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Microsoft Updates Windows Without Users' Consent


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#1 quietman7

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 07:02 AM

Microsoft has begun patching files on Windows XP and Vista without users' knowledge, even when the users have turned off auto-updates...In recent days, Windows Update (WU) started altering files on users' systems without displaying any dialog box to request permission. The only files that have been reportedly altered to date are nine small executables on XP and nine on Vista that are used by WU itself. Microsoft is patching these files silently, even if auto-updates have been disabled...

windowssecrets.com

Microsoft responds:

... “Before closing, I would like to address another misconception that I have seen publically reported. WU does not automatically update itself when Automatic Updates is turned off, this only happens when the customer is using WU to automatically install upgrades or to be notified of updates.”..

isc.sans.org

Edited by quietman7, 27 September 2007 - 11:04 AM.

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 09:37 PM

Microsoft acknowledges the lack of notice

In a post the same day on the Microsoft Update Product Team Blog, program manager Nate Clinton confirmed that updates to Windows Update itself are performed without notifying users. This is true even if users specify Let me choose when to install them or Notify me but don't automatically download or install (two of the four options available to users).


How Windows Update Keeps Itself Up-to-Date

...The point of this explanation is not to suggest that we were as transparent as we could have been; to the contrary, people have told us that we should have been clearer on how Windows Update behaves when it updates itself. This is helpful and important feedback, and we are now looking at the best way to clarify WU’s behavior to customers so that they can more clearly understand how WU works...


Edited by quietman7, 20 September 2007 - 10:09 PM.

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#3 quietman7

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 10:23 AM

Microsoft's stealth updates stymie XP repairs

The contentious stealth update that Microsoft delivered to customers this summer blocks 80 patches and fixes from installing after Windows XP is restored using its "repair" feature...That problem affects any user who restores Windows XP using the setup CD's "repair" option, sometimes also called an "in-place reinstallation" because it reinstalls the operating system files...Because repair is essentially a roll-back to XP's original state, the OS must be updated with all subsequent patches and hotfixes using WU...After a repair, XP defaults to the "Automatic" setting for Automatic Updates, which means WU is immediately updated to to version 7.0.600.381...Seven of the DLL files that make up 7.0.600.381, however, fail to register themselves with Windows. That, in turn, keeps XP from successfully installing approximately 80 of the most recent patches and fixes...


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#4 quietman7

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 12:58 PM

Manually registering files solves the problem

If you find that Windows Update refuses to install most patches, you can register its missing DLLs yourself. This can be accomplished by manually entering seven commands (shown in Step 2, below) at a command prompt. If you need to run the fix on multiple machines, it's easiest to use a batch file, as Steps 1 through 5 explain...The next time you visit the Windows Update site, you should not have any problem installing the latest patches.


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#5 quietman7

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 01:47 PM

MS Article ID: 943144

Updates are not installed successfully from Windows Update, from Microsoft Update, or by using Automatic Updates after you repair a Windows XP installation...


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#6 quietman7

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 08:00 AM

Newest Windows Update snafu puzzles Microsoft

For the second time in a month, Microsoft Corp. has had to defend Windows Update against charges that it upgraded machines without users' permission. So far, it has no explanation for the newest instance of unauthorized updating....

computerworld.com

I reported on Sept. 13 that Windows Update (WU) periodically installs a set of nine executable files without notice to users, even if Automatic Updates (AU) is set to "notify me but don't automatically install." On Sept. 27, I wrote that the executable files silently installed by AU starting in July prevent Windows XP from installing any security patches at all if XP was repaired using its original CD...

But user choice plays no role in changing AU settings when installing Windows Live OneCare.

My finding is that Windows Live OneCare silently changes the AU settings. This explains at least some of the complaints that have been reported so far. Users could have installed OneCare — even a free-trial version — at any time in the recent past and been unaware of any changes until Automatic Updates forced a reboot...

windowssecrets.com
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