Mystery of Microsoft's automatic updates

Mystery of Microsoft's automatic updates

Summary: The software maker is investigating why some Windows machines were apparently updated and forced to reboot without their owners' consent

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TOPICS: Security
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Software giant Microsoft is investigating why some Windows machines automatically updated themselves and rebooted following last week's Patch Tuesday.

As first reported on Windows user group AeroXperience, last week the automatic updates feature caused some Windows machines to reboot. Users complained to Microsoft that their machines had downloaded and installed updates they did not consent to.

Microsoft on Friday reported that it was looking into the incident, but denied that it was caused by any changes made to its Automatic Update client.

"We have been hearing some questions recently regarding Tuesday's update release changing automatic updating settings," wrote Nate Clinton, a Microsoft Update program manager, in a blog post. "We have received some logs from customers, and have so far been able to determine that their AU [automatic update] settings were not changed by any changes to the AU client itself and also not changed by any updates installed by AU."

"We are still looking into this to see if another application is making this change during setup with user consent, or if this issue is related to something else. We are continuing the investigation, and as I have more information I will update this post," wrote Clinton.

Clinton appealed for those "running into this issue" to "contact support, and they can walk you through the steps necessary to provide logs and other useful data" to Microsoft.

Update: Clinton has updated his blog post, and said that, out of the user logs that Microsoft has so far seen, none of the updates released "made any changes to users' AU settings".

Topic: Security

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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