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  1. Bitdefender 2017 Build Overview: The Bitdefender proprietary technologies, based on innovative ideas and leading trends in the information security industry, continue to be internationally recognized as the best Internet security software. The independent organizations which reward BitDefender outstanding results through numerous prizes and certifications are: Av-Test.org, Virus Bulletin, ICSA Lab, Checkmark, PC World Top 100, just to name but a few. Homepage: https://www.bitdefender.com/ Changelog: Not yet updated A new Bitdefender Classic Line product update has been released with the following details: Affected software: Bitdefender Total Security 2017 Bitdefender Internet Security 2017 Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2017 Platform: x86, x64 Version: KB is unavailable at this time. Downloads: Online Installers: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2017 Online: https://download.bitdefender.com/windows/installer/en-us/bitdefender_antivirus.exe XP | Vista: https://download.bitdefender.com/windows/installer/en-us/xp-vista/bitdefender_antivirus.exe Bitdefender Internet Security 2017 Online: https://download.bitdefender.com/windows/installer/en-us/bitdefender_isecurity.exe XP | Vista: https://download.bitdefender.com/windows/installer/en-us/xp-vista/bitdefender_isecurity.exe Bitdefender Total Security 2017 Online: https://download.bitdefender.com/windows/installer/en-us/bitdefender_tsecurity.exe XP | Vista: https://download.bitdefender.com/windows/installer/en-us/xp-vista/bitdefender_tsecurity.exe Offline Installers and Install Guide: Bitdefender 2017 Offline Installation Guide:
  2. Proton VPN 0.9.6 Beta Overview: ProtonVPN is designed from the ground up with a special emphasis on security and privacy, and features a number of innovations that we have made to harden VPN against compromises. ProtonVPN will eventually feature free and premium versions containing different features. For the beta period, you will be able to test the full-fledged premium version of ProtonVPN for free. Layers of Protection: Limitation / blocking access to the data / application Isolation and create a separate database / application Backup / important data Detecting and deleting viruses / malware. Proton Mail announced beta VPN service for PLUS proton mail users. At this moment, Proton VPN offers 13 countries with 4/IP Australia Canada France Germany Hong Kong Iceland Japan Netherlands Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom United States More Info: Official Product Homepage / Detailed Features: https://protonvpn.com/home Official Website: https://protonvpn.com/ About Us: https://protonvpn.com/about Blog: https://protonvpn.com/blog/ ProtonVPN is still a work in progress, and we will be releasing more details over the next couple months about what makes ProtonVPN different. You can follow ProtonVPN on social media to get the latest news and updates: Facebook: https://facebook.com/ProtonVPN Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProtonVPN We would love to hear your feedback on the beta and what we can do to improve ProtonVPN. In addition to the links above, you can also send your suggestions to [email protected] If you run into trouble with ProtonVPN, or have questions, you can search for answers or contact us via the ProtonVPN support site: https://protonvpn.com/support/ Screenshots: Downloads: Stability Advisory: This is a "beta" software release which contains known bugs. Download: https://protonvpn.com/download/ Windows Client: https://protonvpn.com/download/ProtonVPN_win_v0.9.6.exe Clients for macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS are still under development, but it is still possible to use ProtonVPN with these operating systems using third-party OpenVPN clients. Setup guides can be found here: MacOS: https://protonvpn.com/support/mac-vpn-setup/ Linux: https://protonvpn.com/support/linux-vpn-setup/ Android: https://protonvpn.com/support/android-vpn-setup/ iOS: https://protonvpn.com/support/ios-vpn-setup/ VPN Servers and Country Code for Linux, Mac, Android and iOS: https://protonvpn.com/support/vpn-servers/
  3. Karma has long been a staple man-in-the-middle attack used in authorised wireless security assessments and unsanctioned ones, but as many modern operating systems now provide effective countermeasures, other approaches for tricking wireless clients into automatically associating with a rogue access point are wanted. Enter Lure10 – a new attack that, by taking advantage of Wi-Fi Sense, tricks wireless devices running Windows into doing exactly that. What is Wi-Fi Sense? Wi-Fi Sense, enabled by default on Windows 10 and Windows Phone 8.1, is a feature that automatically connects users to crowdsourced open wireless networks it knows about. Based on information previously collected by devices that connected to one or another of these open networks, Microsoft evaluates whether they provide a good-quality connection and, if they do, adds it to the list of hotspots that will be suggested by Wi-Fi Sense. Wi-Fi Sense will pick one when the user is in range, automatically accept its terms of use, and the user will seamlessly be connected to it. The Lure10 technique The success of the attack, which was presented by security engineer George Chatzisofroniou at this year’s Hack in the Box conference in Amsterdam, relies on: The victim’s device being fooled into believing it is within the geographical area of a Wi-Fi Sense-tagged open wireless network The attacker successfully disrupting the victim device’s existing Wi-Fi connection (by spoofing DEAUTH frames), and The attacker successfully mimicking the Wi-Fi Sense network in question (broadcasting a network with the same ESSID – extended service set identifier – is enough to do that). That last prerequisite can be achieved by finding a Wi-Fi Sense network that exists in an area relatively close to the victim (e.g. in their home city), and collecting its ESSID (e.g. “AIRPORT_FREE”). At the same time, through, the attacker also needs to collect the BSSIDs (the MAC addresses of the access points) of the other wireless networks in the same area, as this information is used by Windows Location Service to determine the location of a device. By broadcasting beacon frames with these BSSIDs, the attacker fools WLS into thinking the device is in the area of the impersonated network (first prerequisite of the attack). Once the attacker goes through the two steps, the fact that the rogue access point is sending out beacon frames with the ESSID of the Wi-Fi Sense network it mimics is enough for the victim device to connect to it automatically – IF the victim device has no shared WLANs in its Preferred Networks List and Available Networks List. But even that last condition can be achieved (see Chatzisofroniou’s presentation slides for more details). How to protect yourself? The Lure10 attack technique has been added to the latest version of the open source Wifiphisher rogue Access Point tool, of which Chatzisofroniou is the lead developer. The engineer says that Microsoft has been informed about this issue and has acknowledged its impact, but has not taken steps to mitigate it, as they consider it an “accepted risk.” Users can protect themselves against this attack by simply disabling Wi-Fi Sense on their device. Article source
  4. Webroot antivirus on Windows Security software developed by Webroot mistakenly flagged critical Windows files as infected and quarantined them after a bad update released by the company on April 24. According to the security vendor itself, the update was pulled after approximately 15 minutes, but this still hasn’t stopped some computers from receiving it, with thousands of systems said to be broken down after antivirus software flagged Windows files signed by Microsoft as malicious. Furthermore, the buggy update also incorrectly blocked access to Facebook after flagging the social network as a phishing website. At the time of publishing this article, Webroot is still working on addressing the issue, though the company has already provided workarounds to prevent the antivirus from re-detecting files as infected. “We are still working to resolve this issue through the night and will keep you updated as soon as more information becomes available,” the company said a few minutes ago. 30 million users in 2016 Webroot emphasizes that the false warnings do not come as a result of being hacked, adding that both consumers and businesses are affected and a workaround for MSPs (managed service providers) is still in development. “Webroot has not been breached and customers are not at risk. Legitimate malicious files are being identified and blocked as normal. We continue to work on a comprehensive resolution, but a live fix has been released for the Facebook issue and is propagating through to customers now,” the company said, explaining that the whole thing happened because files were flagged as W32.Trojan.Gen. While it’s not yet clear how many users were affected by this bad update, Webroot reported 30 million customers last year, out of which a big part accounted for businesses who are still waiting for a fix at this point. Furthermore, Webroot says that its servers are also working a bit slower than expected because of the big number of requests after the faulty update shipped. “For those that reported that agent commands were not working or were very delayed, that backlog of requests has processed and we are told that it has caught up. For anyone that had failures, please try again,” the firm says. Source
