Microsoft patches Windows Defender bug with the latest update


Just a couple of days back we covered a bug that caused Windows Defender to skip some items during an antivirus scan. While Microsoft didn’t officially acknowledge the issue, the company has issued a new update which fixes the bug.

Today, Microsoft has released KB4052623 update along with Security Intelligence Update for Windows Defender (v4.18.2003.8) which fixes the scanning issue for all the Windows 10 users. KB4052623 is currently available for Windows 10 Home, Pro and Enterprise users. Unfortunately, the update comes with a couple of known issues which might affect some users.

KNOWN ISSUES:

  • New file pathBecause of a change in the file path location in the update, many downloads are blocked when AppLocker is enabled.
    To work around this issue, open Group Policy, and then change the setting to Allow for the following path:

    %OSDrive%\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Platform\*

  • Secure Boot issue in version 4.18.1901.7 Some devices that are running Windows 10 do not start if they have Secure Boot turned on.

    We are working on this issue and plan to provide a fix in a future update. To work around this issue in the meantime, follow these steps:

    1. Restart the device, and enter the BIOS.
    2. Turn off Secure Boot, and then restart the device again.
    3. In an administrative Command Prompt window, run the following command:
      "%programdata%\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Platform\4.18.1901-7\MpCmdRun.exe" -revertplatform
    4. Wait for one minute, and then do the following:
      • Run sc query windefend to verify that the Windows Defender service is running.
      • Run sc qc windefend to verify that the Windows Defender binary no longer points to version 4.18.1901.7.
    5. Restart the device, re-enter the BIOS, and then turn on Secure Boot.

The new update is available through Windows Update and WSUS. Alternatively, users can also download the new update from Microsoft Update Catalog and install it manually.

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Microsoft Surface Go 2 specs leaked — and it could crush the iPad Air

A new Microsoft Surface vs Apple iPad battle is brewing

Microsoft Surface Go 2 has strong new guts

(Image credit: Future)

A new iPad vs Surface war is brewing, this time with the Microsoft Surface Go 2 set to go up against the iPad Air. A new leaked spec list shows that the upcoming machine is ready to crush Apple’s slim tablet with some Windows 10-powered gut upgrades.

  • We’ve already seen previous rumors pointing to the Surface Go 2’s Intel Core m3-8100Y processor running on 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD unit, which would be a big upgrade from the previous model.

Now we have an alleged full spec release courtesy of Twitter user _rogame, who confirms there will be two options. The top model will have:

  • Intel Core m3-8100Y CPU running at 1.10GHz with 2 cores/4 threads with a boost speed of 3.4GHz
  • Intel UHD 615 graphics
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD

There will also reportedly be a base option with the following:

  • Intel Pentium CPU 4425Y running at 1.70GHz with two cores, four thread and no boost
  • Intel UHD 615 graphics
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB SSD

Surface Go 2 specs leaked

The two Surface Go 2 models, compared. (Image credit: _rogame)

Both machines will run full Windows 10 64-bit, so you will have access to all Windows 10 apps including full Adobe Photoshop.

There’s no suggested price yet yet, but the current Surface Go starts at $399. It seems logical that Microsoft keeps that price for the new version. If so, it will crush the iPad Air (and the base iPad) in terms of specs and flexibility.

The iPad Air starts at $499 with only 64GB of storage and $649 for the 256GB SSD model. Both iPad Air models have just 3GB of RAM which, even with the Windows 10 overhead, should make the Surface Go 2 a much faster machine capable of handling more programs and web browser tabs open at once. The Surface Go could also prove to be stronger alternative to the base iPad, which starts at $329 with 32GB of storage and packs Apple’s A10 chip.

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How to Play MPG Files on Windows 10?

There are tons of file formats out there for different types of files. Audios and videos are widely popular, and thus, there are a number of audio/video file formats and codecs available too. At times, some formats you might not be able to play with the video player you have. So, you must know how you can play those files. Either by getting another video player or converting those file to other formats. Whatever it be, you would easily play the file. In this article, let’s talk about play MPG files on Windows 10 PC. so, let’s find out.

How to Play MPG Files on Windows 10?

A file with .mpg or .mpeg extension is an MPEG file format for videos, and this is one of the most popular formats around the world. The compression technology used in this format makes it possible for quick streaming and downloading. Thus, MPG video files are preferred over many popular video formats when it comes to distributing the videos online.

how to play mpg files on windows 10

What is an MPEG File?

