Items tagged with Microsoft

As it stands, Windows 10 gets monthly security, quality, and the occasional out-of-band update which all help to keep users “productive and protected.” It appears Microsoft has now officially confirmed that Windows 11 will be following the same update system which has worked well for the past six years. The continual updates to Windows 10 over the years have ensured that customers have access to all the latest features and security fixes at no additional cost.  In a recent documentation post about monthly quality updates, technical writer Greg Lindsay outlines the plan for updates concerning Windows 10 and 11. First and foremost, quality updates which consist of either non-security... Read more...
Halo Infinite was originally supposed to come out in November 2020, but instead will not be released for another few months. However, there is a way for eager fans to test the waters before the official release. It was recently announced that the Halo Infinite beta will be available this weekend. The Halo Infinite beta will start on Thursday, July 29th and run until Sunday, August 1st. News about the beta was sent to Halo Insiders via email. The beta will be preceded by a livestream that will show off what players can expect from it. The livestream will occur today, Wednesday, July 28th, at 2pm ET and and can be watched on the official Halo Twitch channel and Halo YouTube channel. Testers must... Read more...
Microsoft Flight Simulator arrives on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S today, and in celebration of the game's much anticipated touchdown on console, Microsoft has teamed up with luggage maker July for a sweet giveaway. The lucky winner will receive a custom suitcase themed after the Xbox Series S, pre-packed with various hardware. The big prize is the Xbox Series S that is neatly tucked inside, as you can see in the image above. However, it also comes with two game controllers, a portable ASUS ROG Strix XG17 display with a magnetized cover, and international adapters. The winner doesn't even need to unpack the goodies to play MS Flight Simulator—as the directions state, just lay it... Read more...
While Microsoft is off fighting leaks and device-breaking bugs within Windows 10, the company silently released Microsoft Edge 92 without much fanfare earlier this week. The new version of the browser is a large update bringing new features and changes for all users, including limiting autoplay content. Have you ever opened a webpage to then be serenaded by the most beautiful songs? Unfortunately, this is probably not the case, as many of us have experienced a loud video blasting our eardrums out when wanting to read local news or scroll through Facebook. However, this hopefully will not be a problem anymore, beginning with Edge 92, in which Microsoft has switched the media autoplay setting to... Read more...
Hackers and threat actors are constantly searching for new ways to breach systems for cybersecurity research or exploitation, respectively. Thankfully, French researcher Gilles Lionel got to an NTLM Relay Attack, dubbed PetitPotam, first. Now, Microsoft has released a mitigation technique that IT admins should implement to remain secure. Last week, information about PetitPotam was posted to GitHub by French cybersecurity researcher Gilles Lionel. Lionel found that, through a tool he made, it was possible “to coerce Windows hosts to authenticate to other machines via MS-EFSRPC EfsRpcOpenFileRaw function.” In layman’s terms, an attacker could use the program to extract NTLM authentication... Read more...
There are few things more frustrating than dealing with a printer issue. Like dealing with repeated printer issues. Unfortunately for some Windows 10 users, the problems keep coming, the latest one arriving with the cumulative update for July that arrived earlier this month. Depending on a person's setup, this month's Patch Tuesday roll out could cause printing and scanning capabilities to no longer function. Fortunately, the latest printer issue appears limited to some specific setups. However, that does not come as any consolation to anyone is affected by it. "After installing updates released July 13, 2021 on domain controllers (DCs) in your environment, printers, scanners, and multifunction... Read more...
Microsoft had a bit of a rough first outing with its Surface Duo flagship smartphone. The Android device launched last year and was quite intriguing due to its dual-display design, which is not prevalent in the smartphone realm. However, Microsoft wasn't entering the market from a position of strength with the Surface Duo. It was [seemingly] overpriced, the software was buggy, it shipped with an outclassed SoC given its price, and it didn't even feature 5G support. Microsoft rectified the bugs somewhat with subsequent software updates, and significant price cuts have made the Surface Duo more attractive. Microsoft seems to be on the cusp of trying again with the aptly named Surface Duo 2. Alleged... Read more...
Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system is set to debut this October, and understandably, many people are excited about its launch. After all, it's been about six years since the official launch of Windows 10, and people are antsy to see what's next from Microsoft. Unfortunately, scammers are always looking for a way to take advantage of unsuspecting users, and the hype surrounding Windows 11 makes for a perfect opportunity to strike. A new piece of malware has found its way to the internet, and the executable is named 86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator.exe. The download weighs in at 1.75GB, which is about less than half the size of a legit Windows 11 ISO. Fake Windows 11 installer... Read more...
Over the past few years, the surge in cryptocurrency values has meant that unscrupulous individuals are looking for ways to make money without putting in the hard work. In the case of cryptocurrency malware, the software is installed on unsuspecting computers, forcing them to mine without the victim seeing a single dime in the resulting revenue. Such is the same with LemonDuck, which the Microsoft 365 Defender Threat Intelligence Team is warning about this week. Once LemonDuck malware finds its way onto a target machine, it is swept up into a botnet that mines for cryptocurrencies. What makes LemonDuck so dangerous, however, is that it doesn't just target one platform. Instead, it is viable on... Read more...
Microsoft's weekly cadence with Windows 11 Insider Preview releases continues this week with Build 22000.100. This latest build is available to testers that have joined Microsoft's Windows Insider Dev Channel. With Build 22000.100, Microsoft is focused on refining the UI and implementing a slew of fixes for outstanding issues. Going forward, we're not likely to see any dramatic changes build-to-build, as the Windows 10 successor inches closer to its [assumed] late October launch. However, as Microsoft outlined earlier this week, Teams integration is rolling out to select testers on the Dev Channel before a broader release in future builds. Given that Windows 11 is an evolution of the Windows... Read more...
Microsoft is warning of a vulnerability in both Windows 11 (not yet released, but available in preview form to Windows Insiders) and Windows 10 that could reveal a user's admin password, which in turn could be used to elevate their own system privileges. That's obviously not a good thing, as it would essentially grant the hacker with full control of a system. "An elevation of privilege vulnerability exists because of overly permissive Access Control Lists (ACLs) on multiple system files, including the Security Accounts Manager (SAM) database. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges. An attacker could then install programs; view,... Read more...
Microsoft is on a roll with its Windows 11 Insider Preview builds, and today it is opening up a new feature for Insiders to try out. When Microsoft first announced Windows 11 last month, it said that its popular Teams video conferencing platform would be tightly integrated into the operating system. Starting today, Microsoft Teams integration is making its way to the most recent Insider Preview builds of Windows 11. However, at this time, Microsoft is only enabling this new Teams experience to a limited number of testers. "We are beginning to roll Chat from Microsoft Teams to only a subset of Insiders at first, and over time will increase to more Insiders," said Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc. ... Read more...
Last week, Intel became the first GPU vendor to push out an official driver for Windows 11, beating both AMD and NVIDIA to the punch. Fortunately, NVIDIA wasn't too far behind the curve. This week, it launched the GeForce Game Ready 471.41 WHQL driver for its consumer graphics cards. Tucked away in a forum post about the drivers, an NVIDIA representative confirmed support for Windows 11. "With NVIDIA GeForce Game Ready Driver/Studio Driver branch release 470, we are introducing support for Microsoft Windows 11," wrote NVIDIA support team member Manuel. "If you are a Windows Insider user, we invite you to share your feedback and report your display driver issues with us." Given that Windows 11... Read more...
Last week Intel launched its 30.0.100.9684 graphics driver, the first official non-beta release for Microsoft's upcoming Windows 11 operating system. Intel's early efforts beat out both NVIDIA and AMD when offering product-quality drivers for current-generation graphics hardware. However, buried within the release notes for the recent driver release was a reference to a potential release window for Windows 11. The release notes include the usual references to Windows 10 operating systems ranging from the October 2018 Update to the most recent May 2021 Update. However, there's a reference to one other operating system at the bottom of the list, which says "Microsoft Windows 11-64 October 2021... Read more...
Last year, Microsoft announced that it would be bringing DirectStorage to Windows PCs to “revolutionize PC gaming." Then, Microsoft showed how DirectStorage would improve the Windows 11 gaming experience back in June, but what about Windows 10? Since that announcement, the DirectX team has been hard at work, and the DirectStorage Developer Preview is now available with support for Windows 10 version 1909 and up. Over the years, as games became more advanced, so too did the graphics, leading to longer load times and other issues. However, thanks to SSD and PCIe technology developments, gaming PCs can have storage solutions that offer significantly more bandwidth than previously possible... Read more...
