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

Allow me to shake your hand if you’re one of the individuals who, while 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 ten demerits for that. (“1 big name! Will no longer accept as true with safety creator once more! F!”) however, it was exceptional to look at many people talking on Twitter and boards approximately how they didn’t fall for it because the moves of the software seemed like malware.


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

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

So, I used to be barely surprised after my article defined how to dispose of the Google Earth plug-in and 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 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? First, this becomes a short 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 a Replace has been available for at the most minor 2, four, or seven days.

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

Explorer. Beer trailblazer. Zombie expert. Internet lover. Unapologetic introvert. Alcohol fanatic. Tv ninja.Once had a dream of buying and selling sauerkraut in Ohio. Practiced in the art of building crickets in Nigeria. Gifted in donating wooden tops in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Spent 2001-2007 testing the market for corncob pipes for no pay. A real dynamo when it comes to managing catfish in Jacksonville, FL. Spent a year investing in yard waste for farmers.

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