[Dshield] Re: Tax Time

wulfman wulfman at charter.net
Wed Feb 18 05:13:19 GMT 2004


JJ,
This certainly has a hint of "off topic" to it, but in as much as TurboTax
has raised the hair on the backs of a lot of E-Security people in the
past...

you could set the application up to Run As administrator...
or you could wipe it off your HDD like someone in a rush to get flaming
guano off his arm.
Can we all say, "Beware Geeks Bearing Gifts?"

A couple of years ago Intuit contrived a plan to "protect their interests"
by incorporating a trojan horse/spyware C-Dilla into their TurboTax product.
The Adaware anti-adware program and several anti-virus programs caught the
"infection" and squashed it, leaving (ironically) the most security
conscious users of TurboTax up a creek because TurboTax would not function
without the spyware installed.

The hew and cry was terrible and intuit promised to remove the feature. They
had already paid Macromedia a very large amount of money for this spyware
however, and the likelihood is that they have simply made the feature
quieter...

Would you trust your tax and financial information to a company who would
require that a spyware be installed on your system before you can see your
tax information from years past? You willing to make a Looooong term
commitment to use their product?

Are you willing to buy the program again any time you upgrade your hard
drive, operating system, install a boot manager or second OS, or just scan
your HDD for infections and adware? Are you willing to assume that they
haven't tried to do this same thing again in a more subtle way? Are you
willing to risk not being able to open your tax records in a few years when
you need them because your HDD didn't have a mean time to failure greater
than 10 years, or that some other software has interfered with their
spyware?

Are you willing to support a software company which would contrive a plan of
this type, to hold you hostage to your own tax data?

Since the C-Dilla debacle I removed Quickbooks from my system after
exporting MY data to text. I emailed them and told them that due to their
exploit I would be using open source software... They now spam me at least 3
times a month with special offers for TurboTax and Quickbooks... Does this
seem like the actions of a responsive company, worthy of the level of trust
which one's tax and finacial records require?

Go scan your receipts to TIFF, and burn 2 CD copies.... put the hard copies
in a safe deposit box, and give one CD to a nice accountant.
I promise... the accountant has no interest in going through your underware
drawer or the contents of your HDD late at night.


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