According to the release notes:
• Some proxy server configurations may affect the connectivity with the back-end server
• Some firewall configurations may affect and block the communication with the back-end server
I would say this is most likely your problem (your anti-virus and/or firewall configuration). A company like SanDisk is not going to put out software with a virus in it. Bugs, glitches? Yes. Viruses, Trojans? No.
If you’re really concerned, un-install the latest Updater, and manually update your firmware. An update only occurs ‘once in a blue moon’ anyway, so having the Updater hang around on your system trying to connect and seraching for updates every time you plug in your player is kinda pointless (and irritating).
You can always check here on the forum for any news of a firmware update. The only one we know of in the near future is one for the Fuze in November. Haven’t heard any rumors about anything else being updated. Manually installing the updates is simple, easy, and probably just as fast as using the Updater. And there are always instructions on how to do it in the release notes.