Samsung Deliberately Disables Windows Update on Laptops

A user's call for help on an online support forum has unraveled what could prove to be a serious headache for Samsung, after it was discovered that the South Korean electronics giant has deliberately disabled Windows Update on some of its laptops to favor its own bloatware.

That could leave many Samsung users vulnerable to hack attacks, viruses and other security problems that Microsoft's regular Windows updates are aimed at resolving.

The problem came to light Tuesday after independent Microsoft debugger/reverse engineer Patrick Barker posted a summary on his blog. The post described how a Samsung-signed program named Disable_Windowsupdate.exe is automatically launched when users' computers execute Samsung's own driver-updating software, SW Update.

We reached out to Samsung for comment on the matter but have not yet heard back from the company. The revelation is a potential black eye for Samsung, especially in light of the PR lashing Lenovo took earlier this year after its notebooks were found to include security-compromising, pre-loaded adware called Superfish.

'Report Samsung Update as Malware'

The matter began when a user called "wavly" described a problem with Windows Update settings on Barker's support forum, Sysnative, earlier this month. After several attempts to identify the source, forum moderators traced the issue to the Windows Update-disabling program launched by Samsung's own software.

In his blog post, Barker described contacting Samsung support via online chat to ask about the software. Initially the support representative said that Samsung's SW Update has "no effect" on Windows Updates. However, after checking further the representative told Barker, "When you enable Windows updates, it will install the default drivers for all the hardware no [sic] laptop which may or may not work. For example if there is USB 3.0 on laptop, the ports may not work with the installation of updates. So to prevent this,...

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