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NTBUGTRAQ Bashes Windows Update

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the would-you-like-your-computer-to-stop-working?-[y/n] dept.

Windows 565

BigBadBri writes "Russ Cooper, keeper of the NTBUGTRAQ list, has a few concerns (to put it mildly) with the trustworthiness of Microsoft's Windows Update."

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Trust? (4, Funny)

DJ Rubbie (621940) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964173)

Since when did we trust Microsoft / Windows?

Re:Trust? (3, Insightful)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964226)

True that... with each newer operating system and update I see more and more 'report blah blah to Microsoft to improve quality'. It happens in Windows Media Player, whenever a process crashes, and probably other places as well.

How soon until they don't tell you that and just start reporting your web browsing favorites and selling that information to others?

Re:Trust? (4, Interesting)

dre80 (613210) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964350)

If anything, messages like that are a late attempt to catch up. Netscape/Mozilla have had the Quality Feedback Agent at least since the Netscape 4 era, and it was hailed as an example to follow. Well, like it or not, the example has been followed. MS may well not treat the information the same way, but tracking bugs has become increasingly important as applications get increasingly larger and more complex.

I don't trust Microsoft in general, but in this case they've yet to prove that their intentions are any other than making quality software.

hahaha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964175)

frist cunty post, mmm dupes

FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964185)

I SAW A ROBOT WITH TWO WHEELS

First post, from soviet russia (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964186)

In Soviet Russia, I hate you all. Suck on that, losers...

I don't trust Microsoft... (0, Insightful)

BJZQ8 (644168) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964189)

I don't trust Microsoft either. More often than not, their "patches" break more than they fix anyway.

Re:I don't trust Microsoft... (2, Informative)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964318)

"More often than not"? Really? That hasn't been my experience. In fact, I haven't experienced a single problem due to a Windows update.

Please give your basis for that statement. How many updates have you installed and how many things have broken because of those updates? Are you speaking for yourself only or the population at large? If what you state is true then others must have the same problem, that more things are broken than fixed by Windows updates. Certainly there must be more on the web about this - can you provide any links to supporting information?

Re:I don't trust Microsoft... (4, Informative)

Lord Kestrel (91395) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964354)

Although I haven't had many problems with them, installing Win2k SP3 on a Vmware image causes it to fail to boot. Microsoft has a knowledge base article on it, but in order to receive the patch, you need to *call* them, which is damn expensive.

Re:I don't trust Microsoft... (1)

Solar Limb (673519) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964373)

"'More often than not'? Really? That hasn't been my experience. In fact, I haven't experienced a single problem due to a Windows update." Agreed. I've never had a problem, and I've found the patches and updates for XP haven't degraded my system one bit. My XP Pro desktop rig and T40 are rock-solid.

Re:I don't trust Microsoft... (1)

jgerman (106518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964395)

Just to add to the list, upgrading XP I forget which upgrade breaks the sound card drivers for a Diamond Monster sound card.


I'm no fan of Windows, though I doubt the breaks more than it fixes theory.

Re:I don't trust Microsoft... (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964511)

hrm.. I've got every patch installed on this XP box. Haven't had one that broke anything yet...

Re:I don't trust Microsoft... (3, Insightful)

somethingwicked (260651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964345)

BS BS BS BS BS BS BS

BS BS BS BS BS BS BS

Yes, their patches do on occasions break things. Not defending that, they need to be more careful sometimes...

But "MORE OFTEN THAN NOT" is FAR from the truth, and I am sure you know this. But, with your M$ $ucks patch sewn directly on your forehead, you kinda hafta make remarks like this, right?

On the few occasions things break they are rarely of the "blow up the server" variety, and MORE OFTEN THAN NOT *grin* they are of the "when the stars align" kind that you HEAR about in bug reports but don't experience first hand.

Re:I don't trust Microsoft... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964484)

While I disagree that it breaks more than it fixes, I have had some bad experiences with windows update. One update managed to kill the HTML rendering part of IE. Not a huge problem, since I don't use IE as a browser, but then you look at all the other things that use that component. Including the add/remove software dialog box. Meaning that there was no way to uninstall the update without a complete re-install. Nice.

In case of slashdotting, (-1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964190)

Well, looks like Windows Update has once again shown how untrustworthy Microsoft can be. For at least the past several days Windows Update has been providing consumers with false information. WU users would connect, initiate the scan, the scan would complete and inform the user their system needed no patches. Wonderful, a clean bill of health, or so the consumer thought.

In reality, some flaw in the Windows Update process has led it to conclude that a system, in need of critical security patches, is instead clean and good to go on the Internet. In other words, if the security check fails, tell consumers they're just fine and don't need anything.

It's good that we don't need elaborate checklists and voodoo mojo security tools to check our systems; we only have to make a quick visit to Windows Update to be sure. Finally, with the introduction of Automatic Updates, we no longer even need to make that visit manually, we can trust that Microsoft will supply us with a properly tested security patch within 24 hours and patch our systems for us (unless we're running Windows XP and got MS03-013 when it was released to WU.)

