AutoPatcher no longer allowed


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+M2Ys4U
I'm not sure with whom @ MS the autopatcher team is in communication... I do know there is a legal / authorized way to become a re-distributor for the hotfixes/patches/updates/optional components as indicated on the MS Sites... I will be starting an inquiry for my own purposes in the immediate future to discover what terms and conditions MS requires for such and arrangement. Will let you know what MS has to say to someone who is not a member of the AP team and may be taking a different route through MS's heirarchy.

Something tells me that by having AutoPatcher split into two components... AP for just MS components, AP Options for everything else would satisfy their concern for integrity while allowing a single download for a "core" module. I may be wrong, but there are definite advantages with this technique over a "wget" type batch downloader strategy.

Maybe that there is no alternative than the later, but then again, why would there be an authorized path to becoming a re-distributor if only distribution can occur from the MS Update / Download servers?...

In other words, MS fails to encourage/authorize/ensure quality and security with alternative patch management by not having a readily accessible path and thus forces "roll your own" / fly by night / script kiddie improvisations which can and will be distributed via file sharing networks. Thus, MS is actually creating an environment that encourages malware by not having accessible / authorized / high quality alternative patch management systems working with them towards the overall goal of providing a more secure computing environment for MS users. This is the very reason MS sent the C&D, which could not be more contrary to it's stated intention.

Does MS strategy in regards to alternative patch management completely defy logic or what?....

Antonis posted on AutoPatcher.com detailing what's going to happen next, and having been approached by the team to help because of personnel changes I have a further insight. AutoPatcher will be moving to a more "web-oriented" structure - You'll download a small binary from AutoPatcher.com, which will contain a downloader. This downloader will then retrieve script files from a central repository, which will contain instructions for the downloader to compile AutoPatcher modules. These script files will download the Microsoft files directly from Microsoft's servers. These modules are then stored exactly as before, meaning you download once, run anywhere just like with the 'old' AutoPatcher.

http://www.autopatcher.com/137 - Antonis' blog entry on it.

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remix17
Antonis posted on AutoPatcher.com detailing what's going to happen next, and having been approached by the team to help because of personnel changes I have a further insight. AutoPatcher will be moving to a more "web-oriented" structure - You'll download a small binary from AutoPatcher.com, which will contain a downloader. This downloader will then retrieve script files from a central repository, which will contain instructions for the downloader to compile AutoPatcher modules. These script files will download the Microsoft files directly from Microsoft's servers. These modules are then stored exactly as before, meaning you download once, run anywhere just like with the 'old' AutoPatcher.

http://www.autopatcher.com/137 - Antonis' blog entry on it.

Sweet!

Thank you AutoPatcher team!!! :D You always come though!

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os2fan2

I wonder if it is possible to release just the autopatcher shell, and users could download their own fixes from Microsoft?

Users could then create their own autopatcher while still getting the files from MSFT.

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Panacik
I wonder if it is possible to release just the autopatcher shell, and users could download their own fixes from Microsoft?

Users could then create their own autopatcher while still getting the files from MSFT.

Read up a few posts mate. That is the general idea of what is going to happen...

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kimsland

So, what you are saying is that when AP release October (??) new version; M$ servers are going to be flooded with a few thousand or so downloaders.

Are M$ aware that this will happen ? On one day ?

It may be interesting to see the outcome of their previous actions against AP has backfired onto them.

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PhoenixOne
I had a call from Microsoft Legal this morning and they have told me that we are no longer allowed to endorse AutoPatcher on Neowin.

Microsoft will only allow updates to be downloaded from its own servers.

AutoPatcher started in 2003 and has been redistributed in some of the worlds best computer magazine cover CD/DVD's. I have no explanation for why Microsoft allowed it to continue unchecked for 4 years before making this decision.

I asked the representative if Windows Genuine Advantage had anything to do with it and he categorically told me this was not the case, he added that Windows Update for pre-Vista versions of Windows can now be accessed using Firefox and that the concern at Microsoft had more to do with the possible malicious code that could be redistributed with certified Microsoft updates.

We have no grounds to challenge the decision by Microsoft.

I'd like to thank the whole AutoPatcher team for their continued work, unfortunately none of the team is online, but they have been contacted via the AutoPatcher.com website by Microsoft Legal.

The AutoPatcher forums have been disabled for guests and members.

Here Here! i would like to throw my thanks behind that sentiment, Microsoft just wanted to regain that creepy bit of control over us again (anyone noticed how 'intergrated' windows live messenger is?

I don't like, and never have liked, ANY large entity, looking over my shoulder, and the powers that be have enough information on us all, anyway, without the paraniod anroid that is MS-Everything, starting to reclaim all the fun from having access to the totality of the world's knowledge, making sure that they know exactly what we are updating on our machines.

Autopatcher gave us all a little bit of control over overzealous 'critical' updates.

