What do you mean “mistakenly”?

Popular Antivirus Program Mistakenly IDs Windows as Threat, Creating Chaos
An antivirus service used by tens of thousands of businesses and millions of home users shut down an untold number of computers around the world Monday after it mistakenly identified core parts of Microsoft Windows as threats, the company confirmed.

Webroot Inc. of Broomfield, Colorado, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But it confirmed on its support forum for customers that it issued an updated detection rule that “identified false positives” for critical Windows operating files Monday afternoon, resulting in those files’ being “quarantined” and inaccessible to Windows.

On the one hand, perhaps a departing employee left a littyle gift for Webroot.

On the other hand… Frankly, MicroSnoop’s “telemetry” and other file snooping very likely triggered a heuristic scan alarm.

Windows is malware, IMNSHO.

Win7/8: You will be assimilated, mother-effer

I should have followed this link before the last post.

Windows 7, 8.1 moving to Windows 10’s cumulative update model
October 2016’s Patch Tuesday will see the release of the first Monthly Rollup for Windows 7 and 8.1. This will be a single package delivering all of the security and reliability improvements released that month. Patch Tuesday will be delivered through Windows Update (WU), Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). Subsequent months will have new Monthly Rollups, and these will be cumulative, incorporatin

Basically, this would end the endless cycle of update-install-wait-wait-reboot-rinse-repeat of multiple updates. Sounds really convenient, eh?

Not so much.

What Microsoft won’t be doing after October, however, is shipping the individual hotfixes any more. Fixes will only be available through the Monthly Rollup or security-only update. This means that the ability to pick and choose individual fixes to apply will be removed; they’ll be distributed and deployed as a singular all-or-nothing proposition. (emphasis added)

There’s a known buggy update you don’t want to break your specific legacy app? Tough shit.

You don’t want the Win10 “upgrade” installer? So sorry.

Another “security” update broke font rendering? Again. Typical users are going to have fun disabling those.

Linux, Linux, Linux, Linux. Free. Easy to install and use. With Wine, you may be able to keep using legacy Win programs. My issue there is a lack of CMYK graphics support, and that the larger graphic files (@200MB for a single file) bog down in Wine/Mint. Sanely sized files that don’t need CMYK get done in Mint. Some of my favorite Windows apps have virtually identical native Linux versions, so that’s an easy switch. Usually, installing a new program in Mint is easier than it was in Windows.

Win10 S&M Pro Edition

Seriously, either nail down Win7 (for those who need legacy stuff that won’t play well in Wine), or install Linux already.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update breaks most webcams
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update, aka version 1607, has been found to leave many webcams inoperable. The update prevents the use of webcams in applications such as Skype and Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), along with all manner of custom CCTV programs. Extremely popular hardware, such as Logitech’s C920 and C930e cameras, in conjunction even with Microsoft’s own Skype, will fail to properly broadcast video.

Yeah, MicroShaft-you is big, but why hasn’t someone sued them into oblivion with a class action suit? Or for the Win10 HIPAA violations?

Microsoft just needs to sell the source code

…to Orient Industry.

Microsoft deletes ‘teen girl’ AI after it became a Hitler-loving sex robot within 24 hours
A day after Microsoft introduced an innocent Artificial Intelligence chat robot to Twitter it has had to delete it after it transformed into an evil Hitler-loving, incestual sex-promoting, ‘Bush did 9/11’-proclaiming robot.

Hey, Bill; there’s a reason children need responsible parents to guide them towards adulthood.

Seriously, Microsoft? “Tay also asks her followers to ‘f***’ her, and calls them ‘daddy’.?

If people needed another reason to dump MS Windows, they could consider the possibility of a “Tay” personal assistant being built into Win10.

And if you believe that

I’ve got a slightly used bridge for sale on eBay.

Recently Bought a Windows Computer? Microsoft Probably Has Your Encryption Key
ONE OF THE EXCELLENT FEATURES of new Windows devices is that disk encryption is built-in and turned on by default, protecting your data in case your device is lost or stolen. But what is less well-known is that, if you are like most users and login to Windows 10 using your Microsoft account, your computer automatically uploaded a copy of your recovery key — which can be used to unlock your encrypted disk — to Microsoft’s servers, probably without your knowledge and without an option to opt out.
Users can choose to delete recovery keys from their Microsoft accounts…

Everyone who believes that will completely delete the key from MacroSnoop’s servers, raise your hand.

Seriously, folks. I’ve heard of some alleged freedom lovers who claim to love Win10. Why?

Windows 10: BDSM Edition

Cory Doctorow has several more reasons not to allow that spying POS anywhere near your machines.

