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Thursday, 22 October 2009 11:52

Aussie coppers fear Windows 7

Written by Nick Farell

Image

Great for convicts


A colony
formerly populated by convicts, Australia is a little worried about about the use of Windows 7 among the criminal fraternity.

Queensland coppers fear criminals will use high-tech encryption software on Microsoft's new Windows 7 to hide porn and files deep within computer networks. Detective Superintendent Brian Hay from Queensland's Fraud and Corporate Crime Group is has told AP that he is worried that the new operating system will hamper police efforts to uncover criminal evidence.

Recently Gold Coast police failed to break the encryption on a peeping Tom's computer files which they fear might have lead Surfers Paradise man Rohan Wyllie, 39, to get a stiffer penalty than the one he ended up with. Wyllie admitted to spying on his flatmates through a network of peepholes and cameras wired throughout his apartment however he refused to hand over the encryption code on his home computer and coppers could not view the illegal footage.

Windows 7 has more encryption functions in it and can lock hard drives or portable flash drive files, allowing them to be accessed only by using encryption codes similar to those used in online banking. Microsoft confirms that the new encryption technology is pretty much unbreakable but disputes claims that criminals would successfully use the programs to lock out police and other law-enforcement agencies.

Stuart Strathdee, the chief security adviser to Microsoft Australia pointed out that in most jurisdictions failure to disclose passwords, encryption keys and that sort of thing is also an offence and there's not many people who will turn around and won't disclose that sort of thing for fear of facing further charges. Few criminals had successfully withheld their passwords and encryption keys from coppers.

Nick Farell

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