03/10 Update: the problems associated with KB4535996 are still increasing. The always diligent BetaNews, reports that some Windows 10 users who have installed the update are discovering that sleep no longer works correctly on their computers and Microsoft's KB4535996 community page is filled complaints including broken search, trouble opening apps and a growing number of users reporting their PCs will not boot after updating. Remarkably, three days on from these troubles beginning, Microsoft still states on its KB4535996 update page that it is "not currently aware of any issues with this update". Ignore this. If you haven't already, get the Windows Update troubleshooter and proactively block KB4535996. Until more is known, this is an update you need to avoid.
03/09 Update: Microsoft has confirmed Windows 10 has run into more trouble. The company has published a support page explaining that a new bug in Windows 10 can prevent users from manually installing drivers on their PCs. Users will receive the error message: "A driver can't load on this device" and it can break installations even after they appear to complete successfully. Microsoft states "If you choose to continue using your device without addressing the driver problem, you might discover that the functionality the driver supports does not work any longer, which could have consequences ranging from negligible to severe." Third party drivers can be essential, particularly for legacy devices, so Microsoft has offered a workaround which (perhaps surprisingly) involves turning off a Windows 10 security setting that guards memory integrity to allow the driver installation to complete:
Are you booting up your Windows 10 machine and discovering you can’t log in to your profile? It appears you’re not alone. Reports are increasing across Twitter and Microsoft forums that following the most recent Patch Tuesday update (KB4532693), users are complaining that their profiles and desktop files are missing, and that custom icons and wallpaper have all been reset to their default state.
The generally accepted solution to this problem is browsing to the C:\Users folder with Explorer and checking for a folder named “.000” or “.bak.” Once you’ve tracked it down you can create a new Administrator account, log in to that account, then copy the folders and files back where they belong (Documents, Pictures, Music, Desktop, etc).
Bleeping Computer, however, is also reporting that several readers resolved the issue by rebooting “several times” or just uninstalling the troublesome KB4532693 update. The site also states Microsoft is aware of the issue and is investigating.
We have been seeing a huge surge in virus, spyware, malware, phishing, and ransomware attacks. Here is just one example of how bad things are getting www.cnn.com/2019/10/08/business/ransomware-attacks-trnd/index.html Because of this we are now partnered up with Trend Micro and are offering there software suites to all our customers. For a small price you can have piece of mind that your PCs, Macs, mobile devices, networks and servers are safe and secure. Call us and ask about how we can secure your home or business computers and networks.
Windows 7 and Server 2008 including r2 and ending in two months. That means no more updates and more important no more security updates. So that means if you still are using either of these OS software then you need to update your computer. We can help you do this at the lowest cost possible. Call us and we can give you a quote on updating or replacing your software/hardware.
All Windows 7 users hopefully know that microsoft will cease support for the operating system in January 2020, but what they might not realize is that extended support could dry up in July 2019 if they fail to install some critical patches next month.
The patches arriving in March mark a security upgrade for windows 7, and mean that Windows updates will only use the SHA-2 hash algorithm to sign and authenticate patches (i.e. to make sure they’ve come directly from Microsoft, and haven’t been tampered with).
Currently, OS updates are dual-signed using both SHA-1 and SHA-2 algorithms, but as Microsoft notes: “Due to weaknesses in the SHA-1 algorithm and to align to industry standards Microsoft will only sign Windows updates using the more secure SHA-2 algorithm exclusively.”
The March updates lay the groundwork for this, but the actual move to SHA-2 won’t happen until July. When that month rolls around, though, if you haven’t got SHA-2 support in place, then you won’t get any further Windows updates.
As Microsoft observes, customers running Windows 7 SP1 – or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1/SP2 – will need to patch in SHA-2 code signing before the July 16 deadline.
In short, then, you need to make sure you don’t miss the various standalone security updates that will deploy next month and usher in SHA-2 code sign support – currently, Microsoft is estimating a target date of March 12 for their release on Windows 7.
Windows 10 users do not need to worry about this update as a future update will change this feature. If you need help to make sure this update works and happens on your windows 7 machine please feel free to call us. Also now is a great time before next year to have your system updated to windows 10 before support for 7 ends.
New capabilities uncoveredInitially thought to be a fairly standard botnet, which would use infected gear to wage cyber attacks on other targets, Cisco’s Talos Intelligence Group has since uncovered new capabilities in the malware– ones which could put owners of infected routers at greater risk.
In particular, a module called ‘ssler’ seems specifically designed to compromise internet traffic being sent to and from an infected router. The module uses a ‘man in the middle’ style attack that attempts to downgrade secure HTTPS web traffic so that data is sent over HTTP as unencrypted plaintext, which makes sensitive information such as logins and passwords much easier to intercept and capture.
