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Apple Pushes Unwanted Software To PCs, Again

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the just-updates-please dept.

Security 267

itwbennett writes "Blogger Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols wags his finger at Apple for indiscriminately pushing the iPhone Configuration Utility 2.1 update out to Windows users, since it is a tool for business system administrators to set up and administer corporate iPhones — the blogger himself (and practically every other iPhone user) not being of the corporate iPhone user persuasion. But more than just unnecessary, the update actually puts him and millions of other iPhone owners/Windows PC users at increased risk by installing 'not just a configuration program, but the Apache Web server as well,' says Vaughan-Nichols. 'A Web server like the one Apple [is] adding to your PC... [is] a gateway just asking to be hammered on by an attacker. Managed properly Apache is as safe a Web server as you'll ever find, but ordinary PC users shouldn't try to manage it, and even an expert can't do anything with it if they don't know it's there.'" Reader CWMike notes that Apple pulled the iPhone Configuration Utility from the update list after a few hours.

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first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574329)

first!!!

tucker max failure!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574359)

If there do end up being a lot of comparisons, it will go poorly, but not for us. The Hangover is probably one of the best comedies of the last ten years, but all that means is that comedy has sucked for ten years. The days of being able to pass off dogshit like The Hangover as great comedy end on September 25th. We are going to sweep in out of nowhere and shake up the comedy world. The bar will be raised.

And if you doubt me, that's cool. Stand in line behind all the other the doubters--the ones who said I couldn't be a writer, or my website couldn't be a book, or my book wouldn't be a best seller, or I couldn't write a movie, or I couldn't get that movie made, or I couldn't get the movie distributed, etc, etc, etc. They have been wrong every time in the past, and they will be wrong this time.

---- BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

Re:tucker max failure!!!!! (1)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574527)

It's September 28th. where is this comedy upset?

Get a Life! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574389)

but .. unlike windows, you have the ready option of NOT downloading it!!! You are a wuss!!

Re:Get a Life! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29575123)

You also have the option of not downloading ***dows at all if you use a real operating system.

Actually laughing out loud. (-1, Offtopic)

Romancer (19668) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574419)

From the link:

Standing around the kitchen, they smarmily chat about their own parties and offer tips for hosting a Windows 7 party. They toss their heads back and smugly laugh at each other's comments with that I-could-kill-you-with-this-cheese-knife look on their faces.

You keep hoping, searching desperately in the 6-minute, 14-second clip for some relief: A joke. A mass murder. Porn. SOMETHING.

Re:Actually laughing out loud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574491)

My bad, clicked on a brand new top article when I came back to slashdot from the Win 7 party http://www.cnbc.com/id/33007219/ [cnbc.com]

Noticed immediatly but of course I'm still getting with each attempt... "Slashdot requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment. It's been 4 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment"

Re:Actually laughing out loud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574585)

You should have claimed that Slashdot was simply duping stories from a few days ago when posts went to the wrong story.

We would have believed it.

Not really... (3, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574429)

the update actually puts him and millions of other iPhone owners/Windows PC users at increased risk by installing

Millions? Lets see here, the update was only recommended for a few hours and was quickly pulled. How many people do you think update constantly? If Windows updates are any indication (and most just install in the background with almost no user interaction) chances are very few. We aren't talking about "millions" but a few thousand in the worst case.

Re:Not really... (2, Insightful)

defireman (1365467) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574477)

There we go again...

So that's why I get this "iPhone configuration utility" on my PC when I don't even have an iPhone.

Obviously Apple has learned that installing software without user consent will only earn a slap on the wrist from the users at the very best.

Re:Not really... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574525)

No darling. We Mac users prefer to get a big slap on the ass! And more slaps and more and more and ....

So, tell me what you're wearing?

Re:Not really... (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574563)

He was talking about Apple, no the users.

Re:Not really... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574671)

Spoil sport.

Risking karma here but shovelware? You can opt out (1, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575483)

Apple is 'asking permission' to install this when you are prompted to install it via the Software Updater. You get a short list of available updates. If you click on each you'll get a lengthy description of what each does. This isn't some hidden update titled KB12345 with a description that reads 'critical security update'.

-----------------
Description of the update:

iPhone Configuration Utility lets you easily create, maintain, encrypt, and install configuration profiles, track and install provisioning profiles and authorized applications, and capture device information including console logs.

