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Don't tell people to turn off Windows Update, just don't
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-05-15 23:08:32

Troy Hunt hits some nails on their heads:

If you had any version of Windows since Vista running the default Windows Update, you would have had the critical Microsoft Security Bulletin known as "MS17-010" pushed down to your PC and automatically installed. Without doing a thing, when WannaCry came along almost 2 months later, the machine was protected because the exploit it targeted had already been patched. It's because of this essential protection provided by automatic updates that those advocating for disabling the process are being labelled the IT equivalents of anti-vaxxers and whilst I don't fully agree with real world analogies like this, you can certainly see where they're coming from. As with vaccinations, patches protect the host from nasty things that the vast majority of people simply don't understand.

Great article, which also goes into Windows Update itself for a bit.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30 -- 31-40 -- 41-49
If only they were security updates
By CowMan on 2017-05-15 23:56:09
Not having automatic updates, not on anything, seeing as I own my systems - I'll be the one to decide when and what gets updated. Under linux, BSD.. that's pretty much everything except systemd, and I update it more or less every day. No problems.

With automatic updates under windows, a simple reboot or shutdown is all-to-often an "install stuff" time, really annoying on laptops when you try to grab them and go. The updates themselves regularly go beyond security patches, rolling up all sorts of undesirable software, notably.. WGA.. Windows 10 ads.. Windows 10 itself.. and messing with unrelated settings and services.

I don't let windows update run whenever it likes, and as Microsoft's patches can't be trusted without carefully filtering the KB's, I'm not about to let it pick those on it's own either. Updates, yes, mostly. Automatic, no. They have and I presume will continue to abuse it.
Permalink - Score: 18
RE: If only they were security updates
By WorknMan on 2017-05-15 23:59:08
Yeah. If MS could make automatic updating suck a lot less, more people might be inclined to leave it on. And who knows... they might even start testing their shit one day before releasing it.
Permalink - Score: 10
This still missed a few key points.
By oiaohm on 2017-05-16 01:14:20
1) Don't put operating system on hardware it don't support. As this will force you to disable updates and run into hell. Like if you cpu was build 2011 and before you should not be running windows 10 and then windows 7/8.1 should not be put on current generation hardware because Microsoft will not provide updates in that case.

This not support hardware Linux suffers from has well. But windows users stupidly believe this fault does not apply to them so bring more trouble as they apply updates or failure to apply updates.

2) Be aware if you are running on metered and windows knows this you have to manually update. So yes auto updates on and you can still have no patches being applied.

3) setting active hours can also cause this disaster if you always shutdown your computer inside the active hours so it never installed updates when it should. So even setting that you should be checking on update application.

Basically another lot of swiss cheese instructions. Leaving out a key step that you should check when the last update was and that patches are applying every so often because things do break at times.

Troy Hunt write up is defective as the instructions to disable updates in the first place. The correct process need to be got to end users.
Permalink - Score: 1
This whole updating is horrendous on Windows is bafflin
By ronaldst on 2017-05-16 03:14:40
Patch tuesday isn't each week. And software is evolutionary/incremental.

Though I am sure some neowin-er will tell me that I am wrong. And that updating twice a month is a monumental chore.
Permalink - Score: 3
RE: If only they were security updates
By zlynx on 2017-05-16 06:21:37
If you can commit to a regular update schedule for yourself, then good, turn it off.

What you DON'T do is "helpfully" turn them off for your friends, who will never update, and result in what I've seen too often on Windows 7: 72 pending updates and open to absolutely any attack made in the last three years.
Permalink - Score: 7
not agreeing (surprise :)
By l3v1 on 2017-05-16 06:28:15
> Don't tell people to turn off Windows Update, just don't

If in my life I get to see Windows actually getting a sane update system, then maybe I'll do that. First, they need, really need to have different and independent update channels for security patches, OS updates and application updates. And from those, only the sec updates would really need to be automatic. But only if and only if they actually start spending more time on testing those damn updates so they don't brick the systems they are updating, causing so much lost time in fixing your and other people's systems that you can actually feel your lifetime shortening and being wasted on useless idiotic unnecessary things.

