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Windows Advertising Bug Microsoft IT

Patch Tuesday Brought Windows 10 Ad Generator 490

jones_supa writes: Microsoft has been very aggressive on getting Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10. The company has introduced a "Get Windows 10" system tray icon, moved the upgrade to "recommended" category in Windows Update, and even initiated the OS download automatically. The latest trick is almost comical: KB3139929 is an actual security update for Internet Explorer, but it also deploys a trojan horse, KB3146449, which is an advertisement generator for Internet Explorer. On computers not joined to a domain, it adds a blue banner when a user opens a new tab, saying "Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10".
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Patch Tuesday Brought Windows 10 Ad Generator

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  • I don't use Windoze, but if I did, I would be even less likely to update now.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:42PM (#51671935)

      The fact that they are pushing it so hard tells you everything you need to know. This update benefits Microsoft in a very big way. Scratch that -- in a HUGE way. And if it benefits Microsoft in a huge way, take a wild guess how much it benefits you.

      We don't even need to know the first thing about what the update actually does. All we need to know is that Microsoft is extremely determined to make it happen, to the point where they will actually try to trick you into it.

      • by RenderSeven ( 938535 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @01:01PM (#51672159)

        The fact that they are pushing it so hard tells you everything you need to know.

        Kirk: You should take the Vulcan too.
        Kruge: No.
        Kirk: But why?
        Kruge: Because you wish it.
        - Star Trek III

      • by quintus_horatius ( 1119995 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @01:35PM (#51672437) Homepage

        This update benefits Microsoft in a very big way. Scratch that -- in a HUGE way. And if it benefits Microsoft in a huge way, take a wild guess how much it benefits you.

        They're already adding a trojan to your old version of Windows using a security update, so they can also add the tracking infrastructure as well -- they don't need you to upgrade to Win10 for that. Whatever bad nasty things they have in Windows 10 they can easily add to your old version of Windows as well.

        Maybe they're just sick of the old versions making them look bad, and they just want them to go away by replacing them with a better version?

        • by darkain ( 749283 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @02:42PM (#51672963) Homepage

          It isn't the tracking system they want to push, though. They want to push the Windows Marketplace to compete with the Android Play Store and Apple App Store. While in theory they could install and operate the Windows Marketplace on Windows 7/8, Windows 10 comes with new architecture under the hood which is required for many of the new applications to run (such as the new Universal Apps). Their whole game is being a massive storefront, just like their main competitors.

          • It isn't the tracking system they want to push, though. They want to push the Windows Marketplace to compete with the Android Play Store and Apple App Store...

            There was actually a massive "App Store" on Windows long before IOS or Android even existed: Steam. Microsoft has been trying for years to siphon off Steam's role as the "gateway to gaming", and Valve lately has been working to "Microsoft-Proof" their business model with SteamOS and cross-platform games.

            • by e r ( 2847683 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @07:50PM (#51675051)

              and Valve lately has been working to "Microsoft-Proof" their business model with SteamOS and cross-platform games.

              I believe it's a good move that will work for Valve if they can get more acceptance of SteamOS and Linux in general. I'm not a fanatic about everything being open source, and I do play a lot of games so I was ecstatic when Steam came to Linux. Alien Isolation ran flawlessly for me, XCOM and XCOM 2 are running great, Empire: Total War was a blast, Chivalry runs great for me, the Source games run great-- the point is that there are real AAA titles on Linux and they really do run well.

              Because of the huge variety of high quality and easy to use desktops available for Linux and because Steam has brought good solid gaming to the Linux desktop now is, without sarcasm, the best time to switch to Linux.

              I urge you slashdotters to seriously consider using Linux (Ubuntu, Mint, Debian whatever) as your primary or even full-time desktop for a couple months. If you like it and it works for you then why not stay?

        • Maybe they're just sick of the old versions making them look bad, and they just want them to go away by replacing them with a better version?

          Maybe they are a company which realised a product and are pushing the new version of that product. Screw em I say. Never buy from a company that releases a product and then pushes it.

          Side note: Owncloud client said an update was available today and I'm using an old version. What is the world coming to!

