WGA Phone Home II: Electric Boogaloo

Yesterday I linked to an article at Heise Security about Windows Genuine Advantage phoning home to tell Microsoft that you refused to install it. When word of this got out, supposedly an insider at Microsoft leaked that Windows Update phones home every time it installs an update. Supposedly, it is only to confirm that an update took to control retransmission and reinstallation from the Windows Update servers; while this makes sense, I would personally feel better if packet captures of this would be posted to confirm or deny his statement.

Which, in fact, I think I'll do tonight while I …

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WGA phones home, even when you don't install it.

WGA - Windows Genuine Advantage. A software agent that runs on installs of Windows to make sure that you're not using a pirated copy. Unless you let it install itself, you'll have a hell of a time updating your system because a running WGA agent is required to run Windows Update. Of course, you can go to the Knowledge Base and download the updates one by one, but when you take into account how many updates there are, you may as well install it yourself.

Interestingly, if you refuse to let the WGA hotfix/update/agent/spyware install itself it phones …

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