  5. March and April patches had their share of bugs, but with a Word zero-day threatening now's the time to update your Windows PCs. Here's how to navigate the minefields Credit: Pixabay With a zero-day Word exploit nipping at our heels, it’s time to work around the recent crop of bugs and get your Windows systems patched. Windows and Office patches have presented many challenges the past few months. February Patch Tuesday was dropped, then Microsoft came back with an obviously forgotten Flash patch. March had a big batch of bugs. April has had more than its fair share of bugs, too, including one that dismantles Windows Update on certain AMD Carrizo computers. Here’s where we stand with this month’s patches: April was the first month with no security bulletins, and it’s been challenging to keep up with the 644 patches—210 of them marked “critical.” Gregg Keizer at Computerworld has an insightful analysis that quotes Susan Bradley (who knows more about Microsoft patches than any human alive) taking Microsoft to task. Users who tried to run Win7 or 8.1 on newer PCs—or older Carrizo DDR4 computers—had Windows Update summarily and permanently shut down. Fortunately, there are a few precautionary steps that can be taken, as well as a fix. But make no mistake: Microsoft doesn’t want users to run Win7 or 8.1 on newer PCs, and it’s not backing off. The Word zero-day that (in)famously affects all versions of Word (even WordPad!) on all versions of Windows appeared in a Dridex banking malware email campaign. As details rolled out, it became apparent that the zero-day fires if you use Word to open a booby-trapped document attached to an email message. If you’re using Gmail, the doc opens in a preview that doesn’t infect the computer. If you double-click on the attached doc in Outlook, you still have to click Enable Editing before the malware takes off. The only way to fix the hole (aside from avoiding Word to open docs attached to emails) involves patching both Office and Windows. Both the .Net Framework 3.5.1, 4.5.2, 4.6, 4.6.1, and 4.6.2 Monthly Rollup KB 4014551 and the Security-Only update KB 4014985 (and a bunch of additional patches) blast away the PowerShell Stop-Computer cmdlet; Microsoft has a workaround that involves an old-fashioned DOS (elevated command prompt) command. Visual Basic 6 crashes after the April Monthly Rollup is installed. Various documented problems with the Kerberos Key Distribution Center service are reported in the main Update listings. I undoubtedly missed a few problems, but those are the big ones. There’s a new version of the much-maligned KB 3150513, which you want to avoid unless you’re planning an in-place upgrade to Win10 Creators Update soon. Günter Born reported a problem with the latest Malicious Software Removal Tool; something is messing up the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer. With that as preamble, here are the steps I recommend. Windows 10 Follow my tip on installing Win10 updates. If you want to stay on Win10 Anniversary Update and prevent Microsoft from forcing you on to Creators Update (which has plenty of bugs but fewer than I expected), follow these instructions. You may want to use wushowhide to hide any driver updates. All of the other updates should be fine, including Servicing stack updates, Office, MSRT, and .Net updates (go ahead and use the Monthly Rollup if it’s offered). I recommend reporting any problems you might encounter. Windows 7 and 8.1 If you have a newer computer (built in the past 18 months), watch out because you might get slipped a Microsoft Mickey Finn. There’s a big controversy over Microsoft’s heavy-handed approach to coercing users to move to Windows 10 by disabling Windows Update on newer 7th-generation PCs. It looks like Microsoft will use this month’s patches to shut off Windows Update on computers running Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen processors. It isn’t clear why earlier Carrizo DDR4 PCs were included in the dragnet or if older Skylake-based computers are immune from the shutdown. If you’re running Windows 7 or 8.1 on a PC made in the past 18 months, check to see if installing this month’s Windows patches will block Windows Update. That’s not as simple as it sounds; Microsoft hasn’t bothered to provide a hit list of blocked chips or a program that’ll scan your system and tell you if running the updates will block your PC. Here’s the next-best alternative: Step 1. Download and run Speccy. It’s a free system scanner that will tell you both the type of CPU you’re using and the RAM memory specs (screenshot). IDG Step 2. If Speccy says you’re running an Intel Kaby Lake processor or an AMD Ryzen processor, seriously contemplate whether you want to apply this month’s security patches—or if it’s easier to jump to Windows 10. Step 3. If Speccy says you’re running an Intel Skylake processor, you can breathe a little easier. Although Microsoft is still being coy about whether all Skylakes will be supported with Win7 and 8.1 updates, I haven’t heard of anyone with a Skylake who’s been shut down. Given Microsoft’s year-long waffling on this topic, I doubt we’ll ever know for sure, but for now Skylake looks safe. Step 4. If Speccy says you have a Celeron processor, your patching future isn’t so clear. I have a report from an Intel Celeron T3000 owner who got clobbered. Intel officially lists the Celeron 3965U as a 7th-generation chip, so it will likely be prevented from getting Win7 and 8.1 patches. I can’t find a definitive, official list of banned Celeron processors, but the Wikipedia page for Kaby Lake lists the Celeron G3930, G3930T, and G3950 as 7th generation and thus probably banned. I say “probably” because we don’t have any official confirmation or documentation from Microsoft. Step 5. If Speccy says you have an AMD Carrizo CPU and DDR4 RAM memory, you’re in the throes of a documented bug. If you install this month’s Monthly Rollup or Security-Only patch on a Carrizo DDR4 PC, Windows Update will be blocked—even though Microsoft explicitly said Carrizo chips would be supported with Win7 updates. Apparently Carrizo DDR4 owners are collateral damage. Users with Win7/8.1 PCs that fail Microsoft’s ill-defined test are caught between a rock and a hard place. Preventing the Word zero-day involves installing this month’s Monthly Rollup or Security-Only patch. But installing the patch also shuts down Windows Update. There’s a vigorous game of Win7 whack-a-mole going on, with GitHub poster Zeffy providing a way to unblock Windows Update on clobbered Win7/8.1 computers. The process isn’t pretty, but if you want to run Win7 or 8.1 on a newer PC, you don’t have much choice. If you have an older computer or decide to take a chance on blowing up Windows Update on a newer PC, you need to choose whether to install the security-only updates or get all that Microsoft has to offer—including “telemetry” patches—by using the monthly rollup. If you’re in “Group A” (the monthly rollup group), updating’s easy. If you’re in “Group B” (those who don’t want Microsoft snooping), it’s considerably more complex. I provide details in my patchocalypse article. For those in Group A: Step A1: Get your settings right. In Win7, click Start > Control Panel. In Win 8.1, press Win-X and choose Control Panel. Click System and Security. Under Windows Update, click the link marked “Turn automatic updating on or off.” Make sure Windows Update is set to “Never check for updates (not recommended),” then check the boxes marked “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates” and “Give me updates for Microsoft products and check for new optional Microsoft software when I update Windows.” Click OK. Step A2: Check for updates. Back in the Control Panel, under Windows Update, click the link to Check for Updates. (You may have to click Check for Updates a second time.) If you’ve done a Group A run in previous months, the check should go quickly. If it lingers for hours, follow these steps. Don’t check any unchecked boxes. If you have no intention of updating this machine to Win10 in the near future, look for KB 3150513 and make sure it’s unchecked. Step A3: Install the patches. Click the button marked Install Updates and follow the instructions. You’ll end up with the April Monthly Rollup; all of your Office patches; maybe some .Net patches; Adobe Flash fixes; the Microsoft Security Essentials update; and the usual MSRT scanner. After the reboot, everything will be set to block automatic updates. You’re ready, but be sure to watch this column next month to see when the unpaid beta testers are done. For those in Group B: Step B1. Get the Security-Only patches. If you want security patches only, you have to reach out and grab them, then install them manually. That’s a nontrivial task. Since the Security-Only patches are not cumulative, you need to make sure you have the October, November, and December 2016 Security-Only patches installed. If you use Win7, there’s also a January 2017 Security-Only patch. No Security-Only patches were issued for either Win7 or 8.1 in February, but there are March and April patches. You also need to manually download and install the Internet Explorer patches. There’s a big jumble of KB numbers and download links involved. AskWoody AKB article 