Next time you get an error report from Microsoft on your office PC, you may want to think twice before sending the crash data.
A lot of valuable information about a network is transmitted unencrypted in an error report sent back to Microsoft, which leaves a company more vulnerable to an attack by hackers, according to Alexander Watson, the security research director at Websense.
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"One thing we realized very quickly was how little people knew about what type of information is in these crash reports," he said. "That initial information is all unencrypted and in clear text, and that information tells a hell of a lot more about the computer than people realize."
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The error report also sends data about devices plugged into the computer, including operating systems and applications.
"All those things are really valuable to attackers," Watson said. "From an attacker's perspective, when they know what's on your network, it's much easier to attack it. ... If someone was able to intercept that, they would have a complete road map to your business."