Report Says Microsoft Engaging in 'Stealth Patching'

Microsoft once again appears to be stepping over the line. Reports yesterday say Redmond is patching files on users' Windows XP and Windows Vista machines without first notifying them. Microsoft has been able to do this even when users have switched off Windows' auto update capability.

One of the dangers here, of course, is that many companies' IT departments need to test updates of any kind before they can be deployed. Not good.

Apparently, according to Scott Dunn who reported this in the Sept. 13 issue of the Windows Secrets newsletter (http://www.windowssecrets.com), Windows Update started changing files on users' systems without showing a dialog box that requests users' permission to do so. So far, the only altered files reported are about 18 smaller executables that are used by the Windows Update (WU).

According to the newsletter, the only attempt at an explanation from Microsoft about this can be seen on a Microsoft Community Forum site offered by a user called "Dean-Dean." In a post, Dean-Dean stated:

"Windows Update Software 7.0.6000.381 is an update to Windows Update itself. It is an update for both Windows XP and Windows Vista. Unless the update is installed, Windows Update won't work, at least in terms of searching for further updates. Normal use of Windows Update, in other words, is blocked until this update is installed."

Not exactly a clear explanation of why Microsoft would engage in this sort of undercover practice. What has made some people apprehensive about this is how Microsoft could use this method of "stealth patching" in the future.

Posted by Ed Scannell on 09/13/2007 at 1:23 PM


Featured

  • Microsoft Nabs IoT Platform Provider Express Logic

    As part of its plan to invest $5 billion in IoT technologies, Microsoft this week acquired Express Logic, which provides real-time operating systems for industrial embedded and IoT devices.

  • Dealing with Broken Dependencies in SCVMM

    Brien shows you how to resolve some broken, template-related dependencies in Microsoft's System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

  • AzCopy Preview Adds AWS S3 Data Transfer Improvements

    Microsoft announced this week that it has improved the preview version of its AzCopy tool to better handle Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 data.

  • Microsoft Adding Google G Suite Migration in Exchange Admin Center

    Microsoft's Exchange Admin Center will be getting the ability to move Google G Suite calendar, contacts and e-mail data over to the Office 365 service "in the coming weeks."

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.