Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Feb 2009 23:28 UTC
Editorial Does Windows 7 contain more DRM than Windows Vista? Does Windows 7 limit you from running cracked applications, and will it open the firewall specifically for applications that want to check if they're cracked or not? Does it limit the audio recording capabilities? According to a skimp and badly written post on Slashdot, it does. The Slashdot crowd tore the front page item apart - and rightfully so.
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Firewalls work both ways!
by PlunderBunny on Thu 19th Feb 2009 00:32 UTC
PlunderBunny
Member since:
2009-02-19

The statement by the slashdot user (reproduced in the article) that a firewall only protects you from outside threats is nonsense - it assumes that a firewall cannot protect against an installed application because the application can simply make an exception for itself in the firewall settings. This is not true - on most operating systems, an admin or super-user password is required to allow this, and even when the user is logged in as a administrator (and you wouldn't do that for your day-to-day work, would you?) a prompt would still be displayed by any modern OS.
An application whose installer requires you to give your admin password can, of course, make a hole in the firewall for itself, but it is very different from a covert malicious application.

Reply Score: 4

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

To run the Photoshop Installer you have to pass through a UAC prompt, giving the program a full admin token.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Firewalls work both ways!
by UglyKidBill on Thu 19th Feb 2009 11:28 in reply to "Firewalls work both ways!"
UglyKidBill Member since:
2005-07-27

Wait... you mean the OS is designed to allow an external application -alledgedly launched by an admin- to tinker with the firewall settings without giving explicit notice that such thing is happening??

I am not being sarcastic, I am truly shocked by the logic behind that! o_O

I hope at least third party firewalls won´t be as fragile as that :S

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Firewalls work both ways!
by dagw on Thu 19th Feb 2009 11:37 in reply to "RE: Firewalls work both ways!"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

you mean the OS is designed to allow an external application -alledgedly launched by an admin- to tinker with the firewall settings without giving explicit notice that such thing is happening??

If I write an app that changes the firewall settings in Linux or BSD and you run that app with root privileges, then your firewall settings will be changed without you getting any explicit warning from your firewall software (assuming you don't have SELinux or something similar installed). This is no different.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Firewalls work both ways!
by grat on Thu 19th Feb 2009 12:50 in reply to "Firewalls work both ways!"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

By default, Windows Vista/2008/7 auto-detect application installers, and attempt to elevate to Administrator level.

So it's fairly common for an app installer to run with high enough privileges to do whatever it wants.

Reply Parent Score: 2

UglyKidBill Member since:
2005-07-27

For me that is all the more reason to have the firewall double-checking with the admin before allowing changes to the firewall.

If that kind of thing is happening in *nixes too I think it´s also a bad choice, not right in windows.

Two wrongs don´t make a right I think.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Firewalls work both ways!
by MadRat on Fri 20th Feb 2009 03:31 in reply to "Firewalls work both ways!"
MadRat Member since:
2006-02-17

That is of course if the program is using an api to do it, but if its available in the registry it can drop in a new setting in the local user registry and viola!

Reply Parent Score: 1