• MS-DEFCON 2: Get ready for battle stations

    AskWoody Plus Alert Logo
    ISSUE 18.29.1 • 2021-08-06


    By Susan Bradley

    The annual security conference known as Black Hat is in the bag, and we are (well, I am) anxiously awaiting the next bugs that will rear their heads, based on the headlines that came out of the conference.

    Topics like Print Spooler bugs, Mac privacy bugs, and encryption platform attacks were just some of the headline topics that I expect to result in a new wave of patches — not just for Windows, but for almost every device.

    Consumer and home users

    In preparation for Patch Tuesday, I recommend that you take the usual actions to defer, pause, block, and just avoid updates for the operating system and Office apps. I suggest deferring until at least August 24. As always, we’ll keep an eye on side effects and issues.

    Remember, there are several ways to defer updates. The easiest way, in my opinion, is to click on Settings, Windows Update, Advanced Options, and then choose August 24 in the “Pause updates” section. When that clock runs out, updates will install automatically. Alternatively, use WuMgr to selectively install updates. Of course, as I always recommend, take the time to back up your system.

    Chromebooks should have been updated to 92.0.4515.130. It includes an improved version of Zoom as well as several other useful bug fixes.

    The Apple camp is still in beta testing mode on Monterey, and it’s anticipated that the release will be in September. In the meantime, you can keep up with the latest news on that beta in our forums.

    Business users

    What concerns me most is the “Microsoft Won’t-Fix-List (July 2021 Edition)” that a security researcher started in July of 2021 to document all the items that Microsoft hadn’t fixed by the end of July. Note that this list does not include all “won’t fix” items, just the ones that occurred during the month of July.

    I’m hoping that we see more of these issues fixed, especially those related to Print Spooler bugs. Those bugs keep me nervous about having the Print Spooler service enabled. I continue to recommend that you enable the Print Spooler service only on those computers and servers that absolutely need it for business operations.


    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Alert 18.29.1 (2021-08-06).