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  1. I IN NO WAY TAKE ANY CREDIT FOR THIS IT WAS TAKEN FROM MDL FORUM AND SOME POSTS MY MEMBERS ON THIS FORUM! Manual: Tools: Windows 10 Lite v7.1 Destroy Windows Spying v1.7 Build 100 [Works with Win 7/8/8/1/10] Blackbird v6 v0.9.98 [Works with Win 7/8/8/1/10] O&O ShutUp10 v1.5.1390.1 Spybot Anti-Beacon v1.6.0.42 [Works with Win 7/8/8/1/10] W10Privacy v2.4.0.0 Win.Privacy v1.0.1.5 [Works with Win 7/8/8/1/10] Disable Windows 10 Tracking v3.0.1 iSpy Privacy-X v3.0.0.0
  2. Windows 10 Build 15063 Version 1703 (Creators Update) RS2 MSDN / VLSC Info: ========================================================================== Announcing Windows 10 Build 15063 for PC and Mobile What's New (PC) What's new in Windows 10, version 1703 IT pro content Windows 10 All Version Update History ========================================================================== Download Links: * Updated June 2017 * MSDN ISO's 10.0.15063.0 (rs2_release.170317-1834) + June 13, 2017—KB4022725 Windows 10, Version 1703, (Updated June 2017) MSDN ISO [EN-RU] Windows 10, Version 1703, (Updated June 2017) MSDN ISO [All Available Languages] Windows 10, Version 1703, (Updated June 2017) MSDN ISO EN All Edition [Magnet] ESD's Windows 10 15063.413 June 2017 (All Languages) Refresh esd's OR https://tb.rg-adguard.net/index.php ========================================================================== Updated March 2017 MSDN ISO's Windows 10 Build 15063 Version 1703 (Updated March 2017) RS2 MSDN [All Official ISO's] Windows 10 version 1703 (updated march 2017) All Other Available ISO's ========================================================================== Windows 10 v.1703 32 ISO: 28 MSDN + 4 TECH BRENCH RTM: 15063.0.RS2_RELEASE.170317-1834 EN-RU by W.Z.T ========================================================================== VLSC ISO's Windows 10 Build 15063 Version 1703 (Updated March 2017) RS2 Volume License (EN-RU) Cheksum: Windows 10, Version 1703 (VL) VLSC All Language Checksum by adguard Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 10.0.15063.0 Version 1703 (Updated March 2017) VLSC EN [Google Drive Links]: WINDOWS 10 v1703 Build 15063.0.RS2 ENGLISH VLSC EN All Edition [Magnet] Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 10.0.15063.0 Version 1703 (Updated March 2017) VLSC [Magnet] ========================================================================== Windows 10 Creators Update (RS2) MSDN EN [Version 1703 Build 15063] - Magnet Links ========================================================================== Windows 10 Creators Update (RS2) MSDN EN-RU [Version 1703 Build 15063] - FTP Links ========================================================================== Media Creation Tool Windows 10 Build 15063 Version 1703 Media Creation Tool ========================================================================== Windows 10 Build 15063 Version 1703 Upgrade Assistant http://download.microsoft.com/download/0/4/7/047889D0-578C-4A44-A38F-7F30A6CB3809/current-version/Windows10Upgrade9252.exe ========================================================================== ESD's Windows 10.0.15063.0 Version 1703 RS2 (All Languages) .ESD http://pastebin.com/raw/19FJrVGm Windows 15063.0.170317-1834 RS2 Release (All Languages) .esd (Enterprise VL, Education VL, Pro VL, Pro Retail) https://pastebin.com/raw/63AM8Nqr Credit: abbodi1406 (MDL) ========================================================================== Windows 10.0.15063.0 Version 1703 RS2 (All Available Languages) Enterprise .ESD Site: http://pastebin.com Sharecode[?]: /raw/6DPiW6Ke ========================================================================== English en-US Direct Download Links : Site: http://textuploader.com Sharecode[?]: /dtfy5/raw ---------------------------------------------------------------- Other Available Languages Direct Download Links: Site: http://textuploader.com Sharecode[?]: /dt7sw/raw ========================================================================== Decrypt-multi-release by adguard https://s1.rg-adguard.net/dl/decrypt/decrypt-multi-release.7z ========================================================================== Windows 10 Update Assistant (Upgrade from Win 10 Anniversary Update 14393.0 to Win 10 RS2 15063.0) https://download.microsoft.com/download/0/4/7/047889D0-578C-4A44-A38F-7F30A6CB3809/current-version/Windows10Upgrade9194.exe ========================================================================== Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Core 1703 (15063) ========================================================================== 15063 Language Packs by DiamondMon [x86/x64] Site: http://textuploader.com Sharecode[?]: /dtfb2/raw ========================================================================== Other Download Links: Abbodi1406 uup-converter-wimlib_6.7z Windows ADK for Windows 10, version 1703 Windows SDK 10.0.15063.137 Mobile Emulator 15063 A tool for you to easily share ESD Url to others by Accelerator ========================================================================== ACTIVATION: Via KMS --> OR Via Permanent Phone Activation --> ========================================================================== Important info/tools/topic replies/links: ============================= Windows 10.0.14393.447 Version 1607 RS1 (Updated January 2017) MSDN - VLSC Windows 10 Version 1511 TH2 (Updated Apr 2016) RTM MSDN How To Turn Off Windows Update In Windows 10 Disable Windows Defender Anti-virus / MS Malicious Software Removal Tool via .reg How to open MSDN Microsoft Subscriptions Page Screen-capture Win 10 Version 1703 (Update June) MSDN Microsoft Subscriptions Disable Windows Defender Security Center - Windows 10 Creator's Update Windows 10: Language - Add, Remove, and Change in Windows 10 Add and Remove Language Packs Offline How To Create Windows 10 China Government Edition EnterpriseG Volume:GVLK How to Disable Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool Abboddi1406 batch scripts repo Window Media Center for Windows 10 8.81 [x64-86] ML Windows 10 All Version Update History How to Upgrade to Windows 10, using Windows 10 ISO How to Covert from .esd to DVD ISO File How to Upgrade Windows 10 Editions Win 10 Version 1703 RS2 Add Traditional Control Panel (with icon) to right-click context How To Make a "your language" ISO Using En-US ESD's and language packs Windows 10 Update Manual Installation Via CMD or Updates Installer by abbodi1406 [Fix] Can’t Select Windows 10 Pro Edition During Clean Installation New Install of Windows 10 Creators Update on Mac with Boot Camp How to delete the Windows.old folder on Windows 10 Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 update history Microsoft Software Repair Tool Upgrade Windows 10 Evaluation to Full version Windows USB/DVD Download Tool How to Directly Clean Install Windows 10 without having to Upgrade First How to Repair Windows 10 Image using DISM New Windows 10 feature – DISM Windows 10 Edition Upgrade Via ChangePk.exe Dism++ Portable (x64-x86) - Another Simple Tool Backup & Restore Activation Find out which Windows is right for you (Compare Chart) Microsoft Software Repair Tool How to stop Windows 10 auto updates How to Go Back to the Previous Windows from Windows 10 How to Boot to Advanced Startup Options in Windows 10 How to Enable or Disable the Lock Screen in Windows 10 How to Turn On or Off Require Sign-in on Wakeup in Windows 10 Comparison chart of Windows 10 editions Fix for winver showing incorrect info Three Ways to Upgrade to Windows 10 Anniversary Update Windows 10 Update Manual Installation Via CMD or Updates Installer by abbodi1406 How to do a clean install of Windows 10 & Advantage of Clean Install What edition of Windows will I get as part of the free upgrade Upgrading from Windows 10 from one Edition to another available edition How to re-activate Windows 10 after a hardware change Enable Photo Viewer .reg file WinSxS folder cleanup in Windows 8 / 8.1 / 10 How To Automatically Login In Windows 10 How to Repair Windows 10 Image using DISM How to Enable or Disable Legacy F8 Advanced Boot Options in Windows 10 Windows Update MiniTool Licensing Logic: What's the difference between OEM, Retail and Volume Licenses? How to Determine if Windows License Type is OEM, Retail, or Volume How to Find Out Which Build and Version of Windows 10 You Have ESD Download Links Viewer------A tool for you to easily share ESD Url to others How to fix the Windows 10 Start Menu Torrent Tracker List (2017 update) Windows 10: Clean Install Windows 10 Windows 10: Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10 Media Feature Pack list for Windows N editions Media Feature Pack for N edition of Windows 10 Version 1703 (April 2017) Download Win 10 Version 1703 All Catalog Updates & Search Windows 10 release information How to download optional file (s) from multiple Magnet Link How to Turn On or Off Windows Defender in Windows 10 How to Show Control Panel or Settings on Win+X Menu in Windows 10 RS2
