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While doing a backup I have found out the existence of an account called UpdatusUser on my Windows 7 box. It doesn't appear in the account management section of the control panel.

Searching on the web it appears to be related to some Nvidia driver.

What is the purpose of this account?

Does it pose some security issue?

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I removed the NVIDIA update via add/remove programmes but the user account is still there (even after re-boot) Why do most programmes nowadays want their own little quick start or monitoring programmes constantly running in the background hogging system resources? Individually the may not use much but collectively it all adds up enough to be noticeable. I always disable them from running automatically where possible and if I cannot then I look for a similar programme which I doesn't eat up memory & CPU time. AliRut –  user128061 Apr 12 '12 at 22:34
    
i also hate them, bad programmers... –  kokbira Jul 3 '12 at 14:33

5 Answers 5

up vote 19 down vote accepted

As per the link below, it is used for the NVIDIA Update Service. It has some good screenshots regarding this issue.

http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=198626

Based on the fact that it is a standard user, and it password protected, it is probably not any more of a security risk than any other such user on your system.

That said, what a POOR implementation of an update service. I do not think that any driver or control panel application should be updated in this manner. They REALLY added a user for this?

I am not so sure I would not just uninstall that service, and check for updates manually from time to time, but that is personal preference.

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Separate user accounts for services are somewhat common in other operating systems... –  grawity Aug 6 '11 at 14:35
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@grawity Not for minor driver updates they aren't. For services like SQL, Exchange or backup programs that run constantly, sure. –  KCotreau Aug 6 '11 at 14:39
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+1 for uninstalling and doing manual updates –  Tom Auger Jan 5 '12 at 16:09
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Information from Nvidia: Beginning with driver version 188.97 for Optimus notebooks, the driver creates a special Windows user account for security purposes, named UpdatusUser.1 This account is a dedicated and write-restricted user account that runs a service for updating Optimus profiles through the NVIDIA server. The service cannot be run without this account. On Optimus notebooks, this account is created regardless of whether NVIDIA Update is installed. When NVIDIA Update is installed, the additional driver update, application profile and SLI profile update capabilities become available. –  InsidiousForce Oct 15 '13 at 17:45
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And a bit more: Beginning with Release 270 drivers for desktops, when NVIDIA Update is installed, the software creates the UpdatusUser account. This account runs the NVIDIA Update service for updating application profiles through the NVIDIA server. Again, the service cannot be run without this account. NVIDIA has taken every precaution to make the NVIDIA driver implementation of UpdatusUser as secure as possible. This implementation has been audited by Veracode and has been given a rating of "Best". NVIDIA Update-with the UpdatusUser account- is considered a low security risk implementation. –  InsidiousForce Oct 15 '13 at 17:45

UpdatusUser account is used to somehow acquire information about the hardware. As it's said @ http://www.nvidia.com/object/nvidia-update.html :

What data is sent to NVIDIA?

NVIDIA Update does not collect any personally identifiable information. The scan collects data necessary to recommend the correct driver update such as graphics hardware, operating system, language, and current driver version.

To avoid creating this account, just be careful not to let the checkbox "Nvidia UPDATE" be checked before launching the installation of the driver.

I applied Parental Control to this user, and set the time limits to never be allowed to be logged on. I also applied Program Limits and gave it access to run no programs at all. Finally i denied it the right to play games. If this does not stop the user from doing anything, then the Parental Contril is useless.

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So to avoid "Updatus" I should have opted-out from some innocent-looking option which 1. I don't even recall seeing and 2. didn't spell out was going to add a new user. Great way of asking your users what they want to be done on their boxes...:-/ –  Francesco Aug 6 '11 at 17:09

What's concerning for me is not knowing what rights this "UpdatusUser" user account has. On the home versions of Window 7, the GPEDIT.MSC and RSOP.MSC tools are not available to research such a question or define limitations.

What if (more like WHEN) the password gets leaked to the public? A virus could then be written to target this VULNERABILITY .. because that's precisely what it is: A foreign account on your system having an unknown set of rights.

The "UpdatusUser" account not listed in the Control Panel User Accounts applet nor does it appear to be hidden using the "SpecialAccount" registry key. The only place, other than thoughout the registry, where it's visible is on the "nvUpdatusService" (NVIDIA Update Service Daemon) Windows Service where the account is assigned to Log On As ".\UpdatusUser"

This is a disastrous approach at patch management and done without the owner's clear understanding / approval.

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I do agree. I hope that NVIDIA changes its mind on this approach. –  Francesco Dec 15 '11 at 9:38
    
The password cannot "leak to the public" if it is stored on the local machine only. –  grawity Jan 26 '12 at 20:50
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It can if it's the same password on everyone's machine, and one person figures it out and publishes it. Do we know if the installer generates a random password on each system? –  Wyzard Jan 26 '12 at 22:06

I used "uninstall a program" from the Windows 7 control panel to remove the Nvidia updater. That also removed the user account.

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Remember that if you're running a laptop equipped with Optimius technology, you will get the update feature installed automatically. You won't be able to deselect it during the installation process not uninstall via "Programs and feaures" applet in your Control Panel.

In this case you need to manually remove both user and related service or patch the script before in the setup file before installing.

NVIDIA claims they put every effort into securing this additional user as much as possible, but I wouldn't bother believing this. If anything happens to your system because of this additional user, you won't be able to recover anything from NVIDIA...

Since after manual removal of the additional user and service Windows works normally, I'd recommend getting rid of it asap.

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