Configuration profiles are XML files that contain device security policies, VPN configuration information, Wi-Fi settings, APN settings, Exchange account settings, mail settings, and certificates that permit iPhone and iPod touch to work with your enterprise systems. For instructions on how to use iPhone Configuration Utility, see the iPhone and iPod touch Enterprise Deployment Guide, available for downloading at http://www.apple.com/support/iphone/enterprise/ [apple.com]

-----------------

It requires user intervention to install and it comes with a full text description of what the tool does. I know it's popular to hate Apple but insisting they are 'shoving this down users throats' is a misrepresentation. They offer the install and the user has to either leave it checked or uncheck it. If you've properly educated your family and friends (reading below it appears that at least some have), they simply uncheck it and ignore it if they don't know what it is. I've taught my family about software updaters. They simply called me about this one and I told them it wasn't needed and to uncheck it. Problem solved.

That said, Apple should do the right thing and disable these by default or better yet, not even offer them. Any admin worth their salt would be able to find this software if needed in about 3 Google seconds. There is no reason this should be offered in the updater except perhaps if the user already has a previous version installed. I can easily see where a user who does have an iPhone might be tempted to install this without understanding what it does, but a quick read of the update description should clue most people in that this isn't something they could use for day to day use or at least prompt them to ask someone more knowledgable.

As to the Apache software itself, does anyone know if it's enabled by default, or locked down? Apache is actually a pretty secure product if properly configured. I know the knee jerk urge to bash Apple, but does anyone know how it's configured, and if it's enabled by default? For example, every Mac comes with a built in FTP, Print Server, and Web Server, but they are all disabled by default. I know this is on the Windows platform, but surely there are ways to secure an Apache server even on that OS?

Re:Not really... (0, Troll)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575105)

So that's why I get this "iPhone configuration utility" on my PC when I don't even have an iPhone.

Because you clicked install. Apple does not, ever, install things behind your back.

Obviously Apple has learned that installing software without user consent will only earn a slap on the wrist from the users at the very best.

Apple has never installed software without user consent. The worst that has ever happened is Apple has defaulted the checkmark to "checked" on Safari (rescinded after people complained), and now this software (which, given it's extremely limited scope and appeal, seems like a mistake rather than a deliberate attempt to get the software out there).

Two other instances are iTunes bundles QuickTime (understandable, as iTunes depends on QuickTime), and the default download option for Safari is "Safari+QuickTime" (clearly visible on the download page, with an also clearly visible option to download just Safari).

But in every single case, two things have remained the same--the user has always had to initiate the install, and the user has always been able to uncheck any unneeded components.

Re:Not really... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29575337)

Hahaha. Patently false. They did not just default the checkmark to "checked". They stuck Safari in the "update" section *and* defaulted it to checked. Like they did with the iPhone configuration utility the last time I updated my iTunes. Someone less familiar with the programs installed on their computer would almost certainly have installed both of these, and since you already have to accept user agreements for updates they might not even notice the install instead of update.

Re:Not really... (5, Informative)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575351)

Defending Apple? In my slashdot?

This was a stupid move and Apple's not as innocent as you claim. Defaulting the box to checked is almost equivalent to installing it without consent and Apple knows it. In both cases you end up with users loaded down with crap they don't need and distrusting updates, which has real dollar costs. The only difference is that in the former case the tech crowd squeals a little less, so that's the route they choose.

Honestly, even if they were really stupid enough to not see any problem when they did it the first time, they have no excuse for doing it a second time. Why would they put it out and then withdraw it a few hours later? Did they forget the user backlash from the first time?

Re:Not really... (3, Informative)

NibbleG (987871) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575377)

I don't have an iPhone either, I do have a iPod Touch, but both the iPhone Config are checked when iTunes has an update. Safari is ALWAYS checked, even though I have never installed it.

Re:Not really... (2)

gid (5195) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575177)

I'm pretty sure I was requested to install the "iphone configuration utility" not once, but twice. Enough for me to disable the apple software update task. What's bad? I don't have a iphone, itouch or any other apple hardware device, I don't even have itunes installed, just quicktime.

Re:Not really... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574497)

I'm sorry, but this is NOT even close to true. It has been offered for at least a week, and came up again on my machine last night. I've had it "offered" several times now on both machines. I don't know who first said it was only a few hours but that is just dead wrong.

Re:Not really... (2, Informative)

dreamt (14798) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574619)

Thank you. And in addition, it was listed in a check-box list of items. True, it was enabled by default, but the user still had to hit the button to install it.

Re:Not really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29575279)

The average windows user (and the average mac user for that matter) will install anything Apple suggests. It is technically/morally/etc different than a push, but it has the exact same affect to them. (And remember, if you're reading this, you are not average.)

Re:Not really... (5, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575481)

Thank you. And in addition, it was listed in a check-box list of items. True, it was enabled by default, but the user still had to hit the button to install it.

