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  • DDEAUTO vulnerability evolving

    Posted on October 22nd, 2017 at 14:29 Kirsty Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Further to recent news on DDEAUTO vulnerability, this threat has, like all good malware, evolved.


    On Friday, independent reports surfaced showing that it’s possible to run DDE attacks in Outlook using emails and calendar invites formatted using Microsoft Outlook Rich Text Format (RTF), not just by sending Office files attached to emails.

    In the original attack users had to be coaxed into opening malicious attachments. By putting the code into the email message body itself, the attack comes one step closer, meaning that the social engineering needed to talk a recipient into falling for it becomes easier.

    The good news is that whether a DDE attack comes via an attachment or directly in an email or a calendar invite, you can stop the attack easily:
    Just say no

    You can read their article here

    AdminITs might like to check out the Microsoft blog on ASR (Attack Surface Reduction), which is said to mitigate the risks – linked in the AdminIT Lounge topic “Enable Attack Surface Reduction in Win10-1709“.

  • More problems with Win10 FCU – missing icons, no Start entries

    Posted on October 21st, 2017 at 18:26 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I saw a screenshot of this, but didn’t believe my eyes.

    From a post by KevinWash1 on the MS Answers forum:

    I just upgraded to the Windows 10 Fall creators update after the update I now have missing icons for some of my store apps they are completely gone from the start screen and if I search through Cortana they do not come up some of the icons on the task bar are missing however if I click on the missing icon blank area I get a highlight under mouse and the app launches all of the missing apps on the start screen do show up in the apps list when I go into settings so they are on the computer if I go to the store and search for the missing apps I get the prompt saying they are installed and when I click launch they will launch properly from within the store, but that is the only way.

    Microsoft’s Jestoni Mac confirms in Missing apps after installing Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

    After installing the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, some apps are missing from the Start Menu on some devices.  The missing apps are no longer pinned in the Start Menu, nor are they in the list of apps.  If I search for the app, Cortana is not able to find it and instead points me to the Store to install it.  But the Store says that the app is already installed.

    Later in that same thread,

    I also upgraded to FCU using Microsoft account. My user folder suddenly changed; In the Creators Update itself, my username and user folder name are truncated from say ‘Johndoe’ to ‘Johnd’ after upgrading from Anniversary Update. Now moving from CU to FCU, my username changed back to Microsoft account name ‘Johndoe’. I lost access to ‘Store’ app and many UWP apps and my files in library.

    There are some solutions proposed in both of those threads, but nothing seems to work.

  • Ordering a pizza

    Posted on October 21st, 2017 at 18:00 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    “Hello there – is this Gordon’s Pizza?”

    “No, sir – it’s Google’s Pizza.”

    “I must have dialled a wrong number. Sorry.”

    “No, sir, this is the correct number. Google bought Gordon’s Pizza last month.”

    “Oh! Okay then – I would like to order a pizza.”

    “Do you want your usual, sir?”

    “My usual? You know me?”

    “According to our caller ID data sheet, the last 12 times you called you ordered an extra-large pizza with three cheeses, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and meat balls on a thick crust.*

    “Right! That’s just what I want.”

    “May I suggest that this time you order a pizza with ricotta, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and olives on a whole wheat, gluten-free, thin crust?”

    “What? I detest vegetables!”

    “Your cholesterol is not good, sir.”

    “How the hell do you know that?”

    “Well, we cross-referenced your home phone number with your medical records. We have the result of your blood tests for the last 7 years.”

    “Okay, okay – but I don’t want your awful vegetable pizza – I already take medication for my cholesterol.”

    “Excuse me, sir, but you have not taken your medication regularly. According to our database, you only purchased a box of 30 cholesterol tablets once, at Drug sale Network, 4 months ago.”

    “I bought more from another drugstore.”

    “That doesn’t show on your credit card statement.”

    “I paid in cash.”

    “But you did not withdraw enough cash, according to your bank statement.”

    “I have other sources of cash.”

