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  • Do you still patch on premises Exchange servers?

    Posted on March 2nd, 2021 at 16:29 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Do you still patch a Microsoft Exchange server in your network?  If you do, heads up. There is limited/targeted attacks underway. Microsoft has released patches for it. While they say “Exchange online is not impacted”… my guess is that it’s already patched and/or mitigated for the issue.

    What’s interesting to me is that the attackers are coming FROM the United States. It’s like the SolarWinds attacks, they aren’t coming from outside the USA, but inside. Thus geo blocking no longer works to keep the bad guys out.

    https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/exchange-team-blog/released-march-2021-exchange-server-security-updates/ba-p/2175901

    https://krebsonsecurity.com/2021/03/microsoft-chinese-cyberspies-used-4-exchange-server-flaws-to-plunder-emails/

  • MS-DEFCON 4 – February updates trigger few issues

    Posted on March 1st, 2021 at 01:00 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    PATCH WATCH

    MS-DEFCON 4 – February updates trigger few issues

    By Susan Bradley

    All-clear for February patches

    It’s that normal time of the month when I’ll urge everyone to get the February security updates installed. For consumers, I’m not tracking any major issues. l also recommend that those of you still on 1909 consider installing 2004 or 20H2, unless they are not yet being offered on your PCs. I’ve now installed 2004/20H2 on enough systems to be comfortable recommending either one on your machines. Remember, the complete list of February updates that I recommend — or not — can be found at any time on the Master Patch List.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.8.0 (2021-03-01).

  • Temporarily putting the site in maintenance mode

    Posted on February 28th, 2021 at 11:37 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We’re working on the missing replies issue.

    Hang loose.

    The site is a bit bumpy right now as the indexing is going on in the background so again your patience is appreciated.  

    Shhh I think we’re somewhat back to normal.

  • Tasks for the weekend – February 27, 2021 Check your DNS

    Posted on February 27th, 2021 at 22:36 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube video here

    There is one command that I have used for many years. It’s the command ipconfig /all. With that command I can see what network I’m on by reviewing the Internet protocol address that the system has.

    It’s also a quick and dirty way of determining what DNS provider I’m using. Often with ISP provided routers you don’t have the ability to adjust your DNS settings. DNS or domain name service settings are how your computer system knows where to  connect to web sites. DNS settings can also better protect your system. Often using something like OpenDNS can automatically protect your system while surfing.

    Some of the key DNS settings that you can choose are

    Google DNS 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4

    Cloudflare 1.1.1.1

    OpenDNS 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220

    Quad9 9.9.9.9

    You can follow the instructions here to manually change the DNS settings on your local machine – or you can make a change up on your router – assuming it allows you to.

    So what DNS settings do you use?

  • MS-DEFCON 4: Install the February updates, skip that Secure boot

    Posted on February 27th, 2021 at 22:12 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    More details will be in tomorrow’s newsletter along with a Plus membership only video that discusses my patching recommendations for the month.

    I always use the weekend for maintenance tasks, so for those of you that were waiting for the Defcon 4 green light I just flipped the beacon so you can do so anytime this weekend.

    As a reminder I am not recommending installing KB4535680 and recommend you to use Wushowhide (or your favorite patching hiding tool).

    If you aren’t a plus member, you can sign up now and you’ll get not only the private video but all of the other great newsletter articles coming out tomorrow.  Hope to see you on the Plus side!

  • Turn off Bing in your start menu

    Posted on February 26th, 2021 at 14:54 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Was reading twitter posts this morning with someone complaining that they block outbound Bing searches on their network but that had a nasty side effect, it made the start menu “pause” while the system realized it had no access to bing.

    The thread pointed to this registry edit solution where you can download a registry key and turn off the integration.

    It feels like we need a wikipedia on JUST what you can do with the registry!

     

  • Try to fix one thing, break another

    Posted on February 24th, 2021 at 20:33 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Long story short we were trying to fix an issue with a duplicating post and ended up causing issues with the replies. You may not see any replies, or you’ll see some of them. <sigh> It’s an indexing issue.

    We have someone looking at it overnight (pacific time) so bear with us.

    As always thank you for your understanding.

    Update, just to assure everyone your posts are all still here it’s just an issue with the indexing which then causes the view to not be correct especially if you are an anonymous viewer. We’ve tested the solution and are just coordinating a time for when the fix will be done on the live site.  (Probably Saturday as that’s when the bbpress expert has time set aside).  At that time we’ll put the site in maintenance mode so you can’t post to it.

    Update II:  Indexing fix is scheduled for Sunday morning Pacific time.  Once again thank you for your patience.

    Once again thank you for your understanding and patience.

  • Frys electronics is closing

    Posted on February 24th, 2021 at 00:08 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    (USA centric post)

    Well the news has it that Frys Electronics, a place that before Amazon came into our lives, was THE place where us geeks on the West Coast would go to check out computer equipment that we really didn’t need, but positively HAD to have. In my various geek conference travels, if there was a Frys in the close vicinity of where I was at, we’d organize a trip to the location. I’ve been to one in Las Vegas, several in the bay area, several in the Los Angeles area and one that was close to Redmond Washington. Yes, I was up in Redmond for a Microsoft conference and we just HAD to go to the local Frys. Imagine a group of geeks from around the world being let loose in what we all considered a near candy store. And unique about the locations, each one had a “theme”.

    The smell of the store as you walked in the doors had a…. it’s hard to explain it…… similar to how the Pep Boys had a distinctive rubber smell throughout the store, Frys had a smell of electronics and cardboard boxes.  You’d stop in the doorway and breathe in that geek computer smell.  The smell would make us geeks giddy.

    Rumor had it that the stores still listed itself in the Standard Industrial Classification code as a grocery store even though it long got out of the business of groceries. Reportedly that’s how it started out – as a grocery store. We’d always call the checkout line as running the “gauntlet” as there was all sorts of snacks, geek things you just had to have and all sorts of things to entice you as you checked out. And never go into the store wearing black slacks and a white shirt – shoppers would think you worked for the store. Many a fellow geek would talk about how they’d go into Fry’s and help their fellow shoppers out by advising them on what to buy.

    I’m positive there are still hard drives, memory chips, and old dvds I have around my house that came from Frys.

    Ah, good memories, good times.