Microsoft warns spyware could bungle security update
Though Microsoft Corp.'s new security update package is all about protecting systems from worms, viruses and spyware, it can't do much about what's already on computers – and that could pose a problem.
The company is warning users of the Windows XP operating system to check for spyware before downloading the free massive security update, called Service Pack 2.
Barry Goff, a group product manager at Microsoft, said some spyware could cause computers to freeze up upon installation of the update.
Spyware, which typically piggybacks with downloaded software such as file-sharing programs, tracks behavior, triggers pop-up ads and can otherwise cause problems on computers.
Programs such as Ad-Aware and SpySweeper can scour computers for spyware. Microsoft recommends that users clean their PCs of spyware and back up their data before turning on the auto update feature that automatically downloads Service Pack 2, or SP2.