Feeds

MS fixes phone-home nagware

WGA patch issued

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Microsoft has patched a controversial nagware update that "phoned home" every time Windows started. Redmond has also issued an advisory with instructions on how to remove the software.

The component was designed to enforce its 'Windows Genuine Advantage' anti-piracy program, by nagging users into a state of obedience. Every time the PC was activated, the "notifications" (Redmond-speak for nag) portion of WGA checked its state against a central server, and then invited users of non-compliant software where they could "learn more about the benefits of using genuine Windows software."

Quite why Windows needed to phone home simply to remind itself to pester users is one of the more curious features of the program. But Microsoft's own channel fell foul of the warnings: two distributors said they'd received false positives for legitimate Windows installations. A year ago Microsoft made WGA mandatory for all Windows users seeking software updates or patches, and the Notifications nag was rolled out world wide on May 30, on what Microsoft describes a 'voluntary' basis.

Today Microsoft says a new version of WGA will no longer make the daily "phone home" call.

In a release titled "Windows Genuine Advantage Bolsters Frontline in Anti-Piracy Fight", Microsoft said it has also changed the End User License Agreement (EULA) with a General Availability EULA that makes its purpose clearer to users. And there's a new Knowledge Base advisory, over here, where you can learn how to both disable the nagware, or delete it completely. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.