2000003, maintained by PKCano, lists them all. Download any patches that you haven’t yet installed, double-click on the downloaded MSU file, and let the installer run its course. If you get the Unsupported Hardware notice (screenshot), seriously reconsider your decision to stay with Windows 7 or 8.1. If you decide you really want to thumb your nose at Microsoft, try playing whack-a-mole with Zeffy. IDG Step B2: Get your settings right. In Win7, click Start > Control Panel. In Win 8.1, press Win-X and choose Control Panel. Click System and Security. Under Windows Update, click the link marked “Turn automatic updating on or off.” Make sure Windows Update is set to “Never check for updates (not recommended),” then check the box marked “Give me updates for Microsoft products and check for new optional Microsoft software when I update Windows.” Uncheck the box marked “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates” (yes, Group B is different from Group A), and click OK. Step B3: Check for updates. Back in the Control Panel, under Windows Update, click the link to Check for Updates. (You may have to click Check for Updates a second time.) The check takes many minutes. If it takes many hours, follow these steps. Step B4: Get rid of the Monthly Rollup. Click the links to look at the Important and Optional updates. Don’t check any unchecked boxes. If you see any entries marked “Monthly Quality Rollup,” uncheck the boxes—if you’re in Group B, you don’t want them. For heaven’s sake don’t ever check anything marked “Preview.” If you see any “Security and Quality Rollup for .Net Framework” boxes checked, leave them checked. Step B5: Get rid of problematic updates. If you have no intention of updating this computer to Win10 in the near future, look for KB 3150513 and uncheck the box. Step B5: Install the patches. Click the button marked Install Updates and follow the instructions. You’ll end up with Office patches, .Net patches, possible Adobe Flash fixes, Security Essentials update, and the usual MSRT scanner. After the reboot, you’re done. Pat yourself on the back, and watch this column next month for the all-clear. Patching Windows and Office has always been a chore, but conscientiously applying updates has turned into a minefield. Comments and suggestions most welcome on the AskWoody Lounge. I’m looking at the ongoing viability of the “Group B” Security-only patching approach. Care to join the discussion? Source: Yes, Windows patches are a mess, but you should still install them (InfoWorld - Woody Leonhard)
  6. Windows Digital Rights Update Tool Removes WMA DRM Protection Digital Rights Update Tool is a new application for Windows 10 by Microsoft that allows you to remove DRM protection from WMA audio files. Windows users who use Windows Media Player to rip audio CDs to WMA audio files on devices running Windows may notice one day that DRM protection was added to the audio files. The same may be true for WMA songs or albums acquired on the Internet, as they make use of DRM as well usually. Note that you may select mp3 as the output format in the options instead of WMA. DRM is added automatically to the audio files when they are downloaded after the purchase, or during the audio CD ripping process. While that means that the audio files can be played on the system they have been downloaded to or ripped on, problems may occur when the audio files are moved to another machine. The DRM of the audio files may have been linked to a particular machine, or a particular version of Windows Media Player. This led to all kinds of issues, for instance after Windows Media Player updates, Windows upgrades, or the transfer of the audio files to another Windows PC. This meant for some users that they could not play the ripped or purchased audio files anymore because of DRM issues. Digital Rights Update Tool Microsoft has released an application for Windows 10 that takes care of DRM related issues. The Digital Rights Update Tool was designed to remove the copy protection from WMA files. Microsoft notes that it works only for WMA audio files, and even restricts this to ripped audio files, and not those that have been purchased online. I never purchased WMA audio files online, and cannot test whether the Digital Rights Update Tool works with purchased WMA files as well. The tool has a basic interface. Simply click on the folder icon of the tool to open a file browser and add WMA audio files to the application. Once done, click on the play button to start the process. You may create backups of the original files, but need to enable the option in the preferences before you start the process. Closing Words Microsoft released the Digital Rights Update Tool exclusively for Windows 10 devices. While it is not available for devices running older versions of Windows, you may run Windows 10 in a virtual machine to use the application on those devices as well. The tool, at least, seems to work well for audio files that you ripped using Windows Media Player. (via Born) Now You: Is audio ripping still a thing? Source
  7. If you haven't installed the March Windows patch MS17-010, you need to hop to it Credit: Thinkstock Ten days ago, the group known as Shadow Brokers released a pile of exploits, apparently developed by the NSA. After an initial period of dire predictions that the Windows sky was falling, Microsoft reassured us that most of the exploits were covered by the MS17-010 patch released back in March. Yesterday, a report released by malware sleuths Below0day says that more than 5 million machines are exposed, of which 56,000 are infected by the DoublePulsar malware, although Dan Goodin at Ars Technica reports that Microsoft is skeptical of the numbers. DoublePulsar gets in through a Shadow Brokers-leaked program called EternalBlue, and it works much like a backdoor, acting as a stepping stone to further exploits. At this point you should be concerned about all of the Shadow Brokers trove, but DoublePulsar has the potential to infect a lot of machines in very short order. Right now, it's infecting Windows machines that don't have MS17-010 installed, but are open to internet traffic through port 445. It's important to realize that you don't have to do a thing in order to get infected. If you're running Windows and haven't installed MS17-010 and your machine can be accessed through port 445, you're a sitting duck. Chances are good that your local machine isn't susceptible to getting infected directly from the internet, but it may be open to infections from other machines on your local network. If you want to see whether your tail is hanging out in the cloud, run Steve Gibson's venerable ShieldsUP! Scanner. Type 445 in the Input box, then click User Specified Custom Port Probe. If the scan comes up Stealth or Closed, you're not vulnerable to being infected directly from the internet. That doesn't give you a clean bill of health. Even if your machine is isolated from direct infection from the internet, there's also a possibility that a subverted machine inside your network could pass its infection on to you. (Details from MrBrian on the AskWoody Lounge). Whether port 445 is open or not, you should take steps right now to get MS17-010 installed on your Windows machines. The folks at @zerosum0x0 say: This is the most important patch for Windows in almost a decade, as it fixes several remote vulnerabilities for which there are now public exploits (EternalBlue, EternalRomance, and EternalSynergy). These are highly complex exploits.... [The Shadow Brokers leaked] framework essentially makes the [infection] process as easy as point and shoot. Not sure if you're caught up? Here's how to check. For Win10: In the Cortana search box, type winver. If you have version 1703, you're fine. If you have version 1607, you need to be on Build 14393.953 or later. (Note that the documentation in the KB article is wrong.) If you have version 1511, you need to be on Build 105867.839 or later. If you have Build 10240 (commonly called version 1507, but Microsoft didn't figure out the naming until later), you need to be on Build 10240.17319 or later. In all cases for Win10, if you aren't up to those build numbers, you need to install the latest cumulative update. Follow my instructions to get your build number up to snuff, but don't be tempted to install anything else at this point. For Win7: Right-click Start > Control Panel > Windows Update > View installed updates. You should have one of these listed: KB 4012212 the March Security-Only Group B patch KB 4012215 the March Monthly Rollup Group A patch KB 4015549 the April Monthly Rollup, which includes the March Monthly Rollup patch for MS17-010 If you don't have any of those listed, at a very minimum, you should download and install KB 4012212. Don't worry about Group A or Group B at this point. Installing KB 4012212 will protect you without committing your system to either Group A or Group B. There's a full description at PKCano's AKB 2000003, but if you only want the download links, look at this line: Mar 2017 KB 4012212 – Download 32-bit or 64-bit Similarly, for Win 8.1, look for these installed updates: KB 4012213 the March Security-Only Group B patch KB 4012216 the March Monthly Rollup Group A patch KB 4015550 the April Monthly Rollup, which incorporate the March Monthly Rollup MS17-010 fixes If you don't have any of those, look at PKCano's list: Mar 2017 KB 4012213 – Download 32-bit or 64-bit That's what you need to do right now, to protect yourself from the NSA's swirling storm. Even if you don't install Windows 7 or 8.1 patches any more or you're having problems getting Windows 10 updated, you need to get MS17-010 on your system. Now. Discussion continues on the AskWoody Lounge. Source: More Shadow Brokers fallout: DoublePulsar zero-day infects scores of Windows PCs (InfoWorld - Woody Leonhard)
