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[Updated] Nerves rattled by highly suspicious Windows Update delivered worldwide

Discussion in 'Windows - General discussion' started by ireland, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Suspicious Windows 7 Update has users worried Microsoft's servers may have been compromised

    If you’re a Windows 7 user, you might want to check carefully which updates you install. Users on Windows forums, Reddit and Twitter are concerned about a new "important" update that looks more than a little suspicious.

    The update appears to be a language pack, but the details that accompany it are far from the usual information you’d expect to see, leaving many to wonder if Microsoft's update servers could have been compromised.

    READ MORE

    http://betanews.com/2015/09/30/susp...n=Feed+-+bn+-+Betanews+Full+Content+Feed+-+BN
     
  2. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Nerves rattled by highly suspicious Windows Update delivered worldwide [Updated]

    Microsoft said a highly suspicious Windows update that was delivered to customers around the world was the result of a test that wasn't correctly implemented.

    "We incorrectly published a test update and are in the process of removing it," a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to Ars. The message included no other information.

    The explanation came more than 12 hours after people around the world began receiving the software bulletin through the official Windows Update, raising widespread speculation that Microsoft's automatic patching mechanism was broken or, worse, had been compromised to attack end users. Fortunately, now that Microsoft has finally weighed in, that worst-case scenario can be ruled out. What follows is the remainder of this post as it appeared before the company issued its explanation.

    This Web search, which queries the random-appearing string included in the payload, suggests that it's being delivered to people in multiple regions. The same unexplained and almost certainly unauthorized patch is being reported in a variety of online posts, including this one hosted by Microsoft. The updates appear to be coming directly from servers that are cryptographically certified to be part of Microsoft's Windows Update system.

    "Clearly there's something that's delivered into the [Windows Update] queue that's trusted," Kenneth White, a Washington DC-based security researcher, told Ars after contacting some of the Windows users who received the suspicious update. "For someone to compromise the Windows Update server, that's a pretty serious vector. I don't raise the alarm very often but this has just enough characteristics of something pretty serious that I think it's worth looking at."

    White is still trying to obtain a copy of the binary file that gets delivered to people receiving the update. He plans to run it in a restricted environment to see exactly how it gets delivered and what it does once it's installed. One person reported that the update won't download. White said for those who can get the download to work, the payload should be located at c:\windows\msdownload\update\software\defu\2015\09\testexe_xxxxxxx.exe (where xxxxxxx is the random-appearing characters found in the update bulletin. A Microsoft spokesman said company officials are investigating the reports.

    One user has reported installing the update and finding that it rendered the computer largely inoperable.

    "My laptop was screwed after the update," the user, ByGodZombie, reported in a comment to this post. "Windows explorer crashes VERY frequently now and most of my programs stopped working even in admin mode. System restore didn't work and I don't have the information I need for a reinstall. Basically whatever it was killed my system and compromised my gear so I wouldn't want to look up anything sensitive to personal data on your machine."

    READ MORE
    http://arstechnica.com/security/201...uspicious-windows-update-delivered-worldwide/

    MORE INFO
    Microsoft accidentally rolled out a Windows 7 test update
    http://www.dvhardware.net/article63255.html
     

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