I was about to board a Southwest flight last night, when the Scanner and Camera Wizard error dialog suddenly popped up on top of the boarding group display (see picture).  I know people who like to take pictures of things like this, and to be honest I have been doing it myself lately, but I really didn’t know what to do with them.   Then I thought about this being a teachable moment, how can we prevent this from occurring on systems that we manage?



I am not sure exactly how to get to this point.   But I can guess, I think that one of the Southwest employees probably plugged their smartphone into the computer that controls this display (probably to charge it.  Reminds me of the time that one of the judges on Americas Got Talent unplugged the shows judging buttons to charge her phone.)

There are actually a few things wrong in the picture:

  1. The Explorer shell and start bar a running.  That means that someone can always figure out a way to jump on the system and do malicious things.  The shell can be replaced, and in a system like this it is usually replaced with the main application, in this case the boarding sign.
  2. I suspect, but don’t actually know, but the Shell Hardware Detection service is running.   The shell hardware detection service looks for insertions of new hardware and tries to do something interesting when new hardware is inserted, like run the Scanner and Camera Wizard.


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