A year ago I complained about Windows Update, with its registry only checking and myriad other problems. At the time Microsoft was distributing Shavlik's HFNetchk, and so at least with tools from Microsoft we could see the error of Windows Update's ways. That cry of disgust caused Microsoft to yank HFNetchk, because they hadn't licensed it and didn't have a formal agreement for its promotion. "Consumers be damned, make darn sure they're not getting conflicting information from us" seemed to be the rallying cry at Microsoft.

I questioned the Trustworthy Computing Initiative's value then because of that debacle. When asked by the media at the new year how I felt the Trustworthy Computing Initiative had progressed, I gave it an "F", or failing grade. Some wondered why, and pointed to things which the public hadn't seen as justification for TCI's benefits. Seems too many never bothered to read Bill Gates' memo. They failed to grasp the fact that TCI was in response to a public perception that Microsoft was not sufficiently trustworthy.

Has Microsoft done anything to change that perception? No, absolutely not I say! (emphatically)

Let me put it this way. Since the inception of Windows Update millions of computers have been infected with Trojan's that are today allowing individuals to conduct en-masse DDoS attacks. Read that how you want, but its a fact. Here's another. Since the inception of Windows Update Microsoft has gone to producing patches almost every week. Few if any business' have found Microsoft trustworthy enough to permit automatic updates. So since the inception of Windows Update Microsoft has increased the number of times an Administrator needs to patch every Windows system in his/her company. Since Windows Update Microsoft has made it increasingly difficult for an Administrator to avoid Windows Update. Despite the fact that at no time has Windows Update ever proven itself trustworthy, Microsoft continue to force you to use this unreliable mechanism more.

If anyone is wondering why Windows Update is a dog, again, consider the posts this week to NTBugtraq. You wouldn't believe the number of individual experiences I received regarding problems with Windows Update. No doubt Microsoft receives far more than I do. I can't believe that huge corporations are having the problems they are, nor can I believe they haven't received a reasonable answer from Microsoft as to why the problems exist. The fact that so many possible solutions were seen to correct problems with Windows Update also suggests the environment is far less stable than it even appears to me.

Consider, to use Windows Update reliably I need to;

1. Ensure my system date is reasonably correct. 2. Ensure my IE language setting hasn't disappeared for some reason. Even if it hasn't disappeared, try adding another language too. 3. Ensure I don't have a network share connected which has more capacity than the drives on my own machine. 4. Ensure that I am not setting up a new system and have set IE to check for certificate revocation. 5. Ensure I'm checking from the system I want patches for, meaning all of the systems in my environment must be the same OS or I, as Administrator, have multiple systems to check for updates. 6. Try HTTPS instead of HTTP if it says I need no patches, it may not have checked properly. 7. Wonder if the backend systems for Windows Update are down, under maintenance, or just configured incorrectly if it says I need no patches, it may not have checked properly. 8. Try MBSA, that's handled by a different development group than Windows Update so the errors might not occur in both environments, or may be different, so you can then have fun deducing the differences yourself. 9. Wait some undetermined period of time and try again! 10. Contact Microsoft and not get a response.

And with that list can anyone say Windows Update is reliable, or to use their words, trustworthy computing?

But hey, what's Windows Update after-all. Its just a consumer platform for trying to fix a problem which really isn't Microsoft's after all (read the Breakseal.) Corporate users aren't using Windows Update, they're running Software Update Services...if they have a Windows 2000 system that is, and if they have one for every group they're trying to update, and if have a test environment to check every fix, and if they don't mind handling a very long list of patches they've chosen not to deploy...etc...

If anyone was serious about beginning to tackle the trustworthiness of Microsoft, they'd have done something a year ago when I first called Windows Update a dog. See for yourself how much michael sucks, have a look at my previous musings and then tell me what's been fixed or improved. If, like me, you see nothing...then the Trustworthy Computing Initiative once again gets an "F";

The following URLs are wrapped to 2 lines, you'll have to piece them together for them to work;

<http://ntbugtraq.ntadvice.com/default.asp?pid=36& sid=1&A2=ind0204&L=ntbugtraq&F=P&S=&P=6886> [ntadvice.com]

< http://ntbugtraq.ntadvice.com/default.asp?pid=36& sid=1&A2=ind0204&L=ntbugtraq&F=P&S=&P=6990> [ntadvice.com]

Hello, Microsoft, are you listening???

Everyone is free to reprint, quote, or forward any or all of this message anywhere they'd like, preferably to places where people with more influence with Microsoft than I will see it.

Cheers, Russ - NTBugtraq Editor

p.s. Here's a thought, how about getting Windows Update to remove Trojans??...;-]

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooo EXECUTIVE SEMINAR: "Information Security and the Disappearing Perimeter"

Join Peter S. Tippett, PhD, M.D., the industry's foremost authority on network security, and TruSecure for a free breakfast seminar on "The Impact of the Disappearing Perimeter." Learn how you can proactively protect your organization against today's newest threats, including those from remote users, business partners and wireless. To register, and to view the full list of dates and cities, click below or call 1-888-396-8348.

http://www.trusecure.com/offer/s0096/ [trusecure.com]

before I read on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964246)

Who is "WU" and why is M$ picking on him?

Re:before I read on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964287)

Who is "WU" and why is M$ picking on him?

Windows Update = WU p.s. if that was supposed to be a joke, it wasn't funny.

Excellent! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964275)

See for yourself how much michael sucks

Hahahaha, that's cheer brilliance.

