How to avoid microsoft phoning home software during updates

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by ssecure, May 29, 2009.

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  1. ssecure

    ssecure Registered Member

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    Hi people. I plan to do clean install of xp sp3 and would like to know what are the names/files of the specific annoying windows applications like "windows genuine advantage" and the likes of it that phone home during restart or do other annoying possibly comprimising stuff.

    So lemme know which names/files should I avoid during windows update. I wanna avoid them in advance so I dont have to deal with special software to remove them or finding their reg keys etc...

    Afaik the new microsoft policy doesnt force you to get the likes of windows genuine advantage,so you can choose not to get it. And the xp sp3 cd doesnt install it, or similar stuff by default, afaik again.
     
  2. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    Nothing is hidden just look through the updates and do not install the ones you either don't need or don't like the sound of. Otherwise you worry too much.
     
  3. Meriadoc

    Meriadoc Registered Member

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    ...you could also add a few lines to your hosts file

    eg. 127.0.0.1 xxx.xxx.microsoft.com
     
  4. ssecure

    ssecure Registered Member

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    Wouldnt that stop all updates? I dont want that, I just dont want to download the likes of "windows genuine adavantage" and the other great "advantages" they use to phone home unauthoritised.

    Another question related to windows update....

    Do you do your updates in a LUA or administrative account? Smtimes they can take hours to download so just curious whats better and whats the difference? Can you even run updates under lua?
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2009
  5. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    You have to download and update under admin account
     
  6. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    Well, for starters Microsoft MSRT (Malicious Software Removal Tool), in case you run it, at the end of each scanning, it will report back to Microsoft the results.

    One way to stop this is to do a registry hack, by going to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\MRT and check whether or not there's a Dword entry named DontReportInfectionInformation. If yes, then set it to 1. If not, create one and give that name and set it's value to 1.

    As far as I'm concerned, this is spyware behavior, and simply because there's no option in the MSRT user interface to disable the reporting.

    For those running x64 is here HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\RemovalTools\MRT
     
  7. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    as described under
    Q3. How can I disable the infection-reporting component of the tool so that the report is not sent back to Microsoft?
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/891716
     
  8. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    Yes, Microsoft has an article about it. But that, still doesn't make it right for not allowing users to disable it in the user interface, which would be right thing to do. Users report if they want.

    It's like the WGA tool. Nothing against checking whether or not the system is legitimate, but doing it every time?... What the heck?! First time, is OK. A second one, third one, and so one... is abusing.
     
  9. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    It doesn't make it right in your opinion and it it doesn't make it wrong in MS opinion because they don't see anything wrong with it. It is a good tool that does a good job in getting rid of malware worldwide with a documented way of suppressing reporting back to MS.

    As for WGA (not Notification tool) checking on update that does not bother me nor i find it abusive or excessive. I understand on principle why some object to it but I don't notice it.
     
  10. m00nbl00d

    m00nbl00d Registered Member

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    I guess this is one of those matters that we must agree to disagree. :thumb:
     
  11. Meriadoc

    Meriadoc Registered Member

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    @ ssecure, not exactly what I meant. You could find out where your undesirable programs report to and block them easily with host file, I know you don't want them in the first instance but not having some leaves you out of certain MS downloads.
     
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