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Microsoft yanks Windows 10 Update after it reportedly deleted users’ files

Oct 07, 20183 mins
SecuritySmall and Medium BusinessWindows

Microsoft pulled Windows 10, Version 1809 for deleting users’ files. Meanwhile, US companies hotly deny Chinese spy chips were added to their servers, and the Justice Department indicted 7 Fancy Bear hackers.

7 boss asks for the impossible steam coming out of womans ears angry blow a gasket
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Who needs ransomware to say bye-bye to data that was not backed up when there’s Windows 10? Microsoft has now slammed on the brakes, pulling the rollout of Windows 10, version 1809, as many users reported the deletion of personal files such as those in Documents and sometimes even Pictures, Music and Videos.

Although Microsoft downplayed the number of users affected, it did confirm the data-loss and paused the rollout on Saturday, Oct. 6: “We have paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809)* for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating.”

Most of the affected users lost their files stored in their Documents folder, and the only sure-fire way to recover those files are from a backup. Most of the other reported recovery attempts have failed with the exception of some success via Recuva software.

To make matters worse, it seems the problem had been reported to Microsoft at least three months ago via the Windows Insider Feedback Hub. The complaints were not upvoted and apparently “got buried in the noise.”

U.S. companies hotly deny Chinese spy chip story

Bloomberg Businessweek blew open a can of worms on Thursday when it reported that Chinese intelligence agents had implanted tiny, disguised spy microchips, the size of a grain of rice, onto Super Micro motherboards that were used by 30 U.S. companies and government agencies. Although the report cited 17 unnamed intelligence and company sources, it was hotly denied by Apple, Amazon, Super Micro and even the Department of Homeland Security.

Justice Department name-shames 7 Fancy Bear hackers

The Department of Justice played the name/shame game on Thursday by announcing that a federal grand jury indicted seven Russian GRU Fancy Bear hackers for a plethora of cyber attacks, including those on anti-doping agencies and officials. The full indictment is here (pdf).The FBI posted photos of the Fancy Bear hackers, adding that a federal arrest warrant was issued for each of the men who should be considered “armed and dangerous.” The indictments may be better than nothing, but it is doubtful the Russian hackers will ever stand trial.

Yes, this is the same Justice Department that is suing California for “daring to protect Net Neutrality.”

Meanwhile in California — smart device security

California is also blazing a trail in smart device security, as a new law which kicks off in 2020 will require internet-of-things devices to have “reasonable security features” and a way to change crappy default passwords.

Speed display signs spying on you

When you drive by a road sign with a digital readout of your speed, smile for the camera. According to a story on Quartz, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is expanding its “nationwide surveillance network” by concealing license plate readers in the speed signs.

Beware Face ID to lock iPhone

The FBI reportedly forced an iPhone X owner to unlock his phone with his face. It’s the first known time law enforcement has gone this route, although the same thing has been done in the past when a suspect was forced to provide a fingerprint to unlock TouchID. It’s a good reminder to use a passcode instead of biometrics to lock your devices.

$1 million Banksy art shreds itself after being auctioned

On the lighter side, the anonymous artist Banksy may have pulled a fast one by shredding his Girl with Balloon piece immediately after it was auctioned off for over $1 million. Banksy’s post is here.

ms smith

Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues. She focuses on the unique challenges of maintaining privacy and security, both for individuals and enterprises. She has worked as a journalist and has also penned many technical papers and guides covering various technologies. Smith is herself a self-described privacy and security freak.