  3. Microsoft confirmed today that PCs using Intel's Clover Trail CPUs will be blocked from Windows 10 upgrades. But in a major change of the "Windows as a Service" policy, those devices will continue to get security updates. Some three- and four-year-old PCs are unable to install the latest Windows 10 update Microsoft finally broke its silence on the status of devices built on the Intel Clover Trail CPU family. Owners of those devices who had taken advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade offer discovered recently that those PCs were unable to upgrade to the Windows 10 Creators Update, released in April 2017. In an e-mailed statement, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed today that no software fix is on the way. But in a major shift in its "Windows as a Service" policy, Microsoft agreed to continue delivering security updates to those devices for another six years. Under the existing policy, those security updates would have ended in early 2018. The full statement follows: With Windows 10, we introduced Windows as a Service, a model for continuous value delivery via twice annual feature updates and monthly quality updates. Along with this updated delivery cadence, we adjusted our support lifecycle policies to reflect the Windows as a Service model. Recognizing that a combination of hardware, driver and firmware support is required to have a good Windows 10 experience, we updated our support lifecycle policy to align with the hardware support period for a given device. If a hardware partner stops supporting a given device or one of its key components and stops providing driver updates, firmware updates, or fixes, it may mean that device will not be able to properly run a future Windows 10 feature update. This is the case with devices utilizing Intel Clover Trail Atom Processors1 today: they require additional hardware support to provide the best possible experience when updating to the latest Windows 10 feature update, the Windows 10 Creators Update. However, these systems are no longer supported by Intel (End of Interactive Support), and without the necessary driver support, they may be incapable of moving to the Windows 10 Creators Update without a potential performance impact. We know issues like this exist and we actively work to identify the best support path for older hardware. As part of our commitment to customers, we will be offering the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to these Intel Clover Trail devices on Windows 10, which we know provides a good user experience. To keep our customers secure, we will provide security updates to these specific devices running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update until January of 2023, which aligns with the original Windows 8.1 extended support period. The affected devices include those running Intel Atom Processors Z2760, Z2580, Z2560, Z2520. Analysts estimate that at least 10 million of those devices, primarily hybrid PCs and small tablets, were sold in 2013 and 2014 as part of the first wave of Windows 8 devices. If you own a PC with one of the now-unsupported CPUs, you can install the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, but that's the end of the line. That device will be blocked from installing any further feature updates but will continue to receive reliability and security fixed in what Microsoft calls "quality updates," which are delivered on the second Tuesday of every month. This policy change throws a very large monkey wrench into the "Windows as a Service" machine. If the idea was to gradually but inexorably move Windows customers to current versions, reducing the support burden to a handful of recent releases, this decision undermines that goal considerably. To check whether your device contains one of the unsupported processors, see Windows 10 no longer supported? How to tell if your PC is eligible for latest version. Article source
  4. An entire generation of PCs, most only three or four years old, are now unable to receive new feature updates to Windows 10. If Microsoft doesn't deliver a patch within the next six to nine months, those PCs could be cut off from security fixes. Some PCs that received a free upgrade to Windows 10 less than two years ago are now officially blocked from receiving future updates. If you are one of the unlucky owners of one of the first 2-in-1 PCs, announced in 2012 and sold throughout 2013 and 2014, your PC was eligible for the free Windows 10 upgrade in mid-2015, and it also received the Summer 2016 Anniversary Update (version 1607) without any compatibility issues. But when Windows Update tries to install the March 2017 Creators Update, version 1703, the installation fails with a dire (and confusing) message that reads: Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC Uninstall this app now because it isn't compatible with Windows 10. Don't be fooled by that message. There's no app to uninstall. This problem occurs because of a fundamental incompatibility between the PC hardware and the latest release of Windows 10. I've received multiple reports of this problem, which affects devices built around Intel's Atom Clover Trail series CPUs. Those chips first appeared in entry-level Windows 8 PCs, especially 2-in-1 devices, between four and five years ago. I was able to confirm that this hard block exists by attempting to install the Creators Update on an HP Envy X2, which uses a Clover Trail CPU, the Atom Z2760. HP shipped me the device in early 2015 and I've used it in lab tests as a benchmark for low-spec CPUs. The compatibility check that's part of the Windows Setup program gave this system a clean bill of health, but after downloading more than 3GB of setup files for the Creators Update, the upgrade failed, with the error message shown above. There's no easy way to work around the block, either. Unless and until the underlying compatibility issue is fixed, this device is stuck on Windows 10, version 1607. And that's a big problem for owners of those devices. In the "Windows as a Service" model, Microsoft's servicing policy says, "Each Windows 10 feature update will be serviced with quality updates [security and reliability fixes] for 18 months from the date of the feature update release." If Microsoft sticks to its announced support deadlines, any device running Windows 10 version 1607 will stop receiving updates in early 2018. In some cases, this cutoff date will be only three years after those devices were placed in service. A search of Microsoft's website doesn't turn up any support documents that explain this serious compatibility issue. I did find confirmation from Acer, which published this support note: "Intel Clover Trail processors are not currently supported in Windows 10 Creators Update." The following Intel Clover Trail processors are currently not supported on Windows 10 Creators Update: * Atom Z2760 * Atom Z2520 * Atom Z2560 * Atom Z2580 Microsoft is working with us to help provide compatible drivers to address this incompatibility. If you install the Windows 10 creators update, icons and text may not appear at all, or may show up as solid color blocks or bars. If you have already installed Creators Update and are experiencing problems, you can use Windows 10 recovery options to restore your system to the previous build. That note is echoed in a reply in this thread on the TechNet Windows 10 IT Pro support forums. That thread was marked as an official answer by forum moderators, including one identified as "Microsoft contingent staff." When you try to upgrade a Clover Trail-based PC to the Creators Update, Setup returns the error code 0xC1900209, which means "the system does not pass the compatibility scan to install the update ... Incompatible software is blocking the upgrade process." The entire affair brings back memories of a confusing announcement in the months before the launch of Windows 10. In January 2015, Windows boss Terry Myerson announced the new "Windows as a service" plan using this language. I've highlighted the head-scratching caveat that was included: This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device - at no additional charge. [emphasis added] That odd phrase confused a lot of people and launched more than a few conspiracy theories. In July 2015, two weeks before the official Windows 10 launch date, Microsoft committed to a 10-year support lifecycle for Windows 10 and clarified the "supported lifetime of the device" policy with this footnote. Here, too, I've highlighted the relevant portion: ** Updates are cumulative, with each update built upon all of the updates that preceded it. A device needs to install the latest update to remain supported. Updates may include new features, fixes (security and/or non-security), or a combination of both. Not all features in an update will work on all devices. A device may not be able to receive updates if the device hardware is incompatible, lacking current drivers, or otherwise outside of the Original Equipment Manufacturer's ("OEM") support period. Update availability may vary, for example by country, region, network connectivity, mobile operator (e.g., for cellular-capable devices), or hardware capabilities (including, e.g., free disk space). [emphasis added] This is the first example of hardware that was initially supported by Windows 10 but has since run afoul of those rules. Microsoft and its OEM partners made a big deal of this entry-level Atom processor for the first wave of Windows 8 devices. An Intel press release (PDF) from the launch event in September 2012 highlighted eight tablets and hybrids from Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and ZTE. The devices themselves were delayed until early 2013 because of driver problems. The HP Envy X2 was a relative star among this class of PCs, boasting a real-world battery life measured in days, with a detachable tablet that compared favorably in size and weight (but not app support) to the then-current iPad model. (You can read my first impressions of the device in the March 2013 post, "PCs learn new tricks, but can tablet/notebook hybrids rescue Windows 8?" ) Some three- and four-year-old PCs are unable to install the latest Windows 10 update The Envy X2 went on sale at a starting price of $700, but the price was cut by $100 shortly thereafter. HP and its distributors continued to offer the device until its replacement arrived some two years later, and bargain hunters could still find it for sale in 2015. No one knows exactly how many Clover Trail-based devices were sold, but collectively the total from all manufacturers was probably in the millions. Today, owners of those devices who took advantage of Microsoft's free upgrade offer for Windows 10 are facing a rude shock. It's possible that Microsoft and Intel will deliver a fix to this issue. That's what Acer's support note implies, but with no details of the underlying issue and no official word from Microsoft, that's certainly not guaranteed. (I've asked Microsoft for comment and will update this post when I hear back from them.) And are there other PC architectures that are likely to face this issue in the next year or two? We don't know. As Microsoft moves to a Windows 10 upgrade cadence of twice a year, with feature updates delivered in March and September and a support lifecycle of 18 months, that support policy can in theory cause even a two-year-old device to end up on the Island of Lost CPUs. The irony in this case is that Microsoft aggressively pushed the free Windows 10 upgrade offer to the owners of these devices, turning up the pressure dramatically as the July 2016 cutoff date approached. Now, less than a year later, those devices are being cut off without notice. The bottom line: If your PC was originally designed for Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 and the manufacturer doesn't officially support it for Windows 10, you're at risk. For the short term, at least, this policy shouldn't affect PCs that were designed for Windows 10 or for which the manufacturer has explicitly delivered support for Windows 10 in the form of drivers and firmware updates. But that could change in a few years, perhaps without notice. Article source