Re:In case of slashdotting, (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964295)

See for yourself how much michael sucks
Something tells me that wasn't in the original...

M0DERATE PARENT D0WN (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964330)

parent is a KARMA WHORE and contains GOATSECX LINKS!!!!

M0DERATE PARENT D0WN!!

Re:In case of slashdotting, (0, Insightful)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964482)

Russ complains a lot, but he never offers any solutions to the problem.

Hm (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964514)

Well, I'm sure Russ is a MS customer like everyone else, so it's MS' responsibility to fix the problem.

I mean, if my headgasket in my GM blows, I don't go to Goodwrench with the schematics for a new design.

First p... (-1, Troll)

Aliencow (653119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964192)

First rogue patch !

duh (2, Funny)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964193)

If you can't trust the New York Times, how the heck can you trust a shady corporation like Microsoft?

Re:duh (1, Interesting)

aflat362 (601039) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964510)

I think you can trust the New York Times. They are the ones that ran the story exposing and blaming their employee for fraud - remember?

If NYT was an untrustworthy paper they would have simply fired him and tried to cover it up. The NYT employs humans just like every other business so they are prone to err once in a while just like everybody else.

If you put 100% trust in ANYTHING where humans are involved than you are a fool. If you cast aside all trust for a single incident such as this than you are a fool as well.

its a feature (5, Funny)

ramzak2k (596734) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964197)

It is a feature to keep you aware of other features. Unfortunately it has a feature in itself which keeps the feature from featuring.

MOD Parent Up = +7 Anti-MS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964365)

Oh, how we all laugh at the silly corporation which delivers an actual product in a box which the masses want to begin with.

Let us make silly statements that make us feel all mighty and superior, and feel pity towards the people that use Microsoft products.

Let us replace the "s" in Microsoft with a dollar sign, so that we remember that they are business who put profit first. Oh, how they do not fit in our idealized view of the world. They almost annoy as I sip on my Coke and adjust my Gap pants while I sit in my Herman-Miller chair.

You sir, are a tool like everyone else. Accept it now before you delude yourself further.

Re:MOD Parent Up = +7 Anti-MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964384)

hey, I was just joking.

Re:MOD Parent Up = +7 Anti-MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964421)

And I was not insulting you directly, just the closed-mindness that sometimes permeates this forum. My apologies if I offended you.

I wish that as geeks we wouldn't jump so quickly to conclusions or label everything as black and white.

Trust went out for me.. (1, Interesting)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964201)

When we had the story that XP SP1 hogged memory.

Will a major company fix an expensive flaw for the masses and distribute it for free?

It doesn't bother me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964205)

that I hurt women with my huge penis...

much

It seems ntbugtraq.com also runs on NT... (1, Flamebait)

decarelbitter (559973) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964208)

It's already /.'ed with only 2 comments under the story :(

Re:It seems ntbugtraq.com also runs on NT... (5, Informative)

caluml (551744) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964229)

The site www.ntbugtraq.com is running Microsoft-IIS/5.0 on Windows 2000. p. So, close.

Holy crap! (0, Offtopic)

WD (96061) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964299)

Does that mean that people are reading the article before posting??

Re:It seems ntbugtraq.com also runs on NT... (2, Interesting)

JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964334)

Strangely, when /. posts items that refer to bugtraq.com, there aren't all these "slashdotted already?" posts.
Hmmm....
www.netcraft.com sez:


--

Re:It seems ntbugtraq.com also runs on NT... (1)

DarkBlack (5773) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964508)

Just when do you see posts here directed at bugtraq.com [slashdot.org] ? Bugtraq Mailing list is hosted by securityfocus.com [slashdot.org] .

So? (4, Insightful)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964216)

This shouldn't surprise anyone at all. Anyone involved in computer security or stability is going to have doubts about any sort of update technology, especially if it's from Microsoft. All it takes is a 'minor' 'bug', like the one in the article, and we could be facing a much lerger numbers of CodeRed targets, or zombie machines, or who knows what else.

Oh, by the way, youre car is just fine. No, no recalls at all for it. Well, one, but it's only important if you actually drive, so you're fine, I'm sure...

it's better than nothing (4, Insightful)

Pov (248300) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964220)

It's been proven time and time again that people don't patch their systems by hand. Windows Update is at least a step in the right direction, even if it does have some flaws. I can only imagine the outcry if M$ DIDN'T have a Windows Update. It would be an evil scheme or something.

Maybe not... (5, Insightful)

Uruk (4907) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964487)

Is it better? Here's a quote from the article:

Let me put it this way. Since the inception of Windows Update millions of computers have been infected with Trojan's that are today allowing individuals to conduct en-masse DDoS attacks. Read that how you want, but its a fact. Here's another. Since the inception of Windows Update Microsoft has gone to producing patches almost every week. Few if any business' have found Microsoft trustworthy enough to permit automatic updates

Many people will also tell you that a false positive is far worse than a false negative. For example, if Windows Update is misconfigured and tells you that you're up to date when you're really not, that's arguably worse than not being up to date and knowing that you're not up to date. (Because in the latter situation at least you can do something about it)

Even if technically windows update is better than nothing, it's utterly pathetic that this is the best one of the richest and most powerful corporations on the planet can do for their customers.

