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If you have an update service that's running on a server listening for connections on some random port, how could one verify that any requests coming into that port are from the specific application that I create?

For instance, how does Microsoft know that when Windows checks for an update, it is coming from Windows XP/Vista/7 instead of someone sending it malformed packets?

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Why would it care? If something is broken, what difference does it make what you send it? It won't do the right thing no matter what anyway. –  David Schwartz Mar 13 '12 at 23:24

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