  5. Windows 10 has won the heart of all the users of Windows. The layout and the smooth transitions of the Windows 10 UI are enough to impress us all. The flat design is really attractive. But using the same theme with the same colors may bore you after using it for a long time. So, don’t you think that you should change the interface of Windows 10 to give it a brand new look? I’m sure you would love to change the look of your Windows 10. But the question is how do we change the theme of our Windows 10? Well, you can change the overall theme of your Windows 10 PC. There are many amazing themes you can download and activate on your system. But where you can find the best theme for Windows 10. You don’t have to go anywhere. We have here for you the Top 10 Windows 10 Dark themes to Download. All the themes are really beautiful. So, let’s explore our list of top 10 dark themes for Windows 10. Select the best Windows 10 Dark theme 1. Windows 10 Official Dark Theme If you are a huge fan of dark theme for your Windows 10 then why not use the official Dark Theme included in Windows in Windows 10. Yes, if you are not aware of the dark theme provided by Windows then let me tell you that you can activate and make the official dark theme of Windows as your Windows 10 theme. But the method to activate the dark theme is not straight-forward. Actually, you can not simply to go the system settings and activate the dark theme. So, how can you use the official Windows 10 dark theme? Well, here is the complete procedure. Press win+R, type Regedit and hit enter. Now a new window will show up, you only need to navigate to the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize. After that, you need to create a new DWORD and name it as AppsUseLightTheme with value 0. Now again navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize, create new DWORD with name AppsUseLightTheme and with value 0. That’s it after that restore your computer. The official dark theme will be applied successfully. 2. Penumbra 10 Penumbra 10 is a beautiful Windows 10 dark theme with subtle colors which will provide an attractive look to your PC. The good thing about this theme is that it doesn’t need to add the contrast so it doesn’t look unpleasant to the eyes. You will be highly impressed by the color combinations of this Windows 10 dark theme. But the main trouble comes in installing the theme in your system. It is a little complicated and requires to install some other links in order to make it work properly. Other than the theme itself you need to install two other files too which are as follows. The UXThemePatcher (Skinpacks.com) The Ribbon Disabler (DevianArt) Penumbra theme To install and activate this Windows 10 dark theme simply follow the below steps. After downloading all the three links you need to install Open Sans Font which is included in the theme which you downloaded and then install UXThemePatcher. Now with the help of Ribbon Disabler, disable the ribbon and then move all the contents of the theme to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes. After that, simply go to the theme settings and then apply Penumbra Theme. You can even customize the theme in order to give it the desired look. Also, you may need to restart the computer before applying the theme. 3. Dark/Gray Windows 10 Dark Theme If you want to make your Windows 10 environment dark and beautiful and that too without any hassle then Dark/Gray theme is the best option for you. This Windows 10 dark theme is capable of making everything on your Windows 10 from file explorer to system settings, and any other application amazingly dark. The Theme is not totally dark. It also has a tint of light gray color. So, the combination of light and dark gray makes the interface of your Windows 10 looks beautiful and unique. Also, you don’t have to spend your money as it is available for free. You can download the theme from DeviantArt. Simply download the link and then add the downloaded files into %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes. 4. Ades If you do not want the complete darkness to the interface of your Windows 10 then Ades is the perfect option for you. Unlike other Windows 10 dark themes, Ades doesn’t make it the complete dark instead it has added some soft colors too, just to provide the perfect blend of dark and soft colors to make it look wonderful. The colors included in the themes are light blue, green, and dark gray and I’m sure that you too will love the fusion of the colors. Also, the process to install the theme is simpler than Penumbra. The only thing you will need to do is install UXThemePatcher, download the theme and move the folder to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes. One more thing you can add to this Windows 10 dark theme that is customized icons to make it look cool. For this simply download the icon pack provided by the theme developer. 5. Nocturnal W10 Here comes another wonderful Windows 10 dark theme which is enough to give eye feasting looks to your Windows 10. If you are dark theme lover then Nocturnal W10 is the great option for you. This beautiful theme is specially made for Windows 10 and contains the color combination of light and dark gray colors. It will provide an overall dark look to the user interface of your Windows 10. But unfortunately, the process to install and activate the theme is the most complex one. You need to install multiple third-party tools for just activating this dark theme on your Windows 10 system. So, let’s get started. First of all, download the following tools on your system. Classic Shell Old new Explorer UX Style Win Aero After that follow the below steps: First of all, install and open Old new Explorer and then check Use Command Bar and Hide Up button option. After that, in classic shell simply disable Show status bar option and import the XML file by Classic Start Menu Setting>>Backup>>Load from XML. The last step includes installing the theme and Sans Semibold Font which is included in theme files to provide complete look to the theme. 6. Hover Dark Aero Hover Dark Aero is a beautiful theme with black and gray color fusion. The great thing about the look of this theme is translucent look of the menu of the application’s interface as you can see in the below image how elegant and modern the UI is looking. But again for using this theme, you will need to install a third-party tool named PatchUxtheme. Add the downloaded folder of the theme to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes. After that, you can activate the theme from the theme settings. But still, if you find any problem or have a doubt in the process for activating this theme on your Windows 10 then you can also read the instructions to download the theme from the .txt file which you can find in the folder of the theme. 7. Yosemite Dark & Light Yosemite Dark & Light theme as the name suggests is a combination of dark and light colors. So, it is not a completely dark theme. And for those who just love the dark theme might not like Yosemite Dark & Light theme. But for the people who do not prefer proper dark theme and want some decent colors too in the interface then guys, this is the best option for you. Just like Hover Dark Aero theme, you need to install PatchUxtheme on your system first and then you can install the theme just by adding it’s folder to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes and then you can activate it from the theme settings. 8. After Dark Cyan theme After Dark cyan theme is also the creation of DevianArt and is fully compatible with Windows 10 as it is specially made for it. Although the theme is fully dark with black and dark gray colors, but the hint of cyan color makes it look amazing. No doubt, the combination of black and cyan is just beautiful and quite attractive. So, if you are a cyan lover then just download and install this Windows 10 dark theme on your Windows 10 to give it that amazing look. The procedure to install and activate the theme is just as same as Yosemite Dark & Light theme. Install PatchUxtheme and activate the theme after moving the entire folder to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes. Also, the theme is totally free to download which is the plus point. 9. Void You will definitely love the simplicity and elegance of this amazing theme named Void. This theme created by DevianArt is a combination of coral red, gray and black color which give it the perfect dark look. As you can see in the image below that the interface of the file explorer is looking so beautiful and clean. But to activate this clean and clutter-free theme on your Windows 10 you will need to download some third-party tools first one is OldNew Explorer to remove arrow and ribbon and StartIsBack to change the taskbar and Start menu. And if you wish to remove refresh and the previous button then simply install BlankIt to do the same. After that just add the theme as we did in the previous ones and activate it through the theme settings. 10. Hastpy The last Windows 10 dark theme of our list is Hastpy which is also a great theme. This theme provides the interface of the applications of your Windows 10 a great look with a color combination of light gray and dark gray which looks amazing together. The procedure to download and activate this theme on Windows 10 is same as of After Dark cyan theme. First, you install PatchUxtheme, download Hastpy theme and then move its folder to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes, simple. Article source Top 10 Windows 10 Dark themes to Download.
