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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Windows 10

MS Office Built-in Feature Allows Malware Execution Without Macros Enabled

MS Office Built-in Feature Allows Malware Execution Without Macros Enabled
October 12, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Since new forms of cybercrime are on the rise, traditional techniques seem to be shifting towards more clandestine that involve the exploitation of standard system tools and protocols, which are not always monitored. Security researchers at Cisco's Talos threat research group have discovered one such attack campaign spreading malware-equipped Microsoft Word documents that perform code execution on the targeted device without requiring Macros enabled or memory corruption. This Macro-less code execution in MSWord technique, described in detail on Monday by a pair of security researchers from Sensepost, Etienne Stalmans and Saif El-Sherei, which leverages a built-in feature of MS Office, called Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), to perform code execution. Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) protocol is one of the several methods that Microsoft allows two running applications to share the same data. The protocol can be used by applications for one-time data transfers and for continuous exc

Windows 10 to Give More Control Over App-level Permissions

Windows 10 to Give More Control Over App-level Permissions
September 14, 2017Unknown
Microsoft has been gradually changing its privacy settings in Windows 10 with the Fall Creators Update to give its users more controls over their data. In April, Microsoft addressed some initial privacy concerns in the Windows 10 Creators Update with simplified data collection levels—Security, Basic, Enhanced, and Full—and eventually revealed its data collection practices . Now, the software giant is making another privacy-related change with the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, which is due for release in October 2017, giving you much more control over what apps can do with your device. Just like apps on your smartphone's app store, apps on Windows Store also require permission to access your computer's critical functionalities like camera, microphone, calendar, contacts, and music, pictures and video libraries. While Android and iOS allow you to limit an app's permissions to access these sensitive things, these permissions have currently been provided

Linux Subsystem on Windows 10 Allows Malware to Become Fully Undetectable

Linux Subsystem on Windows 10 Allows Malware to Become Fully Undetectable
September 13, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Microsoft has been expressing its love for Linux for almost three years now, and this love costs Microsoft an arm and a leg. Last year, Microsoft surprised everyone by announcing the arrival of Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) in Windows 10, which brings the Linux command-line shell to Windows , allowing users to run native Linux applications on Windows system without virtualization. However, security researchers from security firm Check Point Software Technologies have discovered a potential security issue with the WSL feature that could allow malware families designed for Linux target Windows computers—undetected by all current security software. The researchers devised a new attack technique, dubbed Bashware , that takes advantage of Windows' built-in WSL feature, which is now out of beta and is set to arrive in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update in October 2017. Bashware Attack Undetectable by All Anti-Virus & Security Solutions According to CheckPoint rese

Microsoft Is Paying Up To $250,000 With Its New Bug Bounty Program

 Microsoft Is Paying Up To $250,000 With Its New Bug Bounty Program
July 26, 2017Wang Wei
Microsoft has finally launched a new dedicated bug bounty program to encourage security researchers and bug hunters for finding and responsibly reporting vulnerabilities in its latest Windows versions of operating systems and software. Being the favourite target of hackers and cyber criminals, every single zero-day vulnerability in Windows OS—from critical remote code execution, mitigation bypass and elevation of privilege to design flaws—could cause a crisis like recent WannaCry and Petya Ransomware attacks. In past five years the tech giant has launched multiple time-limited bug bounty programs focused on various Windows features, and after seeing quite a bit of success, Microsoft has decided to continue. "Security is always changing, and we prioritise different types of vulnerabilities at different points in time. Microsoft strongly believes in the value of the bug bounties, and we trust that it serves to enhance our security capabilities." With its latest bu

Ubuntu Linux for Windows 10 Released — Yes, You Read it Right

Ubuntu Linux for Windows 10 Released — Yes, You Read it Right
July 14, 2017Mohit Kumar
Windows and Linux in the same line? Yes, you heard that right... and that too, on the same computer and within the same operating system. Two months ago, Microsoft announced its plans to let its users install three different flavours of the Linux operating system – Ubuntu , Fedora , and SUSE – directly through their Windows Store, allowing them to run Windows and Linux apps side-by-side. Now, downloading an entire operating system has just become as easy as downloading an application with the availability of popular Linux distro 'Ubuntu' in the Windows App Store . However, unlike a conventional Ubuntu installation, this Ubuntu version runs in a sandboxed alongside Windows 10 with limited interaction with the operating system and is focused on running regular command-line utilities like bash or SSH as a standalone installation through an Ubuntu Terminal. For now, Ubuntu is currently only available to Windows 10 Insiders users and would be made available to the pub