  8. Bypass For Windows Update Lock For Next-Gen Processors Found A first workaround for the blocking of Windows Update on Windows 7 or 8.1 PCs with next-generation processors has been discovered. Microsoft blocked the delivery of Windows Updates recently to Windows 7 and 8.1 devices powered by a next-generation processor. The company announced the support change in January 2017. Broken down to the essentials, it means that Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Bristol Ridge processors are only support by Windows 10, and not older versions of Windows. To hammer that home, Microsoft made the decision to block Windows Update on Windows 7 or 8.1 PCs with those next generation processors. The company introduced patches, KB4012218 and KB4012219 for instance, which introduced process generation and hardware support detection on Windows 7 and 8.1 systems. Windows users who run Windows Update get the unsupported hardware error prompt when they try to scan for and download the latest patches for their -- still supported -- operating system. Bypass for Windows Update lock for next-gen processors GitHub user zeffy made the decision to take a closer look at how the actual blocking is done on the operating system level. What he did was the following: Download the Patch KB4012218 from Microsoft. Extract the content of the MSU file using the expand command line tool. Expand basically extracts all files that are part of an update file so that you can analyze each individually. This resulted in a long list of files. He used PowerShell to filter the files for anything starting with "wu" to filter out Windows Update related files. He then ran diff tools to compare the binaries of the files in the new update file with those on the actual operating system. He discovered the dynamic link library wuaueng.dll, and found the two functions IsCPUSupported(void) and IsDeviceServiceable(void) in it. Now that he found the culprits that blocked the installation of updates on machines with next generation processors, he came up with a solution for that. His preferred solution jumps over the whole "IsDeviceServiceable(void)" body so that Windows Update is notified that the CPU on the machine is supported. The solution requires the patching of the dll file. He has uploaded the patched files for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to the GitHub project page. The source code has been made available there as well for you to check. The patches come as scripts that you just need to run to make the necessary changes. Windows Update should work just like before then even on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 systems with next generation processors Attention: it is recommended that you create a backup of the wuaueng.dll file before you patch it. Even better, create a backup of the system partition just to be on the safe side of things. One caveat of the method is that any new version of wuaueng.dll that Microsoft releases requires new patching. Microsoft may device other means to block updates on those systems as well in the future. (via Sergey) Now You: What's your take on Microsoft blocking updates for customer systems? Source
  9. Windows XP: Why It Won't Die For Years To Come Old versions of Windows are sticking around longer than you might think, in unexpected places. Old versions of Windows just won't go away. Earlier this week Microsoft ended its support for Vista, which means the decade-old operating system will no longer get security updates. And while this may spur some companies to finally kick out their old devices, there are still plenty still holding onto Vista and XP -- and perhaps even older versions of Windows. "I think if you dug down deep you'd find some Windows 98 in places too," said Stephen Kleynhans, research VP at analyst Gartner. Just how much old Windows is in use is actually unclear: according to research by Spiceworks, just over half of businesses still have at least one PC running Windows XP and nearly one in 10 still have Windows Vista running somewhere too. Spiceworks calculates that Windows XP is running on 14 percent of all PCs in businesses worldwide, while Windows Vista is only running on one percent. In contrast, Windows 7 has the highest share, running on 69 percent of business PCs. Windows 10 currently has nine percent of the overall share, followed by Windows 8 at five percent, according to Spiceworks. It's worth noting these numbers for XP are higher than other sources which paint a slightly different picture: NetMarketShare says that Windows XP makes up around seven percent of PCs accessing the internet (Vista is a rounding error at less than one percent), with Windows 7 accounting for half and Windows 10 a quarter. And other stats show XP with a much lower share still, as my colleague Ed Bott has explored elsewhere. Not in front of the users Still, considering that nearly 90 percent of IT professionals surveyed by Spiceworks said they are concerned about the risks of running unsupported operating systems such as Windows XP and Windows Vista, why are they still being used at all? "The reality is we tend to think of PCs as devices that sit in front of users. If you look at that class of device there's practically no XP left, but there are PCs used in all kinds of different scenarios in companies," said Gartner's Kleynhans. That might be a Windows XP PC running a security system and monitoring the card swipes at all the doors in an office, or a PC monitoring elevators and recording a log. If those PCs don't have new applications installed on them, and are not connected to the internet, most companies don't see good reasons to replace them. "Those machines might have been there 10 years, and they're running Windows XP, and they will probably run that until the day they're finally disposed of because there's no reason to spend any money or any effort to change it," said Kleynhans. For example, Kleynhans encountered one organization using heavy equipment that needed to set up using software tools that only ran on Windows XP. "Most larger companies probably have one or two things like that hanging around in the periphery. It's not an indication they are strategically sticking with XP. That's a tactical reality," he said. However, that doesn't mean it's would be a good idea to use an out-of-support version of Windows on a PC used for standard office work. "That would just be dumb, quite frankly," said Kleynhans. "That would be a bad thing to be doing because there is no security left, no fixes coming down the pike. You should at least be trying to keep somewhat up-to-date with a machine that some individual cares about to do their daily job." One area where XP has a stronghold is perhaps with consumers, Kleynhans said, who don't think about security issues, and are more concerned with the few dollars it will cost them or the time and effort to do an update rather than the potential problems. And chances are nothing will make them upgrade. "If you haven't converted by now there's nothing that will force you to convert at this point until the hardware physically dies." XP has stuck around so long because it was an extremely popular version of Windows -- certainly compared to its successor, Vista. And Windows 7 is similarly popular, which means it may also be with us for quite some time. "There will be similar cases to the ones we see with XP where the machine is doing its job sitting in a corner, so why would we ever touch it? Seven years from now, 10 years from now, we'll probably be looking at some survey and it says look at all this Windows 7 that's still out there," said Kleynhans. "It's not that companies will say en-masse that they are not going to Windows 10 -- in fact we are seeing the exact opposite: we are seeing a very positive response. But there will be some places in the company where they decide, for whatever reason, to keep some Windows 7 in that corner." Source