Today, I only tell those people to have updates on automatic about whom I either don't care much, or I know they are simple users who won't loose much sleep over a non-booting brick any given morning.

> Why is malware effective? Because of idiotic advice like this: "Stop Windows 10 from automatically updating your PC"

And this. Calling people idiots just because one has a shorter and narrower line of sight only makes one a bigger idiot.

While this doesn't count, I have to add that my personal experience backs up my claim - for me at least - that even Win10's updates are not good enough. It was actually a failed update cycle - resulting in a completely unusable and non-booting system - that made me switch from a Win10 work environment to a Linux work environment using Win10 only in VMs. Never going back.
Permalink - Score: 13
The second updates started carrying spyware..
By bassbeast on 2017-05-16 06:45:17
Is the second everyone started turning it off. the ONLY one to blame if any PCs get infected after having to kill updates to stop MSFT shoving spyware onto their PCs is MICROSOFT as the SECOND it went from being about security patches and turned into a revenue stream? It became toxic.

Now I advise people to use Autopatcher or WSUS Offline and turn WU off, it simply can no longer be trusted not to be a source of malware.
Permalink - Score: 14
By reez on 2017-05-16 07:59:43
Other than the attacker of course...

First off, it's of course Microsft's fault. They introduced the bug, nobody else.

Second off it's the fault of people not updating and using that software.

After that it's the fault of anyone not reporting the bug.

And later on you can blame anyone you'd like, but don't act like MS is not to blame.

You wouldn't say someone making a typo isn't to blame for a typo, or someone building a house that collapses or that the piece of bone isn't the fault of the cook or the doctor who forgets the tools isn't to blame for it.

Of course there is other supporting stuff, but you could just as well blame the programmer's wife or something, cause she was on his mind while the bug was introduced.

For the more subjective part. Yeah, I also think that in today's world if you disable updates, cause they are annoying and you don't manually you really shouldn't expect any kind of sympathy.

Unless someone forced you to you are the one making decisions on your system.

Yes, bugs are to be expected. You really should. However, acting like that makes it business of the user is just ridiculous. Bad analogy again: Fires, earthquakes, storms are to be expected. Does that mean architects and builders are fine to design and construct inflammable buildings? That would be horrible.

Are they to be compared by the outcome? I really hope nobody died because of that, and if so whoever made an unpatched Windows system able to result in the death of people is of course also not free of guilt.

I really think it's time to stop pointing at others always blaming them. The outcome of this is a society where people don't give a fuck, cause they can point at others. Politicians, bankers, foreigners, Arabs, Jews, black people, white people, men, women, software developers, the employer, employees, some politcal party, North Korea, Russia, Assad, the system, ...

And when people act like that I don't think they should be saying anything in the lines of "it's my personal choice". Because either you are capable of making decisions or not.. and not just when you find it convenient. That's just not how things work. I'd like that too. It's still wrong.
Permalink - Score: 4
Break/Fix and Retail Computer Repair
By slobu on 2017-05-16 08:27:52
My comment got vanished as usual on Slashnot.

After many years working retail I learned NOT to allow Windows Updates after a service. There's a warranty period and more often then not Windows update would find a way to destroy the fresh install of Windows.

I would update as much as I could then hope that last patch wouldn't corrupt things and make me re-install. Not going to force an anxious customer to deal with the aftermath of bad update interaction.

Just nope. Nope. Nope.

Edited 2017-05-16 08:34 UTC
Permalink - Score: 4
If we're going to make crazy comparisons
By emphyrio on 2017-05-16 08:50:15
then microsofts attempts to force windows 10 down your throat can be compared to this cia operation which used fake vaccinations.

Microsoft demonstrating that their patches do not have security as their primary concern gave some very good reasons to be suspicious of their update policy; blaming people for that is silly.

Edited 2017-05-16 08:58 UTC
Permalink - Score: 7

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