Google Earth’s Mac updater is not malware, but deserved your suspicions

Posted on Sep 12 2016 - 9:37am by bablubadmashrana

Allow me shake your hand if you’re one of the individuals who, whilst seeing a pop-up conversation appear in your Mac some time returned that asked you to go into your account password for Google Earth Replace Helper, said, “Whoa! That is manifestly malware!” It wasn’t, however you deserve kudos for being suspicious.

Er, and that i entered my password. I’ll take 10 demerits for that. (“1 big name! Will no longer accept as true with safety creator once more! F!”)

however it was exceptional to look many people talking on Twitter and in boards approximately how they didn’t fall for it, due to the fact the moves of the software seemed like malware.

As I wrote while the pop-up first regarded, Google Earth’s improvement group pushed out an Replace for Mac users, however now not for the Google Earth software; rather, it was for the plug-in that allowed Google Earth to paintings in browsers. You don’t don’t forget putting in Google Earth or its plug-in? Join the membership! Many people have zero recollection, and but the Update become driven to their machines.

Turns out, whilst you use a Google software installer for any of its OS X software program, the employer installs a history software program Replace agent that runs all the time. Didn’t recognise that? Yeah, that’s a disclosure problem. Whilst software program installs background tactics, especially ones that communicate back to a mothership for anything cause, there must be a clean explanation of what it does—and the ability to opt out.

So, I used to be barely surprised after my article defined the way to dispose of the Google Earth plug-in, and also cautioned a way to remove the software program updater permanently, that I acquired pushback from readers—and less amazed that I heard from Google.

As I ought to have predicted, human beings’ notion it was appalling that I might advocate disabling the Google updater, because it’s extensively utilized for Chrome. Changed into I am doom humans to an old browser with unpatched security flaws?
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First, this become a brief repair for human beings being driven ’spherical the bend with the aid of an Update conversation that stored habitual. A few human beings had been seeing it every 15 minutes. In my case, I’d click Cancel and it might go back several instances. (Google sooner or later found out what was up and pulled the Replace off the queue; it had befallen before, and its institutional memory reputedly broke.)

1/3, when you release an outdated model of Chrome, Google’s support documentation says that a “hamburger” menu (three stacked horizontal traces) in the higher-proper nook of the browser will show inexperienced, yellow, or purple indicating that an Replace has been available for at the least 2, four, or 7 days.

However, I discovered Google’s documentation doesn’t healthy cutting-edge conduct with Chrome and El Capitan. After using the “nuke” option I describe in my how-to article, I mounted a model of Chrome from Can also. The documented hamburger menu conduct didn’t arise, that’s disappointing. It’s possible that this notification is based at the software program updater, but that seems unlikely.

I also discovered truely launching Google and returning to chrome://help resulted inside the Google software Updater being reinstalled in my consumer listing, although apparently not configured to paintings automatically. And, traveling that unique Chrome web page downloaded and set up the modern Chrome launch (requiring quitting and relaunching to load it) with none intervention or manner to cancel the download.

After I relaunched the updated browser, I clicked the Installation Computerized Updates for All users on that web page, and it removed the updater documents from my user library (~/Library/) and positioned them at the pinnacle-level /Library/ listing, which makes sense, due to the fact updates at the moment are powerful for every consumer account on my Mac.

A Google spokesperson advised me that users who need less frequent checks can run a Terminal command documented at a guide page, but the first command within the series on that page didn’t work—the desire report that you’re intended to check to locate the cutting-edge fee didn’t exist even after reinstalling the updater.

I tried manually running an Replace test via commands also on that page, and that worked, however the c language default didn’t reappear. I extensively utilized the ksinstaller command-line device that’s in the identical directory as the guide updater to attempt to set the c program languageperiod, and it failed as nicely, notwithstanding its errors message including commands on the use of it to set the interval.

Primarily based on all of this: I suppose it’s reasonable that Google Chrome users might want to take away the automated software program installer till such point as Google surely gets its act collectively approximately how the software works, such as offering extra disclosure and a technique aside from through the command line to control its features.