Microsoft accidentally proves exactly why backdoors are a bad idea

Microsoft's internal backdoor to install experimental OS builds leaked to the public in devices, compromising all those devices.

Microsoft has just proved Apple was right to refuse to make backdoors that could potentially compromise the security for users. Google, Microsoft, Facebook and other technology giants supported Apple during the face off. However, a new development demonstrates exactly why the very existence of such backdoors is a bad idea.

Microsoft had a secure implementation for boot up of its Windows 10 devices. This implementation would not allow the installation of other operating systems. However, Microsoft had created skeleton keys that could bypass this limitation. These backdoor passes were used by Microsoft to internally test new and experimental builds of operating systems.

The "golden keys" have been accidentally leaked, according to the Register. That makes it possible for non Windows operating systems, such as Linux or BSD to be installed on these devices, bypassing any methods users may have used to secure their data on these devices.

Once these keys are out, it is almost impossible for Microsoft to undo the damage. There was a policy file that allowed the bypassing of secure booting on Microsoft devices. This policy file was shipped by mistake to the public.

This is exactly the kind of scenario that technology commentators who are concerned about security are worried about. If a backdoor exists at all, it is only a matter of time before it gets into the wild, and then all the devices are compromised.

For those who want to delve deep into the details, the hackers who made this information public have hosted a web demo with midi music explaining the methodology used to extract the golden key.

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