As said above, MPEG is a video file format developed by Moving Picture Experts Group, and it uses MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 file compression technology. Which compression is to use completely depends on how the video will be used.

Generally, MPEG-1 compression is used to compress VHS quality videos, and MPEG-2 compression is used to compress high-quality videos.

How to Play MPG Files on Windows 10?

MPG or MPEG files are very popular and widely compatible, general video player tools can play it without any issues. To play it on your Windows 10, you just have to have a video player on your computer. Just double click on the .mpg file, and it will start playing with that player. By default, you must have Windows Media Player on your computer. However, for better controls, you can go for more advanced players such as VLC Media Player.

In some cases, You might need to install MPEG-2 Extension if video doesn’t play with your Windows Media Player.

I would recommend you to have VLC Media Player because it supports a long list of formats other than MPEG. So, you don’t need any other player for playing different audio/video file formats. We have many VLC related tips and tricks posts as well on our blog, and few videos as well which you can check out below:


So, now you know how to play mpg files on Window 10. Right? If you still have any confusion, let me repeat that you just have to double click on the mpg file, and it will play with the default video player. By any chance, if this doesn’t work with the default, you can just get VLC or other advanced players and right-click on the video file, and click Open With… Choose your installed advanced video player, and click OK, it will start playing.

Though opening or you say playing an MPG file is easy on Windows 10 if you want to change the format to some other like MP4 or something else, then you can use any video converter tool, or even VLC to convert the format and play that new file.

That’s all for this topic. I hope you now know what you have to do to play MPG files on your Windows PC. Though your default Windows Media Player can play MPG files, I would highly recommend to having VLC media player with you as it can play a wide range of file formats, and even you can convert files to different formats when needed.

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Microsoft Confirms Takedown Of ‘Most Prolific’ Hacker Network: Millions Of Users Affected

Geographic distribution.

Geographic distribution of infections.

All Machines running outdated Windows Software were the targeted Zombie computers.  UPGRADE YOUR SOFTWARE

Microsoft and partners have announced a major breakthrough in the fight against hackers today (March 10), with the takedown of the prolific Necurs botnet. This automated network infected as many as nine million computers, used as endpoints to distribute dangerous emails and malware. Between 2016 and 2019, the Nucurs network was likely responsible for 90% of the world’s email-distributed malware.

This takedown came as a result of “eight years of tracking and planning,” Microsoft says, and involved its Digital Crimes Unit, BitSight, and other partners across 35 countries. In a separate announcement, BitSight claims the action has impacted “all [eleven] Necurs botnets,” networks that have appeared dormant for around 12 months—longer than ever before, but which have left 2 million systems infected.

Taking spam email as an example of the scale of threat here, Necurs targeted victims “in nearly every country in the world. During a 58-day period in our investigation,” Microsoft says, “we observed that one Necurs-infected computer sent a total of 3.8 million spam emails to over 40.6 million potential victims.” The action taken, it says, “helps ensure the criminals behind this network are no longer able to use key elements of its infrastructure to execute cyberattacks.”

Botnets—or networks of bots—are large numbers of compromised computers that then become connected endpoints through which a criminal activity can take place. In essence, your PC becomes a tool for the criminal network to use, including dropping malware (such as GameOver Zeus, Dridex, Locky and Trickbot), sending spam emails, romance and financial scams, credential theft and cryptomining.

Back in 2017, IBM said of Necurs that “it militarizes up to 6 million zombie endpoints, delivers some of the worst banking trojans and ransomware threats in batches of millions of emails at a time, and keeps reinventing itself… Necurs is indirectly responsible for a major chunk of cybercrime and the losses it produces.”


The operators behind the Necurs botnet are believed to be Russian and have been using the platform for their own campaigns as well as renting out its capabilities to other criminals. Microsoft hit Necurs by killing millions of domains the malware would automatically generate and register to continually move its command and control servers away from prying eyes, remaining operational for years.

Microsoft says that it accurately predicted “over six million unique domains that would be created in the next 25 months.” These were then reported to the relevant registries and blocked, thus the disruption. The tech giant also secured a court order “to take control of U.S.-based infrastructure Necurs uses to distribute malware and infect victim computers.” Put simply, Microsoft intercepted and blocked the operational infrastructure at the heart of the botnet, starving it of oxygen.

Now the job of work is cleaning up the mess that Necurs and its hacker operators have left behind. Microsoft is working with ISPs and enforcement agencies around the world “to rid their customers’ computers of malware associated with the botnet.

