Windows 10 spies on you despite disabling tracking options or installing anti-spying app

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Analyst reveals that Windows 10 is amassing huge amount of user data despite of user disabling the three tracking options

We all know that Windows 10 spies on users. We had reported spying issues associated with Windows 10 even as Microsoft had released the Windows 10 Technical Preview Version in August, 2014. After almost a year after when Windows 10 Final Build was released, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 10 spied on users in November 2015. It had added at that time that even it cant stop Windows 10’s telemetry program used for spying on users.

However, till this week the extent of Windows 10’s nefarious spying activities were not known. So a Voat user CheesusCrust decided to research the amount of data that Windows 10 reports back to the Redmond based servers.

CheesusCrust’s published his research on Voat under the title of Windows 10 telemetry network traffic analysis, part 1.

According to his research, he found that Windows 10 sends data back to Microsoft servers thousands of times per day. The surprising thing about his research is that he found that it was spying on him even after choosing a custom Windows 10 installation and disabling the all three pages of tracking options which are all enabled by default.

Here is the list of things ChessusCrust used for this analysis

  1. I have installed DD-WRT on a router connected to the internet and configured remote logging to the Linux Mint laptop in #2.
  2. I have installed Linux Mint on a laptop, and setup rsyslog to accept remote logging from the DD-WRT router.
  3. I have installed Virtualbox on the Linux Mint laptop, and installed Windows 10 EnterprisePNG on Virtualbox. I have chosen the customized installation option where I disabled three pages of tracking options.
  4. I have configured the DD-WRT router to drop and log all connection attempts via iptables through the DD-WRT router by Windows 10 Enterprise.
  5. Aside from installing Windows 10 Enterprise, and verifying the internet connection through ipconfig and ping yahoo.com, I have not used the Windows 10 installation at all (the basis for the first part of this analysis)
  6. Let Windows 10 Enterprise run overnight for about 8 hours (while I slept).
  7. I use perl to parse the data out of syslog files and insert said data into a Mysql database.
  8. I use perl to obtain route data from whois.radb.net, as well as nslookup PTR data, and insert that into the Mysql database.
  9. Lastly, I query and format the data for analyzing.

Here is what he found. In an eight hour period Windows 10 tried to send data back to 51 different Microsoft IP addresses over 5500 times. After 30 hours of use, Windows 10 sent his user data to a whopping 113 IP addresses which he has listed in the thread.

CheesusCrust has more surprises for us. He then repeated his test on another Windows 10 clean installation with all data tracking options disabled. Only this time he installed a third party tool called DisableWinTracking (available on GitHub), which is supposed to stop Windows 10 spying attempts including the hidden ones.

On this DisableWinTracking installed PC, CheesusCrust found that at the end of the 30 hour period Windows 10 had still managed report back his data to Redmond based servers a whopping 2758 times to 30 different IP addresses.

This means that even after disabling the telemetry options offered by Microsoft and installing anti spying software available in the market, Windows 10 goes on it’s merry ways of tracking user data. It would also seem that the ‘disable telemetry options’ provided by Microsoft after a huge outcry against Windows 10 spying, are actually doing nothing and only a showpiece installed to pacify the users.

CheesusCrust has plenty more surprises in store for Windows 10 users when he will publish part 2 of his analysis.

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8 Comments

  1. All we’re missing is any breakdown or explanation (whatsoever) of what data it is sending back. People may not be as worried if all it had sent was 5,500 ~50bit data packets in regards to mouse location on screen etc.

    As he left it on overnight while he slept, what data could it have sent that’s really THAT personal?
    Just curious..

  2. So now I wonder what wil happen if he would do the same with windows 8.1 because it’s always about win 10 but what about 8.1? Is this version also spying on us with that amount or less, either way I would want to know what it does.

  3. thing is those of us who will NEVER use windows 10 dont actually care! microSOFT are just that “SOFT” and their lies and pathetic tactics forcing a pathetic spying IOS like windows 10 onto people will never work, When i refuse to use Windows 10 there is nothing microSOFT can do to change my mind i will NEVER and i mean NEVER!!! use windows 10 and to those that hype this garbage should actually find something more constructive to do becuse these fools!! are simply wsting their time. People are 1000 times more intelligent than lirs and fools hyping an IOS on blogs nobody reads MicroSOFT are running at a loss year after year and have become desperate and their desperate tactics are a massive failure.

    Microsoft ecpext us to believe 22 million users are using windows 10 “LMAO! and the fact the real figures suggest only a few million have upgraded to this Spyware IOS makes MicroSOFT look like bigger fools than we previously gave them credit for, many of these users have rolled back to previous versions of windows anyways so the fact of the matter is WINDOWS !) IS A MASSIVE FAILURE and microSOFT need to force this garbage onto people to get them to use it.

    Lastely Windows 7 and * users can updte their files, drives * hardware by using 3rd party softwre there is no need to update through MicroSOFT
    People are alot more savt than microSOFT believe and when we decide to NEVER use such Garbage as Windows 10 Never means NEVER and MicroSOFTs PR stunt is a failure, Windows 10 is a failure You know it I know it and we all know it. You cannot force nything on anybody and thats the BOTTOM LINE.
    MicroSOFT have become another EA and they suffer at their own Peril.

  4. thing is those of us who will NEVER use windows 10 dont actually care! microSOFT are just that “SOFT” and their lies and pathetic tactics forcing a pathetic spying IOS like windows 10 onto people will never work, When i refuse to use Windows 10 there is nothing microSOFT can do to change my mind i will NEVER and i mean NEVER!!! use windows 10 and to those that hype this garbage should actually find something more constructive to do becuse these fools!! are simply wsting their time. People are 1000 times more intelligent than lirs and fools hyping an IOS on blogs nobody reads MicroSOFT are running at a loss year after year and have become desperate and their desperate tactics are a massive failure.

    Microsoft ecpext us to believe 22 million users are using windows 10 “LMAO! and the fact the real figures suggest only a few million have upgraded to this Spyware IOS makes MicroSOFT look like bigger fools than we previously gave them credit for, many of these users have rolled back to previous versions of windows anyways so the fact of the matter is WINDOWS !) IS A MASSIVE FAILURE and microSOFT need to force this garbage onto people to get them to use it.

    Lastely Windows 7 and * users can updte their files, drives * hardware by using 3rd party softwre there is no need to update through MicroSOFT
    People are alot more savt than microSOFT believe and when we decide to NEVER use such Garbage as Windows 10 Never means NEVER and MicroSOFTs PR stunt is a failure, Windows 10 is a failure You know it I know it and we all know it. You cannot force nything on anybody and thats the BOTTOM LINE.
    MicroSOFT have become another EA and they suffer at their own Peril.

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