AMD to remove Catalyst auto-update notices

AMD to remove Catalyst auto-update notices

Future versions of the Catalyst Control Centre will no longer prompt the user when an update is available, following AMD's discovery of a security vulnerability.

AMD has announced that it will be removing the ability of its Catalyst Control Centre software to automatically notify users of a driver update, following an apparent security scare.

Currently, AMD's Catalyst Control Centre - the software used to adjust the settings of AMD's graphics hardware, and provided as part of the Catalyst universal graphics card driver package - automatically checks AMD's website every so often for a new Catalyst driver release. If an updated version is found, a message appears allowing the user to download and install the newer release.

Sadly, that nofification comes with what AMD describes in its support notice as a 'minor security vulnerability.' Although AMD doesn't provide details as to what that vulnerability may be, it's serious enough for the company to pull the functionality altogether from future revisions of the software.

From a security perspective, there's only really one reason AMD would do such a thing: if someone had worked out how to spoof update notifications, sending users to third-party websites designed to look and feel like AMD's own but providing malware-laden Trojan downloads rather than the real Catalyst driver update packages. How such spoofing would take place is not clear, but if such a thing is possible it would give attackers an easy means of tricking a user into installing third-party software.

The next major release of the Catalyst driver package, AMD has explained, will disable the functionality altogether. For those who can't wait until the vague 'early 2013' update, AMD recommends that the auto-update notification system be disabled using the Automatically Check for Updates option under Software Update in the Catalyst Control Centre's Information menu. Should a notification appear, AMD warns that users should hit 'Skip' rather than accept to upgrade.


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greigaitken 19th December 2012, 14:20 Quote
bit of useless function anyway. If it was 2 months since you updated graphics drivers then there are new ones available if you want them. The people that care about new drivers already know when they are due etc, and probably have a beta
Corky42 19th December 2012, 14:42 Quote
Lets hope nvidia do the same, I cant think there are many people who like software that phones home.
Why they cant just provide a link so people can check for them self is beyond me
Phil Rhodes 19th December 2012, 14:55 Quote
I'll second the call for less stuff that bugs you with update requesters.

The last time I rebooted this workstation, I was blandished with five different nags about various bits of software, none of them hugely important, which wanted an update. Gah. Go away!
fdbh96 19th December 2012, 16:07 Quote
If I'm honest, it would be quite nice if it was just one program that did updates for everything, not each program for itself.
steveo_mcg 19th December 2012, 16:24 Quote
Looks like that's what MS have in mind with Win8 and look at the fun that has provoked.
arcticstoat 19th December 2012, 17:08 Quote
Good - I've always found that massively irritating.
Eiffie 19th December 2012, 18:26 Quote
I've always kept my my auto-update notifications for everything off. I tend to pick one day out of the week, tends to be a Tuesday where I just do a quick checklist of of all the programs on my pc as well as my OS updates and flash player/drivers. Reason being, I'd hate to be playing a game, especially online with friends and have some annoying popup minimize me outta what I'm playing. I think the only thing I have turned on to tell me when there is an update is Firefox and I set it to not download the update until I am ready, that notification never seems to be annoying or cause me to get minimized out of programs. I also normally don't game with a web browser open which is fine for me but for others who play BF3 and need battlelog running in the background, it could be an issue.
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