Microsoft leaked the golden keys that unlock Windows-powered tablets, phones and other devices sealed by Secure Boot – and is now scrambling to undo the blunder.
These skeleton keys can be used to install non-Redmond operating systems on locked-down computers. In other words, on devices that do not allow you to disable Secure Boot even if you have administrator rights – such as ARM-based Windows RT tablets – it is now possible to sidestep this block and run, say, GNU/Linux or Android.
What's more, it is believed it will be impossible for Microsoft to fully revoke the leaked keys.
And perhaps most importantly: it is a reminder that demands by politicians and crimefighters for special keys, which can be used by investigators to unlock devices in criminal cases, will inevitably jeopardize the security of everyone.