Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 11th Jun 2010 21:27 UTC
Microsoft "Microsoft has fixed the distribution scope of a toolbar update that, without the user's knowledge, installed an add-on in Internet Explorer and an extension in Firefox called Search Helper Extension. Microsoft told us that the new update is actually the same as the old one; the only difference is the distribution settings. In other words, the update will no longer be distributed to toolbars that it shouldn't be added to. End users won't see the tweak, Microsoft told Ars, and also offered an explanation on what the mystery add-on actually does."
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RE[2]: Gotta love it
by MollyC on Mon 14th Jun 2010 06:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Gotta love it"
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

Um, this was a bug. A harmless one at that.

You suggest otherwise, that this wasn't a bug, but was instead done for some evil purpose. What is the evil purpose? If you can't provide a motive then you have no case. Every prosecutor knows that.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Gotta love it
by phreck on Mon 14th Jun 2010 10:11 in reply to "RE[2]: Gotta love it"
phreck Member since:
2009-08-13

I am curious how to fly so blind as to produce a bug that installs some unasked for extensions to a non-microsoft-owned nor -supported software.

As I understand it, this is a bit like when chimps finally author the next Shakespeare novel.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Gotta love it
by lemur2 on Mon 14th Jun 2010 11:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Gotta love it"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

MollyC:

Um, this was a bug. A harmless one at that.


Maybe so, but it is not the point.

phreck:
a bug that installs some unasked for extensions to a non-microsoft-owned nor -supported software


Exactly.

Now that is the point. What is more is that it silently installs, without user permission to do so. Even though in this case the software that was installed was harmless, it still illustrates the existence of a mechanism.

Who owns any given Windows machine, after all? With my own personal machines, all running Kubuntu, there is no doubt about it ... I own the machines. They are in my control.

If I were running Windows instead, that clearly would not be the case.

Edited 2010-06-14 11:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Gotta love it
by vaette on Mon 14th Jun 2010 12:54 in reply to "RE[3]: Gotta love it"
vaette Member since:
2008-08-09

You install software updates on Ubuntu just like you do on Windows, and the .deb packages run arbitrary scripts, just like installers on Windows. And, of course, nothing forces these scripts to be bug-free or the package description from not mentioning some key information.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Gotta love it
by bornagainenguin on Mon 14th Jun 2010 15:15 in reply to "RE[3]: Gotta love it"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

lemur2 exclaimed...

Who owns any given Windows machine, after all? With my own personal machines, all running Kubuntu, there is no doubt about it ...


Yes, there is certainly no doubt that Canonical owns those machines! ;)

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Parent Score: 2