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Poll

Stealth updates - right or wrong?

Right
Wrong
Don't Know
Don't Care
Buy me a beer, vodka or cranberry

Last post Author Topic: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF  (Read 15498 times)

Carol Haynes

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Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« on: September 13, 2007, 08:09:23 AM »
Worrying trend ...

Quote
sc.gif

See http://windowssecret...m/comp/070913#story1 for details

f0dder

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2007, 10:09:13 AM »
Hm, that sounds slightly nasty.
- carpe noctem

mitzevo

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2007, 10:13:48 AM »
This is some bullshit, luckily people are not dumb (well non-dumb people), and there are (better) alternatives to M$.
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

Josh

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2007, 10:57:09 AM »
Too bad none of those alternatives are even ready for mainstream use.

I really dont consider this a big deal. As long as they arent patching OS components without telling me, thats fine. Automatic updates patching on its own is fine because in the end, its only helping users stay up to date. But I guess this is a case where microsoft is wrong (not in my eyes) for trying to do something that IS useful.

mitzevo

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2007, 11:05:39 AM »
Too bad for you and/or your mainstreams ;) I would happily make the switch to *nix permanently.  I bet a lot of people feel the same ;D
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

Josh

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2007, 11:15:03 AM »
Too bad for me? I love *nix, but I also dont dilute myself into believing it could ever take the place of windows for 90% of users. There is a reason it hasnt taken off yet, lets just leave it at that and let this thread go back to its topic.

Ralf Maximus

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2007, 12:28:18 PM »
Actually, it *is* a big deal.  Reaching into my computer and changing files -- any files -- when I have expressly denied permission is wrong.  Even with the best of intentions, mistakes happen.  Recall the WGA disaster of a month ago where Vista machines went dark because they couldn't phone home?  All Microsoft's fault, no malicious intent, but the incident should be a wake up call.

How would you feel if one morning you discovered your Windows validation had been revoked, only due to a mistake?  They have demonstrated they can stealth-modify files.  Even more troubling, the article states there is no way to learn what was modified or why -- only the date & filename are available.  No KB article.  This is not transparent behavior, and one is compelled to wonder why?  If it's a simple bug fix, then say so.  The fact they go to some lengths to obsfucate the matter is more upsetting than the action itself.

I utilize a fully-paid MSDN platform subscription for all my Windows test machines.  It's not difficult to imagine a block of serial numbers accidently deactivated, and the news sent down the wire to my little herd of test mules.  Suddenly I cannot conduct business.  What recourse then?

Or try out this far fetched, but still plausible scenario: MS licensing policy changes, and XP schedules itself to stop working on a particluar date, forcing a migration to Vista?

Until we learn more, there is nothing good to say about these activities or by extension the policies they enact.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2007, 12:29:23 PM »
And another article (with a vote at the bottom) ...

http://blogs.zdnet.c...ware/?p=779#more-779

I have added a poll at the top of this thread ...

katykaty

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2007, 01:40:38 PM »
Can you add another option:

They shouldn't really do it, but life's too short to care

 ;)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2007, 01:45:52 PM »
True - but I think you are stuck with Don't Care or Buy me a beer

Darwin

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2007, 01:51:32 PM »
Thanks for putting up the poll, Carol. I read this with unease this morning when Windows Secrets hit my mailbox. I think it is disturbing, as Ralf Maximus points out, that these components are updated despite users expressly requesting that automatic updates NOT be installed without their permission.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

katykaty

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2007, 01:57:15 PM »
Can you add another option:

They shouldn't really do it, but life's too short to care

 ;)

True - but I think you are stuck with Don't Care or Buy me a beer

Well, I hate beer - vodka and cranberry's my fave at the moment - so it looks like I'm the lone voice championing 'Do not care'!  :D

Carol Haynes

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2007, 03:03:12 PM »
Poll updated to reflect your tastes ;)

katykaty

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2007, 03:20:21 PM »
Poll updated to reflect your tastes ;)

Can't vote again unfortunately  :-[

mitzevo

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2007, 03:38:30 PM »
That poll is pretty useless.. how about the options be:

"wrong"
"don't care, but buy me beer, vodka + cranberry/orange"

;)
   
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2007, 04:04:53 PM »
Poll updated to reflect your tastes ;)

Can't vote again unfortunately  :-[

You can now - just remove your old vote using the link.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2007, 04:05:31 PM »
That poll is pretty useless.. how about the options be:

"wrong"
"don't care, but buy me beer, vodka + cranberry/orange"

;)
   

Of course it is pretty useless - we all know the answer, it was only meant as a bit of fun ;)

Darwin

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2007, 04:07:23 PM »
Or better yet, just - "don't care, let's get ripped!"...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

PhilB66

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2007, 06:59:46 PM »
Microsoft's response How Windows Update Keeps Itself Up-to-Date. Also read the comments!