About 95% of all adware/malware crap, like those browser toolbars, uses precisely this technique to get installed. It has long stopped being considered adequate. The default for any "extra software" should always be off (Google, I'm looking at you, too).

Re:Not really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29575131)

Agreed. I've seen this included in the updates as well, also for at least a week not just for a couple hours today, and the default was to download and install the iPhone utility.

Re:Not really... (1)

thepainguy (1436453) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575199)

I have been offered it at least twice a couple of weeks apart, including this weekend.

Re:Not really... (4, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574509)

the update actually puts him and millions of other iPhone owners/Windows PC users at increased risk by installing

Millions? Lets see here, the update was only recommended for a few hours and was quickly pulled. How many people do you think update constantly? If Windows updates are any indication (and most just install in the background with almost no user interaction) chances are very few. We aren't talking about "millions" but a few thousand in the worst case.

Well iTunes has been installing the Apple Updater Thingy by default for a long time, so the question is how often that checks for updates. And according to Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/09/apple-pushes-unwanted-enterprise-tool-to-windows-users.ars) the update was actually pushed "earlier this month" and only came to the attention of the online media today. It sounds like it was pulled a few hours after it hit half the computer-related news sites, not a few hours after it was pushed out to users.

Re:Not really... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574545)

Do you seriously not understand the difference between having something show up on a list of updates that are available and actually having it download and install behind your back?

Re:Not really... (4, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574603)

My sister in law runs itunes on her windows laptop. When she bought it I installed firefox for her to use then she called me to report some strange behavior. She had somehow started running Safari. Firefox had disappeared. So either it happened automatically or she was tricked into installing it.

Re:Not really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574753)

My sister in law runs itunes on her windows laptop. When she bought it I installed firefox for her to use then she called me to report some strange behavior. She had somehow started running Safari. Firefox had disappeared. So either it happened automatically or she was tricked into installing it.

Or she just went ahead and clicked OK. It's OK to admit that your sister in law might have done that.

Re:Not really... (5, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575007)

My sister in law runs itunes on her windows laptop. When she bought it I installed firefox for her to use then she called me to report some strange behavior. She had somehow started running Safari. Firefox had disappeared. So either it happened automatically or she was tricked into installing it.

Or she just went ahead and clicked OK. It's OK to admit that your sister in law might have done that.

She is not sophisticated enough to understand the implications. iTunes should manage music. Not the operating system.

Re:Not really... (-1, Troll)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575249)

Sounds like she's not sophisticated enough to use a computer. Sorry, we all hope that one day computers will be like cars - a few weeks in driving school and then study for a little test and then go try to get your license ... oh wait, I don't believe any of that is required to get a computer or access the internet. Dang, I wonder what else there might be that is very complex and potentially dangerous that is available to the unwashed and ill-informed. Perhaps hard drugs would be a good analogy.

Re:Not really... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29575353)

I had that happen too

I was at my sister's house this weekend and Saturday at around 11 am CST I saw it pop up on her old Dell machine.

The big problem I had with it was what it was called which was "iPhone Configuration Utility" and the kicker is she owns an iPhone. Which confused me because she had nothing installed on there for her iPhone, only her iPod. So there I was debating on whether or not to install this for her because it sounded applicable and useful to her. I didn't install it but if I did, I would pissed to know that her five year old piece of crap Windows machine is now running an Apache server. Additionally, I had to uncheck Safari. Then I have to go into msconfig and uncheck the damned Quicktime (try installing iTunes without that!) run on startup shit that is always reset when you install iTunes. Because everyone wants that running non stop in the background especially when you have only 512 MB of SDRAM. So I did the little dance and I've bitched about it before but no one seems to care. It's bloatware and it sucks. Her computer can't even run iTunes videos, she just uses it for music but no one seems to care about that. Apple's the king of usability, design and interface chic!

Now we get this story where someone points it out. Do we see people roll in and viciously attack Apple like we all would attack Microsoft if IE8 had Bing's Javascript Attackable Toolbar checked by default on installation? Or Microsoft's indexing service that eats up all your cycles whenever it feels like it? No, no, what we get is "there were maybe a thousand people, relax" or "it's not pushing, you could have unchecked it" or "the Windows people don't know how to update anyway."

Unbelievable. How many free passes does Apple get before you start to question their infallibility? Hey, everyone makes mistakes but you guys are dreaming up probables and likely scenarios that somehow excuse Apple. Why?

Re:Not really... (5, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575391)

Yes, operating systems should periodically pop up cryptic dialogues asking you to solve an obscure computer science problem, and if you get it wrong then it changes your wallpaper and your file type associations.