Cisco has not revealed a total number for how many additional devices it now believes could be infected, but has said that despite earlier warnings that users should reboot at-threat devices, the malware still persists in the wild and that the threat "continues to grow”.
Cisco provided an updated list of devices that could be affected, so if you own one of the below, you’re strongly advised to reboot it:
Looks like the new windows 10 april 2018 update is having some issues with certain users. After the upgrade some are reporting that once they log in all they have is a black screen with only the recycle bin and taskbar showing. Also the start button does not function nor does task manager. The other issue is after updating some get to a screen that asks you to choose a keyboard layout and then gets stuck from there.
The update issues seems to be affecting users that have Avast and McAfee antivirus software on their systems prior to updating. If you have these two antivirus systems we encourage you to uninstall the software - upgrade windows to the newest version and then reinstall the software after the update.
If your system has crashed do not panic, just call us and we can save your files and get your system back up and going.
Last Friday, the FBI issued a report recommending that everyone roboot their routers. . The reason? "Foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide."
A newly discovered threat called VPNfilter has infected over half a million routers and network devices, according to researchers from Cisco's Talos Intelligence Group.
VPNFilter is "able to render small office and home office routers inoperable," the FBI stated. "The malware can potentially also collect information passing through the router."
Unfortunately, there's no easy way to tell if your router has been compromised by VPNFilter. The FBI notes only that "the malware targets routers produced by several manufacturers and network-attached storage devices by at least one manufacturer."
Those manufacturers are as follows: Linksys, Mikrotik, Netgear, QNAP and TP-Link. However, Cisco's report states that only a small number of models — just over a dozen in total — from those manufacturers are known to have been affected by the malware, and they're mostly older ones:
Linksys: E1200, E2500, WRVS4400N
Mikrotik: 1016, 1036, 1072
Netgear: DGN2200, R6400, R7000, R8000, WNR1000, WNR2000
QNAP: TS251, S439 Pro, other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software
So will a reboot work? Short answer is "it can't hurt" but really it won't fix the issue if your router is in fact infected. According to the FBI's PSA regarding VPNFilter, the reboot recommendation is not intended to remove the malware, but rather to "temporarily disrupt (it) and aid the potential identification of infected devices."
So how can you fix this issue and make sure you are safe. The best way to fix this issue if you have an older router is to do a complete reset of the router itself. Usually this can be done by pressing the small reset button on the router and holding it in for a few seconds. Of course once you do this then you have to setup your network and password again and then reconnect all your WiFi devices in your home and office.
The second thing you should always do is make sure your router has the latest firmware and is up to date. We can help you with this and can make sure your router is safe and up to date. Just give us a call and we can remote in to help.
Microsoft has blocked a number of security updates for some AMD based PCs after discovering that installing updates to combat the Spectre and Meltdown bugs left some devices unable to boot.
Microsoft said it will temporarily stop sending the nine systems updates out to some PCs running particular AMD processors.
"Microsoft has reports of customers with some AMD devices getting into an unbootable state after installing recent Windows operating system security updates," the company said.
"After investigating, Microsoft has determined that some AMD chipsets do not conform to the documentation previously provided to Microsoft to develop the Windows operating system mitigations to protect against the chipset vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown. To prevent AMD customers from getting into an unbootable state, Microsoft will temporarily pause sending the following Windows operating system updates to devices with impacted AMD processors at this time:
Microsoft said it is working with AMD to resolve this issue and resume Windows OS security updates to the affected AMD devices "as soon as possible", but said for AMD device-specific information users should contact AMD.
Yesterday ZDNet reported that Microsoft's Windows patch for the Meltdown and Spectre attack methods was causing problems for users with AMD Athlon CPUs, according to a number of complaints on Microsoft's community forum. One poster said after installing the update the PC only displayed the Windows logo and otherwise failed to boot. The update was delivered through Windows Update to a "quite pre-historic" computer, specifically running on the AMD Athlon X2 6000+, which was released a decade ago. Others who report the same issue are also using older AMD chips.
The Spectre and Meltdown flaws are critical vulnerabilities found in many Intel chips which could allow an attacker steal data from the memory of running apps, such as data from password managers, browsers, emails, and photos and documents. Since they were discovered the tech industry has been scrambling the fix them, and this problem is just one of the unexpected consequences.
AMD chips aren't vulnerable to the Meltdown attack, but operating system updates could address one of the Spectre attacks it was vulnerable to.
If you have an AMD PC and are stuck in an unbootable state after updating, please call us immediatly and we will help you fix the issue as soon as possible