Windows 10 covertly sends your disk-encryption keys to Microsoft
There’s no way to turn off the “recovery” feature that sends your disk encryption keys to Microsoft by default, without notice…
Windows 10 has many unprecedented anti-user features: a remote killswitch that lets it disable your hardware; keylogging and browser-history logging that, by default, sends it all to Microsoft, and a deceptive “privacy mode” that continues to exfiltrate your data, even when you turn it on.

I’m sure the FBI and NSA appreciate MacroSnoop’s cooperation, but as I’ve noted before, this shit could get you sent to prison; along with lawsuits, employment termination and so forth. It’s almost as if MS set out to intentionally design a permanent HIPAA violation.

And never forget: MS is still trying to retrofit Win7/8 with at least some of that spyware.

Tell you what: Send me a blank DVD or thumb drive and a SASE, and I’ll pre-install Linux Mint as a bootable live version. Stick it in your computer, restart, and with a couple of clicks it will pretty much automatically install Mint for you. You’ll no longer have to worry about MacroSnoop.

But really: Mint is pretty darned easy to install, even without my assistance, and that’s faster than waiting on snailmail. Go for it.

Windows 10: Reason # eleventy-gazzillion to avoid it

Windows 10 won’t run games with SecuROM DRM, says Microsoft
While Windows 10 is largely good news for gamers, it turns out that those with a collection of older games laden with DRM copy protection software are going to have a hard time getting them up and running on the new OS. In an interview with Rocket Beans TV (as translated by Rock, Paper, Shotgun) at this year’s Gamescom, Microsoft’s Boris Schneider-Johne explained that that Windows 10 won’t be able to run games that use SafeDisc and SecuROM technology.

No, not that DRM-bricking. That’s eleventy-gazzillion-one. Frankly, DRM tends towards evil, so it’s hard to get worked up over that (of course, I don’t have any of the verboten DRM games; YMMV on that).

Eleventy-gazzillion is this:

“Everything that ran in Windows 7 should also run in Windows 10,” said Johne, “There are just two silly exceptions: antivirus software, and stuff that’s deeply embedded into the system…

Yeah, they’re killing third party antivirus protection. Presumably that leaves you with MS’ own AV, which in previous versions of Windows has been less effective, with fewer and less comprehensive updates, than third party stuff like Avast! AV. If you can’t beat the competition, brick ’em. Kinda like when MS killed ZoneAlarm, then the most popular third party firewall in the world.

That “stuff that’s deeply embedded” would worry me, too. Is that stuff like third party disk defrag? Unapproved DLLs? UI interface tweaking tools that make Win semi-tolerable for some people?

Friends don’t let friends use Win10. But if they do, medicate them. Drugs are safer.

So… Who would go to prison?

I would hope all Windows users are aware of the deliberate snooping built directly into Windows 10, and know not to “upgrade” to it. If not, the short form is that MicroNSA believes so strongly in the future of “cloud computing” that it’s going to make Win10 users do it whether they like it or not.

That’s bad.

Worse: It now appears that wasn’t good enough for the NSA’s corporate buttbuddy. They’re pushing a set of updates to Win7 and Win8 that implement some of the same file, email, browsing, and search data snooping to be found in 10.

If you must run Windows, do not upgrade to Windows 10. If you are running 7 or 8, turn off Automatic Updates immediately. Check your system (Control Panel=>Windows Updates=>View Update History) for the following updates:

  • KB3068708
  • KB3022345
  • KB3075249
  • KB3080149

Disable them.

If you aren’t on automatic, check the list of “Updates to install.” If you see them there, right-click on them and “Hide Update.”

Install Linux Mint and avoid this in the future. [grin]

Now about that “prison” reference. Imagine you work for a nursing company or in a doctor’s office. Imagine company IT hasn’t blocked these updates. Now imagine your machine reading emails about/to/from patients and forwarding the contents to Microsoft. The private HIPAA-protected contents.

Now imagine how huge a HIPAA violation that could potentially be. HIPAA violations can carry civil and criminal penalties, including fines as high as $1.5 megabucks.

That’s just in the medical field. Attorney/client privilege information can be breached, too. Or just corporate proprietary data. Can you say, “Liability”? Sure, you can.

Heh. Now imagine you’re a dishonest Secretary of State running classified email through a Windows machine… which helpfully forwards the TS/SCI data to Microsoft in violation of the Espionage Act. China wishes it could rootkit machines as extensively as MS. Hell, the FBI and NSA would probably be willing to pay MS beaucoup bucks for this surveillance functionality. Maybe they did. [/tinfoil hat off]