There's no reason to make it harder than it has to be, which is what Apple's doing by presenting users with an option they didn't ask for and don't know how to answer.

Re:Not really... (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575425)

Like it or not, most people have to use computers now. Apple have a reputation as being good UI designers. It is a shame they have this abusive approach to users of a different vendors OS. My wifes sister previously used Ubuntu. I will try to steer her in that direction on her old windows laptop, now that she has bought an apple laptop. I am sure that the niggling updates from Apple contributed to that.

Re:Not really... (2, Interesting)

NibbleG (987871) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575493)

In complete honesty, most people are in the same boat as aforementioned sister. My father has a PhD, my twin brother is an architect and my sister is, well she is a photographer, but still these are smart people. One uses a Mac exclusively, one uses MS exclusively, the third uses both, but I am constantly being called to take care of things because they aren't computer people. Just like most people here probably don't even change their own oil, which is actually easier than installing Windows once you get the hang of it. The fact that any software company defaults extra software to be installed betting that the user won't know/think that they don't want or need it isn't right, but unfortunately there isn't anything stopping them. I know for a fact that have never, with one exception, read the entire "Terms of Agreement" of anything I installed. Seriously, who does?

Re:Not really... (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575025)

It just works!

Even when you don't want it to, apparently.

Re:Not really... (4, Insightful)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575219)

It would have been an "Opt-Out" option, which is nearly as bad as the common theme for windows apps and damn toolbars or other "partner" software. If a friend desperately needs/wants iTunes and I know for a fact they will install it against my advice anyway, I use this [msfn.org] method. iTunes, without full quicktime, no updater, no bonjour, updater etc. I stipulate that I won't fix their machine if they choose to update it themselves. It works, keeps them happy and saves me the effort of diagnosing a slow computer.

Why an F'ing music syncing application needs something like 8 persistently running services is absolutely beyond me.

Re:Not really... (5, Insightful)

Plasmic (26063) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574937)

Do you seriously not understand the difference between having something show up on a list of updates that are available and actually having it download and install behind your back?

How much research do you think people do before checking a box in an iTunes dialog? The onus is on Apple to not offer stupid things that would coincidentally inflate the installed base of an enterprise utility.

Do you seriously not understand the use case of a typical end-user, e.g. teenager, that thinks they want the 'iPhone Configuration Utility' since it's offered by Apple iTunes and they ... have an iPhone? "Hey, I might want to configure my iPhone. And I've always downloaded every other iTunes update with iPhone in the title." (Anyone that can read the description and decipher that it's for enterprise device management doesn't fit the definition of "typical end-user".)

The results speak for themselves: millions of users installed this software because it looked like a standard iPhone update.

Re:Not really... (4, Insightful)

timothyf (615594) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575047)

Users don't read dialog boxes. It could've had red flashing lights around it, and it wouldn't have mattered. It would still have remained checked by default and users would click the "OK" button to make the thing go away.

Also, think about the actual action they'd need to perform to not install the software. Sure, it's easy to say "just uncheck it," but think about what that means. Unchecking the dialog box means that you have to know what the iPhone Configuration Utility is and why you absolutely don't need it. Unchecking it means risking that something will go wrong, because you didn't install something that your computer told you you needed.

*That* is why it's a problem.

Re:Not really... (1)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575395)

Users don't read dialog boxes. It could've had red flashing lights around it, and it wouldn't have mattered.

Yeah I get those at the bottom of websites all the time, usually because I'm the Xth visitor etc. For some reason, the prize is always a bunch of forms to fill out promising more prizes. (this is a joke, by the way)

Re:Not really... (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575543)

http://xkcd.com/570/ [xkcd.com] would like to talk to you about licensing that joke :)

Re:Not really... (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575361)

Well, when users are told 'your iPod won't work anymore unless you click ok', the average user will just click ok. Sure, it's no problem for you and I, but less than a month after I went off to college (currently a sophomore) my parents' computer suddenly had safari as the default browser (which alone was a mess - the computer's 8 years old now, the latest safari absolutely _crawls_ on it. But then again, so does Firefox. And IE. Only browser with decent performance is Chrome). Also had quicktime as the default player for...well, pretty much anything that iTunes wasn't the default player for. The average user sees a box popup that says 'you need to update this', and it's for an app they use all the time, so they click 'ok'. And the apple updater by default checks quite frequently. Like I'm pretty sure it's at _least_ once a week. So if the problem has been out there for weeks...odds are a _lot_ of people have had it installed without having any idea what they were installing.