  6. Advanced cyberattacks emphasize stealth and persistence: the longer they stay under the radar, the more they can move laterally, exfiltrate data, and cause damage. To avoid detection, attackers are increasingly turning to cross-process injection. Cross-process injection gives attackers the ability to run malicious code that masquerades as legitimate programs. With code injection, attackers don’t have to use custom processes that can quickly be detected. Instead, they insert malicious code into common processes (e.g., explorer.exe, regsvr32.exe, svchost.exe, etc.), giving their operations an increased level of stealth and persistence. Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (Windows Defender ATP) uncovers this type of stealth attack, including ones that use newer forms of injection. In Windows 10 Creators Update, we enhanced Windows Defender ATP’s instrumentation and detection of in-memory injection methods like process hollowing and atom bombing. Windows Defender ATP is a post-breach solution that alerts security operations (SecOps) teams about hostile activity. As the nature of attacks evolve, Windows Defender ATP continues to advance to help SecOps personnel detect and respond effectively to attacks. This blog post is the next in a series of blogs about how Windows Defender ATP detects code injection techniques. We tackle process hollowing and atom bombing attacks to illustrate how Windows Defender ATP detects a broad spectrum of nefarious activity, from commodity malware that attempts to hide from plain sight, to sophisticated activity groups that engage in targeted attacks. Process hollowing: Hiding code in legitimate processes Process hollowing is a code injection technique that involves spawning a new instance of a legitimate process and then “hollowing it out”, i.e., replacing the legitimate code with malware. Unlike most injection techniques that add a malicious feature to an otherwise normally running process, the result of hollowing is a process that looks legitimate on the outside but is primarily malicious on the inside. While there are few known techniques that achieve process hollowing, the most common variant typically follows four steps to achieve stealthy execution of malicious code: The malware spawns a new instance of a legitimate process (e.g., explorer.exe, lsass.exe, etc.), and places it in a suspended state. The malware then hollows out the memory section in the new (and still suspended) process that holds the base address of the legitimate code. To do this, the malware uses the NtUnmapViewOfSection routine. It allocates read-write-execute (RWX) memory in the suspended process to prepare for the replacement malicious code. The malware then copies malicious code into the allocated memory. It changes the target address of the first thread to the malicious program’s entry point. When the thread resumes, the malicious code starts running, now disguised as a legitimate process. The malware is then free to delete remnants of itself from disk to avoid detection. Atom bombing: New cloak of disguise Atom bombing is one of the most recent code injection techniques observed in attacks. It is a method that can be used by an attacker who has already compromised a machine and who can execute code to perform stealthy code injection into other processes using lesser known APIs. In this technique, the malware writes malicious code to the global atom table, which can be accessed by all applications. The malware then dispatches an asynchronous procedure call (APC) to the APC queue of a target process thread using the native NtQueueApcThread API. When executed, this APC forces the target process to call the GlobalGetAtomName function, which retrieves the malicious code from the global atom table and inserts the code into the memory of the target process. Writing malicious code into the memory space of another process without use of WriteProcessMemory is a clever trick, but the malicious code, when transferred via atom table, is not ready to be executed. An extra step is required to achieve the final goal: one more APC call is used to invoke return-oriented-programming (ROP) and convert the code memory region into RWX. Only then does the malicious code run. Detecting process hollowing and atom bombing with enhanced Windows Defender ATP capabilities In Windows Defender ATP Creators Update, we have instrumented function calls and built statistical models to detect a broad range of malicious injection techniques used in attacks. We tested these capabilities against real-world examples of malware that use process hollowing, atom bombing, and other injection methods. In the following sections, we illustrate how Windows Defender ATP uncovers attacks that use code injection to gain stealth and persistence in target networks. Kovter: Classic process hollowing in action Kovter is a family of click-fraud Trojans that have been around since 2013 but have recently been observed to associate with ransomware families like Locky. In 2016, we discovered Kovter variants that achieved an almost file-less persistence. This malware is primarily delivered as attachment in phishing emails. When executed, Kovter hides most of its malicious JavaScript, PowerShell, and shellcode components (all typically obfuscated) across several registry keys. It then uses native applications to combine, decrypt, and execute the code stored in the registry and perform its injection routine. Kovter achieves persistence by adding shortcuts (.lnk files) to the startup folder or adding entries to the registry key HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run. Both methods open a component file with a random file name extension. It adds two registry entries to the HKEY_USERS hive so that the component file is opened by the legitimate program mshta.exe, which extracts an obfuscated payload from a third registry key. When the payload is decrypted, a PowerShell script is extracted and added as a new environmental variable. The PowerShell then executes a script referred to in the environmental variable, which injects shellcode into a target process. Using the shellcode, Kovter employs the process hollowing technique to inject malicious code into legitimate processes. Through process hollowing, this nearly file-less malware can achieve and maintain a stealthy presence, presenting a challenge to traditional AV solutions. Windows Defender ATP, using enhanced instrumentation and detection capabilities, exposes the function calls used in this technique. Furthermore, through statistical models, Windows Defender ATP zeroes in on malicious functions required to execute process hollowing. The screenshot below shows the Windows Defender ATP alert for the process injection routine. It shows mshta.exe being used to launch and execute a malicious PowerShell script (1, 2), as well as the hollowed-out process regsvr32.exe that contain malicious code (3, 4). Figure 1: Windows Defender ATP detection of Kovter performing process hollowing on regsvr32.exe using mshta.exe Dridex: Early adopter of atom bombing Since its release in 2014, Dridex has been a very prolific and nasty banking Trojan. Delivered primarily by phishing emails, Dridex pilfers banking credentials and sensitive information, disables security products, and gives attackers remote access to victim computers. Over the years, Dridex’s code has gone through several revisions. With its most recent version, Dridex became one of the earliest adopters of the atom bombing injection technique. It maintains stealth and persistence by avoiding the common API calls that are associated with code injection techniques. When executed, Dridex looks for an alertable thread for a target process. It then ensures that user32.dll is loaded by the target process. It needs user32.dll to access the required atom table functions. Once this requirement is met, Dridex writes its shellcode to the global atom table. It then forces the target process to copy the malicious code into memory by adding a series of NtQueueApcThread calls for GlobalGetAtomNameW to the APC queue of the target process thread. Figure 2: NtQueueApcThread calls to GlobalGetAtomNameW added to the APC queue of the target process. Finally, Dridex calls NtProtectVirtualMemory to transform the memory location (where the malicious code now resides) into executable memory. At this point, Dridex can freely execute its code in the context of the legitimate process. Windows Defender ATP uncovers the use of the atom bombing technique. The screenshot below shows a Windows Defender ATP alert on Dridex that used atom bombing to inject malicious code into the legitimate process svchost.exe. Figure 3: Windows Defender ATP detection of Dridex performing atom bombing on svchost.exe Conclusion: Windows Defender ATP Creators Update exposes covert cyberattacks Windows 10 continues to elevate defense capabilities against the full range of modern threats. Attackers respond to this by launching more complex attacks that are increasingly sneakier and more persistent. Kovter and Dridex are examples of prominent malware families that evolved to evade detection using code injection techniques. Inevitably, process hollowing, atom bombing, and other advanced techniques will be used by existing and new malware families. Windows Defender ATP uses rich security data, advanced behavioral analytics, and machine learning to detect the invariant techniques used in attacks. Windows Defender ATP Creators Update has enhanced instrumentation and detection capabilities to better expose covert attacks. Windows Defender ATP also provides detailed event timelines and other contextual information that SecOps teams can use to understand attacks and quickly respond. The improved functionality in Windows Defender ATP enables them to isolate the victim machine and protect the rest of the network. For more information about Windows Defender ATP, check out its features and capabilities and read about why a post-breach detection approach is a key component of any enterprise security strategy. Windows Defender ATP is built into the core of Windows 10 Enterprise and can be evaluated free of charge. John Lundgren Windows Defender ATP Research Team Article source
  7. So, you work for Google. Awesome, right? Yeah. You know what else is awesome? Your 24-Core, 48-thread Intel build system with 64 GBs of ram and a nice SSD. Life is good man. So, you've done your code work for the day on Chrome, because that's what you do, remember? (Yeah, that's right, it's awesome). Before you go off to collect your google-check, you click "compile" and expect a speedy result from your wicked fast system. Only you don't get it... Instead, your system comes grinding to a lurching halt, and mouse movement becomes difficult. Fighting against what appears to be an impending system crash, you hit your trusty "CTRL-ALT-DELETE" and bring up task manager... to find only 50% CPU/RAM utilization. Why then, was everything stopping? If you would throw up your arms and walk out of the office, this is why you don't work for Google. For Google programmer Bruce Dawson, there was only one logical way to handle this: "So I did what I always do - I grabbed an ETW trace and analyzed it. The result was the discovery of a serious process-destruction performance bug in Windows 10." This is an excerpt from a long, detailed blog post by Bruce titled "24-core CPU and I can't move my mouse" on his Wordpress blog randomascii. In it, he details a serious new bug that is only present in Windows 10 (not other versions). Process destruction appears to be serialized. What does that mean, exactly? It means when a process "dies" or closes, it must go through a single thread to handle this. In this critical part of the OS which every process must eventually partake in, Windows 10 is actually single threaded. To be fair, this is not a normal issue an end user would encounter. But developers often spawn lots of processes and close them just as often. They use high-end multi-core CPUs to speed this along. Bruce notes that in his case, his 24-core CPU only made things worse, as it actually caused the build process to spawn more build processes, and thus, even more had to close. And because they all go through the same single threaded queue, the OS grinds to a halt during this operation, and performance peak is never realized. As for whether this is a big bug if you aren't a developer: Well that's up for debate. Certainly not directly, I'd wager, but as a former user of OS/2 and witness to Microsoft's campaign against it back in the day, I can't help but be reminded of Microsoft FUD surrounding OS/2's SIQ issue that persisted even years after it had been fixed. Does this not feel somewhat like sweet, sweet karma for MS from my perspective? Maybe, but honestly, that doesn't help anyone. Hopefully a fix will be out soon, and unlike the OS/2 days, the memory of this bug will be short lived. Article source