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  11. How To Manage Power Throttling In Windows 10 (Redstone 3) Microsoft's work on a new power saving technology called Power Throttling continues in the latest Windows Insider builds. The feature is designed to improve the power consumption of a battery-powered device running Windows 10 by handling the power consumption of background tasks better. Note: Power Throttling is a temporary name for the feature. The current iteration works only on systems with Intel's 6th-generation or later Core processors. The company plans to improve support in the coming months. Most Windows users run multiple programs at the same time. A web browser and video player, multiple browsers, an email client, image editor, games, image viewers, and a lot more. All of these programs drain power, even if they run in the background. Microsoft's first batch of experiments showed that Power Throttling could save up to 11% in CPU power consumption. While the actual mileage may vary depending on the programs that are run and throttled, it is quite useful for battery powered Windows devices. Windows 10 Power Throttling Microsoft's describes Power Throttling in the following way: Microsoft built a detection system into Windows 10 to automate the functionality of the feature. This algorithm detects important work, and protects it from being throttled. Work that is deemed important may include foreground programs, but also background apps such as music players and apps you interact with regularly. All other applications and programs may be throttled to decrease the device's power consumption. Managing Power Throttling While the system worked well during tests, errors may be made in determining whether programs should be throttled or not. Windows 10 users have two main options to handle issues that they may run into while Power Throttling is applied to processes on the system: Switch the Power mode to Best Performance This turns off Power Throttling completely, but it will increase the power consumption significantly as power saving functions are disabled as well in that mode. Use Windows-I to open the Settings application. Go to System > Power, and click on Additional power settings. Switch the power plan to high performance on the page that opens. Blacklist apps to exclude them Use a new blacklist setting in the Battery Settings to opt-out individual applications. Use Windows-I to open the Settings application. Go to System > Battery, and click on Battery Usage by App. Select the application you want to blacklist, and toggle the Managed by Windows preference to off. Next, remove the checkmark in Reduce work app does when in background as well. Closing Words Power Throttling is designed to save power on Windows 10 devices. It remains to be seen how much power Windows 10 users will save with the feature enabled on the release channel. Microsoft plans to release APIs for developers to give developers "more fine grained control" over the throttling. Now You: Which power plan do you run on Windows, and why? Source
  12. Microsoft says supported Windows versions are fully secure Hacker group Shadow Brokers leaked a pack of tools that allegedly belong to the NSA and which were used for breaking into Windows systems across the world, with almost every single Windows version out there said to be vulnerable to attacks. The news instantly made the headlines mostly because the timing of the leak was terrible for the security of Windows users, as it happened before the weekend and during the Easter holiday for many, thus making mitigation deploying rather slow. And although it looked like the end of the world for Windows users, as some experts have called it, Microsoft says there’s absolutely no reason to be worried. The leaked tools attempt to exploit vulnerabilities that have already been patched, Microsoft says in a statement today, so if you bring your system fully up to date, there’s no chance hackers can hijack your system. “Most of the exploits that were disclosed fall into vulnerabilities that are already patched in our supported products,” Microsoft says in a statement. Old security flaws One of the vulnerabilities is really old, the company indicates, as it’s been fixed before the release of Windows Vista, while others were addressed with more recent bulletins. The key word in Microsoft’s statement, however, is the “supported” term, and this means that only Windows versions still receiving updates are secure. Windows XP, for example, could be vulnerable to attacks, as it no longer gets updates since April 2014. “Of the three remaining exploits, ‘EnglishmanDentist’, ‘EsteemAudit’, and ‘ExplodingCan’, none reproduces on supported platforms, which means that customers running Windows 7 and more recent versions of Windows or Exchange 2010 and newer versions of Exchange are not at risk. Customers still running prior versions of these products are encouraged to upgrade to a supported offering,” Microsoft says. Some security experts recommended users to go offline during the weekend or until a patch is released, but Microsoft says all you have to do is make sure that your computer is fully updated, no matter the Windows version. So if you are running Windows 7 or newer and all updates are installed, the NSA Windows hacks leak shouldn’t affect you. Source
  13. Microsoft hasn't yet commented on this leak A set of tools allegedly belonging to the NSA and used to break into Windows systems across the world was posted online by infamous hacker group Shadow Brokers. It appears that the hacking software was stolen from the NSA last summer and it can be used for hacking the majority of Windows versions currently out there, except for Windows 10. On the other hand, the leaked data appears to also include exploits aimed at Windows 10 systems, though the majority of hacking tools are designed for older versions of the operating system, such as Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1. There are also several hacking tools for Windows Server versions. Microsoft hasn’t yet issued a statement to confirm the hack, but it goes without saying that the leak happened at a time when many IT experts might be caught off-guard because of the weekend and the Easter holiday. Furthermore, part of Microsoft’s security teams is also likely to be out of the office, and all of these only leave the millions of users out there exposed to attacks. No way to remain protected Security experts warn that with the hacking tools now available online, the number of attacks aimed at Windows systems is very likely to skyrocket during the weekend, especially because newbie hackers have more time to launch their attacks, while at the same time being able to find victims easily because users spend more time online on their days off. Edward Snowden has also confirmed the leak, explaining that “this is not a drill, NSA exploits affecting many fully-patched Windows systems have been released to the wild. NSA did not warn Microsoft.” As for ways to remain protected until Microsoft delivers patches, there’s really no hackerproof solution right now, other than running Windows 10, though there’s evidence that this operating system version can be hijacked as well. Security experts recommend to keep critical systems offline for a few days, at least until after the weekend, but it’s very clear this isn’t the most convenient solution right now. We’ve contacted Microsoft to ask for more information on this leak and we’ll update the article when an answer is offered. UPDATE: Microsoft has provided us with the following statement: "We are reviewing the report and will take the necessary actions to protect our customers." Source
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  15. April 2017 Patch Tuesday's 644 patches are crawling with bugs, but there are some solutions Credit: Bernard DUPONT Windows and Office patching have had a horrible three months. In February, we saw no patches except a decidedly late-to-the-party IE Flash fix, released a week after Adobe spilled the beans. March brought a metric mess of patches, to compensate for February's shortcomings. April, though, is proving to be the cruellest month, with botched version detection for blocked updates, MSRT bugs, a problem with the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer, sync failures for Update Servers, more problems with a faltering Win10 1607 cumulative update, odd multiple reboots, and confusion over the .Net patches. That's just what we've seen in the first 48 hours. Heaven only knows what other evil lurks. One overarching problem -- the disappearance of old-fashioned Security Bulletins, replaced by endless lists in the Security Update Guide database -- has made a tangled mess of everything. Gregg Keizer at Computerworld posted an insightful analysis yesterday in which he quotes one experienced admin as saying that coping with the change "was like trying to relearn how to walk, run, and ride a bike, all at the same time." The SANS Internet Storm Center, my go-to source for patch insight, has thrown up its hands, listing all 210 "critical" updates in one massive blob. In addition to the 210 "critical" there's another 434 that aren't so critical, coming to a grand total of 644 patches this month. One more patch, the manual-download-only Word 2016 hotfix KB 3085439 with various formatting fixes, arrived on Wednesday, a day late and a dollar short. Microsoft doesn't specifically say so, but it looks like this patch fixes the errors introduced by last month's MS17-014 Word 2016 security update. That makes 645 patches, but the day is yet young. Tracking all these patches The most digestible list of April patches that I've seen comes from Martin Brinkmann at ghacks.net, whose list pulls from the inscrutable database. Brinkmann also provides a free downloadable Excel file that lists all of the patches in a form you may find more usable. Symantec has a list that's been aggregated by CVE number, claiming that MS has released fixes for 44 vulnerabilities, 13 of which are critical. Others disagree on the count. Here's the tip of the buggy iceberg: The four Win7 and 8.1 patches all "accidentally" identify certain AMD Carrizo-based computers as being 7th generation, and thus subject to Microsoft's summary blocking of Windows Update. The bad patches are KB 4015549 (Win7 Monthly Rollup), KB 4015546 (Win7 Security-Only patch), KB 4015550 (Win8.1 Monthly Rollup), and KB 4015547 (Win8.1 Security-Only patch). Microsoft hasn't provided us with a list of processors that are subject to the summary Windows