Looking around the net, it is apparent that not all of Samsung's laptops are affected, but any with this behavior is too many.
And the software from Samsung is persistent. If you turn on Windows Update, then reboot, the Samsung software disables it again. That's a fun little extra.
Apparently Samsung has become aware of the issue and sent a reply to Ars Technica about it, saying "We are aware of Mr. Barkerâ€™s claim regarding Windows 8.1 updates on our computers. We take security concerns very seriously and we are working with Microsoft to address this matter." Which is a lot of words to say mostly nothing.