  8. Applies to •Windows 10 •Windows Server 2016 If you're looking for content on what each telemetry level means and how to configure it in your organization, see Configure Windows telemetry in your organization. Learn about the network connections that Windows components make to Microsoft and also the privacy settings that affect data that is shared with either Microsoft or apps and how they can be managed by an IT Pro. If you want to minimize connections from Windows to Microsoft services, or configure particular privacy settings, this article covers the settings that you could consider. You can configure telemetry at the lowest level for your edition of Windows, and also evaluate which other connections Windows makes to Microsoft services you want to turn off in your environment from the list in this article. You can configure telemetry at the Security level, turn off Windows Defender telemetry and MSRT reporting, and turn off all other connections to Microsoft network endpoints as described in this article to help prevent Windows from sending any data to Microsoft. There are many reasons why these communications are enabled by default, such as updating malware definitions and maintain current certificate revocation lists, which is why we strongly recommend against this. This data helps us deliver a secure, reliable, and more delightful personalized experience.+ To help make it easier to deploy settings to restrict connections from Windows 10 to Microsoft, you can apply the Windows Restricted Traffic Limited Functionality Baseline. This baseline was created in the same way as the Windows security baselines that are often used to efficiently configure Windows to a known secure state. Running the Windows Restricted Traffic Limited Functionality Baseline on devices in your organization will allow you to quickly configure all of the settings covered in this document. However, some of the settings reduce the functionality and security configuration of your device and are therefore not recommended. Make sure should you've chosen the right settings configuration for your environment before applying. You should not extract this package to the windows\system32 folder because it will not apply correctly. Applying this baseline is equivalent to applying the Windows 10 steps covered in this article. This article is much too long to post here. Please go to the link below to read it. Article
  9. With the launch of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Build 16237 to the Fast Ring yesterday, Microsoft wheeled in numerous fixes and new features. At the same time, the company also announced that the second Bug Bash for the next big update to Windows 10 is about to take place. This is the last Bug Bash that will take place before the release of the final version of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and it will see an intense period of testing with the help of Windows Insiders. Things kick off on Friday, July 14 and continue for more than a week. Of course, the whole idea of the insider program is to help Microsoft to home in on bugs and get them fixed before software is released to the masses, but the Bug Bash steps things up a notch. Participants will be asked to take part in quests to check specific elements of the operating system as Microsoft draws closer to pushing out this latest feature update. In her blog post announcing the availability of build 16237, Dona Sarkar also said: We're really excited to do our 2nd (and final) Bug Bash for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update! The Bug Bash will start at 12am (Pacific Time) on Friday July 14th and will run a full week ending at 11:59 pm (Pacific Time) on Sunday July 23rd. As usual, we will be publishing new quests and will be doing some Mixer webcasts. So be sure to open Feedback Hub and complete as many quests as you can! More details to come early next week! That's all we know at the moment, but more details will be incoming in the next few days. What's clear, though, is that we're drawing ever closer to the final code for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Article source
  10. Google Translate: Source / Original article in French: https://www.nextinpact.com/news/104752-windows-10-va-enfin-limiter-bande-passante-reservee-aux-mises-a-jour.htm
  11. When it arrives this fall, Microsoft 365 Enterprise will replace the Secure Productive Enterprise bundle that includes Windows, Office and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Microsoft has launched new one-stop solutions bundles for businesses that rely on the company's software and cloud offerings for their end-user computing. During the Microsoft Ignite conference in Washington D.C. today, the software giant announced Microsoft 365, a new licensing option that includes the Windows 10 operating system, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), the company's cloud-based mobile device and application management product. Microsoft 365 will be available in two flavors, Enterprise for large organizations and Business for the small and medium-sized business (SMB) set. If it all sounds familiar, that's because Microsoft launched a similar bundled licensing option called Secure Productive Enterprise last fall. In fact, Microsoft 365 Enterprise replaces Secure Productive Enterprise, revealed Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office, in a July 10 announcement. Microsoft 365 Enterprise will be offered in two plans, E3 and E5, when it goes on sale on Aug. 1, according to Koenigsbauer. Both offer access to Office applications, Intune device management and an assortment of security-enhancing technologies. Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 builds on those capabilities and adds PSTN (public switched telephone network) conferencing, cloud PBX (private branch exchange) telephony features, Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection and Power BI Pro analytics, among other functionality. A full list is available here. Smaller organizations, meanwhile, can purchase Microsoft 365 Business for $20 per user per month when Microsoft releases it in the fall. "Microsoft 365 Business is designed for small-to-medium sized businesses with up to 300 users and integrates Office 365 Business Premium with tailored security and management features from Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security," Koenigsbauer stated. "It offers services to empower employees, safeguard the business and simplify IT management." Included in the bundle is the new Windows AutoPilot self-service PC deployment technology, a terabyte of cloud file storage and Teams, Microsoft's Slack-like team collaboration offering. For customers interested in taking Microsoft 365 Business for a spin before making a commitment, Microsoft plans to launch a public preview on Aug. 2. "I imagine Microsoft 365 will be revolutionary for the industry," Dux Raymond Sy, chief marketing officer and Public Sector CTO at AvePoint, a SharePoint management specialist, told eWEEK. "With this new solution, customers at both large and small companies will be able to implement a holistic Microsoft ecosystem that IT departments will be able to use with ease." Not only can Microsoft 365 help add momentum to customers' digital transformation efforts, but perhaps also help the software giant further expand its considerable reach in the business software market. "The Office 365 aspect increases mobility and collaboration opportunities and the Enterprise Mobility + Security section of the suite ensures security is accounted for. This new product suite will also help Microsoft grow its customer base by opening up a solution that works for both big and small companies," Sy added. The software provider is also including three "tailored" applications for Microsoft 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium subscriptions, added Koenigsbauer. They include Microsoft Invoicing and the Listings service for publishing business information on leading online directories and resource sites. Also included is Microsoft Invoicing, which can be used to create professional invoices. Article source
  12. Microsoft is finally adding one of the much-requested features of Windows 10. The software maker is currently testing a new feature in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update with Windows Insiders which will make it much easier to recover Microsoft Accounts. In the latest preview of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has added an “I forgot my password” option to those using passwords to lock their computers. Users using Windows Hello or a pin will also be able to access the new password reset option by going to the other sign-in options. Once you start the password reset process, Windows 10 takes you to the OOBE where Cortana will help you reset the password. It will first ask you to verify yourself using your secondary email, your phone number, or Microsoft Authenticator. Once verified, you will be able to reset the password and that’s pretty much it. While this may sound like a minor feature, it’s something that’s been missing in Windows 10 for a while. Users with a Microsoft Account previously had to use another device to reset the password for their account which is quite annoying, but that will no longer be the case with the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update that’s releasing sometime around September of this year. Article source
  13. Stats show 35.7 percent of systems running version 1703 Microsoft started the Windows 10 Creators Update rollout in April this year, and the company opted for a release in waves, meaning that systems are getting the new version as they are marked as compatible after the common bugs are addressed. And statistics provided by AdDuplex indicate that no less than 35.7 percent of the Windows 10 PCs out there are already on version 1703 (Creators Update), but the Anniversary Update remains the top version with 58.3 percent. “Creators Update continues to propagate on PCs worldwide, but at moderate pace. It seems to be in line with how Anniversary Update spread, but we’ve approached the infliction point (2-3 months in) when Anniversary Update went full speed and jumped from 35 percent to over 75 percent in one month,” AdDuplex explains in the new batch of statistics published today. “Next month we will see if this pace will be repeated with the Creators Update,” the report continues. The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update The Creators Update comes with a long list of improvements, including new security features, and this is one of the reasons Microsoft encourages everyone to update as soon as possible. While the automatic update via Windows Update is rolling out in stages, IT pros can install the Creators Update at any moment using the Windows Update Assistant, which lets them skip compatibility checks and ignore any issues that might arise during the process. While adoption of the Creators Update is improving, Microsoft continues work on the next iteration of Windows, which is called Fall Creators Update. Already in development with help from Windows insiders, the Fall Creators Update is projected to be finalized in September before the public launch to everyone else in October. These dates are not confirmed just yet, but Microsoft has pledged to release two different Windows updates every year, in March and September, respectively. < Here >
  14. Try this workaround if you're frozen out Accounting software developer Sage has warned that the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition may break your Sage 50 installation. In an advisory circulated to customers on Tuesday, Sage says the latest version of Microsoft's operating system can create a conflict that leaves people unable to access their Sage accounts. Essentially, users who have updated to the latest version of Windows 10 are knocked back with weird password errors when trying to log into Sage 50, a financial management package aimed at small businesses. The problem, it seems, is due to an issue between Windows 10 Anniversary Edition and .NET 3.5 in which operating system updates end up disabling the framework. This preventing the accounting software from working properly. UK-based Sage has offered a workaround to the issue that involves re-activating .NET 3.5: And if that doesn't work, maybe try hitting it? Microsoft and Sage are reportedly working on a fix for the issue. Article source