Update lockout, nor has it provided a tool to see if a specific machine will get locked out after installing one of those updates. As such, it's hard to recommend that people install any of those updates on machines made in the past two years. We do have bit of good news, though. AskWoody Lounger MrBrian has been poking around the lockout and made several significant discoveries. To recap: When the April 2017 Monthly Rollup or Security-only update was installed, you can't install Windows updates either through Windows Update or .msu files. After the April 2017 Monthly Rollup or Security-only update was uninstalled, Windows updates can be installed through either Windows Update or .msu files. To manually install updates on Windows Update-blocked computers, uninstall all the blocking updates, then install the updates you need (such as Office or .Net updates), then cap it off with the latest Monthly Rollup. There's a step-by-step workaround attributed to Lounger radosuaf that appears to unlock blocked computers. If you've been hit by the Unsupported hardware notice below, try radosuaf's approach first. IDG MBSA (Microsoft Baseline Security Advisor) uses the Windows Update engine, so if your machine was knocked out because it's too new, MBSA will fail as well, per MVP abbodi86. I have an additional report from Lounger pmacS33 that KB 4015546 (the Win7 Security-only patch) may break MSBA. The latest MSRT (Malicious Software Removal Tool) is having a bad month, too. Günter Born, posting on his Born's Tech and Windows World blog, lists several problems with this month's MSRT, including access violations during install error 0xc0000005, blocking other updates, and collisions with other AV software. Admins are upset because the Windows Update Servers fail to synchronize with Microsoft's servers. There's a fix, but it has deleterious side effects. With many admins now seeing Windows 7 machines reboot multiple times after the current crop of fixes, it may be time to take off early for the weekend. There's a report that both the March and April Monthly Rollups appear at the same time on at least one machine -- a logical paradox in the making. There's also a great deal of confusion over the latest .Net updates, with Security-only and Monthly Rollups (confusingly called a "Security and Quality Rollup") both distributed through Windows Update and both available through the Microsoft Update Catalog. There are certainly other problems that haven't yet floated to the top. They will. Those of you running Vista can breathe a sigh of relief. This is the last time you'll have to slog through a Patch Tuesday mess. Vista's no longer getting any security patches as of this month's bunch -- although presumably patches of the patches may be pushed. At this point I'm recommending that people avoid installing any of this month's patches until the situation clears up a bit. There's one exception, though. The Word zero-day vulnerability that I talked about over the weekend is being actively used to infect machines. Lots and lots of machines, according to Dan Goodin at Ars Technica. If you're concerned about that zero-day -- and you should be, if you open documents attached to email messages -- you should apply one or all of these patches, depending on which version of Office you use: Office 2016: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3178703/description-of-the-security-update-for-office-2016-april-11-2017 Office 2013: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3178710/description-of-the-security-update-for-office-2013-april-11-2017 Office 2010: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3141538/description-of-the-security-update-for-office-2010-april-11-2017 Office 2007: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3141529/description-of-the-security-update-for-2007-microsoft-office-suite-apr There's a more detailed explanation of the vulnerability CVE-2017-0199 here, involving patches for both Windows and Office. Thanks to MrBrian. Even if you do install those patches, be aware that there are two additional acknowledged zero-days currently exploited in the wild. As Goodin says in his article Critical Word 0-day is only 1 of 3 Microsoft bugs under attack, we aren't out of the zero-day woods just yet. Bitten yet? Join the discussion on the AskWoody Lounge. Source: Microsoft's critical Windows and Office patches present a panoply of problems (InfoWorld - Woody Leonhard)
  16. Issues with Update KB890830 (Microsoft Removal Tool) Microsoft has released on patch day (April 11, 2017) also a new version of Microsoft Removal Tool (MRT) as update KB890830. It seems that this update is causing serious issues. Microsoft Removal Tool (MRT) is shipped on each patch day to run once and clean systems from malware. On patch day (April 11, 2017) a new version of Microsoft Removal Tool (MRT) has been released as update KB890830. I received yesterday some comments within my German blog, indicating trouble with update KB890830. Update KB890830 blocks other updates Last night I received also some e-mails from ‘another source’ (thanks Leon – but sometimes I have to take a nap ) reporting issues with update KBb4015550. I’ve installed update kb4015550 on another pc and received an mrt.exe – error 0xc0000005, C:\Windows\system32\MRT.exe C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\combase.dll I’ve translated the text, because it was written in a foreign language. Update KB4015550 is causing a MRT error 0xc0000005 (Access Violation) during install. MRT obvioudly blocks installing other updates. Leon wrote within a 2nd that he had analyzed other updates (KB890830 and KB4014983) as a source of install conflicts, but at least he found the root cause. He wrote: I found the cause for mrt.exe error – it was caused by update kb 890830. The odd thing is, that I only use windows defender on my machines. It seems, that MRT is causing serious trouble. My proposal: Hide update KB890830 in Windows 7/8.1 – and if MRT is already installed, uninstall KB890830 and block this update. MRT collides with other AV software Leon pointed out, that update KB890830 is causing also trouble with third party antivirus software. Here are a few links pointing to forum entries with related discussion. Unable to update windows malicious tool (KB890830) (Norton Forum) Is Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (KB890830) harmful… Microsoft Update KB890830 won’t be installed unless Avast is turned off Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool – update chaos (Bleeping Computer) Something went terrible wrong with MRT update this month. Are you also facing trouble with KB890830? Source: Issues with Update KB890830 (Microsoft Removal Tool) (Born's Tech and Windows World)
  17. 'Windows As A Service' Means Big, Painful Changes For IT Pros Everything you know about Windows deployment is undergoing wrenching changes. For IT pros who've grown accustomed to "set it and forget it" as a management strategy, three big changes are making life much more challenging. When Microsoft rolled out the "Windows as a Service" tagline for Windows 10, most of us assumed it was just another marketing ploy. But as we approach Windows 10's two-year anniversary, it's becoming apparent that there's some substance behind the label. And for Windows power users and IT pros, the ramifications are just beginning to become apparent. Microsoft has published a handful of low-key technical articles covering the new rules, but some of those details have shifted over time. The maximum interval for deferring feature updates, for example, was eight months when the feature debuted in November 2015, but shrank to 180 days in the July 2016 Anniversary Update. Even for those of us who regularly attend IT-focused conferences and keep up with deployment news, managing a Windows-based organization in this new era can be confusing. For those who are simply using Windows for day-to-day-business, the changes can appear unexpectedly. And the realization that tried-and-true workflows no longer apply isn't sitting well with some IT pros. For the past year, I've been hearing a steady stream of complaints from longtime Windows admins and users. Consistently, those grumbles all boil down to a single objection: Because of "Windows as a service," we're losing control of our desktop PCs. They have a point. For the past quarter-century, businesses running Windows have been able to count on a few constants, all of which are now changing. Consider these three major shifts: Overly Aggressive Upgrade Cycles It used to be that you could install your preferred version of Windows and stick with it for nearly a decade. If you deployed Windows 7 Service Pack 1 when it was released in February 2011, for example, its feature set has been constant for the past six years and will remain unchanged for the remaining three years of its supported life. In the new world, that upgrade cycle has shrunk to roughly 18 months, thanks to feature updates (the new term for upgrades) that can be deferred but not refused. This slide from a Microsoft presentation shows the support lifecycle for a Windows 10 feature update: Here's how it works in practice: If you upgraded to Windows 10 Pro one year ago, in February 2016, you got the latest release, version 1511. Six months later, Microsoft released the Anniversary Update, version 1607, to the Current Branch (CB). That version was released to the Current Branch for