Re:it's better than nothing (4, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964500)

"people don't patch their systems by hand. "
I've never seen anybody do that, I agree :->

"I can only imagine the outcry if M$ DIDN'T have a Windows Update. It would be an evil scheme or something."

Tell me something. Why is it that MS refuses to deal directly with it's own customers? Why should it sell thru OEMs etc. and support thru the web? Why can't MS offer support services directly thru their various offices and provide a CD that does the Update Services? A day's delay in couriering the CD? The CD media would cost about 20c. Even 50
CDs a year (we're talking MS here) would cost about $10 for the CDs and a maximum of $100 for postage.

MS support services cost much more than $150 per year, but still the customers are denied the convenience of a CD and no intrusion on their systems. Why?

Re:it's better than nothing (2, Insightful)

J. J. Ramsey (658) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964541)

A "Windows Update" that doesn't update is worse than nothing, not better. Users are discouraged from further vigilance since they are fooled into thinking their systems are properly patched.

Atleast, this much is clear.. (5, Informative)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964221)

Bugtraq hasn't trashed Microsoft Windows - just the Microsoft Windows Update.

"has a few concerns (to put it mildly) with the trustworthiness of Microsoft's Windows Update."

Good.

Summary (4, Funny)

cwernli (18353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964225)

To sum up the last few posts: Electronic Voting can't be trusted, NVidia can't be trusted, Microsoft Update can't be trusted... that's enough for one day. I'll go to sleep right now.

Re:Summary (4, Funny)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964252)

Tomorrow in cwernli's journal, "Sleep can't be trusted!!"

This /. mate, you only get such posted here (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964294)

This is bloody /. mate, anti-M$, anti-$CO, anti-Intel (sore no $ here), anti-B$D, anti- any licen$e, anti-IP, anti-$ -only freeriding and right that suit the /. arse.

when will you people learn? (1)

palad1 (571416) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964377)

To sum up the last few posts: Electronic Voting can't be trusted, NVidia can't be trusted, Microsoft Update can't be trusted... that's enough for one day. I'll go to sleep right now.

Umm... Err... as the master said,
trustno1 ?

*ducks*

Re:Summary (4, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964415)

Be sure not to trust the NY Times either...

HUKRKAER (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964227)

NTBUGTRAQ URKQXCERY ERAKERQMENm LEØRMEANIA in the NTBUGTRAQ.

Then work on an alternative... (3, Interesting)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964236)

Why should Microsoft platforms be immune from the progress that the Open Source spirit has given other platforms? Windows Update doesn't have to be the sole source for the common user of updates, patches, etc. -- many of these are third-party, anyway, and could probably be handled similarly to apt-get, rpm, or emerge.

I've read a number of depressed perspectives on how we've got to accept a broken technology because it is patent-encumbered, closed source, or whatever, and I wonder "Where's your initiative, people?" To use a cooking analogy: the Koreans and the Dutch couldn't be much more different geographically, but at approximately the same time in history they faced a similar crisis involving an abundance of fuel and a pittance of foodstuffs -- the Koreans invented stir-frying, which allowed a maximum amount of heat in a minimum amount of time to sear their food, while the Dutch came up with the Dutch Oven, which is an ancient European equivalent of the Crock-Pot where food was cooked in its own vapors in a covered environment at a low temperature over an extended period of time.

This is only one of a number of similar examples throughout history of almost-parallel development. People have constantly had to reinvent the wheel for any number of reasons, but most importantly the process was influenced by cultural and social factors that ultimately lead to different approaches towards the same problem. Thus we can choose from the solutions the one that is most efficient or most effective... the strength of Open Source.

I guess the point is that there is almost always more than one way to solve a problem, and generally it's the optimists that get to it. I see too many good ideas sunk by naysayers that won't give a concept a fair shake; irregardless, who could have predicted the computer, air travel, or the mysteries of the atom a mere century ago? Hope for even the best of the future and it will yet exceed your expectations.

Re:Then work on an alternative... (4, Insightful)

DJ Rubbie (621940) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964291)

Actually, it has to be the only source of update because only Microsoft can do something about problems within their source code, therefore, they are the sole providers of patches for Windows.

Re:Then work on an alternative... (1)

DaPhoenix (318174) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964303)

Damn - did you have that prewritten? I wouldnt be able to write that much BS in the first 2 mins of an article post even if the comment wasnt on topic.

Oh and btw. your a troll. that post has nothing to do with the NTBUGTRAQ article.

Re:Then work on an alternative... (1)

DaPhoenix (318174) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964335)

Ok it does mention Windows Update. But its still quite a TROLL post.

Re:Then work on an alternative... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964549)

Maybe you're just jealous that his excellent troll sits at +5, Informative while your lame post still hasn't gotten any moderation at all? Loser.

Dear Russ (1, Funny)

Space_Nerd (255762) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964238)

Now slashdot has a few concerns about your webserver....

Let me guess, NT right?

Fell the powah of the slashdot effect!

I like Windows Update (5, Insightful)

Teckla (630646) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964243)

I'll voice an opinion that'll surely prove to be unpopular around these parts: I like Windows Update.

Sure, like any given piece of software, you may run into glitches and bugs at some point. But, overall, Windows Update has provided me with an extremely easy and painless way to keep my systems updated.

