Microsoft - general thread

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RTH10260
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Microsoft - general thread

#1

Post by RTH10260 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:23 pm

The government of the Netherlands has requested a third party investigation into privacy issues with the MS Office package.
Google Translate from German wrote:PRIVACY TROUBLE :
Microsoft collects up to 25,000 event types from Office
Not only Windows 10 sends many user data to the servers of Microsoft . It should be up to 25,000 event types in Office products. Is this still compatible with the GDPR ?

Article posted on
November 20, 2018, 1:56 pm

Monitoring of users of certain Microsoft Office packages violates the EU Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO), according to a Dutch study. "Microsoft collects and stores personal information about the behavior of individual employees on a large scale without public documentation," says the summary of an impact assessment commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Justice. The Pro Plus Office suite (Office 2016 MSI and Office 365) was examined with the Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook applications, which is used by 300,000 government employees in the Netherlands.

Privacy Trouble: Microsoft collects up to 25,000 event types from Office

Some data is stored indefinitely

The data gathering from Microsoft has long been the focus of the privacy advocates. There was criticism, for example, the extensive presets of Windows 10 for the transmission of user data . Already in 2016 there were reports that the use of Windows 10 could violate the privacy rights of workers . Researchers also found out that the Office programs (version 2013 and 2016) send each configuration and interaction to Microsoft Access, OneNote, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, Visio, and Word.

Significantly more telemetry data than Windows

However, the extent of monitoring of Office users far exceeds the evaluation of Windows data. As evidenced by the 91-page Privacy Impact Assessment (DSFA) of the Privacy Company consulting firm, Office has between 23,000 and 25,000 types of events sent from the telemetry client of the package to Microsoft's Cosmos database in the United States. For Windows 10, only 1,000 to 1,200 events are reported to be monitored.

While eight to ten development teams evaluated the Windows 10 data, 20 to 30 teams analyzed the Office data. Not even Microsoft itself knows which events are logged. "There is no documentation or overview of the telemetry data collected by the Office software," Microsoft told the Privacy Company. Until recently, there were not even general rules for data collection. The individual teams could have decided themselves if they wanted to request new types of events. Because Microsoft encrypts all traffic, the Privacy Company was unable to analyze the data sent.

Deactivation impossible




https://www.golem.de/news/datenschutz-a ... 37815.html

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Re: Microsoft - general thread

#2

Post by tek » Tue Nov 20, 2018 5:05 pm

You go GDPR!

This telemetry really pisses me off.
I am amazed that corporate entities put up with it. One of my clients is A Large Aerospace And Defense Contractor.. I have to do everything on the laptop they provided me, with a smart card and a fingerprint reader and no ability to transfer anything anywhere.. yet the Microsoft telemetry chats away with Microsoft's servers..

I am amazed that HIPAA-compliant environments can even use this stuff.

MS isn't the only culprit, more and more software is getting chatty with vendor servers..

The excuse they use is "we use this information to improve user experiences" .. which must be false, because it ain't getting better.

/rant
There's no way back
from there to here

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Re: Microsoft - general thread

#3

Post by RTH10260 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:16 pm

With move to rebuild Edge atop Google's Chromium, Microsoft raises white flag in browser war
After watching its Edge browser bleed users, Microsoft this week gave up the ghost and said it will replace the browser's home-grown rendering engine with Blink, the engine that powers Google Chrome.
By Gregg Keizer Senior Reporter, Computerworld
DEC 8, 2018 4:08 AM PT

After a years-long pummeling, Microsoft this week surrendered in the browser war, saying that it will junk Edge's home-grown rendering engine and replace it with Blink, the engine that powers Google's Chrome.

With Edge pulling code from the Chromium project, the browser will also be able to run on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, as well as macOS.

"We intend to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers," wrote Joe Belfiore, a corporate vice president in the Windows group, in a post to a company blog. Belfiore's announcement was a stunning humiliation for Microsoft, which in the early years of this century ruled the browser world after Internet Explorer (IE) had obliterated Netscape Navigator and achieved market share in excess of 90%. Although Edge will survive, it will no longer be a Microsoft-made browser: It will exist as a UI (user interface) wrapper around core technologies developed almost entirely by Google engineers, in the same way Opera has existed since 2013, when it ditched its own internal engine for Chromium's Blink.


https://www.computerworld.com/article/3 ... r-war.html

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Re: Microsoft - general thread

#4

Post by RTH10260 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:03 am

:blackeye:
Here's Microsoft's fix for legit Windows 7 PCs labelled 'not genuine' after latest update mishap
The company revealed the error stemmed from an update to its Microsoft Activation and Validation servers on January 8th.

By Nick Heath | January 11, 2019, 8:15 AM PST

Microsoft has issued instructions on how to fix a bug that caused authenticated Windows 7 PCs to be labelled as "not genuine".

The company revealed the error stemmed from an update to its Microsoft Activation and Validation servers on January 8th.

