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  • Cimpanu: An older (pre-April 23) version of Dell SupportAssist is vulnerable to a remote attack

    Posted on May 1st, 2019 at 19:51 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Let’s hear it for the bloatware. From Catalin Cimpanu at ZDNet:

    A vulnerability in the Dell SupportAssist utility exposes Dell laptops and personal computers to a remote attack that can allow hackers to execute code with admin privileges on devices using an older version of this tool and take over users’ systems. Dell has released a patch for this security flaw on April 23; however, many users are likely to remain vulnerable unless they’ve already updated the tool

    It’s the old bad-JavaScript-on-a-web-page can take over your system problem.

    I wonder how long until somebody figures out how to inject malware via Candy Crush?

    Thx @Kirsty

  • Avira says it has fixed the slowdown problem associated with the April Win7/8.1 patches; Microsoft still hasn’t acknowledged it

    Posted on May 1st, 2019 at 09:58 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Avira has updated its very short response to the six dirty patches/five broken AVs problem. Their KB 1976 now says:

    We have looked into the issue that you described, where the system slows down after a Windows update, and have found a way to fix it.

    We have recently released an update that should fix this issue. Your Avira Product will be automatically updated, and you don’t have to do anything else in the product.

    Oddly, the Avira article goes on to list three conflicting patches:

    • Windows 10: KB4493509
    • Windows 7: KB4493472, KB4493448

    whereas Microsoft lists Avira conflicts as part of the known issues for nine different patches — all of the Win7 and Server 2008 R2 / Win8.1 and Server 2012 R2 / Server 2012 Monthly Rollup and Security-only patches (those are the original six), along with the Monthly Rollup Previews, now, for each of those versions.

    Microsoft still says:

    Microsoft has temporarily blocked devices from receiving this update if Avira antivirus software is installed. We are presently investigating this issue with Avira and will provide an update when available.

    Also remarkably, Avira singled out the original March Win10 1809 cumulative update KB 4493509, where Microsoft has never acknowledged that bug. Even the fancy new Windows 10 Release Information Status page is mum.

    Not sure whom to believe? Yeah, me neither.

    Thx Bogdan Popa, Softpedia.

  • You know that Windows 7 End-of-Life nag screen?

    Posted on May 1st, 2019 at 07:13 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The scare isn’t working.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    Seven Semper Fi.

    UPDATE: I’m looking for the “patch” that activates that nag screen – KB 4493132. Can’t find it. It isn’t in the Microsoft Update Catalog. But the KB article is still around. It says:

    This update is available through Windows Update. If automatic updates are enabled, this update will be downloaded and installed automatically.

    But it isn’t showing up on any of my Win7 machines, most notably not on the super-clean Seven Semper Fi test machine I’m maintaining. Apparently the patch was released “for real” about April 18, but it may have been pulled.

    Günter Born notes that it was re-released on April 26. But I don’t see it now.

    ANOTHER UPDATE: As @zero2dash notes (and I forgot!), the nag screen patch is only intended for Win7 Home and Ultimate. I’m using Pro, and so missed all the fun.

  • Microsoft makes it easier to see acknowledged, outstanding problems with Win10

    Posted on May 1st, 2019 at 06:23 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Another step in the right direction.

    I’ve just added a site to my list of Windows problem tracking sites. This time, it looks like the Windows team has borrowed a page from the Office team, and come up with a list of known (which is to say, acknowledged) outstanding bugs in Win10.

    If you’re concerned about updating Windows (and who isn’t these days?), you should add the Windows 10 Release Information site to your go-to list. Lousy name, good content.

    The site’s something of an enigma, with statements like this:

    Windows 10, version 1809 is designated for broad deployment and available for any user who manually selects “Check for updates” via Windows Update. The recommended servicing status is Semi-Annual Channel.

    which is a breath of fresh air for those of us who have read, time and again, that Microsoft no longer officially distinguishes between Semi-Annual Channel-Targeted and Semi-Annual Channel (or Current Branch/Current Branch for Business, or whatever bafflegab may be au courant).

    My hat’s off to whomever put that page together – and I hope it lives long and prospers!

    Thx, @PhotM.