    “That doesn’t show on your last tax return, unless you bought them using an undeclared income source, which is against the law.”

    “WHAT THE HELL? ! ! ! !”

    “I’m sorry, sir, we use such information only with the sole intention of helping you.”

    “Enough! I’m sick to death of Google, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp and all the others!! I’m going to an island without the Internet, without cable TV – some place where there is no cell phone service and no one to spy on me!!”

    “I understand, sir. But do you know that you need to renew your passport first? It expired 6 weeks ago.”

  • What’s happening with Win7 .NET updates?

    Posted on October 21st, 2017 at 13:29 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just got this from reader OC:

    Today I received from MS new updates for my Win 7 Pro, x64, SP1 (to be installed when I decide to), for .NET 4.6.4, 4.61. 4.62, 4.7; another for 4.5.2 and a third for 3.5.1.
    They are, respectively, kb4040973; … 77; … 80 (the first 5 digits are the same for all three.)

    Further, the message says they replace kb2978120 and … 28.

    Now, when going to the MS page with the explanation and I click on the corresponding kb, say …73 to go to the site where there is a link to the MS site where I can download it, that takes me to a page for …86; when I click on the next one, it also takes me to a page for a different kb, and same for the third one. And they are all include fixes, not the ones advertised in the message, but for … 4.7 ! (Which, according to your site, is best avoided, for now.)

    I hope this can be cleared out in the not too distant future. In the meantime, I am keeping this update parked “unticked” in my machine, until that clarification happens, or until postings in your site advise that it is OK to go ahead and install them as they are, or…

  • Win10 Fall Creators Update Store problems appear to be solved

    Posted on October 21st, 2017 at 07:48 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Well I’ll be…

    I bumped into Günter Born’s article this morning, saying that the “Something bad happened” bug has been fixed. Flipped over to my 1709 machine and, sure enough, as soon as I clicked on the “Store” icon, it updated itself.

    I now have a new icon in the taskbar – more colorful than the old one – and the store now identifies itself as “Microsoft Store.”

    That’s the difference between updating through Windows Update (where you can control things) and updating through the Store.

  • What problems are you seeing with Win10 Fall Creators Update?

    Posted on October 20th, 2017 at 15:01 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m gathering a list of significant problems with Win10 FCU, version 1709.

    Foremost among them:

    The usual failures to install, rollback, freezes. My February article in Computerworld will help with some of them.

    The OneDrive Placeholder feature has to be installed manually.

    “Something bad happened” in the Microsoft Store – I talked about this one five days ago. Since then, there have been a few new revelations. Günter Born has a more detailed description of the problem on Born City, with an interesting observation about removing .NET Framework 3.5.

    Lots of reports of automatically re-assigned audio devices. Re-start your 1709 PC, and there’s no telling which audio device will become the default — even if the default is re-assigned to a non-existent device.

    Even more reports of re-assigned default apps, and deleted built-in apps that have suddenly made a re-appearance.

    Report of messed up monitor colors that are fixed by eviscerating the Night Light app.

    Razer laptop drivers don’t work in general.

    Folks trying to use Mixed Reality are having all sorts of problems.

    Have you seen anything? Links to active discussions most appreciated!

  • The embargo comes off: Microsoft’s home speaker from Harmon Kardon

    Posted on October 20th, 2017 at 08:25 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    No, I didn’t get an advance review copy. Doubt that I would’ve plugged it in.

    Reviews are in from Paul Thurrott, Mary Jo Foley, Dan Seifert at The Verge, Tom Haselton at CNBC — and no doubt a hundred more to come.

    My bottom line:

    Hey, Cortana. How do I sell a Harmon Kardon Invoke?

    Yes, sometimes you can “review” a piece of hardware without even touching it.

  • Do you want Win10 Fall Creators Update? Here are your options

    Posted on October 20th, 2017 at 08:19 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Thorough article by Gregg Keizer at Computerworld.

    Of course, my old admonishment applies. Wait a while and let the unpaid beta testers shake out the problems.