Oracle Updater Deceptively Installs The Ask Toolbar Alongside Normal Security Updates

2 February 2013

Ed Bott, ZDNet:

In the background, the Ask toolbar installer continues to run, but it delays execution for 10 minutes. If you are a sophisticated Windows user and you missed the initial checkbox, your natural instinct at this point would be to open Control Panel and check Programs and Features. When you do, you will see that only the Java update has been installed. You might also check your browser settings to confirm that no changes have been made to your settings. You might conclude that you dodged a bullet and that the unwanted software wasn’t installed.

But you would be wrong. The Ask installer is still running, and after waiting 10 minutes, it drops two programs on the target system.

It’s bad enough that the Oracle updater toolbar is installed by default. Bott discovered that when it does, it does it deceptively.

There is no reason for the install to be delayed by ten minutes other than an attempt to mislead users further. In fact, the presence of the delay is really an admission that the instigator knew that coercing bloatware onto people alongside a security update is dishonest.

I don’t care who instigated this behaviour — it is disgraceful.