Even my Mom can use it, which says a lot. It's better than any alternatives I've seen which require too much geek knowledge to operate. (Admittedly I've never seen how MacOS X handles updates.)

-Teckla

Re:I like Windows Update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964363)

The Mac's Software Update is much, much easier to use, and there are never nearly as many downloads needed as Windows Update!

Re:I like Windows Update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964366)

I'll voice an opinion that'll surely prove to be unpopular around these parts: I like Windows Update.

LOSER!

*smacks forehead with L-shaped finger expression*

Re:I like Windows Update (1)

Lxy (80823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964399)

'apt-get upgrade' is still a better tool, but I admit, I've used Windows update and I found a nice way of managing patches in an MS environment.

Step 1: Set up a machine with an old, unpatched version of whatever OS you're using.

Step 2: Run windows update

Step 3: grab the patches as they're being downloaded and copy them off to another folder

Step 4: Let it upgrade your test box.

When it finished, it will remove all traces of the patches. You copied them off into another folder, right? If so, you now have a copy of every patch that OS needs. Deploy using your favorite tools. Every so often, run update on your test box, and you'll soon develop a library of patches that you need.

Re:I like Windows Update (2, Interesting)

Triumph The Insult C (586706) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964439)

That's what this [microsoft.com] is for. =)

Re:I like Windows Update (5, Insightful)

andrewmc (88496) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964409)

Windows Update has provided me with an extremely easy and painless way to keep my systems updated.
Maybe I'm missing something, but didn't the article say that it can leave your system not fully updated, while you only think it is?

Re:I like Windows Update (1)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964413)

Perhaps you've never used Red Hat Network or Ximian's red carpet, I find both to be (almost) bug free and work very well.

Re:I like Windows Update (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964528)

OSX runs Software Update after you install the OS for the first time. It schedules itself to run weekly and check for patches. You can select what patches you do and don't want to install, as well as drop patches from being on the list (eg, if you like iTunes 2 then you can tell it to never inform you of new versions of iTunes).

Any user can run the software update tool and be informed of new packages. Before any can be installed, a window pops up asking for an admin account login. Once entered, download progress is indicated, install progress is indicated. All installed patches are logged to a file that can be viewed from the System Preferences.

All in all, a very good system, although I have observed it break randomly at times, usually after a v. popular patch is released. Then, it sometimes just mysteriously fails to download the patches, though it still reports them as being available to install. I guess either patience or a manual fetch from support.apple.com are your options then.

Anyway, I just wanted to put my two bits in on Software Update for OSX.

Re:I like Windows Update (3, Interesting)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964546)

A few weeks ago I ran update... (cue ominous music).

It applied Service Pack 3 to Win 2K and rebooted. When it came back up (or actually failed to), it could no longer see the ATA100 hard drive on which it was installed...

I tinkered around for about an hour before I decided it would be quicker to re-install than to try to fix it...

Until then I had had good experiences with update for the most part. It is a good concept (like Red Hat Network), but given the wide range of hardware/software configurations out there, I'm not sure it will ever get to the point that a large update doesn't fry someone...

Trustworthy Computing? (4, Interesting)

DaPhoenix (318174) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964244)

Man it seems like every day we find out how to define the 'trustworthy' in "trustworthy computing"

First Windows, then the Outlook bugs, then the Hotmail bugs, now the Windows Update security issues - not to mention the Shatter Exploit [tombom.co.uk] (fundamental unfixable Win API flaws)

Mmm I love days like today. :)

Re:Trustworthy Computing? (1)

flokemon (578389) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964414)

The same notion of trust that you can find in TCPA:

Check points 24 and 25 of the TCPA FAQ:

http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/tcpa-faq.html [cam.ac.uk]

Trustworthiness of NTBUGTRAQ (1)

huhmz (216967) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964266)

Seems to me that the much respected NTBUGTRAQ can't even defend themselves against the common Slashdot Attack...

hmmm... (3, Insightful)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964273)

I bet i get marked as a troll, but I bet if this was Red hat Network Update, you wouldn't be winging.

I have had windows update tell me that i'm clean, when i've only just done a fresh install, but i don't take it personally, you'd only complain if it examined every bit of your disk to ensure that it got it right... make your minds up people!!

Re:hmmm... (3, Interesting)

Justin205 (662116) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964372)

Red Hat updates are usually fairly on time, especially for security stuff. Feature updates usually only come in the next version, but since it's free, no big problem. Windows Update seems to get updates late, from when they are first available, if you know where to look, and isn't very reliable. When I use Windows, I've had the SP1 install on XP screw up at least twice from Windows Update, so I go download the installer manually.

Re:hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964458)

the difference is that with windows, there's no alternative to windows update.

I don't -have- to use RH update -- i can use any number of repositories & apt-get, etc...

Re:hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964468)


have had windows update tell me that i'm clean, when i've only just done a fresh install, but i don't take it personally, you'd only
complain if it examined every bit of your disk to ensure that it got it right... make your minds up people!!


windows update tells you are clean if you are installing with a blacklisted activation code, or a blacklisted corperate image.

Nice to let us all know that you dont actually buy the siftware you dearly love.

