I managed to do a lot of research and experimenting with Windows 7 these past two weeks, but I only managed to find out that two Gadgets were pretty harmful to the users and to their computers. If anyone were to take control of these Gadgets, they would be able to force the user to download malicious content and even gain access to the files to all of the files on the computer. My Windows 8 and 10 research and experimentation will begin this upcoming weekend with Fall Break and will be finished by the time I arrive back on campus on Tuesday and I think it would be good idea to research Adobe Flash for my project since it was reported to have a lot of security problems last summer.
Only two weeks into my Privacy Project and I’ve just finished up the research and experimentation on the Windows 7 portion of the project and I will begin the research and experimentation with Windows 8 then upcoming weekend. I found some rather interesting information about the operating system. If you were a Windows 7 user, you may have used some of the Gadgets that were preinstalled on every computer with operating system. There are Gadgets for weather, RAM usage, CPU usage, currency, and more, but only two of these had some real security issues. Microsoft found out that weather and currency gadgets could be used to run a code to take control of the current user of the computer with Gadgets active. The attacker could then use the computer’s administrative rights to create or install even more malicious Gadgets. These Gadgets also have complete access to every file on the computer and some can even bring up some distasteful information and content, thus bringing harm to your computer.
Even though Microsoft has stopped supporting these Gadgets, they can still be found and activated on your computer if it has Windows 7. I find that a bit strange because if it was so harmful, why didn’t they just remove them all together with a Windows Update?
In my proposal, I said that I would be recording all of my research and experimentation along the way, but I think it is best if I save all of that after I finish researching and experimenting with each operating system, cloud service, phone, etc. The reason why I decided to that is because I am also learning about new issues as I go along and I want to make sure that I am knowledgeable enough to create an educational video.
As I briefly mentioned earlier, I will be working on Windows 8 this upcoming weekend. Only because my computer with Windows 8 installed on it is off campus, so I will be using Fall Break to mess around with it. I will also work with the Windows 10 computer at my home as well since it will be difficult for me to do so on campus.
Before I conclude this progress report, I would like to say that I am thinking about researching Adobe Flash. You may have heard about the security issues with Flash over the summer and how a lot of websites switched over to an alternative like HTML5. I think it would be interesting to add that into the project since it happened fairly recently and some don’t even know when they are using Flash, but I may need to take something out of the project for it. I will put some more thought into it, but that concludes this progress report and I will be back soon with another progress report.