I only hope some underground version bubbles up soon.

They will be sadly missed

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markjensen
So, what you are saying is that when AP release October (??) new version; M$ servers are going to be flooded with a few thousand or so downloaders.

Are M$ aware that this will happen ? On one day ?

It may be interesting to see the outcome of their previous actions against AP has backfired onto them.

As as been said before, a few thousand downloaders in a day is not going to melt down microsoft.com.

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Panacik
So, what you are saying is that when AP release October (??) new version; M$ servers are going to be flooded with a few thousand or so downloaders.

Are M$ aware that this will happen ? On one day ?

It may be interesting to see the outcome of their previous actions against AP has backfired onto them.

Please dont use M$, MS is far more convenient. I know its picky, but it really nerves me.

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whocares78
As as been said before, a few thousand downloaders in a day is not going to melt down microsoft.com.

yeah not like it doens't happen every second tuesday of the month anyway

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Shof
Please dont use M$, MS is far more convenient. I know its picky, but it really nerves me.

how does M$ nerves you? whats wrong with it?

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Josh Kordani

Wait wait wait, If M$ released hashes for its patches then they wouldn't have to worry about making sure that patches distro'd via 3rd party are genuine. The real problem is that the wga check for those patches that needed it was done by the autopatcher crew and anyone who used the subsequent content didn't need to go through the wga check. useful for pirates, etc. I like the idea of having the framework be distributable so that users can make their own autopatcher. It sucks that they lost their forum space, because such things could be deliberated by the crew and the public there, but oh well. Great app. Lookin forward to seeing a public forum for the AP crew up soon.

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Panacik
how does M$ nerves you? whats wrong with it?

Just seems like a such a jelious thing to do, i dont know why.

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raskren
Actually, OSX is UNIX-based, not Linux based... it uses the XNU kernel which is a Mach/FreeBSD combination...

Anyways, AutoPatcher will be back - legally.

Don't know why we're on this subject but FreeBSD is UNIX-like but has not attained UNIX certifications. Therefore, OS X != UNIX.

Anyway, carry on.

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+M2Ys4U
Wait wait wait, If M$ released hashes for its patches then they wouldn't have to worry about making sure that patches distro'd via 3rd party are genuine. The real problem is that the wga check for those patches that needed it was done by the autopatcher crew and anyone who used the subsequent content didn't need to go through the wga check. useful for pirates, etc. I like the idea of having the framework be distributable so that users can make their own autopatcher. It sucks that they lost their forum space, because such things could be deliberated by the crew and the public there, but oh well. Great app. Lookin forward to seeing a public forum for the AP crew up soon.

The updates already had digital signatures - didn't stop MS worrying about integrity. It's true, though, how many of us went into the AutoPatcher directory and checked to make sure the digital signatures were correct? Probably at most about 2.

Sure a non-trivial part of the AP userbase were pirates, so what? It's not as if the team were promoting piracy, we even told pirates we couldn't give them support on the forums if they admitted they had a pirated copy of windows.

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+M2Ys4U
Don't know why we're on this subject but FreeBSD is UNIX-like but has not attained UNIX certifications. Therefore, OS X != UNIX.

Anyway, carry on.

OS X has attained UNIX SUS compliance.

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kimsland

Hi "Rich"

Actually I only started writing M$ since using Neowin (seems the standard here) I suppose it's meant to signify Microsoft dollar hungry.

But actually I do agree that the label is a bit childish, otherwise I should use U$ for US and so forth.

So under your recommendation I hereby revert back to my original MS. For Microsoft Sucks !!

Kim

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Neo Razgriz

Autopatcher may be defeated. But that doesn't mean people aren't gonna try and do stuff with it for their own personal use.

As far as I'm aware, Autopatcher and all it contains can be slipstreamed into an XP Home/Pro SP2 CD. That sure would eliminate painfully slow hours of updating everything from scratch!

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Upendran

I don't understand why autopatcher forum is to be removed completely. I thought MS objects the download links only. This can be achieved by removing the links. If MS considers any talk about AP infringes their 'rights', this thread should also be considered 'illegal' ;)

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kimsland

The AutoPatcher forum thread was designed to Add/Edit and generally Help with the new AP updates.

As the Download page has ceased the forum is not required

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Upendran
The AutoPatcher forum thread was designed to Add/Edit and generally Help with the new AP updates.

As the Download page has ceased the forum is not required

Very true. The forum contained organized list of fixes, add-ons, discussions about add-ons/ fixes etc. If MS is afraid that those who have already downloaded latest AP will benefit, then the forum must be shut down. But wait! MS is only concerned that 'innocent' AP 'victims' will be infected with 'malicious code' distributed by AP. Those who have got AP are already in danger :o . What a scary scenario :devil: . MS should do something fast to save all these innocent victims ;)

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+Frank B.