The problem affected volume-licensed Windows 7 PCs that use Microsoft's Key Management Service and that had the KB 971033 update installed.

Microsoft reverted the change to its servers after discovering the issue but says admins should additionally remove the KB 971033 update if PCs are still showing the "not genuine" message.

Machines affected by the issue display a "Windows is not genuine" error message after the user logs on and have a "This copy of Windows is not genuine" watermark on the desktop.


https://www.techrepublic.com/article/he ... te-mishap/

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Re: Microsoft - general thread

#5

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:39 pm

Microsoft search engine Bing is blocked in China

By Sherisse Pham, CNN Business
Updated 1808 GMT (0208 HKT) January 24, 2019.

Microsoft confirmed Thursday that Bing was unavailable in China, raising concerns that it could be the latest in a growing list of global internet platforms to be shut out of China's huge market.

Hours later, however, some users were once again able to access the service.

"We've confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps," a Microsoft (MSFT) spokesman said Thursday. Representatives for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Bing resuming service.

Bing is the last major foreign search engine operating in China after Google (GOOGL) pulled out in 2010. The service interruption suggested that even tech companies that submit to Beijing's strict internet censorship regime can still run into trouble in the country.

Microsoft's potential setback comes as China and the United States are locked in a widening confrontation over technology and access to each other's markets that experts warn could be the start of an economic cold war.

It wasn't immediately clear why Bing was being blocked. China's internet regulator didn't respond to a request for comment Thursday, and the Foreign Ministry declined to comment.



https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/23/tech ... index.html

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Re: Microsoft - general thread

#6

Post by RTH10260 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:33 am

When the cloud dissolves into thin air
Forget snowmageddon, it's dropageddon in Azure SQL world: Microsoft accidentally deletes customer DBs
Five-minute gap in which transactions for some punters are toast
By Richard Speed 30 Jan 2019 at 20:20 53 R

Exclusive The Azure outage of January 29 claimed some unexpected victims in the form of surprise database deletions for unlucky customers.

The issue afflicted a number of Azure SQL databases that utilize custom KeyVault keys for Transparent Data Encryption (TDE), according to a message sent to users seen by The Register. Some internal code accidentally dropped these databases during Azure's portal wobble yesterday, forcing Microsoft to restore customer data from a five-minute-ago snapshot.

That means transactions, product orders, and other updates to the data stores during that five-minute window were lost. That may warm you up with red-hot anger if you're in the middle of a particularly nasty cold snap.

The note explained that the cockup happened automatically during what Redmond delicately called an network infrastructure event: a CenturyLink DNS snafu that locked essentially half of Microsoft 365 customers out of their cloud accounts, a breakdown that began at 1045 UTC.

"An automated process, designed to trigger when custom keys are removed from KeyVault, inadvertently caused these TDE databases to be dropped," the message read.



https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/01/3 ... ql_delete/

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Re: Microsoft - general thread

#7

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:15 pm

How Microsoft found a Huawei driver that opened systems to attack
Monitoring systems were looking for attacks using technique popularized by the NSA.
PETER BRIGHT - 3/26/2019, 8:03 PM

Huawei MateBook systems that are running the company's PCManager software included a driver that would let unprivileged users create processes with superuser privileges. The insecure driver was discovered by Microsoft using some of the new monitoring features added to Windows version 1809 that are monitored by the company's Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) service.

First things first: Huawei fixed the driver and published the safe version in early January, so if you're using a Huawei system and have either updated everything or removed the built-in applications entirely, you should be good to go.

The interesting part of the story is how Microsoft found the bad driver in the first place.

Microsoft Defender ATP does not rely solely on signature-based endpoint antimalware to detect known threats; it also uses heuristics that look for behavior that appears suspicious, even if no particular malware has been identified. Windows itself notices certain actions taken by software and reports them to the Defender ATP cloud service, and machine learning-based algorithms look for anomalies in these reports.

Windows 10 version 1809 included tracing designed to detect DOUBLEPULSAR-type backdoors. DOUBLEPULSAR is one of the many techniques devised by the National Security Agency and subsequently leaked. Subsequent to its publication, it has been used in malicious software.


https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/03 ... to-attack/

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Re: Microsoft - general thread

#8

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:19 pm

I understand this is temporary, a feature not a bug
Windows 10 May 2019 update blocked for anyone using USB or SD storage
If you really want to install the update now, you'll have to unplug your drives.
PETER BRIGHT - 4/24/2019, 5:54 PM

While it's not officially out yet, the Windows 10 May 2019 update is available to Windows Insiders on the Release Preview distribution channel (and also to MSDN subscribers). So anyone who wants to get a head start on the next major iteration of Windows 10 can do so right now—unless they have USB storage connected to their PC.