Re:Not really... (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574637)

That utility was there for far more than a few hours.
It was there last night, over 5 days after the initial upgrade to itunes was announced.

Re:Not really... (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574771)

I was at my sister's house this weekend and Saturday at around 11 am CST I saw it pop up on her old Dell machine.

The big problem I had with it was what it was called which was "iPhone Configuration Utility" and the kicker is she owns an iPhone. Which confused me because she had nothing installed on there for her iPhone, only her iPod. So there I was debating on whether or not to install this for her because it sounded applicable and useful to her. I didn't install it but if I did, I would pissed to know that her five year old piece of crap Windows machine is now running an Apache server. Additionally, I had to uncheck Safari. Then I have to go into msconfig and uncheck the damned Quicktime (try installing iTunes without that!) run on startup shit that is always reset when you install iTunes. Because everyone wants that running non stop in the background especially when you have only 512 MB of SDRAM. So I did the little dance and I've bitched about it before but no one seems to care. It's bloatware and it sucks. Her computer can't even run iTunes videos, she just uses it for music but no one seems to care about that. Apple's the king of usability, design and interface chic!

Now we get this story where someone points it out. Do we see people roll in and viciously attack Apple like we all would attack Microsoft if IE8 had Bing's Javascript Attackable Toolbar checked by default on installation? Or Microsoft's indexing service that eats up all your cycles whenever it feels like it? No, no, what we get is "there were maybe a thousand people, relax" or "it's not pushing, you could have unchecked it" or "the Windows people don't know how to update anyway."

Unbelievable. How many free passes does Apple get before you start to question their infallibility? Hey, everyone makes mistakes but you guys are dreaming up probables and likely scenarios that somehow excuse Apple. Why?

Re:Not really... (2, Interesting)

Miszou72 (927439) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574893)

Quicktime is the exact reason why I run iTunes in its own Virtual Machine.

Re:Not really... (3, Interesting)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575061)

I love how it changes the registry to force the browser to load QuickTime for every PNG file on a page. Fuck does that take forever to fix! (Or load a page, for that matter).

Re:Not really... (2, Insightful)

justindarc (1046048) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575075)

Quicktime is the exact reason why I run iTunes in its own Virtual Machine.

MSIE is the exact reason why I run Windows in its own Virtual Machine.

Re:Not really... (-1, Troll)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575023)

How many free passes does Microsoft get before you start to question their infallibility?

There fixed that for ya

Re:Not really... (1)

roaddemon (666475) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575215)

You're a troll and/or apple fanboy, but I'll bite. Since when has Slashdot been known for giving m$ free passes?

Re:Not really... (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575227)

I see what you did there. Very original.

The # of Free Passes (5, Insightful)

weston (16146) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575339)

How many free passes does Apple get before you start to question their infallibility?

Probably about as many as there are strawman constructions of people's conceptions of Apple as a company.

Saw this update a week ago! (1)

ancarett (221103) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574805)

The update has been pushing this software for days -- my twelve-year old called me to the family PC last week to ask about the update install. If I hadn't trained her well, she would have assumed it was okay since she knows we have Apple's Quicktime installed (and the update cleverly bundles Quicktime with iTunes, which I don't want on any computer, especially one with a nearly-full HD).

I hadn't looked into the iPhone configuration part though, like the blogger mentioned, I was irked since there's never been anything like an iPhone in this house. Knowing now what was involved, I'm glad we dodged that bullet!

This whole experience goes to show that corporations can all fall into traps of not thinking or knowing what one part's doing and not really caring until someone makes enough noise to get their attention. I don't trust Apple anymore than I trust Microsoft. Nor should anyone blindly trust these corporations: they don't have your best interests at heart!

iTunes application bugs (2, Interesting)

PaKL (1236442) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574469)

Personally I hope they spend more time on the main iTunes program itself. Mine always freezes if I allow the program to sync as soon as the iPhone is connected! Disabling that function is the only way I have found allows me to connect the iPhone without having iTunes stall.
Is this the second update to version 9 of iTunes already? It seems just last week the 9.01 (?) was released!

Any verification on the Apache web server? (4, Insightful)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574471)

No one else reporting on this "issue" (it was a mistake folks - chill out) has mentioned installing Apache, which would definitely be a huge issue.

Has anyone here independently seen this supposed Apache installation?

Re:Any verification on the Apache web server? (5, Informative)

zn0k (1082797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574567)

I have the iPhone Configuration Utility installed on a work machine as we support a few dozen iPhones at work. Just checked, and there's no Apache process (just an iPCU.exe) when running the app. One of the links in the summary also mentioned using a browser against localhost:3000 for configuration, netstat shows no process listening on that port.

