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How to Stay Safe Against PrintNightmare Security Threat?
But before that, let us know what Print Spooler Service is.
In simple words, Print Spooler is a software interface or service that controls the order in which documents will be printed. The service runs in the background and has a negligible impact on user productivity.
However, attackers have been found exploiting the Print Spooler service by authenticated remote code execution with admin privileges. This makes fixing the issue even more important.
Latest Update – Print Nightmare Security Flaw
To address the remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability- known as PrintNightmare (CVE-2024-34527) Microsoft has released out-of-band security updates and the update is labeled as KB5004945. This means before Patch Tuesday Microsoft is releasing an update to address Windows 10 PrintNightmare vulnerability disclosed last week. But some versions are not included in the update.
Which all versions are not included in the update?
Windows 10 version 1607
Windows Server 2024
Windows Server 2012
Updates for these versions are forthcoming. With that said, if you are running any of the above versions and want to stay protected, follow these fixes.
Also Read: What is FileRepMalware? How Can You Get Rid of It?How to Fix PrintNightmare Print Spooler Vulnerability Disable Print Spooler Service
Note: Disabling the Print Spooler service means you will not be able to perform printing tasks both remotely and locally.
Press Windows + X
Running this command will stop the Spooler from starting at boot time.
Now that you have disabled the service from running at startup, you have protected your system from being a victim to PrintNightmare that is exploited via Print Spooler service.How to enable Print Spooler service?
Say you disabled the service, as the patch to fix PrintNightmare wasn’t available, but it is now there, and you want to use the Print Spooler service. Here’s how to enable it.
This will enable the Print Spooler service on your Windows, and you can now print any document both locally or remotely.Disable Print Spooler Using Group Policy Editor
If you are using Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, you will need to follow these steps to disable Print Spooler.
Note: Below steps won’t work for Windows 10 Home version.
Press Windows + R to launch the Run window.Enable Print Spooler Using Group Policy Editor
If the patch for PrintNightmare is available, and you would like to enable Print Spooler on Windows Enterprise or Pro follow these steps:
Press Windows + R to open the Run window.
This will help enable Print Spooler on your Windows machine.Stay Protected from zero-day vulnerability.
The best way to stay protected against zero-day vulnerability, malware, virus, and other similar threats is to use the best antivirus tool. For this we suggest using Systweak Antivirus, a tool that comes with real-time protection, malware protection, exploit protection, and web protection.
Download Systweak Antivirus
Using it, you can add a layer of protection to your system and can stay protected from threats like PrinNightmare
In addition to this, whenever a patch for any security vulnerability is available, always install and run it. This helps stay protected and fix all the known and unknown security issues.
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Exploit Wednesday & Uninstall Thursday: Stay safe after Patch Tuesday
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Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:
Download Fortect and install it on your PC.
Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem
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Those of you that are actively following the continuous development of Microsoft products surely know about Microsoft Patch Tuesday.
For those of you that are just casual users, Patch Tuesday is an unofficial term used to refer to when Microsoft releases software updates for its products. It is also called that way because it is always the second Tuesday of each month.
While Patch Tuesday may be popular, fewer people know about Exploit Wednesday and Uninstall Thursday.What exactly are Exploit Wednesday and Uninstall Thursday? What is Exploit Wednesday?
Just like you read the patch notes to see what are the new features included in the latest update, cybercriminals analyze the patch notes to see what the weak points are.
The day after Patch Tuesday there is usually a rise in the number of attacks against unpatched systems. This has been dubbed by some as Exploit Wednesday or Day Zero.
More so, plenty of malicious parties will also hold off on exploiting bugs found in Windows software until after Patch Tuesday.How do I stay safe during Exploit Wednesday?
Malware launched during Exploit Wednesday specifically targets those that have not updated their system yet. Because of this, there are a few things you can do to avoid being a target:
Install Windows updates as soon as they go live
One efficient way to do this is to set Windows Automatic Updates to Enabled
Run only software that requires few privileges
Do not access files from unknown or questionable sources
Never visit sites of unknown or questionable integrity
Do not allow external access at the network perimeter to all key systems
While these steps should be followed at all times, Exploit Wednesday is when you should be particularly careful.What is Uninstall Thursday?
More of a joke in the Microsoft Community, it pokes fun at Microsoft’s tendency to never deliver a Patch Tuesday update without critical issues for some users.
Thus, Uninstall Thursday is basically the day after you realize what exactly in Patch Tuesday is causing issues with your PC, and you uninstall that particular component.
Normally, Uninstall Thursday is followed quickly by a day in which Microsoft releases hotfixes, so it is sometimes short-lived or doesn’t get to happen at all.How do I stay safe during Uninstall Thursday?
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about Uninstall Thursday, except for the following:
Read the changelogs carefully to see what updates there are so you know what component you should uninstall
Wait until Microsoft releases a hotfix for your particular problem
By following these steps, you should be able to get through every Patch Tuesday, Exploit Wednesday and Uninstall Thursday with minimal casualties (or hopefully, none at all) to your PC’s well-being.
