provide an NSA back door to certain products they sold to foreign governments? The question isn’t what does the NSA have access to, but rather what is left that they don’t have access to.