Posted on March 14th, 2017 at 06:10 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
Günter Born has details on Borncity.
Long and short of it, the two notorious Win7/8.1 snooping patches, KB 2952664 and KB 2976978, which were re-re-… released last week, have been pulled.
I fully expect to see them back later today as part of the St Patrick’s Patch Tuesday festivities. When the re-appear, they may well be marked as “Recommended” – which means you may get them installed if you aren’t careful.
There’s a big crop of patches waiting in the wings. Now’s a good time to make sure you’re at MS-DEFCON 2, automatic updates are turned off, and your system’s braced for winter weather.
Posted on March 7th, 2017 at 13:22 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
We’re seeing a replay of February’s Patch Tuesday run –
… except this time it isn’t Patch Tuesday. No idea what’s been changed in those two proto-snooping patches. No idea why they’re being re-re-…-released on the first Tuesday of the month. But they are coming out as Optional, which means they won’t get installed unless you check the corresponding box in Windows Update.
Anyway, best to get locked down. We’re at MS-DEFCON 2: Patch reliability is unclear. Unless you have an immediate, pressing need to install a specific patch, don’t do it.
Oh and, yes, it looks like Windows Update is working again, after taking a month off.
Full story in InfoWorld Woody on Windows
Posted on February 21st, 2017 at 12:16 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
These are the two patches implicated with various snooping proclivities, and tied into upgrading from Windows 7 to Win10, or Win8.1 to Win10 — which should be a non-starter tat this point.
I can see them in the Microsoft Update Catalog:
They’re both listed as “Last Updated 2/17/2017.”
They aren’t listed on the Windows Update official page, but PKCano reports that she’s seeing the Win 8.1 patch, released today, optional and unchecked.
Of course you should avoid them.
Posted on February 15th, 2017 at 10:17 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
There’s a lot of conjecture. I haven’t seen any Feb “Patch Tuesday” style patches. Have you?
Hard to believe all of the patches – Vista, Win7, 8.1, various 10s, the Offices including Click-to-Run, IE, .NET, and all the weird supporting patches have all gone missing.
The only conclusion I can draw – and it’s 100% speculation – is that Windows Update is broken. Or maybe compromised.
Do you have any better info – or a contrary opinion?
UPDATE: Gregg Keizer at Computerworld just posted an interview with a security expert who, amazingly, seems to say exactly what I’m saying.
Posted on February 11th, 2017 at 08:05 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
- A thorough list of telemetry-inspired Win7 and 8.1 patches
- A list of dozens of Microsoft servers that only exist to snoop
- Details about disabling the Customer Experience Improvement Program, the Diagnostic Tracking Service, and scheduled tasks that phone the mothership.
If you’re concerned about Win7 snooping – and you should at least be aware of the, ahem, feature and its manifestations – this is an amazing central repository of information.
Posted on February 10th, 2017 at 22:02 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
Windows guru Günter Born has just posted an English-language article on his web site about KB 2952664 and KB 2976978, the re-issued snooping patches for Win7 and 8.1 (see entry below). His article includes a detailed description of how one might cut off the telemetry in those patches.
The question is “why Microsoft re-releases those updates, although they has been installed on many machines, and why as a extraordinary update on a Thursday?” Microsoft kb articles doesn’t give a clue what’s in.
He goes through a series of steps to take down a program called compattelrunner.exe, a telemetry data gathering routine that “has been known as a trouble maker driving many systems CPU and RAM load to 100%.” Born admonishes:
But note, I haven’t tested it – so you are at your own risk – and we don’t know how long this trick will work. But it’s maybe helpful.
He also includes a list of telemetry related patches that many of you will find interesting.
Check it out.
Posted on February 9th, 2017 at 15:14 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
What’s going on?
InfoWorld Woody on Windows
UPDATE: The replies here are getting thick and uninformative. Opinions are great, but they belong in the Rants forum, not here.
I sealed off the replies, and point you to this comment by Mr. Brian:
I think we have a decent idea of what KB2952664 does (at least the older version that I tested). KB2952664 adds task Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser. Task Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser is a gatherer of information that is sent to Microsoft by service Diagnostics Tracking Service.
Detailed KB2952664 (older version) test results: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/care-to-join-a-win7-snooping-test/#post-21407.
Method of listing the telemetry data that Diagnostics Tracking Service sends to Microsoft: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/care-to-join-a-win7-snooping-test/#post-21414.
I will test the newer version of KB2952664 when time permits.
I’ll update this as definitive information arrives.
Posted on November 2nd, 2016 at 10:29 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
It’s an optional patch, so you won’t get it unless you ask for it.
The KB article is now up to revision 32.
Microsoft is careful to note (this time):
This update performs diagnostics on the Windows systems that participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program. The diagnostics evaluate compatibility on the Windows ecosystem and help Microsoft to ensure application and device compatibility for all updates to Windows. There is no GWX or upgrade functionality contained in this update.
It’s the Win8.1 analog to the much-discussed Win7 KB 2952664.
While Microsoft implies that the patch only does its snooping if you enable the Customer Experience Improvement Program, I haven’t found any official confirmation.