Articles about Windows

Tips for securing Windows with PowerShell... courtesy of the NSA

NSA logo on a brick wall

The NSA might not be the first organization that you think of turning to for advice about how to secure your computer, but the agency has offered up various tips about how to use PowerShell to do just this.

In conjunction with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the New Zealand National Cyber Security Centre (NZ NCSC) and the United Kingdom National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC-UK), the NSA has published a Cybersecurity Information Sheet. The document is entitled Keeping PowerShell: Security Measures to Use and Embrace, and it advises properly configuring and monitoring PowerShell, rather than removing or disabling it as is often recommended.

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Microsoft Defender for individuals now available for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android

Microsoft has been working on a new security tool for a while now to help protect you and your family’s data and devices against online threats, such as malware and phishing attacks.

Three months ago it made a preview build of Microsoft Defender available for Windows Insiders to try out, and today it announces the tool's official availability for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers.

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Another Windows protocol vulnerability emerges; this time it is a Windows Search zero-day

Laptop security

Following on from the Follina security flaw, another Windows zero-day vulnerability has come to light. Dubbed SearchNightmare, the issue allows the search-ms URI protocol handler to be used to launch remotely hosted malware-ridden executables via a search window.

The protocol is normally used to perform local searches, but it can also be used to do the same with shared files on a remote host. An attacker could easily trick a victim into clicking a search-ms URI, and a method has been found to bypass the security warning that should be displayed by default.

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0patch releases free fix for Follina vulnerability in Windows as Microsoft apparently can't be bothered

Follina patch from 0patch

This week, we have written about the Follina zero-day vulnerability that allows for remote code execution on a victim's computer. Despite having been known about for a number of weeks, Microsoft is still yet to issue a patch for the actively exploited critical security flaw, instead simply offering details of a workaround.

As has been the case in the past, a third party has come to the rescue. Micro-patching firm 0patch has released a free fix for the vulnerability -- for Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 -- which is tracked as CVE-2022-30190 and relates to the Microsoft Windows Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT) component of Windows.

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MINISFORUM Venus Series UM560 is a tiny Windows 11 PC powered by AMD Ryzen

MINISFORUM is a computer-maker that has been releasing many models of mini PCs lately. Its machines are often looked upon favorably by consumers that prefer diminutive desktops. Not only are its computers small and well-made, but often quite powerful too. These tiny machines can be good servers, retro-gaming machines, office workstations, home theater PCs, and more.

Many MINISFORUM computers are powered by capable Intel processors, but the company has been embracing AMD chips a lot lately as well. In fact, the company now has several AMD-powered options. Today, MINISFORUM announces an upcoming AMD desktop that is very cute. Called "Venus Series UM560," it is powered by a Ryzen 5 5625U CPU. The little computer can be purchased as either a barebones or with both RAM and storage pre-installed.

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How much does security software really slow down your PC?

One of the frequent complaints people make about security software is that it slows the performance of your system.

But how much difference does it really make? Independent testing organization AV-Comparatives has been carrying out some research to find out.

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Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish can replace Microsoft Windows 11 on your PC

The developers over at Canonical have been busy baking a yummy new version of Ubuntu recently, and following a brief beta period, it is finally time to take the open-source operating system out of the oven. Yes, folks, the stable Ubuntu 22.04 is finally here!

Code-named "Jammy Jellyfish," Ubuntu 22.04 is an "LTS" version, which stands for "Long Term Support." Yeah, that means exactly what it sounds like. The Linux distribution will be supported for a long time -- five years to be exact. Very nice.

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Microsoft releases KB5012643 update for Windows 11 with loads of fixes and improvements

Close-up of Windows 11 laptop

Patch Tuesday may have come and gone, but this does not mean that Microsoft has finished pushing out updates for Windows. The latest to be released is the KB5012643 update for Windows 11 and it is jam-packed with fixes for various issues.

Among the numerous improvements are a fix for an issue that caused extremely slow startup times, as well as addressing a memory leak. The update also improves the Secure Boot and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) components.

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Sonnet launches Allegro Pro USB-C 8-Port PCIe card for Mac, Windows, and Linux

Believe it or not, some modern desktop computers don't have any USB-C ports, and for those that do, many only have one or two of the ports. Thankfully, if you have a free PCIe slot in your machine, you can easily add more.

