Mark Wyciślik-Wilson

Windows 10 has a dangerous print spooler bug, and there is no fix

Colorful Microsoft logo

An unpatched vulnerability in the Windows Print Spooler exists that could be exploited by an attacker to run malicious software with elevated system privileges.

The issue affects Windows 7, Windows 8.x, Windows 10 as well as versions of Windows Server. It is being tracked as CVE-2020-1048 and CVE-2020-1337 and has a severity rating of "Important". Despite having been acknowledged by Microsoft back in May, a working patch is yet to be rolled out.

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Microsoft is making it possible to run Android apps in Windows 10

Windows 10 Your Phone app running Android apps

Microsoft has made great progress with its Your Phone, gradually adding more and more capabilities so you can text, answer calls and browse photos stored on your phone from the comfort of your computer. But now things are about to get really interesting.

The company is increasing what it dubs the "seamless connection between PC and phone", adding the ability to run Android apps in Windows 10 via the Your Phone app. There is, of course, a bit of a catch.

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Microsoft is looking into Windows 10 slow boot and performance problems after KB4559309 Edge update

Microsoft sign on glass building

What's that you say? There's a Windows 10 update that's causing problems? Get outta here! Just over a month ago, we wrote about KB4559309 -- the automatic update that gives everyone the Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge -- and complaints that it was causing systems to slow down.

Well it seems that it wasn't just a few isolated cases. Microsoft has now been hit with enough people complaining about performance issues and slow booting, that the company has been forced to launch an investigation. It is also asking for more feedback from anyone experiencing the slow-down problem or a general reduction in system performance.

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Using the HOSTS file to block Windows 10 telemetry? Microsoft now flags it as a severe security risk

Microsoft building in California

The telemetry features that are built into Windows 10 have people falling into one of a few camps. There are those who don't even know what telemetry is, those who know but don’t care that Microsoft is gathering data from their computer, and those who know what it is and consider it to be a massive invasion of privacy.

For anyone who counts themselves in this last group, there are numerous settings, tools and techniques that can be used to block telemetry in Windows 10. One of the more ingenious is making use of the HOSTS file (used to resolve hostnames), but now Microsoft has updated its Defender tool so this is detected as a "severe" risk, specifically "SettingsModifier:Win32/HostsFileHijack".

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Microsoft releases KB4568831 update to fix printing issues, connectivity problems and more in Windows 10

Colorful Microsoft logo

Microsoft is continuing its ongoing game of cat and mouse with itself, releasing updates to fix problems introduced by previous updates. The latest to be released is KB4568831 and it addresses a range of issues.

Among the fixes this particular update brings are issues with LTE connectivity in Windows 10 version 2004, problems with Bluetooth headsets, and issues with printing.

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Microsoft releases PowerToys v0.20.0 with new Color Picker utility and more

PowerToys reboot

As recently promised, Microsoft has released PowerToys v0.20.0. This release sees the arrival of a new utility in the form of Color Picker for grabbing hex and RGB color values from anywhere on screen. There are other changes and fixes too.

There are now eight utilities available in PowerToys, and with this release Microsoft has made numerous improvements to those that were already in the collection. This includes adding SVG icon rendering to File Explorer, as well as improvements to Keyboard Manager.

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Microsoft fixes issue with Edge crashing when you type in the address bar

Microsoft Edge on laptop and smartphone

If you're using Microsoft Edge, you may have noticed that the browser crashes when you type in the address bar. You are not alone -- many people are experiencing this exact problem.

Microsoft has spent some time looking into the cause of the issue which seems to have been affecting people who were now only using Edge, but who have Google set as their default search engine.

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Windows 10 May 2020 Update has an 11 percent market share despite its many problems

Windows 10 laptop

It is only two months since Microsoft released Windows 10 May 2020 Update, and it has already earned itself an 11 percent share of the market, according to figures released by AdDuplex.

The uptake of Windows 10 version 2004 is by no means the fastest of any edition of Windows 10, but considering the number of problems that have emerged in this particular update, it's pretty good going.

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Huge BootHole flaw in GRUB2 bootloader leaves millions of Windows and Linux systems at risk from hackers

Grub

A serious vulnerability dubbed BootHole has been discovered in the GRUB2 bootloader. Millions of systems run the risk of being exposed to hackers -- primarily those running Linux, but Windows is also affected. Discovered by security researchers at Eclypsium, the BootHole vulnerability has been assigned CVE-2020-10713 ("GRUB2: crafted grub.cfg file can lead to arbitrary code execution during boot process") and a CVSS rating of 8.2.

The flaw can be exploited to gain arbitrary code execution during the boot process, even when Secure Boot is enabled and virtually all Linux distributions are affected. But more than this, the vulnerability also leaves Windows systems that make use of Secure Boot with the standard Microsoft Third Party UEFI Certificate Authority open to attack.

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Microsoft Defender warns that CCleaner is a 'potentially unwanted application'... here's why

CCleaner PUA

If you have tried to install the Windows cleanup utility CCleaner recently, you may have noticed that Microsoft Defender springs into action warning you that it is a potentially unwanted application (PUA).

This is not the first time Piriform CCleaner has got on the wrong side of Microsoft -- it was previously blocked from being mentioned in the Microsoft Community forums. The Avast-owned software has been popular with people seeking to tidy up and optimize Windows 10 for a number of years, so what's going on and why does Microsoft flag it up as a PUA?

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Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 May 2020 Update to more users

Microsoft building in California

There has been a spate of problematic updates from Microsoft in recent months, and the most recent feature update -- Windows 10 May 2020 Update -- has been no different. Because of issues with various systems, many people found that this major update was no available to them.

Now, thanks to the power of machine learning, Microsoft has started to push the update to more users.

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Microsoft previews new tool to control Windows 10 telemetry

Colorful Microsoft logo

For many people, the telemetry data collected by Windows 10 is an unacceptable invasion of privacy, and numerous tools have sprung up to give users control of just what information is collected and sent back to Microsoft. Now the Windows maker has a preview of a new tool for controlling Windows 10 telemetry data -- or diagnostic data as the company prefers to call it.

While Microsoft is eager for everyone to leave telemetry settings alone, its new tool gives some users a greater degree of control over things.

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PowerToys v0.20 is ready to impress with fixes and a new toy

PowerToys reboot

Since the beloved PowerToys was resurrected for Windows 10, Microsoft has been busy pushing out new versions with fixes and new tools -- although it has been a little while since new utilities were added.

With PowerToys v0.20, however, this change. Not only are there the bug fixes and improvements you'd expect in a new version, there is also a new tool to play with: ColorPicker.

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Hackers to the rescue! UFO VPN user log database leaks online for a second time

Stealing password from code

Just a week ago, we covered the news that user log files from the VPN service UFO VPN had been exposed. A database of user data appeared online despite the company's claims of having a "strict no-logs policy".

But while security experts took steps to lock down the data and restrict access to it by the middle of this month, earlier this week it transpired that a second, newer UFO VPN database had appeared online, containing even more data. This time, however, hackers came to the rescue with a coordinated "Meow" attack.

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Microsoft teases a new look for Office and Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 redesign

Microsoft has given us a sneaky glimpse into the future, showing off some of the design changes that are coming to its Office apps. The company has revealed the updated UX that Microsoft 365 users can expect to see.

In addition to introducing a more muted color palette and fully embracing the Fluent Design language, Microsoft is also making some key changes to the ribbon. Part of this involves incorporating AI into the software so that a more flexible ribbon can contextually adapt to what you are doing.

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