Windows 10 Banned From Numerous Torrent Trackers

Concerns about data collection and reporting tools Microsoft was embedded in Windows 10 has reportedly lead a number of top torrent trackers to ban users of Windows 10 from their services. While there are some amorphous concerns about a potential "piracy kill switch" Microsoft could trigger, there are concrete concerns about the level of information Windows 10 collects from installed systems and delivers to Microsoft. The debugging and performance related information collected by Microsoft presents a serious threat to the security of the torrent trackers as well as peers who connect to Windows 10 users in torrent swarms.

The abysmally poor value proposition presented by Microsoft Windows to computer users of any sort has been featured on Qntra before. Twice this year the USB vulnerability used to propagate Stuxnet was patched because the first patch was insufficient, and then it was patched a third time this month because the second patch also was insufficient. It is safest to assume some form of the Stuxnet infection vulnerability remains exploitable by plugging a USB device into fully patched Windows machine though the trigger is likely changed slightly compared to what it was before because one of Microsoft's actual customers likes seeing that feature on other people's machines. Then there was the vulnerability that allowed rooting Windows servers with JPEG uploads and a comprehensive list of "flaws" in Microsoft Windows would readily read like a catalog for a certain other portion of Microsoft's customer base. Of course Microsoft's competitors include similar functionality with less attention.

This move by torrent trackers highlights the security value offered by refusing to engage with users who through their own poor choices endanger your venture. In spite of the popular use of Microsoft Windows and its newest release Windows 10, there is a far stronger case for the torrent trackers to bar these users than there is for them to accept these users in the name of inclusivity. There is a chance that this move could become the leading edge of a larger trend post-Snowden and post-Bitcoin's ascension to stop chasing certain large groups of users merely because they are numerous and their uniting factor is popular, in this case Microsoft Windows. Instead services are more likely to begin to work on better serving more capable and responsible users. In the case of these torrent trackers merely removing Windows 10 users provides a net benefit for both the tracker itself and the remaining users who no longer have to worry about a certain kind of bad behavior on the part of their peers.

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