You may want to recast your votes and go for the beer option  :(
« Last Edit: September 13, 2007, 07:03:53 PM by PhilB66 »

Darwin

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2007, 07:28:47 PM »
Microsoft's response How Windows Update Keeps Itself Up-to-Date. Also read the comments!

You may want to recast your votes and go for the beer option  :(

No! Never surrender! But I will take a beer nonetheless...  ;D
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2007, 07:41:36 PM »
As some of the posted comments on that page say, the MS apologist completely misses the point.

If I have 'notify me of updates and ask if I want to install' enabled then Windows Update should simply report that there is an update to Windows Update. It is then my choice whether I install it or not. OK I may never see any other updates until I do but at least it is my choice.

Silent updates without any information means that if the MS servers are compromised there could be a worldwide automatic distribution of various kinds of malware without user intervention. The fact that MS can even do this means there must be a loophole that already exists that could be exploited by others with drastic consequences. Given that MS is not exactly known for its high security profile I think that these are potential situations that really need to be taken seriously! If Windows Update couldn't accept updates without user consent then this whole can of worms could be avoided.

Personally I think the blanket 'Automatic (recommended)' setting is practically a blank cheque which is open to abuse - and at the very least stupid given the number of problematic patches MS shovels out every year. I have lost count of the number of times 'fixes' from MS have broken more than they fixed.

Laughing Man

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2007, 09:31:08 PM »
I agree. My Windows installs are set to let me choose if I want to update. And for good reason too, as Windows update has occasionally caused problems in my home network (for a few days to a week a networked HP Printer was offline due to an imcompatibility). So I made sure nobody in my family updated their computers till that was fixed. But if they're silently updating..well that defeats the point doesn't it?

tinyvillager

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2007, 09:32:02 PM »
Microsoft is shoving their Live update doo-hicky down your throat if you want to keep up to date with their other products,it's basically a Google pack clone.At least google let's you still download apps without it.

If you want to download their IM client,Writer (blog tool),etc.You have to do it through an update console where they try to sell on the ideal of all their other stuff.Not cool!

I subscribe to all the Microsoft employees rss feeds too and you should see how they all fall into lock-step.
"It great !" "It revolutionary!" Hooray!

I love XP pro and i'd most likely like a lot of other products if Microsoft wouldn't hide them behind walls,they come so close...then shoot themselves in the foot.

Lashiec

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2007, 09:22:07 AM »
As I don't care, I'll go for the drink for I'm a bit thirsty :D

The same time I saw Carol's post and the photo, I knew that Microsoft was updating the routines used to deliver updates for Windows. And it turned to be true. Perhaps the worrying trend is Windows Secrets bad habit (in the Free edition at least) of being clutching at straws as lately instead of warning about true updates gone wrong, like patching systems running Athlon CPUs with microcode geared towards Core 2 Duo processors, or the .NET 1.1 updating service getting trapped updating the native images and starts being loaded with Windows to finish its job, updating one image at every boot. I think my fears of the newsletter losing quality with the addition of Fred Langa and Scott Dunn are coming to reality, and makes you wonder what the heck was Scott doing to discover these... too much free time I suppose ;D

If Microsoft serves are compromised, it would not help (probably) to have automatic updates deactivated. They can take over normal updates as well and disguise malware as the next critical fix for IE7. You'll only see the name and the description, and a correct link. If the antivirus don't warn you, the computer will get infected for sure. And now I'll ran for cover ;D

Laughing Man

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Re: Microsoft patches applied - EVEN WHEN AUTOUPDATE IS OFF
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2007, 09:32:09 AM »
Well for those who turn off updates. They may wait for the general reports (like I do) from other people installing them.

If people start reporting viruses all across Windows computers after an update..well I could probably guess where it came from :P.