Windows 10 to Get Built-in Protection Against Most Ransomware Attacks

Windows 10 to Get Built-in Protection Against Most Ransomware Attacks
June 30, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Ransomware Ransomware Everywhere Not a Single Place to Hide! But, Microsoft has a simple solution to this problem to protect millions of its users against most ransomware attacks. Two massive ransomware attacks — WannaCry and Petya (also known as NotPetya ) — in a month have caused chaos and disruption worldwide, forcing hospitals, ATMs, shipping companies, governments, airports and car companies to shut down their operations. Most ransomware in the market, including WannaCry and NotPetya, are specifically designed to target computers running Windows operating system, which is why Microsoft has been blamed for not putting proper defensive measures in place to prevent such threats. But not now! In the wake of recent devastating global ransomware outbreaks, Microsoft has finally realized that its Windows operating system is deadly vulnerable to ransomware and other emerging threats that specifically targets its platform. To tackle this serious issue, the tech giant has

Microsoft Adding Artificial-Intelligence Based Advanced Antivirus to Windows 10

Microsoft Adding Artificial-Intelligence Based Advanced Antivirus to Windows 10
June 28, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Microsoft is making every effort to make its Windows operating system more secure and advanced than ever before by beefing up its security practices and hardening it against hackers and cyber attacks in its next release. With the launch of its Windows 10 Creator Update (also known as RedStone 3), which is expected to release sometime between September and October 2017, Microsoft is planning to release lots of security features in an effort to prevent major global malware crisis. Just a few days ago, we reported about Microsoft's plan to build its EMET or Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit into the kernel of the upcoming Windows 10 to boost the security of your computer against complex threats such as zero-day vulnerabilities. Also, the tech giant has planned to remove the SMBv1 (Server Message Block version 1) — a 30-year-old file sharing protocol which came to light last month after the devastating WannaCry outbreak — from the upcoming Windows 10 (1709) Redstone 3

New GhostHook Attack Bypasses Windows 10 PatchGuard Protections

New GhostHook Attack Bypasses Windows 10 PatchGuard Protections
June 22, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Vulnerabilities discovered in Microsoft PatchGuard kernel protection could allow hackers to plant rootkits on computers running the company's latest and secure operating system, Windows 10. Researchers at CyberArk Labs have developed a new attack technique which could allow hackers to completely bypass PatchGuard, and hook a malicious kernel code (rootkits) at the kernel level. PatchGuard, or (or Kernel Patch Protection) is a software tool that has been designed to forbid the kernel of 64-bit versions of Windows OS from being patched, preventing hackers from running rootkits or executing malicious code at the kernel level. Dubbed GhostHook , the attack is what the CyberArk Labs researchers call the first attack technique that thwarts the defensive technology to bypass PatchGuard, though it requires a hacker to already be present on a compromised system and running code in the kernel. So, basically, this is a post-exploitation attack. "[GhostHook] is neither an

Microsoft to Remove SMBv1 Protocol in Next Windows 10 Version (RedStone 3)

Microsoft to Remove SMBv1 Protocol in Next Windows 10 Version (RedStone 3)
June 20, 2017Mohit Kumar
The Server Message Block version 1 (SMBv1) — a 30-year-old file sharing protocol which came to light last month after the devastating WannaCry outbreak — will be removed from the upcoming Windows 10 (1709) Redstone 3 Update. The SMBv1 is one of the internet's most ancient networking protocols that allows the operating systems and applications to read and write data to a system and a system to request services from a server. The WannaCry ransomware , which wreaked havoc last month, was also leveraging an NSA's Windows SMB exploit, dubbed EternalBlue , leaked by the Shadow Brokers in its April data dump. The WannaCry ransomware menace shut down hospitals , telecommunication providers, and many businesses worldwide, infecting hundreds of thousands of unpatched Windows servers running SMBv1 in more than 150 countries within just 72 hours on 12th of May. Although Microsoft patched the vulnerability in SMBv1 in March in MS17-010 , the company meanwhile strongly advised us

