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LG “Split Screen” software disables UAC

09 April 2015, Mike Williams

UACBack in January we wrote about the malware “Easy Disk Drive Repair”, and how we first realised that something was wrong when it blatantly turned off UAC on launch.

It seems it isn’t only malware which weakens system security in this way, unfortunately. Blogger Christopher Bachner has reported that LG’s “Split Screen” software (a split screen display manager) appears to do the very same thing.

This couldn’t be right. Could it? We headed for Google, and a few moments later found a product page for the 34UM95 with a Windows 7+ download file “LG_Monitor_Software_446_TCF_Ver3.3.2_SS_Ver6.49_ASM.zip”, dated 15th March 2015.

We downloaded, unzipped and ran the software, and sure enough, in the midst of the driver installs, we got the same warning about UAC being disabled as we’d seen with “Easy Disk Drive Repair”. No mistake, we tried it repeatedly and it happened each and every time.

UAC

It’s not malware. But commercial software disabling UAC is a little worrying.

There’s no reason to assume any malicious intent here, of course. Bachner speculated that this was a piece of sloppy programming, an easier way to allow the installer to do what it needed, and that seems the most likely explanation to us.

We also can’t say for sure which element of the software is responsible for this. It might be some third-party driver which LG happens to be using.

None of this is much consolation to users who have had their security undermined, though, and maybe won’t even realise it. Ever. If you’ve installed any LG software on a Windows Vista or later PC then we’d recommend you check your User Account Control settings and make sure they’re as you expect (Win+R > UserAccountControlSettings.exe, the default is “Notify me only when applications try to make changes to my computer”).

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