Monthly Archives: August 2022

  • Master patch list for August 30, 2022

    I’ve updated the Master Patch List today for the preview releases as well as clarifying a couple of items.

    Two concerning issues are still being tracked. First audio issues in some (not a lot, but some) computers with Windows 10 KB5016616. If you are impacted, uninstall the update and put yourself back on hold. In a network setting the known issue rollback will kick in. In a consumer setting, I have yet to figure out how the chicken will fix the egg.  The Known issue rollback fix is offered up from Microsoft servers, but the code to trigger the known issue rollback (as I understand it) is only in the August and later updates.  Note that even in the preview updates, this known issue is still being tracked. I still think that the patch will be installed, some small percent may see audio issues and then the known issue rollback will kick in, make sure you reboot a day or two after installing updates, and the problem will go away, but I don’t have a system impacted to test my theory.

    The second issue has to do with Secure boot patch KB5012170 failing to install.

    If you’ve already installed KB5012170, and see no side effects, leave the patch installed and take no action.

    If you haven’t installed KB5012170, first check to see if you have bitlocker enabled. To see if you do, click on start, then on search and type in bitlocker. You will see a “manage bitlocker”. Review that bitlocker is off.  If it’s on and YOU don’t know where that recovery key is, click in this window to turn it off. You can easily turn it off from this interface.

    Note that bitlocker is not bad, in fact my Dad has bitlocker enabled on his computer because he wants to ensure that should someone break into his house and steal his computer his sensitive data won’t be stolen as well. But in some computer systems the “oobe” out of box set up sequence may turn on bitlocker and you don’t know it did, where the bitlocker recovery key is located or anything ABOUT bitlocker. This update on some systems triggers the request for a bitlocker recovery key and if you have no bloody clue….as in the case of Mike and his father-in-law “. This happened to my father-in-law’s laptop and unfortunately the recovery key was not listed in his Microsoft account. His laptop was basically ransomwared without the ability to pay the ransom (luckily his son-in-law knows a thing or two about deploying Windows).” Note I have never seen a windows patch turn on bitlocker. It gets set up via the setup process of a new computer.

    Now then put your machine on metered network connection and use the tools to block KB5012170.

    Businesses: In a network setting, note that even on virtual machines KB5012170 will be offered up.

    As always, thank you all for supporting the cause! Remember a mere $1 donation will give you access and if you donate $50 or more you’ll get a special code to enable text messages sent to your phone each time the Master Patch List gets updated and when I change the MS-DEFCON level.

  • Cryptomator – a little foil on your head is quite fashionable

    newsletter banner

    ISSUE 19.35 • 2022-08-29


    Deanna McElveen

    By Deanna McElveen

    You can say you don’t trust the cloud with your files, but you do store files in the cloud. Your emails, your cat pictures on Facebook, your virtual farm in Farmville, your credit info, your bank account … yep, the cloud.

    But you don’t have to go all-in with full trust. Take matters into your own hands!

    I love my cloud storage services. I use Dropbox (my favorite), Google Drive (or whatever they’re calling it this week), OneDrive (will always be SkyDrive in my heart), and iCloud (we all make mistakes). Do I trust them to encrypt my data? Sure I do. Encrypt away, geeks! Do I also encrypt the files again from my end? Heck, yeah! Now, one might call me paranoid, but I’m really just a bit of a history buff. Words like “unhackable” and “uncrackable” sound an awful lot like “unsinkable” to me.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.35.0, 2022-08-29).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Google explains why videos sent from iPhones look so terrible


    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    Visuals sent from iPhones and iPads via iMessage are seriously degraded, sometimes unrecognizably so, when received on Android phones — and even sometimes on other iPhones. This is because Apple refuses to support a common tech standard, according to a new public effort by Google.

    You may be surprised to learn that some very solid Mac users are the first to complain about Apple’s garbling of their multimedia files.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.35.0, 2022-08-29).

  • The state of Linux in 2022


    Sandra Henry-Stocker

    By Sandra Henry-Stocker

    Linux continues to play a major role in a number of market segments, from everyday embedded devices to supercomputers.

    While it is used on fewer than 3% of desktops, it dominates supercomputing, web servers, the cloud, smartphones, and more. Linux-supported systems have even helped in the successful completion of 65 SpaceX missions. The fact that Linux is open-source means that it can be optimized for many different purposes and, looking at the Linux roadmap, it has.

    Let’s take a stroll through Linux and see where it stands in 2022!

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.35.0, 2022-08-29).

  • Ready to patch your car?


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Recently, I lamented having to get rid of an older automobile that had very little in the way of technology.

    As I mentioned in that post, the technology (if you can call it that) consisted of a CD-ROM player, an ordinary radio, a cigarette lighter, and an auxiliary port. It certainly didn’t have the newfangled automobile technology available in almost every vehicle today. The newer the car, the more likely it is to have a technology-infused dashboard as well as out-of-sight processing power under the hood.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.35.0, 2022-08-29).

  • Getting ready for 22H2

    I’ll be going into more detail next week about the steps I want you to take to get your machine ready for 22H2.

