Samsung vows to stop knackering Windows Update on your laptops

'We'll do that with an update for our software updater,' says Sammy


Samsung has promised to release a patch for its computers so that they no longer kill off automatic Windows updates from Microsoft.

On Wednesday, reverse-engineering specialist Patrick Barker blogged* about a program suspiciously called Disable_Windowsupdate.exe that is bundled on Sammy machines and shuts down automatic Windows Updates – including security updates.

Users have to remember to install updates from Microsoft manually, and if they opt for automatic installation, Samsung's software disables it. The firm's support staff told him that was to make sure Samsung's hardware drivers were not removed or overridden by Microsoft's upgrades.

While not as serious as Lenovo's Superfish debacle – where bundled code punched a hole in system security – Samsung's cockup has caused ructions. Now it has vowed that the issue will be fixed.

"Samsung has a commitment to security and we continue to value our partnership with Microsoft," a spokeswoman told El Reg.

"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. Samsung remains committed to providing a trustworthy user experience and we encourage customers with product questions or concerns to contact us directly."

Microsoft hasn't responded to a request for comment on Samsung's new position, but it's pretty clear that the Windows giant was not happy about the situation. Some South Korean executives may have been getting the rough side of Redmond's tongue.

The thought of a computer manufacturer disabling Windows Update will have had the Microsoft security team on edge. But there's also Windows 10 to consider.

When the new operating system comes out, Windows Update will feed in fixes continuously, and if you're not a business customer those updates are going to be coming over the wires constantly. Enterprise users get Windows Update for Business, which allows them to choose when to patch, presumably after the plebs have beta-tested them.

If Samsung's software is interrupting Microsoft's updates then not only are people going to be at risk, but it could affect system stability. Redmond wants the new roll out to go smoothly, and it's likely Sammy got slapped down hard over its driver shenanigans. ®

*The Register has since heard from Sysnative Forums, which told us that its staffers Richard Burgess (who has the handle of neimiro) and Brian Drab first flagged up the Samsung Windows Update snafu. Barker went on to collaborate with them on the issue.

We're happy to link to their posts here and here.

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • The future: Windows streaming through notched Apple screens

    Choice is the word for Jamf's Dean Hager

    Interview As Apple's devices continue to find favour with enterprise users, the fortress that is Windows appears to be under attack in the corporate world.

    Speaking to The Register as the Jamf Nation User Conference wound down, the software firm's CEO, Dean Hager, is - unsurprisingly - ebullient when it comes to the prospects for Apple gear in the world of suits.

    Jamf specialises in device management and authentication, and has long been associated with managing Apple hardware in business and education environments. In recent years it has begun connecting its products with services such as Microsoft's Azure Active Directory as administrators face up to a hybrid working future.

    Continue reading
  • There’s a wave of ransomware coming down the pipeline. What can you do about it?

    AI can help. Here’s how…

    Sponsored The Colonial Pipeline attack earlier this year showed just how devastating a ransomware attack is when it is targeted at critical infrastructure.

    It also illustrated how traditional security techniques are increasingly struggling to keep pace with determined cyber attackers, whether their aim is exfiltrating data, extorting organisations, or simply causing chaos. Or, indeed an unpleasant combination of all three.

    So, what are your options? More people looking for more flaws isn’t going to be enough – there simply aren’t enough skilled people, there are too many bugs, and there are way too many attackers. So, it’s clear that smart cyber defenders need to be supplemented by even smarter technology incorporating AI. You can learn what this looks like by checking out this upcoming Regcast, “Securing Critical Infrastructure from Cyber-attack” on October 28 at 5pm.

    Continue reading
  • Ransomware criminals have feelings too: BlackMatter abuse caused crims to shut down negotiation portal

    Or so says infsec outfit Emsisoft

    Hurling online abuse at ransomware gangs may have contributed to a hardline policy of dumping victims' data online, according to counter-ransomware company Emsisoft.

    Earlier this month, the Conti ransomware gang declared it would publish victims' data and break off ransom negotiations if anyone other than "respected journalist and researcher personalities" [sic] dared publish snippets of ransomware negotiations, amid a general hardening of attitudes among ransomware gangs.

    Typically these conversation snippets make it into the public domain because curious people log into ransomware negotiation portals hosted by the criminals. The BlackMatter (aka DarkSide) gang's portal credentials (detailed in a ransom note) became exposed to the wider world, however, and the resulting wave of furious abuse hurled at the crims prompted them to pull up the virtual drawbridge.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021