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Life with the MacBook Touch Bar is awful and I hate it

Callum Booth

STORY BY
Callum Booth

I wanted to love the MacBook Touch Bar, I truly did. I thought the raft of people complaining about it just weren’t ready to see the big picture. Even if there were some teething problems, Apple would fix them, right?

No. I was wrong. The MacBook Touch Bar fucking sucks. Sorry, people I doubted.

First off, a little bit of context and history. The MacBook Touch Bar (first unveiled in October 2016) is basically a touch display in place of the old function keys. This means that rather than having a stationary button for, say, changing the volume, there’s a customizable strip that alters depending on the app you’re using.

You probably know exactly what I’m talking about, but here’s a useful breakdown in case you don’t:

If you’ve got this far, I assume you have one question: Why? Why now? Well, I recently got a new MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar — meaning I’ve been using it every day. In those simpler, pre-Touch Bar days, my experience with the technology was just messing about on other people‘s machines.

“It’s cool,” I’d say tapping at the Touch Bar with a filthy finger, “it’s basically a tiny touch screen… on a MacBook — what a world!”

“Yeah, but it’s annoying and doesn’t work well. Also please stop touching that,” I’d hear from someone who actually used the MacBook Touch Bar, before ignoring them and continuing my life in blissful ignorance.

So why does the MacBook Touch Bar suck so much?

There are two main reasons: Usability and reliability.

Since the MacBook Touch bar has been in my pathetic, needy life, it’s forced me to consider what I used the old function keys most often for. Predominately, changing screen brightness and volume. It was a feature I rarely thought about, as I could alter either with a single click. But, obviously, my life was too good back then.

With the Touch Bar, there are only four anchored options. This means you can select four functions (such as lock screen, play, or pause) that remain on the strip. The rest of them change depending on the app that’s currently in use.

What does this mean in reality? Well — dependent on your set-up — it now can take two or three clicks on the MacBook Touch Bar to change my fucking laptop‘s volume.

This can be changed, but requires a dive into some settings. What this doesn’t change though is how often I brush against that touch strip and press something I didn’t mean to.

If, somewhere deep in the basement of Apple‘s headquarters, a crack team of headphone jack-removing, lightning cable-creating monsters tried to come up with a lowkey way of making my life shittier, this is the exact sort of thing they’d do.

So, uh, congrats?

And what about its reliability?

Have you ever thanked a button? Take a moment, right now, to lean towards your nearest physical switch, caress it with your fingertip, and whisper “cheers for your help, bud.” Feels good, doesn’t it?

I don’t wanna sound like a boomer — which, of course, means that’s exactly what I’m going to sound like — but you know where you are with a button. It’s a constant, like the sunrise and turtlenecks. You click a button and, more often than not, the thing you want to happen, happens.

Now, don’t be alarmed, but touch screens aren’t buttons. And while some of them are reliable (I rarely have issues with my iPhone, for example), the MacBook Touch Bar is most definitely not.

Since getting the laptop a couple of weeks ago, the Touch Bar has become unresponsive on a number of occasions — meaning I’ve had to reset it. A reset that happens after I’ve tried tapping the stupid thing a thousand times, leaving it alone in the hope it’ll fix itself; repeating these two steps until I lose patience and open up Activity Monitor.

It’s not a huge issue, but it is annoying. I’m on my laptop all day, the last thing I want it to do is annoy me. I’d like it to sit quietly and politely do what I ask. Not crash hinder me from making my screen brighter.

macbook touch barThis is what hell looks like.

So Apple should just remove the Touch Bar?

Here’s the thing: The technology has potential. But people have been saying that for the past three years. At this point, we should be in the peak of its use, the kinks and issues should be ironed out, and we should be surfing the internet using the MacBook Touch Bar as some sort of water-based board — I’ll get back to you on the name.

Instead, it seems that playing Doom on it is about the limit. That’s cool and everything (who doesn’t like Doom?), but I’d prefer it if my laptop was still easy to use. Currently, all the company has done is make virtual buttons that are worse than normal buttons.

To me, it all comes back to Apple’s focus.

I’ve written before of my wish that the company would whole-ass its MacBooks, but that’s unlikely to happen, especially when its revenue is concentrated elsewhere. At the very least, I feel the MacBook Touch Bar could be made more reliable, or some dev time put in to make it as useable as, you know, normal buttons are — but don’t fucking bet on that happening.