On August 29th I wrote MS via a contact link M2Ys4U posted in #neowin. Today they wrote back.

What I wrote:

Please reconsider your decision to kill off the AutoPatcher project. The project provided a massive benefit to its users, a lot of whom were on Dialup or had to patch a large number of computers and wished to save a lot of time. The product also helped increase the security of Windows, thus improving Microsoft's image.

Regards, Frank Becker

What the MS representative wrote back:

Dear Frank,

Thank you for contacting us about AutoPatcher.

I realize that this has clearly caused you a lot of difficulties. I would like provide you with more information on our position.

It is our policy that the distribution of supplemental code such as hotfixes, security updates, and service packs is discouraged. This policy is in place due to concern for the safety and security of our customers, as we can only guarantee the download?s contents when it comes from a Microsoft web site. Distribution of these materials without permission is also an infringement of our copyright.

We try and contact anyone who is in violation of our policy as soon as we can, once we are aware of what they are doing. AutoPatcher is not the only company we have contacted.

We recommend that our customers sign up for Microsoft Update (MU) and enable Automatic Update functionality to receive all updates directly from us. In addition, we have enterprise services such as Windows Server Updates Services (WSUS) that we recommend our enterprise customers to use.

We provide this guidance as it is common to see email scams encouraging people to download our latest patches, but the URL takes them to sites where they are actually exposed to malware. In order to ensure that customers are getting actual Microsoft updates and not malware, we recommend customers get their updates directly from us.

On a separate note, I see you have selected Germany as your country of residence. For more information you may wish to contact your local Microsoft office on the following website as they may able to provide more information;

http://www.microsoft.com/worldwide/phone/c...country=Germany

I hope this information has answered your query, but if you have any more questions please contact our Customer Services team in the UK on 0870 60 10 100. The lines are open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. If you still have any more questions, please reply to this email.

Many thanks for contacting us.

Kind regards,

MAMATHA DALEER

Customer Service Professional

Microsoft Customer Services

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Panacik

Dear Rich,

Thank you for contacting us about AutoPatcher.

I am sorry for the frustration this has caused. I would like provide you with more information on our position.

It is our policy that the distribution of supplemental code such as hotfixes, security updates, and service packs is discouraged. This policy is in place due to concern for the safety and security of our customers, as we can only guarantee the download?s contents when it comes from a Microsoft web site. Distribution of these materials without permission is also an infringement of our copyright.

We try and contact anyone who is in violation of our policy as soon as we can, once we are aware of what they are doing. AutoPatcher is not the only company we have contacted.

We recommend that our customers sign up for Microsoft Update (MU) and enable Automatic Update functionality to receive all updates directly from us. In addition, we have enterprise services such as Windows Server Updates Services (WSUS) that we recommend our enterprise customers to use.

We provide this guidance as it is common to see email scams encouraging people to download our latest patches, but the URL takes them to sites where they are actually exposed to malware. In order to ensure that customers are getting actual Microsoft updates and not malware, we recommend customers get their updates directly from us.

I hope this information has answered your query, but if you have any more questions please give us a call on 0870 60 10 100. The lines are open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. If you still have any more questions, please reply to this email.

Many thanks for contacting us.

Kind regards,

MAMATHA DALEER

Customer Service Professional

Microsoft Customer Services

Protect Your PC: Microsoft recommends that you protect your PC from Viruses and Security threats. Please visit our website http://www.microsoft.com/uk/security/protect/alert.mspx and follow the steps to stay secure.

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Panacik

If anyone wanted to call that number, but without using the 0870, then there is only on free number of that that may take you through to the same place:

0800 281221

The other number coming of that is unfortunatly outside the UK:

+353 14502113

Rich

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MenageZer0
Very true. The forum contained organized list of fixes, add-ons, discussions about add-ons/ fixes etc. If MS is afraid that those who have already downloaded latest AP will benefit, then the forum must be shut down. But wait! MS is only concerned that 'innocent' AP 'victims' will be infected with 'malicious code' distributed by AP. Those who have got AP are already in danger :o . What a scary scenario :devil: . MS should do something fast to save all these innocent victims ;)

i always thought that even just something like what i highlighted, just a simple well organized and complete list of what is needed for an up-to-date installation of a specific windows os, could be very useful, even now that ap is no more avaible; due to the absence of somthing really comparable on ms websites, it would be a smart and quick info source which could help someone who want to collect and keep all the updates&co to save a lot of time, time which otherwise has to be spent in searching on ms download center or ms catalog website

now a little doubt: when ap will be re-born as a web based utility to download directly from ms the original packages and then, i guess, to automatically build on the user's pc the omni-comprensive pack, won't ms complain again about those theoric potential security issues ? i.e. saying that they're afraid of the risk that the utility could alter their packgaes or insert anyway in the final pack aimed to update windows malicious code etc. .... and so won't they "stop the show" again ?

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