- Is it safe to share your msinfo32 export with the Internet?
- Does it contain any sensitive data like PII?
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It depends a whole lot on the context, and what you are trying to protect yourself from.
What does this information contain?
The information in
msinfo32 is structured as a list of key-value pairs, which are themselves part of a tree.
For example, the leaf "System Summary" contains information like OS Name, System Manufacturer, User Name, Time Zone, Available Memory, etc.
Why would anyone want this information anyways?
There are plenty of legitimate reasons to ask a person to disclose this information. The most obvious would be tech support. A user complains that an application always crashes, and tech support asks them to send them the information from
This might help them find common ground between you and other users, who also experience the same problem. For instance, let's say all the users who reported this problem happen to have the exact same build of Windows 10, on the same CPU.
While it doesn't exactly solve the problem, it allows the developers to more easily reproduce the problem, and thus aid them in solving it.
So can I share this info freely?
This depends. If you own the machine, then you are free to do so. If it's a good idea is another question (see below). If your machine belongs to your employer, then there may be policies in place on the disclosure of internal information.
Please check with your employer if you are allowed to disclose this information, and to whom for what reason.
Why would it not be a good idea to post this information publicly?
While it doesn't directly contain personally identifiable information, it may give someone interested in you some information that you might not want to share.
For example, your username might be based on your real name, or parts thereof. If you post the information under a pseudonym, an attacker who knows you in real life may be able to connect this pseudonym to your real identity. For example, the information indicates you have a laptop by "FooBar", model "X-Ample 9001". If the attacker knows you own the exact same laptop, it may be an indicator.
Is this far-fetched? Yes, absolutely. It's probably not something you should worry about.
Another possible threat could be installed software and versions thereof. If an attacker knows you have some software with a known vulnerability installed, then you immediately become a more interesting target, as an attacker can assume that there is some way they can exploit you.
So, what now? Can I share it or not?
I would say it depends on who you share it with, and why. If some tech support you contacted asks for this information, they probably have a legitimate reason for it and you are free to do so.
If a random person asks you for this info, but can't give you a specific reason why, then it's best not to do so.