Re:Any verification on the Apache web server? (3, Interesting)

zn0k (1082797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574601)

Should have checked more carefully before posting - the first link from the summary in turn links to http://www.itexpertmag.com/telecoms/supporting-mobile-email-on-multiple-handsets [itexpertmag.com] , which mentions a Ruby web service on port 3000 for iPhone configuration. Again, there's nothing listening on port 3000. I have no idea why the first summary link uses to support the idea that Apache gets installed.

Re:Any verification on the Apache web server? (2, Insightful)

reydeyo (1126459) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574625)

EVERY Mac OS X installation comes with Apache [oreillynet.com] . It's off by default and you're never asked to turn it on (you can turn it on system preferences though). If the mere existence of a web server on a computer is security risk, then everyone with a mac is screwed!

Re:Any verification on the Apache web server? (2, Informative)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575355)

Except that we are not talking about OS X. We are talking about MS Windows, which does not come with Apache, so that is why it might be installed.I see not documentation on it being installed. I see a number of items that must be installed to support the utility.

Re:Any verification on the Apache web server? (1)

justindarc (1046048) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575041)

At least it wasn't IIS.

Re:Any verification on the Apache web server? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575083)

What, the web server with virtually no security vulnerabilities in the last 4 years in the two most recent iterations?

Yeah, demon forbid that get installed.

Re:Any verification on the Apache web server? (1, Informative)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575161)

Re:Any verification on the Apache web server? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29575507)

Whoa fluffy. The parent post by Kalraith was claiming that IIS was "the web server with virtually no security vulnerabilities in the last 4 years in the two most recent iterations".

He was indirectly claiming that IIS is more secure than Apache. You were probably hit by the idiotic "reparenting" feature of slashdot, where parents below the abbreviate threshold, of a post above the full threshold, are completely hidden, making a post look like the grandparent was the parent.

If a post is above the full threshold, the proper thing to do is not to hide any ancestor posts, but to merely abbreviate them. Therefore the ancestry of any post is clear. But Slashdot is badly broken, and has only been getting worse. *sigh*.

Re:Any verification on the Apache web server? (1)

justindarc (1046048) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575263)

What, the web server with virtually no security vulnerabilities in the last 4 years in the two most recent iterations?

Yeah, demon forbid that get installed.

The last time I checked, IIS 6.0 is considered "in the two most recent iterations".. From earlier this month: http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=4170 [zdnet.com]

Re:Any verification on the Apache web server? (2, Informative)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575071)

No I can't find the Apache server other than the one I installed on purpose.

pushes? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574473)

I'm not so sure if asking me if I'd like to update/install something is the same as having it "pushed" to me. I had the Apple Software Update thing pop up on me the other day, I unchecked the items I didn't want (the iPhone Config Util being one of them), and I went ahead and updated the software that I did want. So how exactly are they "forcing" this one me?

Re:pushes? (3, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574661)

Not everyone is a slashdotter. In fact, you'd be less vulnerable even if you install it just because you're a techie and post on a site that bills itself as 'News for Nerds'. So, the name (iPhone Config Util) itself sounds like something an iPhone user would want.

Re:pushes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574727)

Alright. That's fine then. As was mentioned in another post (by one of those "techie" slashdot folk), the article is completely off base in assuming that Apache gets installed/turned on when the utility is downloaded. At best, anyone who downloads it and never touches it won't have it do anything more than take up a few MB of disk space. But then that wouldn't be anywhere near as sensational a headline. That is, unless you have some ACTUAL PROOF that this thing is the supposed security risk it's being made out to be.

Re:pushes? (1)

BeaverAndrew (1645577) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575003)

I agree, the average iPhone user may be turned on by the name of the app. Personally, I can't stand using iTunes, Quicktime, etc. on my PC, so I'm sure this [useless] application will be no different.

Re:pushes? (2, Insightful)

thepainguy (1436453) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575221)

They should give us the option of not being offered it. I have tried several times to deselect it from the offer list, but that's not an option. Instead, you have to notice it in the update list. I'm not worried about what I am going to do, but about what my wife and kids are going to do. They aren't as tech savvy as me.

iTunes is a trojan in most business environments. (2, Interesting)

Jim Efaw (3484) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575529)

I had the Apple Software Update thing pop up on me the other day, I unchecked the items I didn't want (the iPhone Config Util being one of them), and I went ahead and updated the software that I did want. So how exactly are they "forcing" this one me?