Business (CBB) on November 29, 2016. An option available only in business versions (Pro/Enterprise/Education) allows you to defer feature updates until they're released to the Current Branch for Business. Using Group Policy, you can defer those updates by an additional eight months in version 1511. That means you'll be forced to upgrade to version 1607 or later in July 2017, less than a year and a half after your initial deployment. And that upgrade cycle is going to get tighter. In version 1607, the Group Policy to defer updates shrinks from eight months to 180 days, with a 60-day grace period at the end. In addition, Microsoft has hinted that it plans to ship two feature updates per year starting in 2017. The upshot is that you should expect to upgrade every PC in your organization roughly once a year. That's a big change. For small businesses that don't have the time or technical expertise to test each new feature update in advance, it can result in major disruptions if an update breaks compatibility with a business-critical third-party app. All-Or-Nothing Updates In the good old days, each month's Patch Tuesday collection consisted of an assortment of individual updates from which you could pick and choose. The new Windows Update model packages all those security and reliability fixes into cumulative updates that can't be unbundled. Here, too, you can only postpone installation for a few weeks. "No, thanks" is not an option for an individual update. That design has been part of Windows 10 from the start, and in recent months it's shifted to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 as well. As a result, checking Windows Update on a Windows 7 PC today no longer returns a lengthy list of individual updates; instead, you get a single rollup like the one shown here. Cumulative updates are the new standard in all supported Windows versions. Microsoft's justification for this new approach makes sense, at least in theory. When Windows engineers test a new update, they use a fully patched system as the baseline. There's no way to confirm that an update will work on a PC where you've been selectively applying updates. So the new model is designed to drag the entire installed base of Windows PCs, kicking and screaming if necessary, to the same baseline configuration. This new model will take some careful attention from IT pros, who will no longer have the option to solve a compatibility problem by uninstalling a problematic update. Using Group Policy, you can defer updates for up to 30 days as you test, but if you find a problem the only option is to delay the update for a few weeks, which means you're also skipping potentially critical security fixes. The cumulative update model is also causing some teething pains in Redmond, where an undisclosed problem in February 2017 forced Microsoft to skip an entire Patch Tuesday cycle for the first time in history. The Death Of The Service Pack Windows 7 still has nearly three years left in its support lifecycle, but the one and only service pack was released more than six years ago. If you don't know the secret recipe of updates to install , a fresh installation of Windows 7 can take several days to be fully updated. With Windows 10, Microsoft regularly releases new installation media (in ISO format) reflecting the latest feature update. But OEM recovery partitions aren't automatically updated, which means if you roll back an OEM device to its original factory configuration you have to download several gigabytes for the latest feature update and then another very large cumulative update to bring it current. The bottom line with all these changes is that IT pros who've been used to running Windows in set-it-and-forget-it mode are going to have to begin paying closer attention, not just to what's in this month's updates but what's in the pipeline for the next year. And don't expect Microsoft to back down on any of these decisions. There are minor changes in the pipeline to make it easier to schedule updates, but the underlying servicing and deployment models aren't likely to change. If you're not paying attention, be prepared for some surprises. Source
  18. A mysterious issue is affecting the default Windows NTP server (time.windows.com), according to multiple complaints coming from Reddit and Twitter users, screwing up everyone's computer clocks. Based on reports, the time.windows.com NTP server is sending Windows users the incorrect time, sometimes off by seconds, but in other cases, off even by hours. The issue was spotted today, April 3, early in the morning, and is ongoing for at least 10 hours. The impact was felt immediately by servers that rely on the Windows NTP service to schedule and execute tasks. Unhappy admins found their servers launching routines early or too late, botching scripts and crashing their applications. Home users were affected as well but to a lesser degree. Most users probably didn't even notice. Based on Twitter activity, most affected users are located in Asia. Microsoft did not respond to a request for details in time for this article's publication. How to change NTP servers Until the issue is cleared up, users that rely on the accurate time values can change their computer's NTP server. They can do this by following these steps: Step 1: Press the Start button and type "Date and Time" in the search field. Step 2: Open the control panel listing. Step 2.5: For Windows 10 users, if you chose the "Date and time" settings option, choose the "Additional date, time, & regional settings" option, which will bring up another window where you have to click "Set the time and date" option. Step 3: In the popup floating window that appears, select the "Internet Time" tab. Step 4: Here, click "Change settings..." Step 5: Enter a new NTP server. This can be "time.nist.gov" or "ntp.pool.org" UPDATE: A Microsoft representative acknowledged the issue. "We investigated and quickly resolved the issue our time service experienced," the Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an email. Tests carried out by Bleeping Computer confirmed the Windows NTP serrvice is up and running at the time of this update. Source
  19. Microsoft's Own Figures Show Windows 10 Losing Market Share, While Windows 7 Is On The Rise According to NetMarketShare, Windows 10's usage share growth has stalled recently. It lost some share in February, and made only very minor gains in March. The analyst firm’s numbers seem to suggest that Windows 10 has run out of steam. But that’s usage numbers -- people using Windows regularly on a monthly basis -- which isn’t quite the same as market share. If you want to know just how well Windows 10 is doing in that respect, Microsoft’s Windows Trends page has the figures you want, and they’re currently showing the new OS losing share to Windows 7. Microsoft last updated the Trends page two months ago to reflect the state of play of the OS install base as of November 2016. When I reported the update I said the numbers were fake because Microsoft had its new OS growing at the rate of one percent a month, from July to November, while Windows 7 declined at exactly the same rate. It just seemed all way too neat, and unlikely, especially compared to the trend we've been seeing with NetMarketShare's figures. At the end of the last update, Microsoft had Windows 10 on 46 percent of the market, and Windows 7 on 39 percent. Now Microsoft has updated its Trends page once more, so it covers up to February 2017 and the numbers are very interesting. According to the software giant, Windows 10 grew by two percentage points in December, putting it on 48 percent. At the same time, Windows 7 fell one percentage point, to 38 percent. But then in January, Windows 10’s market share suddenly drops one percentage point to 47 percent, and Windows 7 rises by the same amount. The figures remain the same in February. (For those that are interested, Windows 8.1 had 12 percent share in December, January, and February, and Windows 8 had 2 percent in those three months.) Those are the global numbers. According to Microsoft, in the US, Windows 10 was on 57 percent in November, and December, but lost two percentage points in January to put it on 55 percent, where it remains in February. Windows 7 was on 33 percent in November and December, and rose to 34 percent in January/February. In the UK, Windows 10 had 59 percent of the market in November, and 61 percent in December, a 2 percentage point increase. But it then lost one percentage point in January (60 percent), and another percentage point in February. Windows 7 was on 29 percent in November, went down to 28 percent in December, then rose back to 29 percent in January, and up another point to 30 percent in February. I remain to be convinced by the install base numbers Microsoft is claiming, but if they are even close to being accurate, then it’s interesting to see Windows 10 losing share while Windows 7 recoups some of its losses. Post your thoughts on these new numbers in the comments below. Source
  20. On Windows 10 Redstone 2 with office 2016 installed, Windows automatically downloads updates for the office. I used o&o shutup10 to disable that but still that setting named "give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows" reverts itself back and I see a check mark on it. tried to find registry key for office 2016 updates but no luck. in group policy the automatic update is set to notify only. any thoughts?