  15. Controlled Folder Access is a new feature of Windows Defender Antivirus that is currently being tested on the most recent Windows 10 Insider Builds. If things go well, it will be one of the new features of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update upgrade that is out later this year. The main idea behind Controlled Folder Access is to protect certain folders and the files they contain from unauthorized access. Think of it as a layer of protection against manipulation of files that are stored in protected folders. Controlled Folder Access Controlled Folder Access is not enabled by default. First thing you need to do is enable the feature by flipping its preference to on, and adding at least one folder that you want the feature to protect on the device. Note: You may get one or multiple UAC prompts during the process. You need to accept those to make the necessary changes to the system. Use Windows-I to open the Settings application on the Windows 10 device. Go to Update & Security > Windows Defender. Activate "Open Windows Defender Security Center". Select Virus & Threat Protection when the Windows Defender Security Center interface opens. Locate Controlled Folder Access on the page, and flip it to on. Select Protected folders afterwards, and add one or multiple folders to the list of folders that you want Windows Defender to protect. You may add local folders, network shares and mapped drives to the list of protected folders. So how does this work, and what level of protection can you expect? Microsoft notes that Windows system folders are protected by default, and that you may add other folders to the list of protected folders. Windows 10 does not prevent most programs or apps from making changes to protected folders or files that are stored in these folders. Microsoft seems to maintain a list of allowed applications that it considers friendly, and there is nothing that users may do about that. Apps on Microsoft's whitelist -- which is not revealed -- will always bypass the protection. Most of your apps will be allowed by Controlled folder access without adding them here. Apps determined by Microsoft as friendly are always allowed. If Windows Defender blocks an application from making changes to a folders or its files, it will display a notification on the screen. You may then add it to the list of allowed applications to avoid that this happens again in the future. It is unclear how well the protection works. I ran some tests but any software (apps or Win32 programs) I tried on the test machine was allowed to change files in protected folders. Verdict It is too early to tell how much of a benefit Controlled Folder Access is to the security of a Windows 10 device. I'd recommend that you create regular backups of important data regardless of that. Article source
  16. Older versions of the Windows operating system like Windows Vista and Windows 7 used to have an experience index in the system properties which displayed how powerful your system really is in terms of hardware. It would assess your computer’s graphics, hard disks, CPU, memory and other things to give it a score from 0.0 to 10.0. Hardly any computer got a score of 10.0, but you could increase this score by adding or installing much more powerful components. For example, an Intel Core 2 Duo PC can be made to get a better score by upgrading the motherboard and the CPU to Intel Core i5. But this experience index score was removed in Windows 10. Yet the command line tool that analyzes your PC’s hardware is still included in the recent builds of Windows 10. This command line tool is called WinSATand you can use it to find your system score just like in the older versions of Windows. Here is how: 1. Press the Win+X hotkey to open the administrator menu (also called power user menu) and select Command Prompt (Admin) from there. 2. In the elevated command prompt that opens up, type winsat formal and press Enter. This will run the Windows system assessment tool and can take a few minutes to complete the process. 3. When the assessment is over, open the folder C:\Windows\Performance\WinSAT\DataStore and open the file that has Formal.Assessment (Initial).WinSAT.XML in the filename. You can use Notepad++ to open this file or open it in any web browser like Edge or Internet Explorer. 4. Search for SystemScore in this XML file and you will find the system score for your PC as calculated by the WinSAT tool. This score would be inside the <SystemScore> tags. You will also be able to see a variety of other scores in this file. Additionally there are many different XML files in the same folder that hold the scores for individual components like the disk, graphics, DirectX, CPU, memory and so on. Article source
  17. Version 1709 spotted in official Microsoft docs Windows 10 Redstone 3 is projected to be finalized in September, as per Microsoft’s strategy to ship two major Windows updates every year, and now we have the first confirmation that this is indeed the plan, with the RTM build to be compiled as version 1709. Microsoft is giving version numbers to final Windows 10 builds that represent the compiling year and month, with Windows 10 Anniversary Update, for example, launching as version 1607 – the first two digits represent the year, while the other two the month, so the Anniversary Update was compiled in July 2016. Official Microsoft documents spotted by WZor, who has a good track on information regarding unreleased Windows versions, include references to Windows 10 version 1709, which according to the aforementioned naming approach, is likely to be the RTM build of Redstone 3 launching in September 2017. The Fall Creators Update project Windows 10 Redstone 3 will be officially called Fall Creators Update and it is already in development with help from users participating in the Windows Insider program. Microsoft is yet to confirm the release schedule for the Fall Creators Update, but if the final build is compiled in September, there’s a good chance users in the production ring get it in early October. The Fall Creators Update is projected to bring a long series of improvements to PCs, including some that were previewed by Microsoft at the Build developer conference last month. One of the most important is called Fluent Design and it includes an updated design language that would add new animations and visual effects to Windows 10 apps on both PCs and smartphones. Fluent Design is already in its first stages as part of preview builds, but it should evolve with more breaking changes in the coming months, as we advance towards the final stages of the Redstone 3 development process. Article source
  18. The term ‘antivirus’ has become so ingrained in tech culture, that almost everyone is familiar with its meaning. Chances are you have a PC running Windows 10, and you’re wondering if you still need one. After all, Windows 10 is the most advanced and secure desktop operating system to date. The short and simple answer is yes, and we’re going to explore five reasons why an antivirus is still a necessity. 1. Microsoft itself ships Windows 10 with a built-in antivirus The most obvious reason why antivirus software is still a necessity for most users is Windows Defender. Yes, even Microsoft – the company behind the Windows operating system that currently runs on over 1.5 billion PC – began integrating a basic antivirus solution with the release of Windows Vista in 2006. A decade later, things haven’t changed all that much, except for the explosion of security threats. Today we have hundreds of millions of new PCs shipping every year with Windows Defender as an integral part of Windows 10, which comes pre-installed on many of these devices. It provides a basic layer of security until you install your own choice of antivirus. To top it off, many PC makers include a third party security solution from companies such as Norton or McAfee, to name a few. However, this isn’t ideal for everyone. Many of these pre-installed solutions come in the form of an ‘extended trial’ that leaves users unprotected after expiry, unlike Windows Defender which is a free solution. 2. An antivirus can be used for easy setup of security rules If you’re running the latest version of Windows 10, you can use the new Windows Defender Security Center to do more than just scanning for viruses. Additional features include ‘Device performance & health’, ‘Firewall and network protection’, ‘App and browser control’, and ‘Family options’. The Windows Defender Security Center can provide you with additional tools, which is pretty good for a free tool, but still not enough when it comes to traditional, paid third-party solutions. There are free versions available from third parties, but they’re just as limited, and some will even nag you with pop-up ads. There’s a good reason why some antivirus vendors have changed the branding of their products to reflect how paid tiers of their products provide you with more than a simple virus scanner tool. Some even offer mail spam protection, web browsing privacy protection, or use your mobile device as a strengthening tool for your PC’s security. 3. The antivirus has evolved to match new security threats Most of you have probably heard or read news about classic types of malware, such as Trojans, worms, keyloggers, and backdoors. These would typically infect users through things like email attachments or downloads from suspicious websites. After that, they would spread to all devices in a local network, causing even more damage. All of them are different methods used to take advantage of your sensitive information. Microsoft has been improving the security of Windows with each new release, rendering many of the classic viruses obsolete. In turn, the bad guys have devised new ways to attack and take over control of your PC. One notable example is ransomware, which steals your data and makes it technically impossible to access unless you pay the thieves in a way that makes it very unlikely to ever identify them. In the meantime, antivirus software has evolved to deal with such threats. It can now provide special protection for your important folders, prevent malware from starting with Windows, and set up a trusted application whitelist. Some antiviruses even prevent an attacker from modifying their settings or uninstalling by locking things under a user password. 4. Your web browser is not as secure as you think Chances are you spend the most time using a web browser, and this is also one of the main targets for the bad guys. As much as Google, Microsoft, and others like to tout how safe their browser is, the reality is that all of them have flaws. That leaves you vulnerable until you get an update, which can take some time depending on the complexity of fixing the flaw. On top of these, the classic phishing attacks still work. Attackers can hide malicious code in ads, auto-playing video, or social media campaigns masquerading as legitimate competitions or giveaways. Once you click on these, you’re infected. And since there’s no visual clue of what has happened, you may not even know it. Some attacks involve redirects that take you from a legitimate service to an infected or masquerading web page. As you’re trying to log in, you basically give away your credentials to the bad guys. Good antiviruses typically analyze the web page code and will warn you if it’s malicious. 5. The antivirus as an additional layer of security “But I’m careful what I do with my PC and on the web!” is what some users may say. But you can never be too careful about security, and good practices are not enough to keep your PC safe. Thinking proactively about security will lower the risk of data and financial theft, or identity fraud. As medics say: prevention is better than the cure. Here are some of the situations where an antivirus can provide some precious additional security: online shopping, banking, and trading using public Wi-Fi sharing links, files, or even your PC with others clicking on ads, giveaway links watching adult content when using social media or exploring the web when downloading files, media, and software from the web Some of you may even think that antiviruses can catch malware only after the fact. In reality, the best security solutions today analyze the behavior of any app you run. This increases the chances of discovering a security threat before it even has a chance to do any harm. What about Windows 10 S? Microsoft says that Windows 10 S is more secure because it only runs sandboxed apps from the Windows Store. That’s true to some extent, but it’s not the whole story. You’re only less likely to get spyware and adware from the Store – which is curated by Microsoft. You’ll only be able to use Microsoft’s Edge browser in Windows 10 S, which is still vulnerable to attacks. Your important files still need protection from ransomware. Even sandboxed apps from the Store are not the holy grail of security. On top of that, the default account on Windows 10 S is still is vulnerable to attacks. The takeaway is this: an antivirus is still as important as being careful and keeping your software up to date. Also, there’s no need to spend a fortune on an antivirus. Companies like Bitdefender offer more affordable tiers that fit your specific needs. Article source