  • by rjejr ( 921275 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:35PM (#51671877)
    Nice timing of the article, right after the one about Opera's native ad blocking. I will update my Win 8 machine before the free Win 10 option goes away, but not much before.
    • by evolutionary ( 933064 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:53PM (#51672049)
      Well..if MS can add an ad trojan to IE, they could add plugins to Opera as well to circumvent it like they did with their .NET plugin for Firefox. Wish that just not using IE would stop this sort of nonsense from MS, but they control the OS. And as they have all the backdoors and all the keys, that means if you "own" their OS, in point of fact, they own you. :-(
  • Hyperbole (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:38PM (#51671905)

    "but it also deploys a trojan horse"

    A trojan horse is something that claims to be something that it isn't. Everything is very up front about what it is so long as you actually read what it is. It may be a bit underhanded, but it most certainly isn't a trojan horse.

    Remember folks, hyperbole rarely helps your cause.

    • Re:Hyperbole (Score:4, Insightful)

      by blackomegax ( 807080 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:52PM (#51672027) Journal
      Yeah no. 98% of users just see "update available" and click ok. 1 more % might read KB###### and click OK. the other 1% might actually read what it is. SO yes it's a trojan horse.. The entire update system's vagueness allows for that. Until it's telling the 99% "you're getting ads now, yes or no?" it's a forced, trojan, horse.
    • Re:Hyperbole (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dfm3 ( 830843 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:57PM (#51672111) Journal

      A trojan horse is something that claims to be something that it isn't.

      Ever followed through to figure out exactly what most of the updates presented in Windows Update actually do? The description for KB3035583, for example, reads, "Install this update to resolve issues in Windows." Yeah, if the "issue" with windows is that I have 7 installed instead of 10... It's only after clicking the CORRECT link for more information (there are two, the second just takes you to the generic support page) that you discover this update actually installs the Get Windows 10 app.

      That level of obfuscation sounds exactly like a trojan horse to me.

    • Re:Hyperbole (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mrclevesque ( 1413593 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @01:01PM (#51672151)

      It's Security update that contains non-security updates including an ad for Windows 10. So it's claiming to do one kind of thing but it's also doing another kind of thing that doesn't conform to what was claimed would be done.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A trojan horse is something that claims to be something that it isn't. Everything is very up front about what it is so long as you actually read what it is.

      It's not up front in this case. Read the description page for KB3139929 [microsoft.com]. You need to dig deep to find that there's an advertisement included. In the list of meta-updates, KB3146449 [microsoft.com] (which adds the advertisement) is simply described as "Updated Internet Explorer 11 capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's a security patch for CRITICAL vulnerabilities in IE, that also includes Windows 10 advertising. I repeat, this is a CRITICAL security update. Advertising should not be any part of this.

      How do I deploy the CRITICAL exploit patches without also getting Windows 10 advertisements? I don't? That is a trojan horse as far as I'm concerned. Fuck everything about this update.

      • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @02:42PM (#51672965)

        Yes, this is the line they should never, ever have crossed.

        You don't call something non-security a security update. Ever. You just don't.

        I already knew a lot of people who haven't been routinely installing Windows updates for a long time because of all the junk Microsoft have been throwing in as "recommended". But at least until this week you could still trust that you should install security updates.

        The scale of screw-up that crossing this line represents in terms of Microsoft's remaining credibility is staggering.

    • by dissy ( 172727 )

      A trojan horse is something that claims to be something that it isn't. Everything is very up front about what it is so long as you actually read what it is.

      Fair enough. Let's actually read what it is then, and I'll let you show us where it mentions up front that it inserts advertisements into Internet Explorer.

      https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3139929 [microsoft.com]

      This security update resolves several reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. The most severe of these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage in Internet Explorer. To learn more about these vulnerabilities, see Microsoft Security Bulletin MS16-023

  • by GeekWithAKnife ( 2717871 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:43PM (#51671953)

    I never allow windows to automatically download anything. I go to the trouble of reading the updates despite microsoft saying shit like "recommended update" and "Fixes critical vulnerability in windows" without actually saying what the fuck it does. I click through and read the darn KB.

