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  1. #1
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    TOP STORY

    Office 2010's Web tools raise security questions


    By Yardena Arar

    Microsoft's newest Office adds some nifty Internet features, including easy access to shared documents via SkyDrive and PowerPoint Broadcast.

    But putting personal and business information into the cloud opens up potential security risks that all Office 2010 users should be aware of.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/07/01/02 (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by revia; 2011-01-19 at 15:51.

  2. #2
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    The new broadcasting feature in PowerPoint 2010 is impressive in action: click the broadcast button in the slideshow tab and sign in to your Windows Live account. Within a few seconds (while the presentation is uploaded to Microsoft's servers), a pop-up window presents you with a URL to distribute to your audience usually via e-mail or instant message. (See Figure 1.) When they click on the link, they will see your slides in their browser with you controlling the presentation.
    Is this accurate? I would expect the broadcast to be a P2P connection, especially if the presenter can control the presentation, which would be hard to do if the slideshow were served from Microsoft servers.

    I suspect that the Microsoft server acts as a locator to resolve dynamic IP addresses. I would expect the process to proceed as follows:
    1. The presenter logs in. The server records his current IP address and returns a URL.
    2. The viewer opens the URL and is re-directed to the presenter's IP address, possibly with a port number recognized by the Powerpoint broadcaster.
    3. A P2P connection between the presenter and viewer is created. Powerpoint sends a screen image of the current slide.
    4. When the broadcast ends, the presenter's IP address (not the slideshow) is deleted from the server.

    This is based on conjecture - if anyone has direct knowledge of how this works, please correct me.

  3. #3
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    The cloud has never been a safe place to store any of your data. I say this for several reasons.

    1. NO matter what the vendors says they own the systems and once you put your data on them they can do what they want with it. Check it out folks, several online storage vendors have folded and the data they held (in some circumstances) is lost. One photographer had his entire film collection and the vendor went bust with no one being informed and they just turned off the servers.

    2. You do not own or have control of your data in the cloud, the vendors do.

    3. Putting your data on the cloud is like playing russian roulette with your data.

    So good luck with your cloud computing.

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