A new card from Sonnet takes adding USB-C ports to another level. Called "Allegra Pro," it offers an impressive eight external Type-C ports all running at USB 3.2 Gen 2 speed (10Gbps).

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Dynabook Portégé X40L-K is a svelte and powerful 14-inch Windows 11 laptop

Windows laptops aren't particularly fascinating these days -- it can be hard to get excited about them. With that said, Dynabook has a new notebook that should truly get your motor running. Called "Portégé X40L-K," this 14-inch laptop has a dark-blue magnesium chassis, and it is merely 15.9mm thin while weighing just 2.3 pounds.

The Dynabook Portégé X40L-K comes with Windows 11, but Windows 10 remains an option too. It is powered by either a 12th Gen Intel Core or Core vPro processor, and can be configured with up to 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to a 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD for storage. The 14-inch 1920x1200 display should pair quad nicely with the Dolby Atmos-compatible quad-speaker system for enjoying media.

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Project Zero finds that Linux developers fix security flaws faster than Apple, Google or Microsoft

Linux matrix

Whether Linux distributions are more secure than Windows or macOS is the source of on-going debate, but Google's Project Zero has some interesting findings relating to the patching of security holes.

The security research program at Google has published information relating to security flaws found in software over the course of two years. Between January 2019 and December 2021 the Project Zero team found that Linux developers addresses problems far faster than Apple, Microsoft or Google itself.

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LibreOffice 7.3 delivers new features and performance improvements to improve Microsoft Office compatibility

The Document Foundation has released LibreOffice 7.3, the third major point release for its open-source, cross-platform office suite. Accompanied by the tag line, "More performance, more compatibility", the release boasts several noteworthy new features.

The key focus of this new release is better interoperability with Microsoft Office documents.

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Thunderbolt 4 is no longer the future -- it is the present. What does this mean? Well, more and more manufacturers have been releasing TB4 docking stations lately! Make no mistake, Thunderbolt 4-enabled computers should work fine with existing Thunderbolt 3 hardware, including docks. With that said, if you get yourself a TB4 computer, and you don't already have a TB3 dock, you should absolutely try and buy a TB4 dock.

Today, releases an all-news Thunderbolt 4 docking station for Windows and Mac. Called "TB4CDOCK," it is loaded with useful ports that can turn your laptop into a makeshift desktop. As you can imagine, it offers an Ethernet jack and several USB-A ports -- one USB Type-A 2.0 on the front and three USB 3.2 gen 2 ports on the back. It even offers 96W power delivery to keep your laptop charged up when connected.

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Kick Microsoft Windows 11 to the curb and switch to Linux Lite 5.8 right now!

Windows 11 is a rather good operating system. In fact, I can confidently say it is the best desktop operating system Microsoft has ever created. Seriously, folks, it is a pleasure to use. If your computer is compatible with it, and you like Windows 10, you should enjoy Windows 11 even more.

With all of that said, Windows 11 can be a bit polarizing. It features radical changes to the user interface (such as a centered task bar) which I adore, but some users may dislike. Not to mention, the system requirements will leave many still-capable computers unable to upgrade without using unofficial hacks. Even worse, computers deemed incompatible could eventually stop getting updates! These unfortunate computer owners will have to decide whether to continue using Windows 10 or buy a new Windows 11-compatible PC.

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Run Windows apps on Linux with Wine 7.0

It used to be, people would scoff at the idea of switching to a Linux-based operating system due to a lack of software. While that is still true for some folks -- especially business users -- it is less of a concern these days. Why? Well, so many things are done through the web browser nowadays, lessening dependence on Windows software. For many consumers, just having the Google Chrome browser on, say, Ubuntu, is more than enough to accomplish their wants and needs. Not to mention, there are many quality Linux apps like GIMP and DaVinci Resolve.

But OK, lets say you really want to use a Linux-based operating system, but there's some Windows-only software that you absolutely cannot live without. Thankfully, you may still be able to ditch Windows and upgrade to something like Fedora or Linux Mint. How? Thanks to the excellent Wine! This compatibility layer (don't you dare call it an emulator), can sometimes enable you to run Windows software on Linux. Today, version 7.0 is released.

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