The Inquirer just ran a report in which it claimed that Microsoft performed updates on users’ machines without first asking about them.

Apparently, Scott Dunn of Windows Secrets is credited with noticing that Windows Update has recently started updating certain files on the sly on users’ systems.

Here’s an excerpt from Microsoft fiddles with your Windows without permission:

Nine small executable files on XP and Vista have been altered so far in what Dunn dubs a stealth move by the Vole. What is strange is that the updates were carried out while the Automatic Updates dialogue box in the Control Panel was set to prevent updates from being installed automatically.

At this moment, there is absolutely no indication about the purpose of the changes. Also, nothing pertaining to this unexpected update can be found on Microsoft’s Web site.

I find it very worrying if it is indeed possible to perform remote patching and/or updating of a Windows box without prompts of any kind or even the ability to opt out.

In such a scenario, it would only be a matter of time before some hacker manages to reverse engineer this backdoor into an attack vector of devastating effect and scope.

So stay tuned — we will post additional information pertaining to this matter when and if it becomes available.