If you’re running Windows XP, 7 or associated Servers, patch them

If you’re running Windows XP, 7 or associated Servers, patch them

The much-publicized “wormable” security hole in Windows XP and Windows 7, and similar-era Windows Servers needs to be patched now. The benefits of patching those older machines outweigh the risks.

05/15/2019

Patches are coming Tuesday. Make sure Windows Update gets locked down.

Patches are coming Tuesday. Make sure Windows Update gets locked down.

With Patch Tuesday arriving, this is the time to make sure that you have your patching mechanism thoroughly clogged. You’ll have to apply the May patches sooner or later but, as has been amply demonstrated many times recently, you’re...

05/13/2019

New Win10 1903 'Download and install now' — for cumulative updates, too?

New Win10 1903 'Download and install now' — for cumulative updates, too?

Win10 version 1903, due any day now, will include an update-delaying mechanism called “Download and install now.” We’ve only seen it in action once — and in a confusing way. Will it only delay version changes, as promised, or will it...

05/06/2019

Now’s the time to install the April Windows and Office patches

Now’s the time to install the April Windows and Office patches

With one final April patch delivered in May, the time looks ripe to install last month’s patches. One antivirus manufacturer has a significant disagreement with Microsoft about the April patches, but you can easily bypass the problem...

05/03/2019

Win10 version 1809 gets its laggard second 'April' cumulative update, KB 4501835

Win10 version 1809 gets its laggard second 'April' cumulative update, KB 4501835

But with a release on the first Wednesday in May, is the long-anticipated 'optional non-security' cumulative update an 'E Week' patch, an early 'A Week' or something else altogether? Inquiring minds, etc., etc.

05/02/2019

About that Windows 7 End-of-Life nag screen: It ain’t working

About that Windows 7 End-of-Life nag screen: It ain’t working

Microsoft's end-of-life screen telling Windows 7 users to back up their files and prepare for what's next has had zero effect on Windows 7 usage statistics.

05/01/2019

Microsoft Patch Alert: April patches have sharp edges, with several missing, others reappearing

Microsoft Patch Alert: April patches have sharp edges, with several missing, others reappearing

April started with a bad spate of bluescreens for some antivirus products – and didn’t get much better. We’re still missing the second Win10 1809 cumulative update. And a buggy 2016 Internet Explorer patch makes a reappearance.

04/29/2019

Second-wave April Windows patches arrive, not with a bang, but a Japanese whimper

Second-wave April Windows patches arrive, not with a bang, but a Japanese whimper

We waited an extra 10 days for this? Microsoft has released its second monthly patches for Windows. Oddities abound, but there’s no fix for the mammoth bluescreen antivirus conflict in Win7 or 8.1, and precious little improvement...

04/26/2019

Where are the April Windows patches?

Where are the April Windows patches?

The April second cumulative updates and Monthly Rollup Previews have gone missing. Usually we get them on the third Tuesday. Now the fourth Tuesday has passed, and we still have nothing. Patching predictability? Pshaw.

04/24/2019

Here's an easier way to block the IE XXE zero day security hole

Here's an easier way to block the IE XXE zero day security hole

Many well-intentioned people recommend you disable/uninstall Internet Explorer right now to guard against a newly published zero day. It turns out there’s a much simpler way to fix the problem, as long as you don’t rely on MHT files....

04/18/2019

Win7/8.1/Server patch conflicts abated, somewhat, but it’s still too early to install the April crop

Win7/8.1/Server patch conflicts abated, somewhat, but it’s still too early to install the April crop

The blue-screen-inducing behavior in Sophos and Avast antivirus products has been addressed by emergency new versions. Avira, oddly, has yanked its advisories, but there’s no announced all-clear. In all cases, it’s still much too...

04/16/2019

This month’s Windows patching debacle gradually comes into focus

This month’s Windows patching debacle gradually comes into focus

April 2019 Windows patches wreaked havoc on many PCs, with crashes linked to Sophos, Avast and Avira products and debilitating slowdown reports on Win10 1809 machines. Who’s testing this stuff? Ends up the answer isn’t all that...

04/12/2019

Widespread reports of freezing with yesterday’s Win7 and 8.1 Monthly Rollups, KB 4493472 and  KB 4493446

Widespread reports of freezing with yesterday’s Win7 and 8.1 Monthly Rollups, KB 4493472 and KB 4493446

While most of Patch Tuesday seems to be going relatively smoothly, Win7, Win8.1, Server 2008 R2 and 2012 R2 machines are seeing multiple problems with this month’s patches, both Security-only updates and Monthly Rollups. Sophos has...

04/10/2019

Patch Tuesday’s coming, so lock down automatic updates

Patch Tuesday’s coming, so lock down automatic updates

Some day we may have decent Windows update-blocking settings, although I remain skeptical. For now, with Patch Tuesday nigh, it’s prudent to check and make sure you have automatic updating turned off.

04/08/2019

Reliable reports of blue screens after installing this week's Win10 1809 patch KB 4490481

Reliable reports of blue screens after installing this week's Win10 1809 patch KB 4490481

I’m getting reports from many directions, on a wide array of machines, that the second March cumulative update for Win10 version 1809, KB 4490481, is throwing “System Service Exception” blue screens on restart

04/04/2019

Microsoft releases 20 Office non-security patches — and doesn’t bother to document them

Microsoft releases 20 Office non-security patches — and doesn’t bother to document them

As is common on the first Tuesday of the month, yesterday Microsoft released its hoard of non-security Office patches. This time, though, there’s no official list of the patches — and many of them may have been released in March.

04/03/2019

It’s time to install the March Windows and Office patches

It’s time to install the March Windows and Office patches

With one important exception and a few niggling details, the March patches for Windows and Office are ready to go. Here’s how to get them installed safely.

04/02/2019

Microsoft unexpectedly declares Win10, version 1809 ready for business

Microsoft unexpectedly declares Win10, version 1809 ready for business

Windows 10, version 1809 has been declared “Semi-Annual Channel,” although that terminology is officially unsupported. Remarkably, the change comes before Microsoft issues its second March cumulative update, leaves us with numerous...

03/28/2019

ASUS Live Update Utility cracked, installs ShadowHammer backdoor on 1M PCs, but only 600 targeted

ASUS Live Update Utility cracked, installs ShadowHammer backdoor on 1M PCs, but only 600 targeted

In yet another Rock Star malware announcement, Kaspersky unveils spectacular details of craftily subverted ASUS automatic update servers. Kaspersky estimates 1 million infections, but only 600 hand-coded machines targeted. Mostly,...

03/25/2019

The new 'Get Windows 10' announcement arrives for Win7 in KB 4493132

The new 'Get Windows 10' announcement arrives for Win7 in KB 4493132

Unlike the infamous GWX debacle from when Win10 first arrived, this kinder, gentler nag can, in theory, be reliably disabled. It’s rolling out just now in an optional Windows 7 update, KB 4493132.

03/20/2019

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