99.997% of windows lovers are fricking freeloaders to begin with.

Why Do They Always Rip Off Unix? (-1, Troll)

the-dude-man (629634) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964281)

ntbugtraq? Perhaps a rip off of bugtaq? You know, the mailing lists that is primarly dominated by unix security exploits.

Ethier way, ever since a hacker took control of windows update one fine wednessday morning and started handing out his own updates to half a millon people, we have all known that windows update is not secure.

In fact, not much of microsoft is secure, given the latest exploit that was found in the .net passport wich allowed anyone to reset anyone elses password to wahtever they liked by providing different parameters to the emailpwdreset.srf on register.passport.msn.com, I think we all know how much we can trust windows update.

More over, Microsoft's fixes tend to do more harm then good...so badly that microsoft is mulling over weather to have third party testing on their fixes. The bigger question is why did it take NTBugtraq to suddely admit this? the rest of us have known for over 5 years now.

Re:Why Do They Always Rip Off Unix? (2, Informative)

martin (1336) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964343)

no not a rip off but a list with less scope (just MS stuff.

Spawned a few years ago by people want to get the NT stuff only and not general stuff. Works well.

AS for WU - remember most of its audience is the home user. It tries to do a worthwhile job, but from experience unless you've got a fat pipe it takes ages (10MB isn't unusual) and it craps over your settings, it DOES scan and return info on what's on your machine .......

Nice try M$ but a grade F.

Re:Why Do They Always Rip Off Unix? (4, Interesting)

the-dude-man (629634) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964463)

AS for WU - remember most of its audience is the home user. It tries to do a worthwhile job, but from experience unless you've got a fat pipe it takes ages (10MB isn't unusual) and it craps over your settings, it DOES scan and return info on what's on your machine .......

This is very true, and if anyone doubts it, grab yourself a copy of vmware for linux systems (ironicly, thats the ad at the top of this page) and fire up windows XP, then, do a tcpdump on the interface that vmware is using, run strings on the data inside the packets....its quite interesting what you see when you reassemble all the packets going to v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com.

This is also true when win98 is run within VMware, and windows update sends that nice message box saying "this is done without sending data to microsft"

Windows, its whats for dinner

strange timing... (4, Interesting)

drummerboy714 (632637) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964292)

Last week I spent all day downloading patches for an XP laptop that we are evaluating. Today we (my notoriously adorable assistant) received a notification that there are (surprise!) more patches to download. When I looked at the list, some of them were going back to Feb of 2002. We looked at what patches and Q#'s show as installed, and several of these are the same ones WUS show as needed. Needless to say, we are yanking the XP OS and going back to W2K. Oh, that we could use Linux in our production environment!!!!

Ballmer on Bugtraq, "I Like Goats!" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964302)

He *really* likes them.

What does this rating mean? :-) (1, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964304)

"Trustworthy Computing Initiative once again gets an "F""

Failed? Fscked up? Foolproof? Friendly? Fiendish?

Just curoius

Re:What does this rating mean? :-) (1)

adamruck (638131) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964346)

he says right after it, "a failing grade"

F = FuckedCompany (-1)

Great Malinko (594745) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964438)

It means Fucked

Slashdotted... (1)

EMDischarge (589758) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964308)

How about a mirror?

Re:Slashdotted... (2, Funny)

MrP- (45616) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964353)

"How about a mirror?"

Here [llbean.com]

Re:Slashdotted... (2, Informative)

MntlChaos (602380) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964376)

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=64305&cid=5964 190 is a copy of the text. Unfortunately, the links point to (what else?) NTBUGTRAQ, which as we all know is down.

Re:Slashdotted... (0)

Justin205 (662116) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964416)

I think someone copied the whole story. Here is the name of the comment: "In case of slashdotting,"

Emphasis on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964321)

No, absolutely not I say! (emphatically)


Is that what that exclamation mark means? well I'll be...

Bugs (4, Interesting)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964328)

In reality, some flaw in the Windows Update process has led it to conclude that a system, in need of critical security patches, is instead clean and good to go on the Internet. In other words, if the security check fails, tell consumers they're just fine and don't need anything.

To summarise:

Windows update has a bug in it. Until MS release a fix, you can't really trust it. Oh yes, and you can't really trust that the patches it downloads and installs won't total your system - but everyone vaigly clueful and in IT knew that already.

Have I missed anything?

Re:Bugs (4, Funny)

LMCBoy (185365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964441)

Have I missed anything?

yes, how to spell 'vaguely'.

It isnt perfect.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964371)

But. If your using windows, you come to expect that.
Alternatively, do something about it and code your own super reliable/perfect Windows Update system for everyone to use freely.
To recap: - It comes with the territory so stop your bitching or do something about it.

Sparky

Single Point of Failure (SPOF) == Bad Thing(tm) (4, Insightful)

sczimme (603413) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964382)


From the article:

we no longer even need to make that visit manually, we can trust that Microsoft will supply us with a properly tested security patch within 24 hours and patch our systems for us

What follows is not MS-bashing.

System security (and other functions) should not be left to a laissez-faire, set-it-and-forget-it sort of mechanism. The administrator is responsible for applying the patches, manually if need be, and should be diligent enough to determine whether all requisite patches are installed even when using an automated method like Windows Update. Yes, that includes apt-get, RHN, up2date, and others.