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Nasty Cr1ptT0r Ransomware: Threat to NAS
What is Network Attached Storage and why is it targeted?
Network attached storage (NAS) is a devoted file storage that allows more than one user and heterogeneous client devices to recover data from centralized disk capacity. NAS devices are do not have a keyboard or display they are configured and managed with a browser-based utility. NAS devices are typically linked to servers running Linux operating system.
Due to vulnerabilities detected and old firmware in D-Link DNS 320 it is exploited by cybercriminals. The device was exposed to WAN through 8080 ports, FTP port 21 and a range of ports for port forwarding. Not only this in 2023, a hard-coded backdoor was also noticed in this router. This backdoor permitted hacker to gain unauthorized access for victim’s network.
An unpatched device is ripe target for attack
What is Cr1ptT0r?
Cr1ptT0r is an encryption Trojan ransomware that seems to target Network Assigned Storage (NAS) devices.
The malware then saves two plain text files in victims machine, one is the ransom note called “_FILES_ENCRYPTED_README.txt,” that provides information about how victim can reach the ransomware operator to pay ransom, receive decryption key and know what is happening with the system.
Second file is named “_cr1ptt0r_support.txt” and it has the address of a website in the Tor network. If victims fail to understand what they should do they can use this support URL.
Due to its ability to infect embedded systems and the possibility to adapt its code to infect Windows machines Cr1ptT0r is a treacherous threat.
What all devices are targeted by Cr1ptT0r?
The new ransomware strain is targeting several types of D-Link devices that are connected to the Internet in a manner that is not secure and has known vulnerabilities or do not support the latest firmware or is security patched.
Do I need to pay ransom to get my data back?
As of writing, ransomware operator allows victim to unlock one file for free. After which victim who want to get the data need to pay ransom and provide Cr1ptT0r with the type and firmware version of the device. Once the ransom is paid victim receives a script to decrypt files.
Moreover, victim can get decryption from OpenBazaar marketplace, for BTC 0.30672024 (about $ 1,200). If target wants to unlock any specific file, then by paying $19.99 this can be done. In such a case the file needs to be sent to the operator.
Apart from this, Bleeping Computer noticed that the operators also offer decryption key for Synolocker ransomware that made headlines in 2014 for the same price.
Don’t even think for a second that you are secure. A flaw in your device or network security can make you a victim. Therefore, to stay protected from such unforeseen attacks always keep backup of your important data. Plus, run an updated anti malware on your system like Systweak’s Advanced System Protector.
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If you ever face any issues with Outlook on your computer, your best bet is to try using Outlook safe mode. You’ll be familiar with this type of mode if you’ve used any Microsoft products since most of them come equipped with safe mode.
There are multiple ways to open Outlook in safe mode and you can use that mode to launch your Outlook in a more controlled environment.
Table of ContentsWhat Is Outlook Safe Mode
Outlook safe mode isn’t a standalone app, tool, or anything like that. It’s a mode that you can open Outlook in with certain restrictions as to what features you can use while it’s active.
Safe mode ensures that only essential files are loaded when you open Outlook on your computer. This way if there are any issues with, say third-party add-ins, those can be eliminated and you can use the app to test for solutions for those issues.When To Use The Outlook Safe Mode
Unless you have an issue with the app, you won’t ever need to use Outlook safe mode. Some of the scenarios where you may want to use it include when Outlook crashes unexpectedly, some of the features don’t work as they should, or you can’t access your inboxes and your emails.How To Start Outlook In Safe Mode
There are various ways to open Outlook in safe mode. Depending how you normally launch the app, you can use any of the methods below.Use A Keyboard Button Use The Run Box
The app will open in safe mode asking you to select the default profile.Use The Command Prompt
Open a Command Prompt window using your preferred method on your computer.
Outlook will open in safe mode.Use Cortana Search
It’ll open Outlook in safe mode.Edit A Desktop Shortcut Create A Desktop Shortcut How To Fix Issues In Outlook Safe Mode
You can fix issues using various ways in Outlook safe mode.Reopen Outlook To Fix “Processing” Error
If Outlook shows a “Processing” error and stays stuck there each time you open it, you can relaunch Outlook in safe mode to fix the issue.
Open the app as you normally would.Disable Add-Ins In Outlook
Add-ins allow you to extend the capability of Outlook. However, at the same time, they can cause issues with the app if they aren’t fully compatible. If you’ve installed any add-ins lately, you might want to try disabling them and see if it fixes the issue.
Close Outlook on your computer.
Launch Outlook in normal mode and it should open without an issue.
Open the add-ins screen and enable one add-in at a time. This will help you find the culprit. Then you can then get rid of the troublesome add-in from Outlook completely.
Outlook safe mode is one of the ways to access your emails and other features of the app when normal mode doesn’t work. It ignores everything that may cause the app to crash and lets you access your emails and other items.
