Microsoft Windows has featured an automatic update feature for nearly ten years. The application dutifully served to keep the patching process simpler by automatically reaching to Microsoft servers to install the latest critical updates or service patches. In order to allow users (and corporate IT) to review patches prior to installation, the application always had the functionality to opt-out by disabling the automatic file downloads. Recently, however, network security researchers discovered DLLs (dynamic link libraries) within Windows XP and Vista systems receiving updates despite the Automatic Update application being disabled. At the moment, the updates seem to be innocuous although an official statement on the patches has not been released. Such a backdoor mechanism has led researchers to look into whether the update was an automatic pull or a triggered push along with whether it differs enough to be exploited for malicious software installation.
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