I believe it also behooves the administrator to conduct independent testing on-site: there have some notable examples of patches getting out the door that caused as many problems as they solved. (Yes, I'm thinking of SP4 for NT 4.0. Still not MS bashing, though.)

Trust, but verify.

Don't trust it? Don't use it. (5, Insightful)

svenjob (671129) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964394)

If you don't trust Windows Update, don't use their service. If you don't trust nVidia, get an ATI. Online voting? Do it the old fashioned way! There are many things in the world which you can choose to use or not to use based on trust. Don't trust it, don't use it. (like free candy)

Funny... (2, Funny)

Justin205 (662116) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964445)

I don't trust Windows Update, nVidia or online voting, so I use Linux, ATI and I don't vote (too young).

Re:Don't trust it? Don't use it. (1)

X-Nc (34250) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964532)

> If you don't trust Windows Update, don't use their service.

What alternative to Windows Update is there for people to use? You can't just not apply any updates. What is the choice that you speak of?

Necessary evil (0, Flamebait)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964402)

We are stuck with Windows Update no matter how flawed it is. It is the only thing the average consumer has to help patch Windows. And MS knows it. Unless someone can come up with a better system or everybody starts using another OS, we're screwed.

So either bend over and take it or start migrating.

Windows update WORKS GREAT! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964410)

It just automatically downloaded some new nVidia drivers that increased my 3DMark score by 30%! Windows update works great!

OMG WINDOWS UPDAET == TEH VARY GHEY (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964426)

Wal loks liek Windows Updaet has once agane shown how untrustworthy Micro$oft can b!!!!! OMG WTF for at laast da past several days Windows Updaet has b3n providng consumers wit false information!11!!1!! OMG WTF LOL wu users wud con3ct initiaet teh scan da scan wud completa and inform da us3r theyre syst3m nedad no patches!1111111 OMG LOL wondarful a cl3an bil of h3alth or so teh consum3r thought1!!!!1

In raality some flaw in teh Windows Updaet procas has lad it 2 conclud3 taht a systam in ned of critical security patches is instead clean and god 2 go on da intarn3t!111!!! OMG WTF in oth3r words if da security ch3k fales tel consumars their just fien and dont ned anythng!!1!!! OMG LOL

Its god taht w3 dont ned alaboraet ch3klists and vodo mojo security 2ls 2 chek our syst3ms w3 only haev 2 maek a quik visit 2 windows updaet 2 b sura!!!1!!11 OMG WTF LOL finaly wit da introduction of Au2matic Updaets wa no longer 3van ned 2 maek taht visit manualy we can trust taht Micro$oft wil suply us wit a properly tast3d s3curity patch within 24 hours and patch our syst3ms for us (unl3s wera runng Windows XP and got ms03-013 when it was r3l3aesd 2 wu)!1!!1 WTF LOL

A yaar ago i complaneed about Windows Updaet wit its registry only chakng and myriad other problams!1111! OMG WTF LOL at da tiem Micro$oft was distributng Shavliks HFNatchk and so at l3ast wit 2ls from Micro$oft w3 cud se teh aror of Windows Updaets ways!11!1 Taht cry of disgust caused Micro$oft 2 yank hfnetchk b/c th3y hadnt liecnsed it and didnt haev a formal agrem3nt for its promotion!!!! WTF LOL consumers b dmned maek darn sura their not getng conflictng information from us semed 2 b da ralyng cry at Micro$oft!!!!

I question3d da trustworthy computng initiatievs valua than b/c of taht debacle1!!11!! OMG wh3n ask3d by da madia at da nu year how i f3lt da trustworthy computng initiatiev had progres3d i gaev it an F or faleng graed!1!!! OMG some wond3r3d y and pointed 2 thngs which teh public hadnt sen as justification for tcis bn3fits1!!1! WTF sems 2 many nevar their 2 read Bil Gaets memo!11!!1 OMG LOL they faleed 2 grasp da fact taht TCI was in raspons3 2 a public percaption taht Micro$oft was not suficeintly trustworthy!11!! OMG WTF LOL

Has micro$oft done anythng 2 chang3 taht parception?!!!!!?? OMG WTF LOL no absolutely not i say!!1!1 LOL (emphaticaly)

let m3 put it this way!1111!!1 LOL sinc3 da inception of Windows Updaet milions of comput3rs haev b3n inf3cted wit trojans taht r 2day alowng individuals 2 conduct an-mase dos ataks11!!!!! OMG WTF LOL read taht how u want but its a fact1111 WTF her3s another!1!11!!! since teh inc3ption of Windows Updaet Micro$oft has gon3 2 producng patch3s almost avery wek1!!11!1 Few if any busiens haev found Micro$oft trustworthy 3nough 2 p3rmit au2matic updaets!1!! OMG WTF LOL so since da inc3ption of Windows Updaet Micro$oft has increaesd teh numbr of tiems an administra2r neds 2 patch avary Windows system in his/har company1!1! OMG since Windows Updaet Micro$oft has maed it incr3asngly dificult for an administra2r 2 avoid Windows Updaet1!11!1! WTF LOL despiet da fact taht at no tiem has Windows Updaet 3var proven itsalf trustworthy Micro$oft continu3 2 forc3 u 2 use this unreliable machanism mor31!1! OMG LOL