  19. The first version of Windows 10 will no longer receive monthly quality updates. Microsoft will prompt you to review your privacy settings if you have not installed the Windows 10 Creators Update, the company said on Friday (29 June). You may choose to postpone to review your privacy settings up to five times. After that, you should see a prompt for confirmation of your privacy settings. However, this process is not lengthy and takes only a few moments. Your privacy settings would be saved and you would be notified before the Creators Update starts, John Cable, director of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery, said in a blog post. Microsoft advises consumers to install the latest version of the update. To check if your system is up to date, head over to Windows Security and scroll down and click "Verify you're updated". Windows will notify if you need to update your device to the Creators Update. A reminder for those who are running on the first version of Windows 10, which is at the end-of-service. You will no longer receive the monthly quality updates that contain protection from security threats. To remain secure, consumers should update the latest feature update. You will receive a notification if your device needs to be updated to the latest feature update. "Your privacy and security are important to us. We will continue to evolve our approach in providing a great Windows experience," said Cable. Article source
  20. Ransomware Ransomware Everywhere Not a Single Place to Hide! But, Microsoft has a simple solution to this problem to protect millions of its users against most ransomware attacks. Two massive ransomware attacks — WannaCry and Petya (also known as NotPetya) — in a month have caused chaos and disruption worldwide, forcing hospitals, ATMs, shipping companies, governments, airports and car companies to shut down their operations. Most ransomware in the market, including WannaCry and NotPetya, are specifically designed to target computers running Windows operating system, which is why Microsoft has been blamed for not putting proper defensive measures in place to prevent such threats. But not now! In the wake of recent devastating global ransomware outbreaks, Microsoft has finally realized that its Windows operating system is deadly vulnerable to ransomware and other emerging threats that specifically targets its platform. To tackle this serious issue, the tech giant has introduced a new anti-ransomware feature in its latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build (16232) yesterday evening, along with several other security features. Microsoft is planning to introduce these security features in Windows 10 Creator Update (also known as RedStone 3), which is expected to release sometime between September and October 2017. The anti-ransomware feature, dubbed Controlled Folder Access, is part of Windows Defender that blocks unauthorized applications from making any modifications to your important files located in certain "protected" folders. Applications on a whitelist can only access Protected folders. So you can add or remove the apps from the list. Certain applications will be whitelisted automatically, though the company doesn't specify which applications. Once turned on, "Controlled folder access" will watch over files stored inside Protected folders and any attempt to access or modify a protected file by non-whitelisted apps will be blocked by Windows Defender, preventing most ransomware to encrypt your important files. So, whenever an application tries to make changes to Protected files but is blacklisted by the feature, you will get a notification about the attempt. How to Enable Controlled Folder Access, Whitelist Apps and Add or Remove Protected Folders Here's how to enable the Controlled folder access feature: Go to Start menu and Open the Windows Defender Security Center Go to the Virus & Threat Protection settings section Set the switch to On Here's how to allow apps that you trust is being blocked by the Controlled folder access feature to access Protected folders: Go to Start menu and Open the Windows Defender Security Center Go to the Virus & Threat Protection settings section Click 'Allow an app through Controlled folder access' in the Controlled folder access area Click 'Add an allowed app' and select the app you want to allow Windows library folders like Documents, Pictures, Movies, and Desktop are designated as being compulsorily "protected" by default, which can not be removed. However, users can add or remove their personal folders to the list of protected folders. Here's how to add folders to Protected folders list: Go to Start menu and Open the Windows Defender Security Center Go to the Virus & Threat Protection settings section Click 'Protected folders' in the Controlled folder access area Enter the full path of the folder you want to monitor Users can also enter network shares and mapped drives, but environment variables and wildcards are not supported at this moment. Other Security Feature Introduced in Windows 10 Insider Program With the release of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16232, Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) for Edge — a new system for running Microsoft Edge in a special virtual machine in order to protect the OS from browser-based flaws — also received improvements in usability. Windows 10 Insider Preview Build also comes with support for Microsoft Edge data persistence when using WDAG. "Once enabled, data such as your favorites, cookies, and saved passwords will be persisted across Application Guard sessions," Microsoft explains. "The persisted data will be not be shared or surfaced on the host, but it will be available for future Microsoft Edge in Application Guard sessions." Another new security feature called Exploit Protection has been introduced in Windows 10 16232, which blocks cyber attacks even when security patches are not available for them, which means the feature will be useful particularly in the case of zero-day vulnerabilities. Exploit Protection works without Microsoft's Windows Defender Antivirus tool, but you can find the feature in Windows Defender Security Center → App & Browser Control → Exploit Protection. In the Fall Creators Update for Windows 10, Microsoft has also planned to use a broad range of data from Redmond's cloud services, including Azure, Endpoint, and Office, to create an AI-driven Antivirus (Advanced Threat Protection) that can pick up on malware behavior and protect other PCs running the operating system. Also, we reported about Microsoft's plan to build its EMET or Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit into the kernel of the upcoming Windows 10 to boost the security of your PC against complex threats such as zero-day vulnerabilities. Also, the company is planning to remove the SMBv1 (Server Message Block version 1) — a 30-year-old file sharing protocol which came to light last month after the devastating WannaCry outbreak — from the upcoming Windows 10 (1709) Redstone 3 Update. Besides this, some other changes and improvements have also been introduced with the release, along with patches for several known issues. < Here >
  21. Microsoft announced this week that it is testing a new update targeting framework for the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update release. When Microsoft releases feature updates to Windows 10, these are delivered as staged roll outs and not pushed instantly to the whole Windows machine population. There are several reasons for doing so, including bandwidth and control. While Microsoft has a powerful infrastructure in place to ship updates to users, it is not designed to distribute a Gigabyte sized update to hundreds of millions of machines on a single day. This goes along well with the extra bit of control that a staged roll out offers. Microsoft may monitor the initial deployment on machines to catch any issues before it affects the whole Windows population. Windows Update Targeting Framework While Microsoft revealed that it is testing a new update targeting framework, it made no mention as to what is new or changed. While we don't know anything about what has changed, we know at least where the test will take place. Microsoft plans to test the new framework on the Windows 10 Insider Slow Ring, and there when it releases the forth Windows 10 Fall Creators Update build. With the forth coming release of a new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update build to the Slow ring, we are testing a new update targeting framework and will be delivering the build in staggered phases. This will simulate the rollout process we use when we release major Windows 10 feature updates to retail customers. The underlying system remains the same from a user perspective. The feature update will be rolled out to the machine population gradually. Users have options to wait until it is their machine's turn to receive the update, or may hit the "check for updates" button in the Settings app under Updates & Security > Windows Updates to bypass the queue and get the update immediately. This method works for release versions of Windows 10 as well. There is also a third possibility, but it is only an option if Microsoft released an ISO image of the new version of Windows. The change replicates the updating system that Microsoft used on stable versions of Windows. Microsoft made no mention as to whether it will use the system in other Insider build channels as well. It seems likely that it will keep the system in place on the Slow Ring only for the time being. Article source
