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By | Team Register 22nd June 2006 11:02

How to stop Microsoft's WGA phoning home

Tool versus tool

A firewall testing website has released a tool it says will spike Microsoft’s controversial WGA tool. is careful to state its RemoveWGA tool does not affect the “validation” element of Microsoft’s WGA software.

The company’s tool targets the “notifications” element of the WGA tool, preventing it from repeatedly connecting back to Microsoft to transmit information about users’ software set-up.

That said, FirewallLeakTester pulls no punches about its view of WGA. Once the tool has validated a copy of Windows, it says, “there is no decent point or reason to check it again and again every boot.”

It goes on to say that connecting to Microsoft “ brings security issue for corporate networks, and privacy issues for everyone.” And, unsurprisingly, it states “Microsoft used deceptive ways to make you install this tool (it was told you it was an urgent security update, whereas it is a new installation giving you no extra security) makes me calling this tool a spyware.”

Of course, the truly paranoid might balk at sending (hopefully) good code after bad instead of just reinstalling Windows from scratch. More details here®.

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