Microsoft will disable revocation by default after security backlash

When Microsoft named its new Windows features, the company plans to use the word to refer to a perfect type of AI-powered memory for your device. These days, the unintended definition of “recall” — a company’s admission that a product is too dangerous or defective to stay on the market in its current form — seems more relevant.

On Friday, Microsoft announced that it will be making significant changes to the Revoke feature’s implementation, making it an opt-in feature in Copilot+-compatible versions of Windows where it was previously This feature is enabled by default and introduces newly designed security measures. to keep data better encrypted and require authentication to access Recall’s stored data.

“We’re updating the PC Copilot+ setup experience to give people a clearer choice in opting in to saving snapshots using Recall,” said one reader. blog posts from Pavan Davuluri, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Windows + Devices. “If you do not actively choose to enable it, it will be disabled by default.”

These changes come amid growing criticism from the security and privacy community, which has described Recall — a feature that silently stores a screenshot of a user’s activity every five seconds. data for AI analysis — as a gift to hackers: essentially unsolicited, pre-installed spyware built into new Windows computers.

In preview versions of Recall, that screenshot data, complete with each user’s banking logins, passwords, and porn site visits, will be collected on the machine indefinitely. user by default. And although highly sensitive information is stored locally on users’ machines and not uploaded to the cloud, cybersecurity experts have warned that any hackers who gain a temporary foothold on The user’s Recall-enabled devices are accessible. long-term panoramic view of the victim’s digital life.

“It makes your security very fragile,” as Dave Aitel, a former NSA hacker and founder of the security firm Immunity, described it — more benignly than some others — to WIRED in the beginning. this week. “Anyone who hacks into your computer for even a second can get your entire history. That’s not what people want.

For Microsoft, the Recall comes amid a string of embarrassing cybersecurity incidents and breaches—including a leaked terabytes of customer data and a shocking hack into government email accounts activated by one a series of Microsoft security errors—that became so troublesome that it became a bottleneck even when it exceptionally close relationship with the US government.

Those scandals have escalated to the point where Microsoft’s Nadella just issued a memo last month declaring that Microsoft would put security at the forefront of any business decisions. “If you are faced with a trade-off between security and another priority, your answer is clear: Do security,” Nadella Read the memo (his emphasis). “In some cases, this means prioritizing security over other things we do, such as releasing new features or providing ongoing support for legacy systems.”

On the surface, Microsoft’s Rollback rollout — even after today’s announcement — suggests the opposite approach, and one that seems more in line with business as usual in Redmond: announce a feature, be heavily criticized for its obvious security flaws, then belatedly scramble to control the damage.

This is an evolving story. Check back for more updates.


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