The situation is almost a dystopian joke: A company replacing perfectly functioning normal buttons with virtual ones because… it’s the future?

Truly, I wanted to love the MacBook Touch Bar, I really did. Instead, I’m going to spend the next five years complaining about it. Occasionally, I’ll write an article like this, something begging for Apple’s attention. You know, like a digital Oliver Twist, but much more depressing — because he didn’t pay for a $2,000 laptop with virtual buttons.

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Number of Mac Threats up 400 Percent, Surpass Windows PCs in 2019

Malwarebytes recently released its 2020 State of Malware Report and it states that the number of threats on Mac endpoints surpassed Windows for the first time ever this past year.

On average, Mac threats showed a huge 400% increase, according to the security firm. In fact, Malwarebytes claims that the number of Mac threat detections rose from 4.8 in 2018 to 11 per endpoint in 2019. To put that in perspective, the firm points out that the number of threats per endpoint on Windows was 5.8 in 2019.

The top Mac threats include adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). In case you are wondering, PUP largely refers to software that shows irrelevant ads, popups, and toolbars. Cleaning apps that promise to make your PC faster but end up consuming resources, which in turn impacts the overall performance are also considered to be PUPs.

“Macs differ drastically from Windows in terms of the types of threats seen. Where we found several different categories and families in our top detections of Windows threats that classify as traditional malware, especially those aimed at businesses, most Mac threats, and certainly the most prevalent ones of 2019, are families of adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs),” states the report.

NewTab Adware and PUP PCVARK top the list for Mac. The NewTab adware redirects search queries performed in the browser so that the malicious actors would earn affiliate revenue. It exists in the form of apps and Safari extensions. Take a look at the list of top detections on Mac below:

Top Mac detections malwarebytes

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There Were Twice as Many Malware Threats for Macs as Windows in 2019

Although Macs have long been viewed as a safe haven from the kind of malware and viruses that pervade the Windows PC landscape, that’s gradually been changing in recent years, and it’s something that Mac users should really be sitting up and taking notice of.

It’s true that Macs have historically been less prone to malware and other threats, but at least some of that immunity was simply a result of them being a much smaller target — there were vastly more Windows PCs out there, which made them more attractive to bad actors. Further, the architecture of macOS also made it more secure from malware than early versions of Windows, so hackers went for the low-hanging fruit.

In recent years, however, both of these things have changed, as the market share of Mac users has increased and Microsoft has improved the security of its Windows platform. In fact, the scales have now tipped in the opposite direction, according to a new report from Malwarebytes, shared by Gizmodo, which reveals that last year Mac-specific threats actually outpaced PCs by an alarming 2:1 ratio.

In other words, last year we saw twice as many threats aimed at macOS than we did at Windows, although the report doesn’t speak to how many of those threats were successful in compromising users’ computers, there’s little doubt that hackers and cybercriminals have begun attacking Mac users in record numbers.

The report specifically notes that the volume of Mac threats increased by more than 400 percent compared to 2018, an increase that can’t be accounted for simply by a larger Mac user base. Breaking it down to “threats per endpoint” the analysis determined that there were an average of 11 unique threats for every Mac computer, compared to only 5.8 per Windows PC. In 2018, that number was only 4.8 for Mac users.

Malwarebytes cites increased market share as the main reason for the increase, since a larger number of Mac computers makes for a more attractive target for miscreants.

Different Malware

It’s also important to note that “malware” is a fairly broad category, and while Mac users may now face more threats than their PC brethren, the threats are actually substantially different, especially since there area areas in which the Mac is still relatively vulnerable.

Mac users aren’t facing the traditional malware that Windows users have become accustomed to, but are instead seeing more adware and “potentially unwanted programs” (PUPs) — both areas that Apple’s built-in security doesn’t really address yet.

Examples of PUPs cited include “cleaning” apps like MacKeeper and MacBooster that are installed by many users in an effort to improve their system performance, but actually hide tracking and advertising components that users are often unaware of. Another app which topped the list NewTab, was cited as an adware app that masquerades as a flight or package tracker but actually replaces the advertisements you see on the websites you visit with other ads the generate revenue for NewTab’s creator in order to earn “illicit affiliate revenue.”

Although these types of apps are considered less dangerous than traditional malware, they can slow down your computer and are almost certainly collecting data on you and using your web browsing habits for their own nefarious purposes, and the numbers from Malwarebytes‘ report shows that they’re getting more aggressive.

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