XP/Vista Stealth Updated by Microsoft Without User Consent
by John Martellaro, 4:15 PM EDT, September 13th, 2007
This week, some Windows users have noted that, even though they had the
Auto-update option turned off, Microsoft accessed their system and made
modifications, according to Windows Secrets on Thursday.
"It's surprising that these files can be changed without the user's
knowledge. The Automatic Updates dialog box in the Control Panel can be
set to prevent updates from being installed automatically. However, with
Microsoft's latest stealth move, updates to the WU executables seem to
be installed regardless of the settings â€” without notifying users,"
Scott Dunn reported.
This isn't the first time this has happened, but previously when
Microsoft updated svchost.exe, the Windows Update site notified user
that the software needed to be installed. This time, it happend without
The author noted, "These files are by no means viruses, and Microsoft
appears to have no malicious intent in patching them. However, writing
files to a user's PC without notice (when auto-updating has been turned
off) is behavior that's usually associated with hacker Web sites. The
question being raised in discussion forums is, 'Why is Microsoft
operating in this way?' "