back to article Microsoft rides to Dell's rescue, wrecks rogue root certificate

Microsoft has killed Dell's user-pwning root certificate and its self-reinstalling .dll with its antivirus Defender tool. The certificate is a big blunder because it opens a universal means for attackers on public networks to hose new Dell laptops. That's because bright minds planted a self-signed root CA certificate and …

  1. stephajn

    Well holy crap...

    Microsoft actually rescued its users from having their data stolen and their systems compromised by spyware? Oh the irony when Windows 10 is so laden with a bunch of that from Microsoft themselves! Irony meter just exploded.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well holy crap...

      Time for the sarcasm detector to be updated.

      There must be a way to include irony...

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Well holy crap...

      Nah, Slurp did not want the competition.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Well holy crap...

      Real irony would be if the next Dell update killed the Windows10 phone home ....

      1. Antonymous Coward

        Re: Well holy crap...

        A pwnage war! Brilliant! Oh I do dearly hope so!

        FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!...

        1. el_oscuro

          Re: Well holy crap...

          Breaking out the popcorn now. Is there a pay-per-view link?

      2. P. Lee

        Re: Well holy crap...

        >Real irony would be if the next Dell update killed the Windows10 phone home ....

        Not as good as Windows Defender killing off the Telemetry updates!

        That I would pay to see!

    4. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Well holy crap...

      Actually, Dell 'bright idea' is even worse than a spyware. It opened PCs to world+dogs, while at least a spyware tries to gather data for its own use alone.

    5. Steve Crook

      Re: Well holy crap...

      For those who want to know there's this:

      Which is a description (and an almost apology) for the problem, along with a detailed instructions on how to get rid of the offending items.

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "Dell's dumb DLL"

    One day I will open a diner with that name. And extra fatty, disgusting sausages will be served as local speciality, I shall call it "Mike's Cipher Sausage". And when you have noshed on it, the waitress will ask "care for a reinstall?" and refill your plate.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: "Dell's dumb DLL"

      I was supportive of your plans, right up until you used the term "Nosh", then my brain decided "fatty, disgusting sausages" could only have been a simile for something I don't much fancy wrapping my lips around.

      You ruined the dream man......

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

          Re: "Dell's dumb DLL"

          Just beware that it may lead to a core dump later on, although hopefully not a BSOD...

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Wont't stop me hating on MSFT!

    Big whoop for Windoze. Linux Mint also cooks a lovely supper, puts the children to bed and gets you all the best Black Friday deals.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wont't stop me hating on MSFT!

      EADON? That you in there?

      Blink twice if you can hear me

    2. dogged

      Re: Wont't stop me hating on MSFT!

      JJ has been surreptitiously mocking the usual linux trolls with this stuff for a while now.

      1. Chemist

        Re: Wont't stop me hating on MSFT!

        " surreptitiously"

        Sorry dogged, that's not how I'd define 'surreptitiously'

        1. dogged

          Re: Wont't stop me hating on MSFT!

          Chemist - it's becoming less and less believable as time goes by.

          To start with, he was fairly low key and got upvoted a lot. Now, not so much.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Wont't stop me hating on MSFT!

        About as surreptitious a brass band marching down the high street at lunchtime.

  5. largefile

    I only wish Windows Defender could block the Microsoft haters who post in this rag. Nearly two decades...don't you ever tire of your own voices?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Your remarkable absolutism suits the company you champion, my friend.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Yeah, great idea.

      Ban all the Windows Haters!

      Ban all the Linux Haters!

      Ban all the Apple Haters!

      Hello? Is there anyone there..there, there....

    3. brainout

      No, but we sure tire of yours. :P

  6. TeeCee Gold badge

    Needed MS really.

    Anyone else shipping something to wield the banhammer on this shit would be deer in the headlights of Dell's lawyers calling foul play, as it'll b0rk their online update system (if I'm reading this right).

    MS have probably already written the "fuck you" response to the lawsuit.....

    Now MS have volunteered to take the flak, I expect the others to follow suit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Needed MS really.

      Using Windows Defender / MSE / Update will probably yield more results than dell's update as MS's update platform is more likely to be used.

      Good on MS...

    2. druck Silver badge

      Re: Needed MS really.

      Windows regularly deletes any unauthorised root certificates, to prevent malicious use. The fact that Dell used a DLL to put it's back in means they knew damn well what they were doing was wrong, so they can't have any complaint against Windows Defender wielding the ban hammer.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So if I install this defender on this laptop I just bought from the store, will it clean up Windows 10 for me so I can go ahead and install Mint? No? So what Microsoft are telling Dell is, "good for us, bad for you!".

    1. dogged

      you can install Mint anyway should you wish to. Just hit DEL at startup and make sure that SecureBoot is switched off.

  8. Camilla Smythe

    Quick, probably dumb, Question...

    Does Microsoft Slurp <- I assume that is the name for it... send all of the data it slurps back to Microsoft using encrypted channels and what certificates are involved in that?

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