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  • Is a Win10 1607 cumulative update re-enabling a disabled Windows Update service?

    Posted on October 16th, 2017 at 21:24 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Intriguing question posed by Günter Born. He’s in contact with a Win10 1607 user (yes, Anniversary Update, not Creators Update) who had manually turned off the Windows Update service. After installing one of the October patches, Stefan says the Windows Update service now starts automatically.

    Stefan believes one of these patches flipped the Windows Update service back on: KB 4038782, 3186568, 4033637, 4035631, or the Flash Player update.

    Can anybody else confirm?

  • A challenging problem for you Win7 gurus

    Posted on October 16th, 2017 at 21:06 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just got this from MM:

    Windows 7 ultimate computer that at first would only boot in safe mode where i tried to delete the update KB ending in 96 i think, it would try to restart but never finish – then i guess i must have pressed startup repair and now it is in an endless loop. i can no longer get back to the safe mode option, only the command prompt. Which is where i get a bit lost. So i have two issues – i need to stop the bootloop and when that is done i need to remove the update. i don’t have a boot cd and i do not want to wipe and restore the computer….

    Anybody out there want to take a swing at this?

  • Adobe Flash player security update is out

    Posted on October 16th, 2017 at 14:38 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A week late, but what the heck. APSB17-32.

    Details on the Adobe site.

  • This site is going up and down. Again.

    Posted on October 16th, 2017 at 14:27 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    No idea if it’s a new attack, or a new manifestation of the old one.

  • Goodin: Millions of high-security crypto keys crippled by newly discovered flaw

    Posted on October 16th, 2017 at 08:27 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    What a morning for security news!

    Unlike the KRACK announcement – factually correct, certainly disturbing, but nothing to worry about at the moment – this is a horse of a much darker color.

    Dan Goodin reports in Ars Technica about a newly discovered flaw in public key encryption that uses RSA Library version v1.02.013. Quoting Graham Steel at Cryptosense:

    It means that if you have a document digitally signed with someone’s private key, you can’t prove it was really them who signed it. Or if you sent sensitive data encrypted under someone’s public key, you can’t be sure that only they can read it. You could now go to court and deny that it was you that signed something—there would be no way to prove it, because theoretically, anyone could have worked out your private key.

    It’s a complex issue with immediate ramifications. IF you thought that fancy 2048-bit encrypted key is going to protect you, think again:

    When generated properly, an RSA key with 2048 bits should require several quadrillion years to be factorized with a general-purpose computer… While costs and times vary for each vulnerable key, the worst case, factorizing a 2048-bit RSA key generated with the faulty Infineon library … would require no more than 17 days and $40,300 using a 1,000-instance machine on Amazon Web Service and $76 and 45 minutes to factorize an affected 1024-bit key.

    What can you do about it? Nothing, unless you’re distributing RSA keys. But be on the lookout for new keys — ones generated by a different RSA library, or a different method entirely. If someone gives you a new ID card, this vulnerability could be at the heart of it.

  • Win10 Fall Creators Update from A to Zzzzzzzz

    Posted on October 16th, 2017 at 06:35 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Preston Gralla hits it out of the ballpark again. His review of the next version of Windows, known as the Fall-in-North-America Creators Update, version 1709, just arrived at Computerworld, and it’s absolutely right-on.

    Like the first Windows 10 Creators Update, the Fall Creators Update doesn’t dramatically change the way Windows 10 works or looks. Microsoft is continuing its stay-the-course approach to its twice-a-year updates. The Windows 10 you’ll see before the update is largely the Windows 10 you’ll see after the update.

    Still, there are some useful changes, notably OneDrive Files On-Demand, some nice Cortana improvements and better security. Edge, however, hasn’t been much improved, and the new feature linking Android and iOS phones to Windows 10 is largely a bust.

    Win10 FINACU. Nice ring to it.

  • KRACK attack – bad, but the sky isn’t falling

    Posted on October 16th, 2017 at 06:23 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Overnight, interest in the so-called KRACK attack (“Key Reinstallation attack”) hit fever proportions. The details are now available.

    You can read the disclosure, by Mathy Vanhoef (from the Belgian university KU Leuven) on the newly minted krackattacks.com web site. The gist:

    We discovered serious weaknesses in WPA2, a protocol that secures all modern protected Wi-Fi networks. An attacker within range of a victim can exploit these weaknesses using key reinstallation attacks (KRACKs). Concretely, attackers can use this novel attack technique to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted…

    The weaknesses are in the Wi-Fi standard itself, and not in individual products or implementations. Therefore, any correct implementation of WPA2 is likely affected.

    Kevin Beaumont has a tremendous analysis on the DoublePulsar site:

    So there’s a new Wi-Fi attack. In the media it is being presented as a flaw in WPA protocol which isn’t fixable. This isn’t true… The attack  realistically doesn’t work against Windows or iOS devices. The Group vuln is there, but it’s not near enough to actually do anything of interest.

    There is currently no publicly available code out there to attack this in the real world — you would need an incredibly high skill set and to be at the Wi-Fi base station to attack this.

    In short, it’s a real and severe flaw in the WPA2 algorithm that’s been artfully packaged and sold as a scary vulnerability. You’re going to read about it endlessly over the next few days. But it isn’t going to bite you any time soon.

    One of my favorite security guys, Rob Rosenberger had this curmudgeonly take:

    Dear Computer Users,

    Cybersecurity experts are booking themselves on talk shows to discuss #KRACK. Stand by; details to follow.

    Yep, the offal is about to hit the PR propeller.

    UPDATE: As I anticipated last night (see the next entry), Catalin Cimpanu at Bleepingcomputer has an excellent analysis.

    UPDATE: Lawrence Abrams at Bleepingcomputer has a list of all firmware and driver updates to handle KRACK. There’s also an enormous list of firms that haven’t yet responded.