Windows 11: a spy machine out of user control?
WTF?! Over the past few years, Microsoft has been accused of regularly violating user privacy. Compared to classic NT-based systems, Windows 10 and especially Windows 11 are two completely different beasts in this regard.
How much data does the Windows operating system send to online servers? According to a recent video from The PC Security Channel (TPCSC), the most current version of Redmond OS is a real talker when it comes to telemetry and other data about user preferences and online behavior.
Video titled “Has Windows Become Spyware?” describes how live capture sessions can display online communications between Windows and external servers. The video creator used Wireshark, a famous (and free) network protocol analyzer useful for seeing what’s happening on the network “on a microscopic level”.
Using Wireshark to test what a freshly installed copy of Windows 11 was doing on a brand new laptop, they saw a revelation to say the least: right after the first boot, Windows 11 quickly tried and reached level three. third party servers absolutely without prior permission or user intervention.
Using the Wireshark filter to analyze DNS traffic, TPCSC found that Windows 11 is connecting to many online services provided by Microsoft, including MSN, Bing search engine, and Windows Update. A lot of third-party services were also present, as Windows 11 seemed to have important things to say to companies like Steam, McAfee, and Comscore ScorecardResearch.com, which is a market research that “studies and reports on trends and behavior on the Internet.” “
Many of Windows 11’s original DNS queries were designed to provide “telemetry” data to market research companies, advertising providers, and even geolocation-related domains like geo.prod.do without permission or internet activity. According to TPCSC, the latest and greatest in the line of Windows operating systems seems to be designed to “spy” on anyone and everything from the very beginning.
As a comparison, or perhaps as a critique of the current state of privacy in the Windows ecosystem, a YouTube channel attempted to capture packets with Wireshark on Windows XP, which was first released in 2001.
According to their analysis, Windows XP doesn’t even know what the word “telemetry” means: the first DNS traffic from the newly installed OS should have tried to contact the Windows Update service, and that’s it. No market research, no view tracking, nothing at all.
Some people try justify the behavior of Windows 11 as the lesser evil in a tech world full of third-party services and online features that need to be given data in order for them to work properly. Responding to comments on the video, TPCSC continues to warn the most privacy-conscious and privacy-conscious users that even when telemetry is turned off using third-party utilities, Windows 11 still “sends things” online via the DNS protocol.