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Why the Hell Is Windows 10 Sharing My Wifi Passwords?

Gizmodo – by Chris Mills

Look, Microsoft. Just because I am Facebook friends with someone, doesn’t mean I want to share my wifi passwords with them.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens by default in Windows 10. Anyone who I’m Outlook.com contacts with (spammers), Skype friends with (webcam strippers), or Facebook friends with (high school buddies turned webcam strippers) can connect to wifi networks that I have the password for.  

Why the Hell Is Windows 10 Sharing My Wifi Passwords?

It’s part of a system called Wi-Fi Sense, which has been lurking in Windows Phone for a while now. It sends wifi passwords (encrypted; they never see the plaintext password) to your contacts, who can therefore connect to any wifi network that you have the password to. It’s turned on by default, and I had to dig around in a few levels of settings to disable it.

(There’s also a checkbox when you first connect to a wifi network, giving you the option not to share the network. But since Windows 10 helpfully keeps your saved passwords when you upgrade, all the networks you’ve previously connected to are shared by default.)

I’m not really complaining about the existence of the feature in the first place — I can see how it could be helpful, if you’re a non-data-plan-having tween hopping between various wifi-enabled basements. It’s the fact that Wi-Fi Sense is enabled by default, and most people will never know that it’s there.

It’s also a huge security fuckup waiting to happen. Users might not see the password, but it’s stored on the machine somewhere, and you can bet that an intrepid hacker will get at it.

To disable Wi-Fi sense, head into Wi-Fi—>Network settings—>Manage Wi-Fi settings, and uncheck basically all the boxes you can see.

This post is part of a week-long experiment with Windows 10 ahead of the official launch on July 29. What do you want to know about Windows 10? Drop us a line.

Contact the author at chris@gizmodo.com.

http://reviews.gizmodo.com/why-the-hell-is-windows-10-sharing-my-wi-fi-passwords-1719900675

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12 Responses to Why the Hell Is Windows 10 Sharing My Wifi Passwords?

  1. NC says:

    Yep! This is what I was talking about with Windows 8. By default EVERYTHING is made public and shared via the network and you have to go in and make it private. Even then, the government goons most likely have a backdoor anyways.

    Now they are just doing their Communist push forward and doing the same thing with Windows 10 without changing it or listening to their users. As a matter of fact, they are making it much worse.

    NO ONE wants or likes Windows 8 and NO ONE wants or likes Windows 10 because of this, yet the bastards just completely ignore it and, like the mainstream media, they try to convince everyone that this is a good thing and that people really do want it.

    Unfrigginbelievable!!!!!

    This is blatant and in your face theft and goes against every privacy policy in the book. Microsoft should be in prison and hanged, but of course, we all know that can’t happen because like the banks, they are “Too big to fail” or “Too big to jail”.

  2. cybro says:

    There has got to be an alternative to Windows. I can’t stand them anymore. Every version since XP is worse than the one before it.

    • sharon says:

      I REALLY miss XP.

    • Stuzz says:

      look into all the linux distributions available.
      http://distrowatch.com/

    • NC says:

      The reason why everyone liked WinXP and all of the windows before that is because we had people who knew about the importance of privacy and so everything on your computer was made PRIVATE by default.

      Now we have this new generation with Facebook idiots who want all their information public, so Microsoft encourages and takes advantage of that mentality by making everything PUBLIC by default in order to steal their information and to help the government develop a dossier on them.

      Now that people are waking up to it, the cat’s out of the bag and Microsoft doesn’t want to go back to privacy because that would mean they would lose control over their users/the people.

      As always, once you give people more power, they will never give it up. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    • Rivenburg says:

      I just read the “abilities” of Windows 10, it is a prostitute with legs open and a sign “free samples”.
      I’m eager to test it out, but only on a restricted machine connected to a network sniffer. Then I’ll start chopping out the bits I see phoning home etc.

      TO date, (and like Stuzz wrote) I only use Mint 17, the best alternative for those brought into the computing world exclusively on windows.
      If Mint was a for profit distribution, and had a marketing department, Microsoft would be in a world of economic hurt.

  3. Mark Worsham says:

    The reason your wifi passwords are spread around ( in my view ) is a ” security responsibility breech “, which allows for a false crime to be pinned on YOU. Argument: Well, ” this data ( ahem ) ” came from your personal wireless router. so it MUST be YOU. We have your MAC # and IP address. BOOM . . . You go down.

    Issue 2: Microsoft has announced that it will no longer develop the Windows operating system. Why would ANYONE in their right mind upgrade to that finality ??? As ex-IT Tech support, I fly by ( for upgrades ): If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it, it will ONLY break it some more . . . . .

    • sharon says:

      Okay, what do you suggest we all use for computers if we aren’t nerds that know all kinds of cool ways around windows or Mac?

      • Mark Worsham says:

        Sharon,

        If I may. There is no computing outside of the Matrix. Period. Big DARPA / NSA joke : WWW – World Wide Web ? Well, World Wide Wiretap. Actually both. So, given that, what power do we have to put the fear of God in them ? Jade 2 / SkyNET has gone live again, so ?

        Two words: Stand UP !!! Say NO ( actually 4 ), defy, don’t comply. I am, in ways I dare not advertise. But know this: Time is short, so prepare as best you can, and be prepared to go full-on at a moments notice, the crunch is coming, be ye not caught short and lacking . . .

  4. Stuzz says:

    Linux mint is a breathe of fresh air…

  5. flek says:

    comment test

    • flek says:

      Try this:

      https://www.whonix.org/

      It comes with a gateway and a workstation image that’s imported to virtualbox.
      The gateway only connects through TOR and the workstation
      to the gateway. So nothing communicates with clearnet except the gateway
      through the TOR exit node.

      It’s run in virtualbox and you can encrypt the whole damn thing with truecrypt and only decrypt it when you need to use it. Nothing leaks to the host OS afaik.

      One can also run a virtual machine within a virtual machine…nested virtual machines.

      -flek

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