    I didn't like M$ at the best of times but I appreciated windows 7, it works. It seems that they were dissatisfied with that and couldn't figure out how toi give people MORE VALUE so they decided to piss us off with shoving the damn thing down our throats.

    We are sufficiently angry to tell M$ they can go fuck themselves and their stupid windows 10.
  • by ka9dgx ( 72702 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:43PM (#51671959) Homepage Journal

    Why is Microsoft pushing Windows 10 so bloody hard? What financial incentive is there for this?

    • Support of one OS (Windows 10) versus support of Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

      I think the incentive is quite obvious.
    • The financial incentive is small I Agree. My guess it's another test to see how many people will swollow this poison pill before creating something even more aggressive and compromising. That has been MS's pattern since WGA.
    • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:57PM (#51672115) Homepage

      There have been theories that Microsoft is gathering a lot of telemetry that they intend on leveraging or selling, but there is a pretty simple, non-nefarious reason why they would want to push people to the latest version: support costs.

      This was one of the theories for why Apple stopped charging for OS upgrades, that it's easier and cheaper for developers to deal with support and patching if almost everyone is running the same version. In a weird way, Microsoft has sort of shot themselves in both feet by basing such a large part of their business into vendor lock-in and backwards compatibility. It's left them trying to support their old OS for a very long time, and even if they discontinue support 13 years later, large portions of their customers complain and freak out. The vendor lock-in part of their plan created vast amounts of software that needs to run on Windows XP and IE 6, and trying to make a lot of that stuff work on newer versions of Windows leaves them maintain legacy code.

      I suspect a lot of the Windows 10 stuff (e.g. making it free, pushing people to update, making it hard to disable automatic updates on Windows 10) is about getting everyone to get the latest version and then keep up to date with the latest version. That way, MS can start breaking backwards compatibility and stop wasting their time making updates for an release from 10 years ago.

      • by joboss ( 4453961 )
        MicroSoft is doing what would be the right thing, but they are doing it the wrong way. We have always needed better options for updating software automatically in a centralised fashion. But if I wanted what microsoft are doing I would just install android or OSX on my PC instead.
      • If support costs were Microsoft motivation then they could have just stuck with Windows 7 and kept collecting their OEM licensing checks.
      • by hmckee ( 10407 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @01:41PM (#51672495)

        All of which would have been fine if they did it correctly, instead they:
        1. Changed default app file associations
        2. Upgraded to buggy or non-working drivers
        3. Installed unwanted software that was difficult to remove (Windows OneDrive)
        4. Installed monitor software that should ask for permission
        And probably other issues I've missed. Don't mess up my system which I'm using to do work and depend on for my livelihood.

        • Due to MS's insistence on pushing the Get windows 10! "update" to my systems, I have started treating it like it was a very aggressive form of malware.

          So far my solution is able to block installation.

          Basically, create a dummy GWX folder in the %systemroot%/system32 folder, then put DENY ACL on everything for the Everyone object. This keeps windows update from putting anything in there. (And even if somehow it manages to actually put something in there, it wont be permitted to run.)

          Then do a similar thing w

      • What if we don't want the 'latest version'? What if their 'latest version' breaks more things that it fixes? What if they decide to remove a feature that breaks the user experience, or breaks something else for the user? Where is the ability to choose??? How is it a good thing when someone you don't even know is making unilateral decisions about how hardware you depend on and paid for out of your own pocket?
    • I had already modded but I feel I have to contribute...
      - On Win 10 they heavily push they services and if you eventually use them: -- They get tons of data about you which they can presumably monetize -- They can also make money directly off them. Those services include : Windows Store (30% cut of all the purchases like Google and Apple in their mobile app stores), OneDrive (data and maybe you'll plunk down money for extra space), Cortana (data), etc. Also they get you into their ecosystem (Win 10 integrat
      • Now with nice formatting... I had already modded but I feel I have to contribute...
        - On Win 10 they heavily push they services and if you eventually use them:
        -- They get tons of data about you which they can presumably monetize
        -- They can also make money directly off them.
        Those services include : Windows Store (30% cut of all the purchases like Google and Apple in their mobile app stores), OneDrive (data and maybe you'll plunk down money for extra space), Cortana (data), etc.
        Also they get you into t
  • by Gojira Shipi-Taro ( 465802 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:46PM (#51671971) Homepage

    It's annoying, certainly, but Trojan Horse? Come on. Dramatic much?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ayanami_R ( 1725178 )

      "ad generator" is a bit much too, but people seem to see ads everywhere these days. I guess when chrome says an update is ready it's an ad now?