    There are two tasks for this weekend I’ll want you to do:

    Firstly use the Incontrol tool to ensure that your feature release is set to be on 21H2. Run the tool and ensure you have your machine set to install 21H2 and nothing more than that at this time.

    Next I always recommend that you download an ISO. What is an ISO? “The name ISO was taken from the name of the file system used by optical media, which is usually ISO 9660.” It’s the name for the digital download that you can use to install and more importantly for Windows 10, do a repair install of the operating system.

    I recommend that you go to the Microsoft download site (for Windows 10) and the download site for Windows 11 and just save the file on a flash drive, a spare hard drive, or any place you will remember you’ve got it stored, which sometimes is the hardest part.

    Click that download now button and save it to a location. Stay tuned, I’ll have more tips next week in the newsletter.

  • Cyber tips for seniors

    Australia often has really good security guidance and other than the recommendation to turn on automatic updates (you know how we feel about that), I find this list to be interesting.

    There’s one tip that I love… talk to others about cyber security.  Do you?  Do you try to inform others while balancing between being informative but not freaking people out too much and unnecessarily so?

    It’s often hard to find this magic spot between informed risk and tin foil. Too often in security headlines there’s a lot of clickbait.

    My best pieces of advice when reading tech headlines? If it sounds too good to be true, it is.  If it sounds like the sky is falling, it probably isn’t. It’s wise to be cautious, but always temper it with a lot of common sense.

  • MS-DEFCON 3: Issues with bootloader patches

    alert banner

    ISSUE 19.34.1 • 2022-08-23


    By Susan Bradley

    This month’s updates are a great example of why my patching advice differs for consumers and businesses.

    For consumer patchers, whether using Windows 10 Home or Professional, I’m not convinced that you need to install KB5012170, Microsoft’s security update for Secure Boot DBX (the Secure Boot Forbidden Signature Database). Unless, that is, you think you will be targeted by an overseas attacker with a malicious bootloader installer. If your computer holds the keys to the nuclear codes, then by all means install this update instantly. The fact that this isn’t clear-cut is the reason I can lower the MS-DEFCON only to 3 this time around.

    But if you are a normal user, with normal levels of paranoia to get you through the normal security risks of daily life, I’m not convinced that this update is mandatory. In fact, I think it often causes more pain than benefit. Just read through the threads of many a forum poster trying to get this update installed.

    Anyone can read the full MS-DEFCON Alert (19.34.1, 2022-08-23).

  • Where to store your OneNote notebooks

    newsletter banner

    ISSUE 19.34 • 2022-08-22


    Mary Branscombe

    By Mary Branscombe

    OneNote is meant to be one place for all your notes, but even though it’s great to have one location to look at all your notes, you might want to have a bit more control about where those notes are actually stored.

    For many users, it might seem as if you didn’t have a choice: unless you’re using the Windows desktop version of OneNote and you paid for a license, your notebooks must be stored in OneDrive. That’s what allows them to sync onto any device you use — PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, or anything with a suitable Web browser.

    But even though your notebooks must be stored in OneDrive, they don’t need to be stored in the same OneDrive account you use for other things on that device. You can even open notebooks that are stored in someone else’s account, if they share them with you.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.34.0, 2022-08-22).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Thunderbird: A worthy alternative to Microsoft Outlook


    Lance Whitney

    By Lance Whitney

    If you find the Outlook email client too cumbersome or complicated, Thunderbird is a simpler yet robust email program worth trying.

    I’ve used Microsoft Outlook as my desktop email client for many years. That’s partly because I come from a corporate IT background with a company that was a Microsoft shop. And it’s partly because I subscribe to Microsoft 365, so Outlook is part of the package and integrates with the other Office apps.

    But that doesn’t mean I’m a huge fan of the program.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.34.0, 2022-08-22).

  • Using PowerShell to manage Word documents


    Peter Deegan

    By Peter Deegan

    PowerShell for Word document management? Yes, of course. That’s something the plain old command prompt can’t handle.

    The more-complex and more-capable PowerShell can open Office apps (Word, Excel, or PowerPoint) to automate the making or editing of documents, sheets, or decks. Command prompt can do basic file management only. (As a little bonus, this article lists the DOS commands that still work in PowerShell.)

    The point of this article is to provide an “entry level” script for performing a basic document-management task. So let’s go through a PowerShell script that can deal with a Word document, while showing off some clever PowerShell commands.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.34.0, 2022-08-22).

  • The Ransomware Task Force’s advice needs work


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    A few weeks ago, the Ransomware Task Force (RTF) released the Blueprint for Ransomware Defense.

    The RTF was created by the Institute for Security and Technology (IST) in April 2021 in response to the emerging national and economic security risk posed by ransomware.

    Unfortunately, I find the advice and information contained in the Blueprint centered too much on large enterprises and not enough on the broader audience it was supposedly targeting. Unquestionably, outages and stolen data for large enterprises can have a huge effect on large groups of people, but the Small Business Administration points out that there are 32 million small businesses — and we all can agree they have fewer resources to fend off attacks.

    From my perspective, something very big is missing: detection.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.34.0, 2022-08-22).