This Windows file may be secretly hoarding your passwords and emails

If you are using a touch screen compatible pen or Windows PC, files on your computer may slowly collect confidential data in the last few months or years.

This file is called WaitList.dat and according to Barnaby Skeggs, a specialist in Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR), this file is compatible with the touch screen on which the user has enabled handwriting recognition function It is detected only on Windows PC. [1, 2] It converts the handwriting of the stylus / touch screen to automatically formatted text.

A formatted text conversion handwriting feature has been added to Windows 8. The WaitList.dat file has been in use for many years.

The role of this file is to store text that helps Windows improve handwriting recognition, recognize and propose frequently used modifications and words. 39; Other.

"In my test, the population of WaitList.dat starts after I start using hand gestures," Skeggs says. ZDNet In the interview "this command" activates the switch (registry key) to enable the text collection function (to generate WaitList.dat).

"When enabled, all the documents indexed by the Windows Search Indexer service and the text of the email are stored in WaitList.dat, which is not the only file to interact via the touch-sensitive burning capability Skeggs says.

Because the Windows Search Indexer service enhances the Windows Search function at the system level, data of all text files on the computer, such as e-mail and Office documents, is collected in the WaitList.dat file. This includes not only metadata but also document text.

"As long as there is a copy of the file on disk, you do not need to open the file / e-mail, the file format is supported by the Microsoft Search Search Indexer," says Skeggs. ZDNet.

"In my PC and my many test cases, WaitList.dat contained snippets of all documents and e-mail files on the system, even if the source files were deleted," researchers I added.

In addition, Mr. Skeggs says that he can retrieve text from deleted documents using WaitList.dat.

"If the source file is deleted, the index will remain in Waitlist.dat and maintain the text index of the file," he explains. It makes forensic evidence important for analysts like Skeggs that the files and their contents already existed on the PC.

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