After the PrintNightmare vulnerability was found, the Windows Print Spooler and printer drivers were under the microscope. Now, yet another Print Spooler vulnerability has been discovered, allowing for code execution with SYSTEM privileges. First disclosed yesterday, the new print spooler vulnerability was uncovered by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. It stems from Windows allowing non-admin users to install printer drivers through a feature called “Point and Print.” However, Microsoft “requires that printers installable via Point are either signed by a WHQL release signature or are signed by a certificate that is explicitly trusted by the target system.” Want... Read more...
Earlier this year, malicious hackers exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange servers to attack an estimated 30,000 organizations worldwide. Both Microsoft and other organizations were quick to point fingers at Chinese hackers, but the Biden administration, along with U.S allies, are formally blaming China after accusing Bejing of working with the criminal hackers. The announcements, released today, come as both condemnation and warning due to China’s “irresponsible and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace.” Though the country may want to be a responsible world leader, its malicious cyber activity “poses a major threat to U.S. and allies’ economic and national... Read more...
Just as there is a traditional weapons market, a private sector cyberweapons market enables people and organizations to attack anyone worldwide for a fee. However, Microsoft takes this threat of cyberweapons seriously, and is now working to fight the problem head-on. Yesterday, Microsoft's Cristin Goodwin, General Manager for the Digital Security Unit, reported on a cyberweapon being manufactured by a group called Sourgum. This weapon was initially found by the Citizen Lab, at the University of Toronto's Munk School, after being used to attack "more than 100 victims around the world including politicians, human rights activists, journalists, academics, embassy workers and political dissidents."... Read more...
Remember that scene in Office Space where a trio of disgruntled employees take a problematic printer to field and beat it to a pulp? Anyone who has ever dealt with stubborn printer issues has probably felt that way. It doesn't help that we also have to worry about printer vulnerabilities messing up our day, and to that end, Microsoft has warned of yet another one. The latest printer bug is being tracked as CVE-2021-34481. It has to do with the Windows Print Spooler service, and without a patch in place, a nefarious actor could potentially gain unfettered access to an affected system. At that point, they could install malware, swipe sensitive data, and worst of all, rearrange your carefully aligned... Read more...
Microsoft is settling into a regular cadence with its Windows 11 builds, with a new one arriving about once a week. Today, Microsoft released its Insider Preview Build 22000.71 to testers that are currently on the Dev Channel. One of the biggest updates with Build 22000.71 is the introduction of a new entertainment widget. According to Microsoft, the widget will cycle through newly available featured movies from the Microsoft Store. Clicking on one of the posters for a film will take you directly to the Microsoft Store page, where you can rent or purchase the title in question. Updated "Acrylic Material" context menus in the latest Windows 11 build. In addition, Microsoft says that right-click-invoked... Read more...
The console war between Microsoft and Sony is currently in a new generation, with the Xbox Series X/Xbox Series S battling it out against the PlayStation 5/PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. However, the consoles are broadly similar concerning internal hardware, with each sporting an AMD Zen 2-based Ryzen processor coupled with an RDNA 2 GPU. But there's one PlayStation 5 hardware accessory that Xbox chief Phil Spencer seemingly wants for the Xbox family: DualSense. The DualSense controller uses haptic feedback instead of rumble for a more realistic "tactile" sensation while gaming. In addition, the adaptive triggers can have varying resistance based on actions taking place on-screen. Unfortunately,... Read more...
Everything is going to the cloud, it seems, and that now includes Windows with Windows 365. Windows 365 will allow people to stream their Windows experience so you can continue where you left off anywhere on any device starting August 2.  Though virtualization, remote access, and cloud-based devices have been commonplace for several years now, Microsoft’s Windows 365 offering is taking a stab at the new market that has been born out of the pandemic. The goal is to combine “the power and security of the cloud with the versatility and simplicity of the PC,” to enable “a variety of new scenarios for the new world of work.” Windows 365 will work through any browser... Read more...
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