If anyone is wondarng y Windows Updaet is a dog agane consiedr teh posts this wek 2 ntbugtraq!!!111!1 LOL U wudnt bleive teh numbr of individual axp3reinc3s i raceievd regardng problems wit Windows Updaet!!1!11 LOL no doubt microsoft rac3ievs far more than i do11!!1 WTF i cant bleiv3 taht huge corporations r havng teh probl3ms they aer nor can i bleiva they haevnt r3ceievd a reasonabla answar from microsoft as 2 y da problems exist!!1! WTF da fact taht so many posibl3 solutions wara sen 2 coract probl3ms wit windows updaet also sugasts da 3nvironment is far les stabla than it 3van apears 2 ma!1!!!!11 omg

consiedr 2 us3 windows updaet reliably i ned 2

1!1!!!!1 wtf ensure mah system daet is r3asonably coract11!1 2!1!111! omg wtf ansur3 mah ei languaeg setng hasnt disapeaerd for som3 r3ason!111!11 omg 3ven if it hasnt disapeaerd try adng another languaeg 21!!!!1 wtf 311!!1 wtf ensure i dont haev a n3twork r con3cted which has more capacity than teh drievs on mah own machien!1!!1 omg wtf lol 4!!!!!!! wtf ensura taht im not setng up a nu systam and haev set ei 2 ch3k for cartificaet ravocation!!!1! lol 5!11!1!!! lol ensure imm ch3kng from teh syst3m i want patches for m3anng al of teh systams in mah environm3nt must b teh sme os or i as administra2r haev multipl3 syst3ms 2 chek for updaets1!!!11! omg wtf lol 6!111!! wtf lol try htps inst3ad of htp if it says i ned no patch3s it may not haev ch3ked properly11!1!!1! omg 7!111 wtf wond3r if da bak3nd systems for windows updaet r down undar manet3nance or just configured incor3ctly if it says i ned no patches it may not haev chaked proparly!1!!1! wtf 8!!!! wtf lol try mbsa tahts handl3d by a dif3r3nt d3velopment group than windows updaet so da erors might not ocur in both environmants or may b difar3nt so u can th3n haev fun deducng teh diferences ur!!1!!1 wtf lol 9!1!11!1! omg wtf wate some undetermiend pariod of tiem and try agane1!!1 omg 101!!11 omg wtf contact microsoft and not get a rasponse1111 omg wtf

and wit taht list can anyon3 say windows updaet is r3liable or 2 use there words trustworthy computng??!?!?? omg wtf

but h3y wut windows updaet after-al!1!!!11! omg wtf its just a consumer platform for tryng 2 fix a problem which rilly isnt microsofts after al (read da breaks3al)!1!1 corporaet usars aernt usng windows updaet their runng r updaet serviecs.if111!!!111!!!!!11!! omg wtf they haev a windows 200 system taht is and if th3y haev on3 for ev3ry group their tryng 2 updaet and if haev a test 3nvironment 2 chek avery fix and if th3y dont mind handlng a very long list of patch3s th3yv3 chosan not 2 daploy.atc.!1!!!!111!!!!111!1 wtf lol

if anyon3 was sarious about bginng 2 takle teh trustworthiens of microsoft theyd haev don3 somathng a year ago when i first cal3d windows updaet a dog!!1!!!1! omg wtf lol se for ur how much micha3l suks haev a lok at mah pravious musngs and than tel m3 wut ben fiexd or improvad11!11 if liek me u se nothng.than11!!!!!11!11!11!1!! omg wtf lol da trustworthy computng initiatiev onca agane gets an f

Not to worry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964442)


Palladium is coming. It is trustworthy. It will save the world.

Maybe ti should be.... (1)

Cranst0n (617823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964464)

More about their own inability to subcum to the slashdot effect!!!

Re:Maybe ti should be.... (1)

borgdows (599861) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964531)

it's not a slashdotting...
their server is rebooting thanks to the 'Automatic Windows Update (tm)' feature of Windows 2003 Server :)

At least we won't get sued! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5964475)

At least we won't get sued for using Windows! (ie: Linux)

Re:At least we won't get sued! (1)

girl_geek_antinomy (626942) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964536)

Dunno, what do you reckon the % of Windows users with properly licenced and registered products is...?

Easy to Hose Too (1)

DASHSL0T (634167) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964481)

I was low on disk space on a box and therefore deleted out the $NtUninstallQxxxxxx$ archives created by WU to save disk space. Bah, that through WU into a tizzy, thinking I hadn't installed some of the patches whose uninstall archives I had deleted.

Um, if they are just uninstall archives, and I have no plans of uninstalling the patch, they should be able to be deleted. Why WU relies on the existence of the Uninstall directories to determine if a patch is installed, I have NI, but it is terrible practice. And of cours, only some* of the patches whose archives I deleted acted this way, in typical MS inconsistency.

Now I have to keep around tons of worthless archive data I don't want or need for no good reason. Thanks MS.

A different way? (2, Insightful)

eonblueye (627191) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964544)

If "windows update" is so bad, then how to expect everyday people to update/patch thier computer(s)?
I think its a win/lose/lose type of situation.
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