June 30th, 2002, 02:13 PM
gives Billing admin privileges on your box!
MS security patch EULA gives Billg admin privileges on your box!
By Thomas C Greene in Washington
Posted: 30/06/2002 at 05:56 GMT
The story can be found here @
If you caught our recent coverage of the Windows Media Player trio of security holes you may have followed a link to the TechNet download site for a patch, or you might have activated Windows Update. If you did the former (though, oddly, not if you did the latter), you would have been confronted with an End User License Agreement (EULA) stating, most ominously, that:
"You agree that in order to protect the integrity of content and software protected by digital rights management ('Secure Content'), Microsoft may provide security related updates to the OS Components that will be automatically downloaded onto your computer. These security related updates may disable your ability to copy and/or play Secure Content and use other software on your computer. If we provide such a security update, we will use reasonable efforts to post notices on a web site explaining the update."
"Reasonable efforts to post notices" somewhere on the Web. I think it's clear from the wording that MS has absolutely no intention of bringing this behavior to our attention.
Instead, Microsoft has just assumed the right to attack your computer and surreptitiously install code of its choosing. You will not be warned; you will not be offered an opportunity examine the download or refuse it. MS will simply connect remotely and install what it will, or install it secretly when you contact them.
This means MS will have administrator privileges on your personal computer. What they feed you may be infected with viruses; it may break your applications, corrupt data files, destroy weeks or months or even years of work, but you'll have no recourse if it does. By downloading this WMP critical security patch, which you must do to operate WMP safely, you'll agree to give Billg deed and title to your personal property and to leave Microsoft immune from legal retaliation if they damage your machine.
The pusillanimity of wrapping what amounts to a digital land-grant into a needed, critical security patch is matched only by the arrogance of assuming that Windows is now such a fundamental linchpin of a human life worth living that no retaliation in the courts or at the retail counters is conceivable. (And that's not to mention 'informal' retaliation by outraged IP warriors, which we fully expect to see.)
We've heard the Billg rubbish about Trustworthy Computing until we're sick to death of the trivial incantation. Ironically, Microsoft has just taken steps to make the Internet immensely more untrustworthy than it already is. When we know that arbitrary code will be secretely installed on our connected boxes by software vendors who are not accountable for the damage they may do, any issue of trust is obliterated.
June 30th, 2002, 03:11 PM
I was reading it earlyer and the things they put in there are getting worse and are just plain stupid. one way to protect your self from MS would be to block all connections to them with your firewall but then they will probally add things to there patches. Next there MS will be saying they have the rights to seize your box.
If its not broken it can still be inproved.
June 30th, 2002, 07:31 PM
What will Microsoft think up next? This is not cool.
I guess it's time to configure my firewalls.
one way to protect your self from MS would be to block all connections to them with your firewall but then they will probally add things to there patches
July 1st, 2002, 12:55 AM
Time to fire up ethereal and see what is going to *micro* addresses this time :P (and passport, or hotmail, or expedia, or terraserver or...)
[HvC]Terr: L33T Technical Proficiency
July 1st, 2002, 03:31 AM
Does this really surprise any of you? Not me..
July 6th, 2002, 10:01 AM
I was unlucky enoubh to read the below thread:
Media Play thread
I then installed the Media Play critical update on all the computers at home and at the office.
Color me stupid.