Kaspersky Accuses Microsoft of Unfairly Disabling its Antivirus in Windows 10

Kaspersky Accuses Microsoft of Unfairly Disabling its Antivirus in Windows 10
June 07, 2017Mohit Kumar
Russian antivirus vendor Kaspersky Lab is so upset with US software giant Microsoft that the security firm has filed more antitrust complaints against the company. The antivirus firm initially filed a lawsuit late last year against Microsoft with Russian Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) over alleged abuse of Microsoft's dominant position in the desktop market to push its own antivirus software with Windows 10 and unfair competition in the market. Microsoft ships Windows 10 with its own security software Windows Defender, which comes enabled it by default with the operating system. While Microsoft has made some changes in Windows Defender since the initial complaint, Kaspersky Lab is not satisfied with the changes, filing more antitrust complaints against the software giant, this time with the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office. Kaspersky Accuses Microsoft of Unfair Competitive Practices The antivirus firm told European antitrust regulators that Mi

Microsoft Unveils Special Version of Windows 10 For Chinese Government

Microsoft Unveils Special Version of Windows 10 For Chinese Government
May 24, 2017Wang Wei
China is very strict about censorship, which is why the country has become very paranoid when it comes to adopting foreign technologies. The country banned Microsoft's Windows operating system on government computers in 2014 amid concerns about security and US surveillance. Even in the wake of that, China had been pushing its custom version of Windows XP and its forked version of Ubuntu Linux . To deal with this issue and target the world's largest market, Microsoft's CEO for the Greater China region last year confirmed that the company was working on a Chinese version of Windows 10 that included "more management and security controls" and less bloatware. Now, Microsoft has just announced a new version of its Windows 10, which is now ready for Chinese government agencies to use. In its event in Shanghai on Tuesday, Microsoft announced Windows 10 China Government Edition specifically designed for the Chinese government.The OS is based on Windows 1

Microsoft Issues Emergency Patch For Critical RCE in Windows Malware Scanner

Microsoft Issues Emergency Patch For Critical RCE in Windows Malware Scanner
May 09, 2017Mohit Kumar
Microsoft's own antivirus software made Windows 7, 8.1, RT and 10 computers, as well as Windows Server 2016 more vulnerable. Microsoft has just released an out-of-band security update to patch the crazy bad bug discovered by a pair of Google Project Zero researchers over the weekend. Security researchers Tavis Ormandy announced on Twitter during the weekend that he and another Project Zero researcher Natalie Silvanovich discovered "the worst Windows remote code [execution vulnerability] in recent memory." Natalie Silvanovich also published a  proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code that fits in a single tweet. The reported RCE vulnerability , according to the duo, could work against default installations with "wormable" ability – capability to replicate itself on an infected computer and then spread to other PCs automatically. According to an advisory released by Microsoft, the remotely exploitable security flaw (CVE-2017-0290) exists in Microsoft

Microsoft Finally Reveals What Data Windows 10 Collects From Your PC

Microsoft Finally Reveals What Data Windows 10 Collects From Your PC
April 06, 2017Mohit Kumar
Since the launch of Windows 10, there has been widespread concern about its data collection practices , mostly because Microsoft has been very secretive about the telemetry data it collects. Now, this is going to be changed, as Microsoft wants to be more transparent on its diagnostics data collection practices. Till now there are three options ( Basic, Enhanced, Full ) for Windows 10 users to select from under its diagnostics data collection section, with no option for users to opt out of sending their data to Microsoft. Also, the company has never said precisely what data it collects behind these options, which raised huge privacy concerns among privacy-conscious users. But now for the first time, Microsoft has revealed what data Windows 10 is collecting from your computer with the release of the Windows 10 Creators Update , bringing an end to nearly two years of its mysterious data collection practices . The Windows 10 Creators Update, which will be available from Apri

Microsoft Started Blocking Windows 7/8.1 Updates For PCs Running New Processors

Microsoft Started Blocking Windows 7/8.1 Updates For PCs Running New Processors
March 20, 2017Wang Wei
You might have heard the latest news about Microsoft blocking new security patches and updates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users running the latest processors from Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, and others. Don't panic, this new policy doesn't mean that all Windows 7 and 8.1 users will not be able to receive latest updates in general because Microsoft has promised to support Windows 7 until 2020 , and Windows 8.1 until 2023. But those who have upgraded their machines running older versions of Windows to the latest processors, or manually downgraded their new laptops to run Windows 7/8.1 would be out of luck. A recently published Microsoft Knowledge Base article suggests that if you are running the older version of operating systems on your computers that feature new processors, including Intel's 7th generation Core i3, i5 and i7 ("Kaby Lake"), AMD Ryzen ("Bristol Ridge") and Qualcomm 8996 chips or later, the security updates will not install. Inste

