Windows 'snooping' and nagging patches return, including KB 3035583, KB 2952664

Nagware KB 3035583 is marked 'Important' on some PCs and will thus install on Automatic Update

Windows 'snooping' and nagging patches return, including KB 3035583, KB 2952664
Michael Hiemstra (CC BY 2.0)

In the past two days, Microsoft has released (more accurately, re-released) six patches. Almost all of them have been identified, in the past, as "snooping" or "nagware" patches. One is marked "Important," at least on some PCs, so folks with Automatic Update turned on will get the new versions automatically, potentially wiping out any precautions they've taken before.

Here's the list:

KB 3035583, re-released for Windows 7 on Oct 5, version 8. I described this as a Windows 10 nagware patch back in May. It's responsible for installing the Get Windows 10 nagware program GWX. There is no information in the KB article about why the patch has been re-released.

I have reports from one Windows 7 user who claims this patch is marked "Important," and the Windows Update master list says it's "Recommended." On my Windows 7 PCs, it's unchecked and in the Optional bucket. On the "Important" PC the patch is checked and ready to install with Automatic Update. I have no idea why.

KB 2952664, re-released for Windows 7 on Oct. 6, version 13. I talked about the way this patch triggered daily telemetry runs back in April. It was the first "snooping" patch I found. The KB article continues to identify the patch as a "Compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7." There's no indication why it was re-released.

KB 2976978, re-released for Windows 8.1 on Oct. 6, version 19. Still labeled a "Compatibility update for Windows 8.1," it's a scanning program. In June, I found the claimed connection with the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program to be tenuous, at best.

KB 2977759, re-released for Windows 7 on Oct. 6, version 12. Analogous to the KB 2976978 patch for Windows 8.1, this one is also a scanner. The KB article says it's a compatibility update for Windows 7 RTM.

KB 3083710 is a new update client for Windows 7, with no further details available.

KB 3083711 is also new, and it appears to be an analogous update client change for Windows 8.1.

Be careful what you patch.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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