Samsung said today it will no longer automatically disable Windows updates on PCs and laptops it manufactures and will release a patch “within a few days.”
The practice was outed this week by a 22-year-old Microsoft MVP named Patrick Barker who posted a report to his personal website the explained in detail how Samsung’s SW Update service was also dropping a program onto its Windows machines that blocked Microsoft’s update mechanism.
SW Update is a service that is meant to update drivers and features. Barker discovered that it also downloads a program called Disable_Windowsupdate.exe that turns off Windows Update and forces users with each reboot to manually decide whether they want to enable updates. Uninstalling SW Update does not get rid of the persistent Disable executable, Barker said, which overrides a user’s configuration choices with regard to Windows Update.
The disclosure did not endear Microsoft.
“Windows Update remains a critical component of our security commitment to our customers. We do not recommend disabling or modifying Windows Update in any way as this could expose a customer to increased security risks. We are in contact with Samsung to address this issue.” said a Microsoft spokesperson in an email Thursday to Threatpost.
Samsung, in its statement today, made a point of noting that it values its relationship with Microsoft.
“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 said.
Windows Update is the mechanism by which consumers and businesses automatically push security updates and patches onto Windows computers and servers.
Barker’s technical explanation also included a chat log of a conversation he had with a Samsung representative, who ultimately explained why SW Update disables Windows Update.
“When you enable Windows updates, it will install the Default Drivers for all the hardware [on] laptop which may or may not work. For example if there is USB 3.0 on laptop, the ports may not work with the installation of updates. So to prevent this, SW Update tool will prevent the Windows updates,” Barker quoted the transcript.