Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Bug OS X Software Virtualization

Parallels Update Installs Unrelated Daemon Without Permission 170

Posted by timothy
from the better-or-worse-than-unwanted-toolbars? dept.
Calibax writes "Parallels recently released version 9 of Parallels Desktop, their popular hypervisor application for Mac. They also released a new product named Parallels Access that offers access to Windows applications from an iPad for $80 per year. Access has received less than stellar reviews. When a user upgrades Parallels Desktop, he is asked if he wants a free six-month subscription to Parallels Access. Even if he says no, the product is installed on his system and the application is started each time the system is rebooted. It is installed with ancillary files scattered around several directories in the system and Parallels has not supplied an uninstaller or listed the steps to fully uninstall the application, despite a number of requests. In other words, Parallels has decided it's a good idea to silently install a difficult to remove daemon application on the system, even if the user has explicitly stated they do not want it. They have not provided an uninstaller or a list of files installed or instructions on how to remove the application files. These are scattered to at least four Mac OS X OS system level directories."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Parallels Update Installs Unrelated Daemon Without Permission

Comments Filter:
  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by tysonedwards (969693) on Friday September 06, 2013 @07:16PM (#44780017)
    Holy Department of Redundancy Department, Batman!
  • Good to know (Score:5, Informative)

    by cob666 (656740) on Friday September 06, 2013 @07:17PM (#44780023) Homepage
    I've been using Parallels Desktop for several versions now but I won't be 'upgrading' to version 9 until this is resolved. Up to now, Parallels has been a great product.
    • I've been using Parallels Desktop for several versions now but I won't be 'upgrading' to version 9 until this is resolved. Up to now, Parallels has been a great product.

      McAfee, is that you?

      • I've been using Parallels Desktop for several versions now but I won't be 'upgrading' to version 9 until this is resolved. Up to now, Parallels has been a great product.

        McAfee, is that you?

        Sounds like Norton. They used to (still?) installed dozens of aux programs that took over your desktop.

    • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Saturday September 07, 2013 @01:47AM (#44781861) Homepage Journal

      1.Upgrade to 9.

      2.Tell the fucking installer to not install that extraneous software on your system.

      3.Sue the shit out of Parallels for unauthorized access/violation of the CFAA.

      4.????

      5.PROFIT!!!!

  • Lost a customer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by danaris (525051) <danaris&mac,com> on Friday September 06, 2013 @07:21PM (#44780045) Homepage

    I've been using Parallels over VMWare Fusion for a few years now (there has been some good bundle pricing on it, and there were some features it had that VMWare lacked at the time when I was deciding, though I don't recall what those were now).

    Unless this turns out to be a tempest in a teacup or otherwise invented or overblown, I won't be doing that anymore, and VMWare will have gained back a customer.

    Dan Aris

  • Yes, but... has Parallels supplied an uninstaller or listed the steps to fully uninstall the files?
  • remote access (Score:5, Informative)

    by KiloByte (825081) on Friday September 06, 2013 @07:23PM (#44780063)

    The most important part: what this daemon does is allowing remove access to the computer, through Parallels' servers, using closed source code on both sides. Let's see, is there anything nefarious possible?

    • I wouldn't worry. As soon as the NSA has an uninstaller written, Parallels will release it.
      • by Dunbal (464142) *
        And that uninstaller will remove the offending program, and silently patch your OS to make sure the back door stays wide open. Cos "national security" is more important than your right to privacy, ya know?
  • Burning bridges (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@[ ]cast.net ['com' in gap]> on Friday September 06, 2013 @07:33PM (#44780133)

    When you decline to install something you expect that it doesn't get installed. Parallels is going to burn a lot of trust by pulling this stunt. The cost of acquiring their customers has certainly got to exceed the profit from people who decide that they will change their mind and want to run this software anyways.

    At a bare minimum they need to start by building a package that will remove all traces post haste for the anyone that wants it. For people that don't want to run the package explicit instructions need to be made available about how to completely remove this. Any number of companies have screwed up royally before this, those that are still respected are the ones that instituted proper damage control.

    • Re:Burning bridges (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Em Adespoton (792954) <slashdotonly.1.adespoton@spamgourmet.com> on Friday September 06, 2013 @07:43PM (#44780201) Homepage Journal

      When you decline to install something you expect that it doesn't get installed. Parallels is going to burn a lot of trust by pulling this stunt. The cost of acquiring their customers has certainly got to exceed the profit from people who decide that they will change their mind and want to run this software anyways.

      At a bare minimum they need to start by building a package that will remove all traces post haste for the anyone that wants it. For people that don't want to run the package explicit instructions need to be made available about how to completely remove this. Any number of companies have screwed up royally before this, those that are still respected are the ones that instituted proper damage control.

      This is not the first time Parallels has failed to uninstall things; I ran an installer of a trial product of theirs a few years back, and after uninstalling, still had to go in manually and clean up some components that wanted to run some sort of service. I haven't touched Parallels since. VirtualBox allows me to write my own additions, and if I need something more polished, VMWare Fusion is still rock solid.

      So it will be interesting to see Parallels' response to thiis, as it definitely puts their (paid) installer solidly in the category of Potentially Unwanted Application alongside the CNet downloader and all the bundleware coming out of Russia and China.

    • Most end users wont even know it took place. The few that do wont make a dent in their customer base.

  • or am I missing something?

    Make 3 partitions on an OSX drive. Install OSX into all 3. Now on /sda install Parallels. /sdb leave vanilla. Boot into /sdc and mount /dev/sda /mnt/A. mount /dev/sdb /mnt/b. Diff a and b.

    Granted your average user won't do this, but anyone wanting to play hero should be able to do it easily.

    • And when a new service/process/task is installed with Windows software average users, nay nobody, even cares at all.

