Samsung To Issue Windows Update Patch - InformationWeek

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6/29/2015
02:00 PM
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Samsung To Issue Windows Update Patch

Samsung promises a patch to restore Windows Update to its recommended settings after messing with the update process.

Windows 10 vs. Mac OS X 10.11: OS Showdown
Windows 10 vs. Mac OS X 10.11: OS Showdown
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Samsung is in the spotlight – and not in a good way. Reports surfaced last week claiming that the company was automatically killing the Windows Update process on its Windows PCs.

Suspicion first arose when Microsoft researcher Patrick Barker discovered a program called Disable_Windowsupdate.exe. The program, embedded in Samsung's software update process, was intended to prevent Windows Update from automatically installing feature upgrades and security fixes (Microsoft's recommended method).

Customers using Samsung PCs could manually update their devices to receive new security fixes. They could have also switched Windows Update back on, but Samsung's program was designed to disable it again after a reboot.

[ Looking to upgrade your gear? Read: 11 PCs Ideal For Windows 10 Upgrades. ]

Microsoft was, understandably, less than pleased and reported that it does not advise tampering with the Windows Update process. Doing so, it said, could expose customers to security risk.

Samsung initially denied all accusations of fishy business. "It is not true that we are blocking a Windows 8.1 operating system update on our computers," officials wrote. This sparked confusion, as Windows 8.1 updates had not specifically been mentioned in Barker's original complaint.

"I never implied [Samsung] specifically blocked a 'Windows 8.1 OS system update'," he claimed, "just that their SW Update software is preventing Windows Update from automatically installing updates."

(Image: AndreyPopov/iStockPhoto)

(Image: AndreyPopov/iStockPhoto)

Now it seems the two companies have had a chance to talk things over, and Samsung has had a change of heart. It provided an update in a statement to VentureBeat late last week:

"Samsung has a commitment to security and we continue to value our partnership with Microsoft," a spokesperson stated. "We will be issuing a patch through the Samsung Software Update notification process to revert back to the recommended automatic Windows Update settings within a few days."

Windows 10, which Microsoft will launch later this summer, won't give consumers the option of selecting the updates they want to install on their PCs. Rather, the new system will automatically download and install all updates and fixes by default.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
6/29/2015 | 6:52:30 PM
Why?
What would Samsung gain by blocking updates?
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
6/29/2015 | 7:26:04 PM
Re: Why?
I read earlier, on this same website, that the reason was that Microsoft Update would automatically update a driver for Samsung's USB 3.0 port. The peculiarities of that port were incompatible with with the Microsoft driver. I wonder how they got around that issue?
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 9:35:13 AM
Re: Why?
Gary,

I don't think this was the only reason why Samsung blocked Windows Updates.

They did because(atleast initially);they wanted to give Consumers more Control over when they can update their Systems-www.bbc.com/news/technology-33269868

To me (personally) it just feels like a case of one Company trying to gain an ego-boost over the other.

I think it was really-really foolish on Samsung's part to think that they can give Consumers control over such a critical issue(especially at a time when Zero-Day Vulnerabilities are getting targetted like theirs no tommorow;Check out the latest Adobe Flash Player zero-day bug hackers for starters).

But then,I am a security Guy and look at everything from that Angle only.

What do Marketers and Company Execs feel about this issue?

I daresay the feeling might be a little more different.

 

 

 

 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 9:59:32 AM
Re: Why?
@Ashu – I agree. How foolish are they to take such a step, after all the back end would be the Windows OS. Hence Microsoft has a better say on it. 
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 10:12:45 AM
Re: Why?
Shakeeb,

Good to know that there are more Sensible folks like you out there who appreciate the work Microsoft has done and is doing in this space.

Have you had the oppurtunity to play with/work with Microsoft's Threat Modelling Tool?

Highly,Highly Recommended-www.microsoft.com/en-in/download/details.aspx?id=42518

In contrast Samsung has pathetic credentials when it comes to Security.


Why do you think their own Homegrown OS(in the smartphone space) is failing/ faringso miserably versus Android?