Wait until the Apple Software Update pops up again and you discover that all the items that have even a minor version number change are back — even though you selected "ignore this software" — and not only back, but checked by default again, because, even though you refused to install an enormous new program when it was on version 4.3.2, surely you'll want to install it now that it's 4.3.2.1.

I have several business clients that feel a need for QuickTime. A couple of them even paid for QuickTime Pro. They certainly do not need iTunes. Yet, even though they paid money for the product, it won't stop trying (at least as of the last time I checked this summer) to trick them into installing 120MB of extra software as an "update" over and over. I've already had to uninstall iTunes twice for clients because Apple makes it look like it's a QuickTime-related "update" so important that it starts popping up again after a couple weeks (new version!) even after being ignored. There is no excuse for ASU's resetting the "ignore" flag on uninstalled software except to trojan machines with iTunes and Safari behind the computer tech's back and hope a large portion of users think that's just how their computers work now.

When IE and Windows Media Player were doing these kinds of things in Windows 9x, everyone howled, yet at least Windows Media Player doesn't embed itself in the startup registry where everyday users can't remove it. iTunes does.

Likely Accidental (2, Interesting)

iMouse (963104) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574573)

Apple only pushes the iPhone Configuration Utility updates to those who have the utility installed already. This is the case with my home and my work computers where only my work computer contained a previous installation of the iPhone Configuration Utility.

It appears to be more of a screw-up by Apple rather than the intent of pushing unwanted software.

Re:Likely Accidental (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574681)

Incorrect. Apple Updater has been popping up every time my wife opens iTunes (and sometimes even when she doesn't) asking her to install Bonjour, Safari, MobileMe, QuickTime and the iPhone Configuration Utility. The config utility is a new addition from a few weeks ago. We certainly don't have that tool already and it is most certainly part of Apple's continued ploy to get her to just click Okay and "accidentally" install all of that crap on her PC. There's no way to tell the updater to only offer relevant iTunes/iPod updates -- it's a complete pain in the ass.

The bit about Apache is a mistake, but the point of this article is 100% dead-on. It's like the Java VM update trying to install the Yahoo Toolbar every damn time it runs (with the boxes pre-checked for my wife's convenience... thanks).

Re:Likely Accidental (3, Insightful)

Plasmic (26063) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574773)

Incorrect. Apple Updater has been popping up every time my wife opens iTunes (and sometimes even when she doesn't) asking her to install Bonjour, Safari, MobileMe, QuickTime and the iPhone Configuration Utility.

Can't argue with that!

And aren't we aware of Apple's iPhone in the enterprise push with IT buyers? Apple would love to say, "With over 10 million installs, the iPhone Configuration Utility is widely adopted by corporate IT departments". Nevermind that 99% of those are due to the "accidental" installation.

You also have to ask yourself, have they ever done anything to indicate their shyness with regard to software installation? QuickTime takes over every single audio/video playback association, both in Explorer and with browser-embedded media, and even gets its own system tray and desktop icons. Same goes for iTunes with its "uncheck if you don't want it" policy for the apps mentioned above.

I just don't see why we'd give Apple the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Re:Likely Accidental (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575141)

Yeah the bit about Apache is bad but the rest is completely trustworthy, sure, sure, what color is the sky where you are? Well I had the tool installed but I uninstalled it because we decided to use a different machine to administer the phones. When I run the updater utility it doesn't try to re-install it. I can't find even the remnants of it on my system. But don't let that get in your way. 100% dead on it is then!

RDF much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29575067)

It appears to be more of a screw-up by Apple rather than the intent of pushing unwanted software.

Do you believe that the Sony rootkit was just an April fool joke and that Windows Genuine Advantage cures cancer?

Phaggart.

Re:Likely Accidental (1)

thepainguy (1436453) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575231)

This is wrong. I don't have the app installed and they still pushed it to me.

Clearly done in error (2, Interesting)

danaris (525051) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574583)

The previous ones were probably Apple deliberately (and stupidly) trying to push its software to Windows machines that didn't have it already.

Given that almost no one needs the iPhone Configuration Utility among regular consumer-type users, I can see no benefit to Apple in deliberately pushing it out, and thus conclude that it was just a mistake.

Dan Aris

Apple haters ahoy! (0, Troll)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574697)

Last time I worked on a windows PC I updated the Sun Java installation and had to uncheck boxes to avoid installing several unwanted things (toolbars, openoffice, etc). Where is the outrage? Bah! People just love to hate on Apple...

Re:Apple haters ahoy! (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574765)

Just because Sun does it doesn't mean it's a good practice, from Apple or Sun.

Two wrongs don't make a right, didn't you ever learn that?

