Newsletter Archives

  • ASUS Live Update utility cracked – sophisticated backdoor installed on a million machines, but you don’t need to worry about it

    Kaspersky just released an announcement about Operation ShadowHammer, a truly spectacular hack of ASUS’s update servers that, ultimately, only affects 600 machines with specific hardcoded MAC addresses.

    Mostly it’s a publicity stunt for Kaspersky’s Security Analysts Summit in Singapore in two weeks. But it also makes glittery press.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.


  • Kaspersky blamed for blue screen kmode_exception_not_handled (classpnp.sys)

    Günter Born has a new post (in German) that talks about reports of a Blue Screen for those running Kaspersky Antivirus KIS 2018 version (d). The BSOD appears sometimes when opening Firefox, sometimes when closing Firefox, and may appear at other times as well.

    Originally the BSOD seemed to be tied to the latest version of Firefox, 57.0.1, but subsequent posts dispute that.

    Poster Schulte on the Kasperky forum says:

    According to KL-Moscow the problem will be solved with the upcoming patch “E”.

    Which implies that Kaspersky KIS 2018 (e) will no longer trigger the BSOD.

    Later on the same forum, Schulte says “Moscow says they have enough data.” Implying that Kaspersky is aware of the problem and has figured out a fix.

    Anybody out there using KIS 2018 and Firefox?

  • US government is banning, bad-mouthing Kaspersky. But why?

    Some much needed common sense posted by Vess Bontchev, on Medium.

    He knows whereof he speaks.

    (Graham Cluley has a great response to McAfee’s advertising campaign.)

  • Is Microsoft crushing the antivirus industry?

    Eugene Kaspersky – founder of Kaspersky Lab – thinks so.

    Microsoft’s long walked a tightrope in the antivirus and threat monitoring arena. With the introduction of Windows Defender (formerly GIANT AntiSpyware) in 2005, Microsoft entered the business, jumping into a ring with several billion-dollar competitors.

    Now Kaspersky (who, according to Bloomberg, was “educated at a KGB-sponsored cryptography institute, then worked for Russian military intelligence”) is making distinctly antitrust rumblings. Iain Thomson at The Reg has a good overview.

    Will the stink stick? Russian courts may prove sympathetic. American courts, likely not so much. The opponents have enormous war chests. Could be interesting.

    UPDATE: Peter Bright has a detailed analysis, including a detailed step-through, on Ars Technica. One of his conclusions, which is spot-on, goes like this:

    Regardless of how regulators respond, one thing is clear: they won’t move fast enough to change anything any time soon, because they never do.

    Bogdan Popa at Softpedia notes that Russia’s already launched an antitrust investigation, quoting the Deputy Head of the antitrust department as saying:

    Since Microsoft itself develops antivirus software – Windows Defender that switches on automatically if third-party software fails to adapt to Windows 10 in due time, such actions lead to unreasonable advantages for Microsoft on the software market. Our task is to ensure equal conditions for all participants on this market.

    UPDATE: Paul Thurrott has a balanced essay on the topic on (Thurrott Premium paywall).

    So what say you, Microsoft? Will you work with Kaspersky and your other software partners to ensure that Windows users are both protected and respected? Or will you ignore this complaint and continue down a road that I and many others worry is too unilateral and too patronizing for many of your customers?


  • Problem with Vista SP2 and Kaspersky Internet Security

    Reader P wrote with a warning about installing Vista Service Pack 2:

    I just got bit by Microsoft Vista SP2 update. I took a backup before I installed Vista SP2 just to be safe and guess what after 15 minutes of using the new SP2 software I got a blue screen with the error code of 7B. Tried Vista repair using my Vista SP1 CD and was informed that no fix existed.

    Then later…

    Hi Woody, turns out that Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 was the cause of the problem. After deleting KIS 2009 I managed to install Vista SP2 successfully.

    There’s a detailed discussion on the Kaspersky Lab site.

    At the risk of repeating myself, I do NOT recommend that you install Vista Service Pack 2 just yet. There are bound to be lots of niggling problems.

    We remain at MS-DEFCON 2: Patch reliability is unclear. Unless you have an immediate, pressing need to install a specific patch, don’t do it.