Facebook Privacy Settings are no less than a maze because of the many options available. These options are available at more than one place (to confuse you). For example, you can set your Facebook post’s visibility to your Friends only, from the drop-down menu below the post, from the Timeline, or by using the Facebook privacy settings option. It is hard to understand Facebook’s intentions because there are things we don’t even know. For example, if you are tagged in any image, your friends can also see the image. This post attempts to assist you with the best Facebook privacy settings.Using Activity Log to check your Facebook posts’ privacy
Before making privacy setting changes to your posts, we’ll see what all you shared and who all can see it. Find out what Facebook knows about you! Facebook’s Activity Log is the best place to see all of what you did on Facebook. It also offers the opportunity to change, delete, or unlike things so that people can see only what you show them.
You can access the Facebook activity log from:
Your Facebook profile page
Facebook Settings page
Certain other locations on Facebook
Activity Log allows you to review many other things as well so that you can remove or hide posts/images/videos from your Facebook Timeline. You can use filters to make it easy.
The only problem with reviewing activity log is that you have to remove unwanted things manually, one by one if you are doing it using Facebook. There is a Google Chrome extension to bulk delete Facebook posts to speed up things.
Read: Tips to secure your Facebook account from hackers.Best Facebook Privacy Settings
Please note that if you tag a restricted friend in any post whose privacy is set to custom, the tagged friend can still see it. The other option is the Activity Log that we discussed above. You can see what all information of yours is being shared. To make changes to Activity Log, see the above section.
There is another option under Privacy Settings and Tools. You can use it to limit the visibility of your old posts to just your friends. Note that in this case too, the post will be visible to people who are tagged in the post, even if they are not your friends.
Read: Security Applications for Facebook to secure your Facebook account.Timeline and Tagging options for privacy on Facebook
The next option to consider is “Review“. The options here are:
Review posts where you are tagged. This post will be visible on your FB timeline if you set it to ON. I would turn ON the option so that I know who all are tagging me across Facebook
Allow people to share your public posts with their own stories. You may or may not want people to share your posts. You can allow or don’t allow this behavior”
Allow people to share your stories if you mention them or tag them. Selecting Allow would make the post appear at different places on Facebook. I recommend “Don’t Allow“.
Do also remember to opt out of Facebook Ad Tracking if you wish to.
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There has been continuous technology driven disruption throughout history from steam power, combustion engines, through to the PC, www and e-commerce. Therefore, it’s no surprise Generative AI technologies like Open AI’s “ChatGPT”, Google’s “Bard” and Meta’s “LLaMA” are all trying to find industries they can disrupt. However, no matter how radical or innovative a new technology is, it still needs humans to discover how the tools can solve problems and unlock value with a scalable, profitable, viable and desirable business model. In some ways technological disruption was the antecedent of the MBA. In 1908 Harvard University created the first MBA in response to a quickly globalizing and industrializing world to teach technical experts how to manage businesses.
New AI systems rapidly assemble and synthesise global knowledge (big data) on any and every given topic with unprecedented speed and reasonable accuracy. The magic is their ability to present it in a new and unique form of words, numbers, images, and pictures including algorithms, code, slides, poems, and 3D models. In some ways it is democratising knowledge, levelling the playing field by making it accessible and consumable by anyone.
When technological disruption happens there are always winners and losers. Organisations will prosper by exploiting the confluence of big data and thick data faster than competitors. This is the focus of the UQ MBA, where business skills are leveraged to understand and solve complex problems and create new value. In fact, the UQMBA Entrepreneurship Capstone recently won first prize for Innovation in Business Education in a prestigious international competition for its approach to teaching innovation and entrepreneurship.
Gen AI makes sense of what humanity already knows, where we have been, where we are now and perhaps where we are going. It’s a powerful tool to learn where to go fishing for unresolved problems and unrealise value. However, it doesn’t tell us how to catch the elusive fish. That takes deep understanding of the fish and the context of the fishing spot. AI can’t explain or even predict with much accuracy, why things that should work, don’t and why things that shouldn’t work, do! This comes from thick data, deep human understanding of customers’ hopes, fears, dreams, irrationalities, biases, rituals, and latent aspirations.
So, what can leaders do to thrive in this decade of disruption:
1: GO BIG – Find ways to use new AI tools to assemble, synthesis and present big data to make sure you know more than everyone else about the context in which you operate. You will be surprised what Gen AI tools can tell you about your customers and competitors. This will ensure you’re fishing for new opportunities in the right place. But knowledge is not enough with most organisations not using the data they already have; more is not always better!
3. GO DEEP – Companies need staff that can build empathy with humans’ hopes, dreams, aspirations, and fears to be able to deliver products, services and business models their customers will love. Steve Jobs did this by working out humans wanted phones to entertain and communicate. Elon Musk’s success came by working out wealthy male US car buyers, at least initially, wanted EV’s to be fast and cool; vis a vie Toyota Prius! Only when empathy is gained, can organisations improve the success rate of their new products and services.
Cameron Turner is an entrepreneur in Residence & MBA Lecturer at UQ Business School
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