Microsoft aims 'non-security' update at gaping security hole
Disabling Autorun once and for all
Microsoft is delivering a Windows software update designed to quash once and for all the difficulty of disabling Autorun, a feature that allows the spread of malware through CDs, USB, and other removable media.
The update fixes an unspecified issue that prevents the NoDriveTypeAutoRun registry key from working as expected, Microsoft says. It comes a month after the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team called out Redmond for offering instructions on disabling Autorun that were "not fully effective."
Autorun's convenience has long been offset by the risk it poses. That's been a given since at least 2005 with the advent of the Sony rootkit fiasco, which in large part was enabled by the ability of music CDs to silently install anti-copying software on end users' machines.
In the wake of Conficker, a worm that's infected more than 10 million machines in the past three months, the stakes have never been higher. Among the vectors it uses to spread, Conficker (which also goes by the name Downadup) makes use of USB flash drives and mapped networked drives to propagate to new machines.
This week's update is the same fix that Microsoft made available here last May, so users who have already installed it (and then carried out the instructions that follow) should be safe.
Ironically, Microsoft describes the fix as a "non-security update," and it offers this explanation: "In this case, we are communicating the availability of an update that affects your ability to perform subsequent updates, including security updates. Therefore, this advisory does not address a specific security vulnerability; rather, it addresses your overall security."
We're not sure about that. What we do know is that if this update is the difference between Autorun being enabled or disabled, it will make users infinitely safer, and that can only be a good thing. ®
@ AC Blame starry-eyed futurists and LAZY consumers
"What's next? Fully-automated butt-wiping? (Probably, just wait.)"
You are soooo late dude.
Automatic ass-wiping does exist, but unlike autorun, it can been seen as useful.
Both gadgets do aim at buttholes.
Both gadgets can whip your sorry ass and/or give you worms if cracked of misused.
Ho boi, I think I could go on and on, but as my grand-grand father used to say, "a gentleman is a man who can go on and on, but doesn't." (he was a Scottsman).
Blame starry-eyed futurists and LAZY consumers
"If you pop a dvd in your player you'd expect it to start playing. - if you pop a music cd in the audio system you'd expect it to satrt playing. - if you remeber old tapedecks in car radios: pop in the tape and they start playing. so why should a computer be different?"
That's right, computers are now *designed* to be used by dumbed-down morons who are too stupid and LAZY to even push a few buttons, instead these idiots want everything fully automated so that they don't even have to think at all. It's the way of the future, :( after all, and clueless starry-eyed futurists have been trying to foist off such needless automation on the masses for decades now. The masses have no objection because a significant percentage of them are too lazy to even think for themselves, let alone push a few extra buttons.
What's next? Fully-automated butt-wiping? (Probably, just wait.)