  22. The Windows Task Manager is probably one of the most helpful and also the most used tools in the entire operating system. Surely everyone can recall at least a couple of times when they were in a jam and called on good ol‘Task Manager for help. Some use it to easily manage, set permissions or close running apps. Others however use the app to get quick and effective data regarding the computer parts and their performance. Tracking computer performance might not be a priority or a concern for casual users, but power users often times do this to be more informed on how their PC operates. Knowing more about a computer’s performance levels allows the user to make modifications and push the machine more because it knows its limits and capabilities better. More so, it also helps them keep machines in check and prevent bad situations. For example, keeping up with performance levels in the Task Manager can help a user understand that the processor is a lot more stressed than it should be at a given time, and so they can investigate and fix a potential problem. GPU tracking is finally here One of the biggest complaints people have had with the Task Manager is the fact that it didn’t provide GPU tracking. With the other major components tracked, users were always wondering when they would be able to see how their GPUs are performing. Those benefits are finally coming to the GPU with the new Windows 10 update. This change has been spotted in the 16226 build of Windows 10, which falls under the Fall Creators Update segment. A lot of info From displaying nothing at all regarding GPU performance, Microsoft is pulling a quick 180 with the Task Manager as now the tool will display a plethora of stats and useful information. There are many categories of information and users can see everything from GPU performance to GPU memory usage and so on. Users can even see the stats for each individual GPU component, which is pretty cool especially for those that are using their GPUs for really intense processes where every last drop of power and how it’s used counts enormously. Changing to multi-engine The Task Manager info on the GPU won’t immediately display all information as it will come preloaded in Single engine mode. Users can right click and change the graph properties so that it shows multi-engine instead. That’s one of the things that users will have to get used to once the new update comes out, but it will definitely be worth the slight learning curve. That is especially true when taking into consideration all the new possibilities born from the new GPU tracking feature. Article source Windows Task Manager can now track GPU performance Every Windows user can recall at least one instance where they didn’t know what to do and Windows Task Manager saved the day. One thing that always bugged people out about it, however, is the fact that it didn’t have any GPU performance tracking features. GPU tracking is finally coming That’s no longer the case as now Microsoft has finally decided to implement such a feature. The new GPU performance tracking feature is a part of the new Fall Creators Update for Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS and the first glimpses of it can be seen in the Preview build. To be more specific, the feature is part of the Windows 10 Insider 16226 build that is currently being tested on Microsoft’s preview platform. The integration will be seamless as the feature will be available under the Performance section, where users have been able so far to check out CPU performance related information. Microsoft must have wanted to make the wait worthwhile as it went the extra mile with the new GPU tracking capabilities. Now, users are not only able to track GPU performance but also separately track individual parts of the GPU. For those that aren’t savvy enough to know the name of their own GPU, this new feature is extra helpful since it provides that information alongside info about the driver used by the GPU. This can be very useful information and if nothing else, it’s good to have it “just in case”. Work in progress As mentioned earlier, these new features are currently being tested on the Insiders Preview build for Windows 10, which means that they are still under development. Things can be added or subtracted until the build releases officially to the public, meaning that there is still plenty of time for the developers to work on and enhance these features. Its Preview status also means that there might be slight errors here and there and obviously some bugs that the team hadn’t gotten a chance to fix yet. All these things are currently under review and part of the crew’s to-do list. Even if it’s arriving with quite a bit of delay, the new GPU tracking function will be most welcomed by Windows 10 users old and new, since it’s such a useful feature to have. Being able to immediately read important information regarding the computer’s GPU and how it’s performing is an important enough feature that would make people wonder why Microsoft hadn’t implemented it earlier. Article source
  23. Last summer, France's data protection commissioner, CNIL, criticized Microsoft for collecting an excessive amount of user data on Windows 10 PCs, and publicly ordered the company to "comply with the law within a period of three months." Today, CNIL issued a public statement, saying that it is satisfied with Microsoft's efforts to address those criticisms in accordance with the country's 'computing and freedoms' laws, and has ended its "procedure of formal notice" against the company. The data protection watchdog said that Microsoft "has reduced by almost half the volume of data collected under the "basic level" of its telemetry service", and that it now limits its collection of data to the bare minimums required "to maintain the system and applications in good working order and to ensure users safety." Earlier this year, Microsoft introduced a range of privacy changes to improve the transparency of its data collection on Windows 10, and to give users greater control over the amount and types of data that they're willing to share with the company. These changes included a new online privacy dashboard, and a revised Windows 10 setup experience with clearer explanations of its data collection practices. CNIL also highlighted other improvements that Microsoft has made to address its concerns. It said that Microsoft has: inserted references to information in line with article 32 of the "computing and freedom" law; completed applications with the CNIL for its treatments of combating fraud; joined the Privacy Shield to govern international transfers of personal data; put an end to the deposit of cookies without prior collection of the consent of users for many of its Windows 10 web sites, and is committed to do for all before September 30, 2017. While CNIL considers the matter resolved, Microsoft's data collection activities in Windows 10 apparently remain under the scrutiny of the Article 29 Working Party, a group formed of representatives from data and privacy regulators in each of the European Union's member states. That group raised fresh concerns about Windows 10 data collection in February, saying that Microsoft "should clearly explain what kinds of personal data are processed for what purposes. Without such information, consent cannot be informed, and therefore, not valid." Source: CNIL via TechRepublic Article source
  24. Earlier this week, Microsoft outlined some of its security enhancements for Windows 10 business customers, which it plans to introduce with the Fall Creators Update in the next few months. Today, the company announced improvements and additions on the way to its management and deployment tools as part of that update too. "Our goal with Windows 10 has always been to modernize the way IT interacts with Windows devices," Microsoft's Rob Lefferts said today, "adopting simpler and easier approaches that leverage cloud-based services and help employees be more productive with Windows 10, Office 365 ProPlus and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS)." Microsoft announced a new suite of cloud-based services, known as Windows AutoPilot, to make deployment and management of Windows 10 PCs quicker and easier. "Imagine being able to take a new device out of the box and with just a few clicks fully configuring it for productive use," Lefferts said. "No more images to create and maintain, no infrastructure to manage, and a simple process. Now imagine that any member of the organization can easily setup a new device without needing any IT assistance." Windows AutoPilot Deployment is a new cloud service announced today, which will enable admins to create a 'cloud configuration' for the Windows 10 out-of-box setup experience for new machines. It works alongside existing Azure Active Directory and Intune MDM services, "enabling a new PC to be easily transformed into a business-ready device: joined to Azure Active Directory, enrolled in Intune, transformed to Windows 10 Enterprise, settings applied, Office 365 apps and line-of-business apps installed." The video below offers an overview of this process in action: Windows AutoPilot Microsoft is also planning to roll out the Windows AutoPilot Deployment Program "to enable OEMs, distributors, and resellers to link devices to an organization." The firm's Surface team will pilot this program this summer with select partners, and the company will announce details of wider availability in the next few months. You can get a further overview of Windows AutoPilot deployment in this video from Microsoft Mechanics: Introducing Windows AutoPilot deployment Microsoft also shared details of more Windows AutoPilot features coming in the Fall Creators Update: Windows AutoPilot Reset – a new reset mechanism to reset a fully configured device while maintaining MDM management and AAD connection state and automatically get the device back into a fully configured state. Enhanced Personalization with Windows AutoPilot Deployment – ability to pre-assign a device to a specific employee in the organization via cloud-configuration. Self Service Active Directory domain join – self-service deployment to get new Windows 10 devices into Active Directory domain joined state along with Microsoft Intune enrollment. The Fall Creators Update will introduce additional security management features too, as Microsoft explained: You will be able to deploy and configure Windows Defender Application Guard, as well as configuring security baseline settings (such as account and logon policies), to make it easy to use recommended security settings on MDM-managed enterprise devices. We’ve also added the capability to configure Windows Firewall rules. Other additions include: New progress screen to show how the device provisioning process is going, and when the device will be "ready to go". Employees will also be able to see the on-device information being managed by their organization MDM support for Active Directory domain-joined devices New kiosk configuration and management features, "supporting new multi-app scenarios and greatly simplified lockdown configurations" Microsoft is also making a further addition to its Windows Analytics suite. "Device Health functionality is designed to ensure employees have the best possible experience with Windows 10," Lefferts explained. "To achieve that goal, it helps identify issues that could affect a person’s experience, before they may even notice, while also identifying steps needed to resolve those issues proactively. This reduces helpdesk calls and support costs, saving time and money." The first Device Health features will soon be available in preview, with general availability planned for later this year. Source: Windows Blog Article source
  25. Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkits (EMET) are known to provide both application and system protection in Windows by looking inside the operating system and searching for security exploits. According to Microsoft, it also helps “protect against new and undiscovered threats even before they are formally addressed through security updates or antimalware software.” While a EMET toolkit is available as a separate download, reports show Microsoft is apparently planning to build EMET security tools into the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Fueling the report is a tweet from Alex Ionescu, who describes himself as a “Windows Internals Expert, Security Ninja, and Embedded ARM Kernel Guru.” Ionescu provides a screenshot in his tweet, showing that EMET is built into the kernel of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Interestingly, two security researchers from Microsoft’s Research team also picked up and retweeted the tweet, perhaps further suggesting that the feature is indeed coming to RS3. Though it seems a bit technical, here is a bit more on EMET, as detailed by Microsoft. Microsoft’s EMET toolkit works on Windows 10 , Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Vista. The Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) helps raise the bar against attackers gaining access to computer systems. EMET anticipates the most common actions and techniques adversaries might use in compromising a computer, and helps protect by diverting, terminating, blocking, and invalidating those actions and techniques. EMET helps protect your computer systems even before new and undiscovered threats are formally addressed by security updates and antimalware software. EMET benefits enterprises and all computer users by helping to protect against security threats and breaches that can disrupt businesses and daily lives. It’s not exactly clear which build Alex Ionescu was running, but we reached out to him for a comment. As the WannaCrypt attacks showed, we live in a time when cyber attacks, malware, adware, and security exploits are ever so more common. While not official, it is still fitting to hear that Microsoft is perhaps making moves to make Windows 10 more secure. We will be keeping an eye on this, so be sure to stay tuned for more. Update: We received a response back from Alex Ionescu. He tells us that the mentioned changes are new to build 16125. Article source