Press Shift + F10 during Windows 10 Upgrade to Launch Root CLI & bypass BitLocker

Press Shift + F10 during Windows 10 Upgrade to Launch Root CLI & bypass BitLocker
November 30, 2016Swati Khandelwal
If your computer's security relies on Windows BitLocker Hard Drive Encryption software, then Beware! Because anyone with physical access to your PC can still access your files within few seconds. All an attacker need to do is hold SHIFT+F10 during Windows 10 update procedure. Security researcher Sami Laiho discovered this simple method of bypassing BitLocker, wherein an attacker can open a command-line interface with System privileges just by holding SHIFT+F10 while a Windows 10 PC is installing a new OS build. The command-line interface (CLI) then grants the attacker full access to the computer's hard drive, even when the victim has enabled BitLocker disk encryption feature. Laiho explains that during the installation of a new build (Windows 10 upgrade), the operating system disables BitLocker while the Windows PE installs a new image of the main Windows 10 OS. "The installation [Windows 10 upgrade] of a new build is done by reimaging the machine and the im

Apple starts downloading MacOS Sierra automatically to your MacBook — Here's How to Stop It

Apple starts downloading MacOS Sierra automatically to your MacBook — Here's How to Stop It
October 05, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Are you experiencing slow Internet speed on your MacBook today? — It's not just you! Here's Why: Following in Microsoft's footsteps , Apple has started " pre-downloading " the latest version of its desktop operating system, macOS 10.12 Sierra, in the background, if you are still running OS X El Capitan. If you have automatic downloads enabled on your Mac, a large file of around 5GB will mysteriously be downloaded to your computer in the background, using your Internet bandwidth for unrequested files. Apple justifies this move by saying that the automatic download would make it easier for users to get the newest operating system, encouraging them to update their Macs. The good news, however, is that the update will not install automatically without your permission. Once downloaded automatically in the background, users who are running OS X El Capitan version 10.11.5 or later will receive a notification that says macOS Sierra is ready to be installed.

Does your WebCam Crash after Windows 10 Anniversary Update? Here's How to Fix It

Does your WebCam Crash after Windows 10 Anniversary Update? Here’s How to Fix It
August 20, 2016Swati Khandelwal
If your webcam has stopped working after installing recently-released Microsoft's big Anniversary Update for Windows 10 , you are not alone. With some significant changes to improve Windows experience, Windows 10 Anniversary Update includes the support for webcams that has rendered a number of different webcams inoperable, causing serious issues for not only consumers but also the enterprise. The problem is that Microsoft added some new ways for applications to access webcams with Microsoft's new Windows Camera Frame Server, preventing webcams from using two particular compression formats—H.264 and MJPEG. Microsoft decided that the Camera Frame Server should only receive an uncompressed YUY2 encoding stream from the webcam, which is affecting far more devices than Microsoft expected, causing Millions of cameras to crash. This is the reason why your camera hangs, freezes, or simply not works when you try to do a video calling with your friend over Skype. Brad Sams of

Microsoft Open Sources PowerShell; Now Available for Linux and Mac OS X

Microsoft Open Sources PowerShell; Now Available for Linux and Mac OS X
August 18, 2016Swati Khandelwal
'Microsoft loves Linux' and this has never been so true than now. Microsoft today made its PowerShell scripting language and command-line shell available to the open source developer community on GitHub under the permissive MIT license. The company has also launched alpha versions of PowerShell for Linux (specifically Red Hat, Ubuntu, and CentOS) and Mac OS X, in addition, of course, to Windows. Now, people can download binaries of the software, as well as access source code of the app from the new PowerShell GitHub page. "Users across Windows and Linux, current and new PowerShell users, even application developers can experience a rich interactive scripting language as well as a heterogeneous automation and configuration management that works well with your existing tools," Microsoft says in its blog post . "Your PowerShell skills are now even more marketable, and your Windows and Linux teams, who may have had to work separately, can now work toge
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