6 Gallium

MSU "High Priority" Update?

I generally advise novices to make sure "Automatic Updates" is enabled in their Control Panel>Security Center. I think the benefits of doing this, for most, outweigh the risks of missing updates.

But once every year or two, Microsoft tries to install some update software on the sly, usually under the guise of  a scary security update, that reminds me why I do not practice what I preach. I'm talking about patches that cannot be uninstalled, or come with no EULAs, or no explicit "I accept" permissions before installing, and which seem to serve an MS agenda. Some here might recall the WGAN (Windows Genuine Advantage Notification) tool fiasco a few years back.

For example:

Tonight I found my AV (NOD32) tray icon had turned a bright orange color, which usually indicates a problem. I opened my AV, and was informed I was missing a "critical" security update from MS. Specifically it was for  the "Microsoft Search Enhancement Pack (KB2237744)" update.

Well that was news to me! So I went to MSU>Custom button, and sure enough, it was offering this update (although as a "high priority", not a "critical" update. I'm not sure I understand the difference, but both terms sound important!). Secunia PSI did not indicate I was lacking this update.

So what does this update address? "This update addresses Search Enhancement Pack Firefox add-on issue."
When I search further, I find this: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2237744

It's all gobbledygook to me. I never did install this update to software I had never installed in the first place. I have no MS toolbars in any of my browsers (much less in Firefox), to justify MS installing this in Firefox. Thank goodness, for there is no way to uninstall this unecessary update, once installed. As far as I can tell, this is not a critical or high priority update at all.

It took several reboots for my system to accept that I did not want this update. (I had to hide the update at MSU as well).

One might speculate why MS would try to inject new software or patches into Firefox. I won't. But I continue to allow no automatic updates from MS for precisely this reason. (I continue to allow my AV to auto update, but that is it).

_________________________________________


Dell Forum Member since 2,000


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4 Replies
7 Gold

Re: MSU "High Priority" Update?

for what it's worth, i just tried (custom) microsoft updates, and it didn't find anything for this pc.

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6 Gallium

Re: MSU "High Priority" Update?

I found the culprit.

It seems I somehow installed Windows Live Essentials (WLE), not to be confused with Microsoft Security Essentials. It is listed (along with other "Live" programs) in my Add/Remove List in Control Panel. This was added over a year ago.

I don't recall doing this, nor would I want to, as it includes Windows Messenger and the Windows Toolbar for IE8, which I would never allow to be installed. The other components of WLE I have no interest in:
http://explore.live.com/windows-live-essentials?os=other

So how did this unwanted program install? A search of my history of updates at MS Updates reveals I didn't get it from there. All other programs I save to my Download folder first before installing, but I don't find WLE's installer there either. I never install anything without extensive research, nor without reading the EULA.

I can only conclude it came bundled with some other update or new program, and I must be slipping in my scrutiny of what I'm installing. Or MS is even sneakier than I thought.

Fortunately, I was able to uninstall Windows Live Essentials (and all the other unwanted Live programs) in my Add/Remove Programs.

Unfortunately MS Updates still offers me the high priority Update for Microsoft Search Enhancement Pack (KB2237744), which adresses a Search Enhancement Pack Firefox add-on issue.  Why this software was injected by MS into Firefox (via WLE), I have no idea.

(Did I mention how much I distrust Microsoft?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________


Dell Forum Member since 2,000


 Use OpenDNS   MalwareBytes' Anti-Malware Free


Windows 10 Pro (64- Bit): Malwarebytes 4.x Premium, Windows Defender AV, Windows Firewall, WinPatrol PLUS, Emsisoft Emergency Kit Free and HitmanPro Free (on-demand scanners), OpenDNS, MVPS Hosts file, SpywareBlaster, Pale Moon web browser, Sandboxie, CCleaner Free.


"In the future, everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes" - Banksy

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4 Beryllium

Re: MSU "High Priority" Update?

Hey Joe - It isn't paranoia if your right! Right??????

Jeff

 

XPS 8100 i7-860(8MB Cache, 2.8GHz), 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM @ 1333MHz, 750GB SATA 3.0GB/s 16MB Cache, nVidia GeForce GTS2401GB GDDR3, Dell ST2310 Full HD Widescreen Monitor, AverMedia G2 Combo hybrid TV Tuner, dual 16x DVD+/- RW dbl layer, Microsoft LifeCam Cinema HD, Running Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit. 

If your question is answered here on the forums; PLEASE post back! It may help another user.              

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4 Beryllium

Re: MSU "High Priority" Update?

Hi Joe.

I have Windows live Essentials installed over a year ago. It came with Messenger 2009 and eventhough I chose only Messenger, WLE installed Live Call and Live Mail by itself. I now know why you distrust Microsoft, those sneaky devils:emotion-14: 

BTW I have not been offered KB2237744.

Regards.

Hernan.

Dim9200/XPS 410.C2D 2.40GHz.2GB RAM.XP Pro_86 SPk3. IE8 & FF38

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"We are all ignorant, but we don't all ignore the same things..." Albert Einstein

"When you've excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth..." Sherlock Holmes.

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