  • We own you.

    So what's the problem here?
  • Microsoft, Sony, any other?

  • by nullhero (2983) on Friday September 06, 2013 @08:51PM (#44780655) Journal
    unwanted software. CleanMyMac2 to the rescue. Found all the Parallels Access files and good-bye. No hunting or anything!! Left Parallels alone just removed the PA that I asked not to install. Though I wish everyone would just create an app that keeps it's files to itself so when I trash it EVERYTHING is gone. But then those that make CleanMyMac2 would not be selling their software.
    • If you have to run cleaners then why switch to the Mac?

      I can see why mac users are all saddled up while Windows users are sratching their heads thinking it is normal, but man if this is becoming a problem why pay the premium?

  • Was going to buy... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 06, 2013 @09:01PM (#44780697)

    I was going to upgrade to Parallels Desktop 9 but after reading about this I might as well switch to VMware fusion 6.

  • by MadChicken (36468) on Friday September 06, 2013 @09:11PM (#44780739) Homepage Journal

    First of all, there was ONE "less than stellar" review. The Ars review was pretty pathetically trollish, I have no idea why. Check Google if you don't believe it. http://www.google.com/search?q=parallels+access+review [google.com]

    I used it in beta testing and its head and shoulders above other remote access tools. Their pricing is out to lunch, but it is an excellent tool.

    Second, Parallels always has done stuff like this. The last version or two has been popping up ads. It's lazy of them and stupid but it's not really an "unrelated daemon".

    Don't expect their support to give you instructions on how to uninstall it, just run something like CleanMyMac2 and move on.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      So only one site had the balls to say something negative about a Mac product despite the fact that it had it coming. That is nothing to brag about. All this does is reinforce the idea that Apple users subscribe to a mindless groupthink.

      The fact that this app has been doing abusive things in the past does not excuse the fact that they are doing it know.

      And why should you use 3rd party cleanup tools on a Mac? That's the kind of crap that WinDOS is supposed to be famous for.

      Your response is a total fanboy fail

      • by MadChicken (36468)

        Read Ihtnako's review. That one is bang on, not the Ars piece. Yes it's flawed, and OH MY it's way too expensive.

        If I'm a fanboy then I must be the worst in history...

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Parallels is head and shoulders over RDP? ...

      No, not anywhere close. There is nothing on the planet that competes with RDP for remote access. Your statements show that you are truly ignorant of the world around you.

      Try again shill.

      *rdp includes citrix

      • by MadChicken (36468)

        Yes it's head and shoulders above other remote access tools for the iPad. I thought that was obvious. Or are you truly ignorant of things like, oh I don't know, TFA?

        RDP is nice but it doesn't have the integration that this does to make things finger-friendly.

    • by Elbart (1233584)
      You're linking to a Google Search page although you're talking about a publicly accessible ONLINE ARTICLE? Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Mac OS X OS system? (Score:4, Informative)

    by davidbrit2 (775091) on Friday September 06, 2013 @09:48PM (#44780917) Homepage

    Mac Operating System X operating system system?

    This is a new record for redundancy records.

  • I have installed Parallels version 9 and tried out their access program, since it was free for six months. It works as advertised, although on our slow Internet connection it is essentially unusable. Trying to do work on a standard iPad screen that is normally displayed on a big PC monitor or even a big laptop makes for pretty tiny print. $80 per year is pretty steep. $20-$30 is about the maximum I would pay even if our Internet connection for up to par. It will not work on a LAN over Wi-Fi. I have no tro

  • Seriously, isn't Apple supposed to do all my thinking for me? Why the hell should I have to use my brain and think critically about what software I install on a computer I own is doing? I pay Apple to do that for me. This is bullshit.

  • Back to the Future (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday September 06, 2013 @10:55PM (#44781229) Homepage Journal

    It is installed with ancillary files scattered around several directories in the system

    Ah, the advantages of OSX. No "ancillary files scattered" all around the system when you install something. Remember when all you had to do to uninstall a Mac app was drag it to the Trash?

    But the most unsettling part of this is the fact that Parallels had to know they would be found out, and went ahead anyway. When a company gets caught with its pants down, at least there's an indication that they realize there was something wrong with their behavior. This is much worse, because they just didn't care what you think.

    • by hlavac (914630)

      But the most unsettling part of this is the fact that Parallels had to know they would be found out, and went ahead anyway.

      This may just mean they had no choice in the matter. Imagine NSA shows up on your door, tells you you will create a remote access backdoor into your product and not tell anyone or they will screw up you and your company, you will do it too. Any corporation will. It's not NSA writing all those backdoors, it's the poor blackmailed companies themselves, for their own money, with their own know how of their product! And yeah, we can assure the public, NSA does not put backdoors anywhere, right? It's the compani

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        This may just mean they had no choice in the matter. Imagine NSA shows up on your door, tells you you will create a remote access backdoor into your product and not tell anyone or they will screw up you and your company, you will do it too.

        We now have precedents of companies that will shut down a service or product rather than comply with the NSA.

        That's my gold standard for companies: resist the NSA or I won't use your products or services. And if you DO resist the NSA, I will be a loyal customer.

        • by wkearney99 (75906)

          Not that I disagree with you, but thus far resisting the NSA has meant tanking the company. Just how will you be a loyal customer when the company's shuttered?

  • Hope it works as well as it worked for Sony after the RootKit fiasco.
  • EA got it's ass handed to it in court for pretty much this exact same reason - installing shit on your system without your permission.

  • I have been trying to decide if I want to upgrade my VMWare Fusion or try Parallels again. This answers the question, for good. Trust is so important in a relationship. VMWare has been working fine for me. I guess I was just looking for something new.
  • Probably worth noting that the users seem to have resolved the problem (with uninstall guidance) for themselves ...

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

Working...