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Not knowing the exact situation, I might still give them the benefit of doubt and assume they were using folder redirection. You can set up folders - and the desktop is a perfectly good candidate - to be rerouted to some server share. I'm not a domain policy expert, but I'd be surprised if it couldn't be done and that some organizations are doing exactly that today.
Windows has Roaming Profiles which are copied back and forth when you log on or off. One issue my company ran into under XP was that the IE cache folders were in the user profile so the copy process would take forever.
Not by default it doesn't. If you set up the servers, Active Directory and Group Policy correctly it will have.
"I controlled my laughter and simple said "No,I am very busy,so I can't write any code for you". The moment they heard this all the smiling face turned into a sad looking face and one of them farted. So I had to leave the place as soon as possible." - Mr.Prakash One Fine Saturday. 24/04/2004
In any case - I remember that one very well - a few years ago, when MSDN still shipped on CDs/DVDs, they made the mistake at one point of installing 1+ GB worth of data to the roaming profile...which slowed down logins to the point where it rendered systems unusable. I'm a first-hand witness in this case.
Lots of people refuse to believe me when I tell them that super-cryptic login password on your home PC is a poor joke if your computer is stolen (or seized by some authorities, if that is what you fear). I have had to open their PC and pick out the disk, then install it as the D: drive on my own PC (with my own login), and show them: Look here, I can read your files that you thought were secret because I couldn't log in with your password! I see their open mouths and the horror in their faces...
You can take some measures, such as using Windows' built in encryption of your private files. Once you log in, giving your password, Windows inspects it: Yes, that's what I expected, then I will decrypt your files for you. ... But Windows knew in advance all it needs to decrypt the files. If some FBI agent puts the disk with the encrypted files into his special-edition Windows, telling it: Now pretend that Joe Smuggler just has specified his login password, and go ahead: Decrypt his files for me, as you would for him! - then Windows has all the info it needs to do the job. My version of Windows won't accept an order to simulate a Joe Smuggler login, but I am sure that such versions exist.
In the IDE days, I had a hardware encryption device on the IDE cable, with a physical key (looking like a USB stick) that had to be plugged in when the machine was rebooted, then it could be unplugged and hidden away. In those days, the electronics were not fast enough to handle more than a 40 bit key, yet I consider that far more safe than today's BitLocker where Windows doesn't need you to supply a single bit of secret key: It will decrypt without that. It has all the information it needs to open up the disk. I never saw such encryption devices for SATA; maybe the FBI has made them illegal in the USA. They could be marketed in other countries, though!
Unless I have to supply a key that Windows doesn't know, doesn't save, the files are not protected against eavesdropping, period. In theory, Windows could have a keylogger and an analysis program that knows which applications are encryption programs, and save the password typed along with the file name in a secret database, but I am not that paranoid; I don't think Windows does.
The attack relies on the data remanence property of DRAM and SRAM to retrieve memory contents that remain readable in the seconds to minutes after power has been removed.
I was working with a video capture card (B&W) in the 80's. I had turned the machine off, pulled the card out of the slot and moved it to another computer, then booted that computer. Crazily, even after a couple minutes of no power, a good 80% of the image that had been in memory was still there and recognizable. We're talking minutes, not seconds, and not SRAM either.
That's one reason why memory was so much slower back then. They used actual capacitors to retain the charge in the memory bit and apparently they had rather low leakage current so they could hold it for a while.
Leakage current has always been minuscule but the surface of the CMOS, which is the source of the "parasite capacity" used to actually store data in DRAM dropped by a huge factor, so it became relevant.
I don't know what it is specific to the topic of cyber-security, but all of the training that's been foisted upon me has contained similar nonsense. This in itself would be bad, but that same training usually contains at least one dangerous bit of technically inaccurate information.
Anyhow, the "currently offline" site that is "Always Online" made me burst out laughing...seriously, spittle was involved
As I'm in the midst of some drudge work right now, the laugh was much appreciated.
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