Samsung patches and upgrades Android OSes atleast 3-4 months AFTER Google releases them.

Just for fun's sake,I bought two phones with basically the same Hardware and Software(one from Samsung and the other was Stock Android);you will be stunned to notice how pathetically sluggish Samsung is when it comes to upgrading their OS!!!

The Skycure revelation about MITM Attacks on Samsung Default Keyboards is another case in point today-www.skycure.com/blog/skycure-protects-against-the-samsung-swiftkey-vulnerability/
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 2:07:08 PM
Re: Why?
"Just for fun's sake,I bought two phones with basically the same Hardware and Software(one from Samsung and the other was Stock Android);you will be stunned to notice how pathetically sluggish Samsung is when it comes to upgrading their OS!!!"

@Ashu001: I don't think that applies to all Samsung models. I had a Nexus phone by Samsung and that used to be the first one to get the OS updates. Of course it had Google's support behind it. I think Samsung wants to ensure that the OS version is compatible with the hardware before they go for a mass update. Plus, their own UI built on top of the OS also need to be upgraded to support the OS version.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2015 | 12:47:16 PM
Re: Why?
Taimoor,

I call that Additional Layer of Samsung Software as "Bloatware".

Absolutely pointless and most of it is never even used by Consumers.

Prefer cleaner (&Lighter) smartphones anytime!

 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 9:57:37 AM
Re: Why?
@Gary – Microsoft would definitely have a set of drivers along with their Windows 10, but they should have partnered with Samsung to get drivers for their products. 
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 10:05:16 AM
Re: Why?
shakeeb,

Fair enough statement you make here.

Actually Microsoft usually does a reasonably good job of partnering with various Hardware OEMs on this issue.

But sometimes the Hardware OEMs are unable to keep up with the pace of change of Microsoft(which is clearly what happened here as well).

This is why I was very clear in Blaming Samsung for what happened.

They let the Ball slip away bigtime here!

 
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 2:14:07 PM
Re: Why?
" Microsoft Update would automatically update a driver for Samsung's USB 3.0 port. The peculiarities of that port were incompatible with with the Microsoft driver"

@Gary: That's surprising to know. USB 3.0 seems to be a widespread feature and Microsoft's OS not supporting is rather a sign of their negligence. I do hope the patch has been rolled out that would take care of this.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 9:41:56 AM
Re: Why?
Thomas,

The Answer is basically that Samsung was too busy trying to protect and Holdonto their Bloatware which just makes PCs go slower and is basically still incompatible with Windows 8.1

More from Graham Cluley-grahamcluley.com/2015/06/samsung-disabled-windows-update

Really,really foolish move on Samsung's part ;especially when one realizes that Zero-day bugs are happily tracked and hunted in the Wild on the Internet today.Any move to REDUCE basic Software protection is really,really dumb.

Regards

Ashish.

 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 9:55:10 AM
Re: Why?
I wonder why Samsung would take such a decision and how Microsoft would react to it. 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 9:56:23 AM
Re: Why?
@Thomas – There wouldn't be a reason unless Microsoft tried to block Samsung software. 
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 2:45:58 PM
Forced updates
"Windows 10, which Microsoft will launch later this summer, won't give consumers the option of selecting the updates they want to install on their PCs. Rather, the new system will automatically download and install all updates and fixes by default."

I am not sure how much this forced update feature in Windows 10 will be appreciated. Normally, as a user I would like the freedom to install updates at my own will. Sometimes I may be using an expensive data connection or the speed might be really slow and I'd rather not let the bandwidth be consumed at that time. I think this may just backfire for Microsoft.
Ashu001
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50%
Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2015 | 12:51:28 PM
Re: Forced updates
Taimoor,

The major reason why MSFT is going in for Automatic/Default updates is that there are way too many Unpatched Machines out there;which automatically lead to malware outbreaks by the Millions.

Thousands and Thousands of unpatched Machines are comandeered for Botnets by Financial Criminals today.

All because they are unpatched.

If anything one should give MSFT credit for going the extra mile and fixing this issue before it turns serious.

 
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