Re:Apple haters ahoy! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575139)

Two wrongs don't make a right, didn't you ever learn that?

Where did he say that it did? His point would appear to be that people are treating Apple more harshly than others for the same transgression. I'm sure it's not caused by an abnormally powerful fanbionic flux or anything like that.

Re:Apple haters ahoy! (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575469)

When we get an article about Sun, we'll bash Sun in a heartbeat. In the meantime this is an article about Apple so expect Apple bashing.

Is this really all that complicated?

Re:Apple haters ahoy! (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575165)

Microsoft regularly reboots my machine without any intervention on my part. Where's the outrage.

Re:Apple haters ahoy! (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575375)

Time for a trip to the nearest re-education center. MS good. Apple Bad. We've always been at war with Eurasia.

Re:Apple haters ahoy! (1)

topperharley122 (1646173) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575437)

You either need to change your automatic update settings or you have a re-curring error, in which the system is set to automatically restart. To turn it off: Right-click on My Computer-> Click the Properties option-> Click the Advanced tab->Click the Settings button under Startup and Recovery->Uncheck the Automatically restart check box That should take care of all the automatic restarts that happen, unless something else is going. I had that happening all the time until I changed it up. Silly Microsoft.

Re:Apple haters ahoy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29575463)

Just because Sun does it doesn't mean it's a good practice, from Apple or Sun. Two wrongs don't make a right, didn't you ever learn that?

Whoooosh.
You're a moron, and so is the asshole who modded GP troll. Fucking slashtards... Half of you are no different from religious fanatics, with your false dichotomies and double standards.

Re:Apple haters ahoy! (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574823)

Java didn't try to install anything last time I updated it.

It has an ad for OpenOffice.org in the installer (which utilizes Java for some bits and pieces) but that's it.

Re:Apple haters ahoy! (2, Informative)

Intron (870560) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574921)

They push Yahoo! toolbar unless you uncheck the box.

Try again... (3, Informative)

spywhere (824072) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574955)

Sun was pushing the Bing toolbar with a pre-checked box until last week... now they're pushing Carbonite 30-day trialware the same way.

pulled, not pushed. (2, Insightful)

NivenHuH (579871) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574701)

Software updates are pulled from the client, not pushed to the client. There's an important difference between the two and the phrases shouldn't be used interchangeably. For software pushes, see: Amazon Kindle + 1984 book deletion

dumb... (0, Offtopic)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574735)

...ass

in other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574809)

....apple has released a trojan/virus?!?!?

get a rope...

Typical Apple... pushing crapware (3, Insightful)

spywhere (824072) | more than 5 years ago | (#29574911)

When I build a Windows box, I turn off QuickTime's default automatic updates and delete the shortcut from the Start menu.
(I also install Flash and Java in front of the customer, so I can show them the "already checked box" scam).

I enjoy getting forced to install shitware. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29574983)

I need a new MP3 player and the only thing keeping me from getting an iPod touch is the fact I need the complete pile of shit that is iTunes for PC to sync with it since Apple has done everything humanly possible to prevent other programs from syncing with it.

Thanks, you're basically costing yourself a sale. Not that it matters with all of the Steve Jobs knob slobbers out there.

Fuck iTunes.

Re:I enjoy getting forced to install shitware. (1)

Borommakot_15 (1259510) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575057)

http://www.getsharepod.com/ [getsharepod.com]

No iTunes

That was easy.

Re:I enjoy getting forced to install shitware. (0, Troll)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575205)

Actually you are a total idiot and didn't bother to even look for other software. There's plenty and it works very well for iPods.

Got the prompt at least twice.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29575127)

I only have Safari installed to test how websites look in it (no QuickTime and definitely no iTunes) and I got the prompt to install this nonsense a couple times over the past day or two. Now I need to make a mental note to go look and turn off whatever Apple Updater (ugh, I hate the "updater" name) is running in background.

Quicktime Alternative (3, Informative)

Derwood5555 (828126) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575185)

Quicktime Alternative, FTW.. No iTunes, no iPhone, no iToilet...

Re:Quicktime Alternative (2, Informative)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575301)

Even better, VLC media player. Hardly a need to install anything! http://www.videolan.org/vlc/ [videolan.org]

Apple can KMA (2, Funny)

topperharley122 (1646173) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575343)

First Jobs steals a liver and now he's trying to take over my computer. I'm pissed.

I RTFA (1)

AnAdventurer (1548515) | more than 5 years ago | (#29575393)

That dude way the fuck overreacted. He needs to get over his bad self.
  • When /. let's ME moderate for a little while, you know their shit is fucked up.
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