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Posts Tagged ‘Windows updates’

KB2286198, released (out-of-cycle so to speak) on Monday, August 2, 2010, has to do with the possibility of maliciously crafted Windows SHORTCUTS being potentially used as a means of gaining access to a PC. I don’t have many shortcuts and I am very leery about installing them in the first place. If a shortcut is installed, I, invariably, delete it.

Here is Microsoft’s Security Bulletin, i.e., MS 10-046, about this vulnerability.

In case you haven’t noticed, there has been a marked slowdown in Windows 7 updates and even the Windows Defender Updates.

KB2286198 is the first non-Windows Defender update since July 16 — when we received KB2032276.

Well I uneventfully installed KB2286198 this morning … and did the requsite RESTART … and that was 4 hours ago. So far, so good. Obviously, as is my wont, I didn’t install this until I did some checking on the Internet to see if anybody had run into any problems with it. I didn’t see anything.

I also installed two outstanding Windows Defender Updates, i.e., KB915597s. These were for Definition Sets 1.87.1293.0 and 1.87.362.0

I did a FULL Windows Defender Scan after I restarted. That took some time. But, it found nothing.

Hope this helps. All the best.

Anura

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I saw KB978542 appear as an update on Tuesday, i.e., few days ago. Since I have Windows Updates TURNED OFF, I only see updates if I manually check for them — and knowing Microsoft’s schedule I usually check every Tuesday night and then again towards the end of the week.

I didn’t check the details on KB978542 until today. Noticed that all the reported problems had to do with it clobbering Windows Mail and Outlook. So dug a bit deeper.

KB978542 is SPECIFIC to Outlook Express, Windows Mail, and Windows Live Mail. Here is the Microsoft Security Bulletin <click>.

I haven’t used Outlook or Outlook Express in over 3 years. I think Outlook is the anti-christ! I try to convince as many people that I know to stop using Outlook.

I use Web mail … but not from Microsoft. The GoDaddy version. It isn’t the greatest but it plods along, and that is good enough.

So I opted to skip (and now HIDE) KB978542.

If you are not using any of the three mail packages, I suggest you skip this update too. Appears that Windows Mail is not supposed to work with Windows 7. Those that have managed to get hacked versions to work on Windows 7 are discovering that KB978542 disables Windows Mail altogether. So be aware.

I did, however, install, per rote, the May 2010, KB890830, Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. I do that just for the sport. I haven’t restarted the PC since … so I am keeping my ankles crossed.

That is it. Good luck.

Anura Guruge

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Within a week of the last KB915597 Windows Defender Update (Definition set 1.79.1432.0) yet another one, this time for Definition set 1.79.1918.0.

That is the fourth (4th) KB915597 Windows Defender Updates this month; i.e., April 1, April 5,  April 8 and April 14.

You can see the list of threats addressed by this update and others at this Microsoft site … click <here>.

There seems to have been quite a few definition updates between 1.79.1432.0 and 1.79.1918.0 … so much so that 1.79.1432.0 has fallen off the end of the list!

Even 1.79.1918.0 has already been usurped by 1.79.1945.0. So we should get another KB915597 within days.

Good luck. I will try to keep you posted.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

P.S., I successfully installed it … as well as the latest [i.e., April] Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, KB890830.

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KB978601, KB979309, KB981332, KB980232 & KB979683 were the five security Windows Updates for Windows 7 that were sent out on Tuesday, April 13, 2010.

I waited until today to see if there were any reports of folks having trouble with these. Didn’t see any reports, though I will confess I didn’t look that hard.

I took a risk. Bit the bullet. Installed all of them.

It required a restart. I am posting this, from my Windows 7 machine, after the restart. I am still alive … I think. << smile >>

It seems OK. So if you are vacillating, give it another 24 hours and then go ahead. I will keep you posted.

Good luck. All the best.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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Just three days after the last KB915597 Windows Defender Update (Definition set 1.79.1220.0) yet another one: Definition set 1.79.1432.0.

That is 3 KB915597 Windows Defender Updates this month; i.e., April 1, April 5 and April 8.

You can see the list of threats addressed by this update and others at this Microsoft site … click <here>.

For a change we seem to be smack up to-date; i.e., there are no newer definitions listed.

But, have a look at the Definition history. It is sobering.

The April 1 update covered Definition 1.79.953.0.

1.79.1432.0 is 18 definitions hence. That is 18 in a week, 2.5 definition sets a day.

Now to be fair the likes of Avast and AVG send out new definition updates daily, if not more often. So if anything one can accuse Microsoft of being dilatory. But then again does anybody really believe that Windows Defender is an industrial strength antivirus/antimalware product? I hope not.

So, that is the state of play. This was the only update today. We will see a barrage next Tuesday, April 13 … the Sinhalese Old Year Day. New Year, logically, is the NEXT DAY, April 14. Happy New Year.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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Since I now appear to be the arbitrator of Windows 7 updates, I checked too see if there were any … today … a Thursday.

There were TWO. I was surprised. One was a new Windows Defender Update. Qu’est-ce que c’est passe?

We had one yesterday, and another today. Is Windows 7, like Democrats, under attack? Don’t get it.

Also an OPTIONAL update for the Realtek PCIe GBE controller. That is what I have on my ASUS motherboard.

That also happens to be the second in 4 days. What is cooking? I guess the update is OK. My Ethernet is still working … otherwise I would not be typing this.

Not good. Just a heads up.

Good luck. All the best.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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On March 9, 2010 we will see the first security-related Windows 7 update since early February.

It appears that we will get two updates, one for Windows 7 and one for Office 2007 (assuming you have it installed). Both will be marked IMPORTANT. Both fix security problems that could clobber your PC — if, and only if, you happen to OPEN a compromised, malicious file. In the case of Office 2007 it appears that the culprit, this time around is, Excel.

I have my Windows Updates turned off. Have had them turned off since February 13, 2010.

But, as I documented on February 28, I did go and ‘manually’ install the February 23 updates — which included KB977863 for the Windows 7 Media Player. But, on principle, I did not install the infamous KB971033 WAT update — for checking for pirated copies of Windows 7. In theory, I don’t have anything to worry about. I have a documented, legit OEM copy of Windows 7 Professional. But, I don’t trust Microsoft to get it right.

In preparation for tomorrow’s updates I just went and manually checked.

I had two IMPORTANT updates. One was KB971033. This time I clicked ‘Hide This Update.’ It went away. The other, supposedly important update, was KB915597 — the latest definitions for Windows Defender. These were first in two weeks. I accepted it and installed it. I haven’t run Defender yet. I don’t run it often. I have Avast 4.8 Professional and I take my chances with that.

So … right now … I have no more updates … KB971033 having been hidden.

So tomorrow I will check. I am UNLIKELY to install the updates tomorrow. I will check to see what happens. I will keep YOU posted.

My recommendation. WAIT. Hold your horses. Give it 72 hours. OK?

Good luck.

Anura Guruge

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