  21. Screenshot: Changelog: Patch changed to offline patch only. no online servers for this patch. Links: ProPresenter Homepage: http://www.renewedvision.com/propresenter.php Download Page: http://www.renewedvision.com/pro_download.php Instructions: Download the bundle above, extract using WinRAR or 7zip Install ProPresenter 6 , but DO NOT launch ProPresenter 6 after install. Run Patch as Administrator Run the local webserver by running launch.bat The webserver is required for activation to work Run ProPresenter Updating your ProPresenter to the latest version: Each version will have a separate thread, as it is not encouraged here to edit threads. Modules: Modules are pre-registered with the patch. Use them in the preferences pane. DO NOT CLICK demo modules or buy. Bibles: To Install Bibles: Click the Bibles Icon on the ProPresenter Toolbar Click the GEAR icon on the Bibles Window Click the Bibles Tab Click the Free Bibles Tab Install the bible you need. Local webserver must be running if the Offline Patch is made, otherwise patch the program to download from the web. ProPresenter version 6 for Mac SEE Kataklop's Thread on MacSerialJunkie (google is your friend) He regularly updates as the Mac version also updates. His links are being removed by RenewedVision and maybe mine would be gone too Good luck getting the patch for new versions Blame those guys who post contents of this forum elsewhere.
  22. Hello everyone, I have an old HP Compaq desktop PC which came preinstalled with Windows XP Home Edition. The PC was running fine, but recently I had to replace the hard drive. Now I don't have a backup of the operating system with me & all the Windows XP Home ISO I downloaded from internet doesn't support the COA product key provided with the PC. If anyone have a copy of HP or Compaq PC OEM copy of Windows XP Home edition, can you please provide me an image of it? I don't want to install any other operating systems in the PC as sometimes I have to work on some old software which doesn't support 64 bit OS. Also my PC configuration is old to run new operating systems.
  23. Proton VPN 0.9.5 Beta Overview: ProtonVPN is designed from the ground up with a special emphasis on security and privacy, and features a number of innovations that we have made to harden VPN against compromises. ProtonVPN will eventually feature free and premium versions containing different features. For the beta period, you will be able to test the full-fledged premium version of ProtonVPN for free. Layers of Protection: Limitation / blocking access to the data / application Isolation and create a separate database / application Backup / important data Detecting and deleting viruses / malware. Proton Mail announced beta VPN service for PLUS proton mail users. At this moment, Proton VPN offers 13 countries with 4/IP Australia Canada France Germany Hong Kong Iceland Japan Netherlands Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom United States More Info: Official Product Homepage / Detailed Features: https://protonvpn.com/home Official Website: https://protonvpn.com/ About Us: https://protonvpn.com/about Blog: https://protonvpn.com/blog/ ProtonVPN is still a work in progress, and we will be releasing more details over the next couple months about what makes ProtonVPN different. You can follow ProtonVPN on social media to get the latest news and updates: Facebook: https://facebook.com/ProtonVPN Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProtonVPN We would love to hear your feedback on the beta and what we can do to improve ProtonVPN. In addition to the links above, you can also send your suggestions to [email protected] If you run into trouble with ProtonVPN, or have questions, you can search for answers or contact us via the ProtonVPN support site: https://protonvpn.com/support/ Screenshots: Downloads: Stability Advisory: This is a "beta" software release which contains known bugs. Download: https://protonvpn.com/download/ Windows Client: https://protonvpn.com/download/ProtonVPN_win_v0.9.5.exe Clients for macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS are still under development, but it is still possible to use ProtonVPN with these operating systems using third-party OpenVPN clients. Setup guides can be found here: MacOS: https://protonvpn.com/support/mac-vpn-setup/ Linux: https://protonvpn.com/support/linux-vpn-setup/ Android: https://protonvpn.com/support/android-vpn-setup/ iOS: https://protonvpn.com/support/ios-vpn-setup/ VPN Servers and Country Code for Linux, Mac, Android and iOS: https://protonvpn.com/support/vpn-servers/
  24. F.Lux 4, a new beta version of the blue light filtering application for Windows, introduces presets, and options to whitelist programs. If you work late at night on a computer, or early in the morning, you may have experienced the effect that artificial light can have on your health. F.Lux has been designed to filter out blue light to make colors warmer to make them more eye pleasing, and improve sleep. Companies like Apple or Microsoft have begun to implement similar functionality into their operating systems. Microsoft will introduce the Night Light feature in the Windows 10 Creators Update. F.Lux 4 new features and changes F.Lux 4 is offered as a beta version for Windows currently. This means that things may change before the final release, but it seems unlikely that this is going to happen. The new version ships with several new features, including the option to disable F.Lux by application, and new presets that may help you customize the filtering. The new app filtering works in the following way: Open the program that you want to whitelist. Whitelisting means that F.Lux won't filter light when the program window is active. Right-click on the F.Lux 4 system tray icon, and select the "disable for" option displayed there, e.g. disable for Firefox. Repeat this for any other program that you want whitelisted. This can be extremely useful for apps like Adobe Photoshop, screenshot taking tools, or photo viewers, that the filtered light conditions may interfere with. You had to disable the filtering manually previously each time you needed to use one of those programs. With the new whitelisting option, you make the change once and don't have to worry about it anymore. Another new feature of F.Lux 4 is support for presets. You may use them from the system tray context menu, or when the program window is open. Select a preset like recommended colors, working late or daytime eyestrain to have settings adjusted automatically. It is naturally still possible to use custom filter settings if you prefer that. The new version of F.Lux ships with new color filters on top of that, and options to use a wider range of color settings. These filters can be set from the system tray menu directly. Colors can also be adjusted with the two new hotkeys Alt-Shift-PageUP or Alt-Shift-PageDown. The new bedtime mode makes light warmer automatically before you to go bed to improve sleep on top of that. Another new feature is the backwards alarm clock. It reminds you not to stay up to late automatically. You can disable the feature in the program options. As far as changes are concerned, there are two that are worse of note. The first is that the F.Lux interface is now resolution independent. It should look identical on all resolutions, even on high DPI displays. Gamers who run F.Lux in the background while playing games may benefit from a reduced impact on game framerates. Windows users may download the beta version of F.Lux 4 from the official forum. Closing Words The ability to whitelist programs to disable the light filtering while those programs are active is a welcome addition. It should make life a lot easier for users who had to disable F.Lux manually in the past whenever they needed to use a program that could not be used with the filtering enabled. It may also bring in new users who did not use F.Lux for that reason. Article source
  25. KMS_VL_ALL_6.6.1 - Online/Offline KMS Activator for Microsoft Windows and Office Volume Licensed Products Information: Supported Volume Licensed Products: (32-bit and 64-bit) Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10 All KMS Supported Clients Windows Server 2008/2008R2/2012/2012R2 All versions Office 2010 Family on Windows XP SP3 or Newer Office 2013 Family on Windows 7 or Newer Office 2016 Family on Windows 7 or Newer Retail/OEM/MAK Genuine Activations are UNAFFECTED and Converts Notice Period/OOBE-Grace period windows to VL IF they are supported and are then activated. Supported Retail/MAK Unactivated Editions: Win Vista(Business/Enterprise) 7/8/8.1/10 Pro Retail/MAK and their Enterprise editions Server 2008/2008 R2/2012/2012R2 Retail, MAK editions Office 2010/2013 MAK editions only Changelog: 6.6.1 "Requiem for a Dream" - Updated vlmcsd to svn812 - Included Office installation detection and fixes from abbodi1406's v5 mod (Thanks to abbodi1406 and Nucleus) - Other minor tweaks and changes Download: https://userscloud.com/go/jc4hithoa2io/ Tutorial:How to use ? 1. Run KMS_VL_ALL.cmd as Administrator. 2. Done.