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Samsung laptops are blocking Windows updates leaving them open to attack

A piece of software blocks Windows updates, which regularly include important security updates.

Image: Lee Jin-man/AP Photo

SAMSUNG HAS BEEN accused of blocking Microsoft updates to its laptops, potentially leaving them vulnerable to hackers exploiting flaws in outdated software.

The Next Web reports that Samsung laptops come with their own software update programmes, which is meant to keep the laptop up-to-date with the latest software.

But there’s a problem with Samsung’s update programme: It forces laptops to ignore Microsoft’s official Windows updates.

Security researcher Patrick Barker explained in a blog post that Samsung laptops contain a piece of software called “Disable_Windowsupdate.exe.”

The software, which blocks Windows updates, could leave Samsung laptops vulnerable to hackers. If a laptop doesn’t run the most recent operating system, then hackers can exploit old flaws in software to install malicious programmes.

Even worse, Samsung silently downloads “Disable_Windowsupdate.exe” when you use a laptop, meaning that users likely don’t know that they’re not using the most recent operating system.

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Barker talked to a Samsung customer support representative to ask about the update programme. The employee told him that Samsung disabled Windows updates to prevent the software interfering with its laptops. That’s unusual behaviour, and Gizmodo notes that it’s likely a “half-a—- fix” and an example of “corner-cutting.”

- James Cook

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