      What's even funnier is that as these kinds of false attacks intensify, adoption just keeps trucking along.

      • by war4peace ( 1628283 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:59PM (#51672135)

        Here's what's really sad:
        It all started with this Infoworld.com article. There's no definitive proof that "On computers not joined to a domain, it adds a blue banner when a user opens a new tab, saying "Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10"."
        I checked my Windows 7, windows 8 and windows 8.1 VMs. All have the update. None exhibit the behavior presented above.
        None of the other machines I managed to check (which I don't own) exhibit the behavior.
        There is no screenshot I could find online that shows the blue banner.
        This seems to have blown out of proportion based on ONE single article which might just as well be a load of bullshit, and Slashdot is making it even worse.
        What the fuck has /. become, Faux News?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2016 @02:20PM (#51672789)

          Really?

          https://support.microsoft.com/de-de/kb/3139929#bookmark-nonsecurityfix

          Scroll down to "non-security related fixes", last table entry: 3146449 Updated Internet Explorer 11 capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7
          From there look up 3146449: https://support.microsoft.com/de-de/kb/3146449

          "This update adds functionality to Internet Explorer 11 on some computers that lets users learn about Windows 10 or start an upgrade to Windows 10. Before you install this update, see the Prerequisites section. For more information about Windows 10, see Windows 10."

    • No, it's a trojan: meaning that you got something you didn't want, and you would reject if you knew what it was. By definition, that is a trojan. whether it's just annoying or harmful, it's still a trojan, installing itself without informed consent claiming it was a "security" update.
    • The fact that it's bundled with a security update is underhanded but given that it does describe what is being installed and what it's doing it can't be a trojan, more like adware.

    • No, its is not dramatic.

      The update is required as part of an IE patch that is a legitimate security fix.

      If you want the security fix, you silently get the patch for this. If you don't want this, you can't get the security fix.

      No where in the security fix description does it say its going to install something completely unrelated that nags you about updating to Windows 10.

      Microsoft needs a severe spanking for this sort of bullshit.

  • by evolutionary ( 933064 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:47PM (#51671979)
    Okay, Microsoft has been injecting all sorts of stuff in their interest a the expense of their customers since Windows XP (WGA). We've had more "phone home" since WGA, and progressively more with each release. Windows 10 is the result of prodding a broom handle up our butts progressively deeper and seeing how deep it goes before we say "stop". The "telemetry" (really?!?) data collection, which MS admits you cannot turn off, and now ads in IE? We pay MS for this POS (well I don't touch windows 10 and legal firms and medical practices are aware of why they cannot go to Windows 10 to protect their clients), and MS find more ways to get money from us at the cost of our privacy. When do we say "enough is enough". Unless you are a gamer or have specific hardware (medical mainly), nobody needs MS Windows. Linux (Mint although hacked previously due to carelessness although fixed now), Elementary OS (for mac users), Debian (My favorite, can modify KDE to look like MS Windows/Mac), or even Ubuntu (think they still have a deal with Amazon on desktop searches which is why stopped using it but at least you can turn the amazon forwarding off). Any of these will serve any user. Even gamers may be happy with Linux as there has been an an explosion of games for linux (even 'AAA'...see Pillars of Eternity and Tides of Numunera for example). For those who like privacy I suggest the Tails distro (uses the Tor proxy network by default :D) . We all need to tell MS, enough is enough and we have choices.
    • The public gave privacy long ago to Facebook and will never wake up. Most people just think that "10" is better than "7", that Windows must be the best OS or no many people would not be using it. There are even ones that think that Ubuntu is the best, or easiest, Linux just because it is the most popular.
    • Have you ever watched what OS X does? Using a neat little program called "Little Snitch" you can see that everybody tries to phone home. Apple, Adobe, Alphabet (and I'm only on the 'A's). You can think you've shut everything off and up pops another 'can I haz Internet access plz?' warning.

      If the net every really shuts down, it will be back to typewriters and correction fluid in a week. Ah, the buzz from mimeograph stencils .....

  • by surfdaddy ( 930829 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:52PM (#51672035)

    I am on the Win10 insider program on my laptop, which I use for surfing, etc. But all my data and real important use is on my desktop, and that's a Win 7 machine. As I approach the time limit for upgrading, I've decided to stay on Windows 7 on my main machine. I don't really see any benefits to Windows 10 that are that important (to me), and I hate the intrusive advertising in Windows 10. I don't really need my OS to serve me ads - lord knows there are enough ads everywhere else without my OS doing it, too. If and when Win 7 becomes unusable or unsupported, I'm seriously thinking desktop Linux, as there is enough software out there now that almost fully replicates what I need and use. Oh, and I'm using the GWX control panel to get rid of the Windows 10 nags in my Win 7 system. I really hate MS for doing this aggressive bit, and I'm throwing them the proverbial finger as much as I can - no Windows 10 on my main machine for me!

  • by johannesg ( 664142 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:55PM (#51672083)

    I've turned off automatic updates as being the greater security risk. Now no Microsoft-spam is getting through.

  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @12:55PM (#51672089)

    GWX Control Panel is your friend. http://ultimateoutsider.com/do... [ultimateoutsider.com]

    (I have no interest in, or connection with this free utility).

    • (I have no interest in, or connection with this free utility).

      Sorry, that's ambiguous. I meant that I have no financial interest; I don't stand to gain from its use.

      But in the several months since I installed it, is has done a great job of completely shielding me from all the nuisance messages about Windows 10.

  • RTFA (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zalbik ( 308903 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @01:26PM (#51672359)

    Or for those who RTFA, perhaps it DIDN'T include an ad spamming "trojan horse":

    I spent most of the night trying to replicate this behavior -- a blue banner on new tabs in IE11 with "Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10" -- and couldn't get it to trigger.

  • Up till now MS has tried its best honestly within the so called rules. Now they have deceptively added advertising to a SECURITY UPDATE . Lawmakers, FTC please take note.
  • This shit is going to steer me to a Mac, or maybe push me to a return to Linux.

    MS has become more arrogant than Apple and Google put together, and that is saying something.

    Full disclosure, I like apple, and frankly almost despise google. I think I have a new hate sink.

  • Keep pushing... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @01:55PM (#51672591)

    I never got any update notice, but then I've done some things to block the Win 10 updates.

    But keep pushing Microsoft- I've got Linux Mint already installed on my laptop (dual boot) and it won't take but about 15 minutes to install it on my desktop too.

    The first time I see anything related to Windows 10 on my PC, you're toast. Any conversion, any forced "upgrade", anything like that...and that'll be the last time I run Windows on my PC.

    It'll take ~10 minutes to backup and offload my most recent data and 15 minutes to load Mint, and we'll be done. Get it through your heads- I like Win 7, I do NOT want Windows 10, period.

    So yeah, just keep pushing and you'll push me right off your OS.

    • Yes, I have done that...
      At home.
      Obviously things at work are an entirely different scenario.

      At home I have an iPad, a Mint media server, a Zorin laptop and a Windows 7 pc used for gaming and recording.

      I am using the GWX Control Panel now on that last machine.
      I also don't plan on upgrading to 10.

      I can guarantee though that MS knows they are losing a small amount of installs of 7/8 to Linux, all while gaining a massive amount of them to 10.
    • So yeah, just keep pushing and you'll push me right off your OS.

      Carefactor zero. You're already a lost cause. You're not on the monetized platform, you're just running a legacy piece of software that they need to maintain. You're a support cost with a threat to jump ship if you stop requiring one.

      I don't think MS would give a crap about your threat, they may just make an update specifically for you to push you over the edge.

Unix soit qui mal y pense [Unix to him who evil thinks?]

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