Because of an issue that's frankly remarkable, Microsoft is blocking the update for anyone using USB storage or SD storage. That is to say: if you have a USB hard disk or thumb drive, or an SD card in an SD card reader, the update won't install. Perhaps more strangely, this is only the case if you're currently running version 1803 or 1809; upgrading from 1709 or 1703 (both of which are still supported, at least for Enterprise and Education users) means everything is, apparently, fine.

The reason for blocking the update is that it appears to be prone to shuffling the drive letters assigned to USB and SD storage devices. In other words, while your USB drive might show up as "D:" now, it could end up getting renamed to "E:" after upgrading to 1903. Fortunately, there is a straightforward workaround: unplug the drives and remove the memory card, and the installation will proceed normally. You can then plug them back in after it's finished.


https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/04 ... d-storage/

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Re: Microsoft - general thread

#9

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:24 pm

McAfee joins Sophos, Avira, Avast—the latest Windows update breaks them all
A range of fixes and workarounds have been published.
PETER BRIGHT - 4/19/2019, 6:26 PM

The most recent Windows patch, released April 9, seems to have done something (still to be determined) that's causing problems with anti-malware software. Over the last few days, Microsoft has been adding more and more antivirus scanners to its list of known issues. As of publication time, client-side antivirus software from Sophos, Avira, ArcaBit, Avast, and most recently McAfee are all showing problems with the patch.

Affected machines seem to be fine until an attempt is made to log in, at which point the system grinds to a halt. It's not immediately clear if systems are freezing altogether or just going extraordinarily slowly. Some users have reported that they can log in, but the process takes ten or more hours. Logging in to Windows 7, 8.1, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012, and Server 2012 R2 are all affected.


https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/04 ... -software/

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Re: Microsoft - general thread

#10

Post by RTH10260 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:05 am

The Great Electronic Book Burning of 2019
E-books purchased from Microsoft store will vanish this month
By MICHAEL SCHAUB
JUL 02, 2019 | 1:15 PM

Microsoft decision to shut down the digital rights management servers tied to the books

If you’ve bought e-books from the now-defunct book section of the Microsoft store, you might not have long to read them.

Microsoft has informed customers that the books they have accumulated in the past several months will be made unreadable this month, due to the company’s decision to shut down the digital rights management (DRM) servers tied to the books, according to Vice.

On a Microsoft Store FAQ page, the company writes, “Starting April 2, 2019, the books category in Microsoft Store will be closing. Unfortunately, this means that starting July 2019 your e-books will no longer be available to read, but you’ll get a full refund for all book purchases.”

Customers who preordered books prior to April 2 won't be charged for the books they’d hoped to get, Microsoft said.

While the refunds mean that customers can buy elsewhere the books they’ve already purchased, readers who made notes in the books they bought from Microsoft won't be able to access their annotations.


https://www.latimes.com/books/la-et-jc- ... story.html

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Re: Microsoft - general thread

#11

Post by RTH10260 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:09 am

the April 2, 2019 announcement:
Books in Microsoft Store: FAQ
Applies to: Microsoft StoreWindows 10

The books category is closing

Starting April 2, 2019, the books category in Microsoft Store will be closing. Unfortunately, this means that starting July 2019 your ebooks will no longer be available to read, but you'll get a full refund for all book purchases. See below for details.

While you can no longer purchase or acquire additional books from the Microsoft Store, you can continue to read your books until July 2019 when refunds will be processed.

Will I be able to buy, rent or pre-order books after April 2, 2019?
No. On April 2, 2019, you can no longer buy, rent or pre-order books. You can continue to use Microsoft Edge to read books you've acquired until early July 2019.

What happens to books I've pre-ordered with delivery after April 2, 2019?
Your pre-order will be cancelled, and you will not be charged for the purchase. We recommend you pre-order at another digital book store.

How do I get my refund?
Refund processing for eligible customers start rolling out automatically in early July 2019 to your original payment method. If your original payment method is no longer valid and on file with us, you will receive a credit back to your Microsoft account for use online in Microsoft Store.

What if I purchased a book with a gift card or credit, or no longer have the original payment method linked to my account?
Refunds will be credited back to your Microsoft account for use online in Microsoft Store.

What happens to books I've already purchased?
You can continue to read books you've purchased until July 2019 when they will no longer be available, and you will receive a full refund of the original purchase price.

What happens to books I've rented?
You can continue to read books you've rented through the duration of the rental period.

What happens to my free books?
You can continue to read free books you've downloaded until July 2019 when they will no longer be accessible.

What about my in-book notes?
Mark-ups and annotations made in books acquired from Microsoft Store will be available until early July 2019 when your books are removed from Microsoft Edge. If you have made mark-ups or annotations in any of your acquired books prior to April 2, 2019, you'll receive an additional $25 credit to your Microsoft account at the same time refunds are processed.

When's the last day I can read my books?
You'll be able to read your books until early July 2019 when Microsoft processes the refunds.

What happens to my books in Microsoft Edge when I can no longer read them?
Your books will be removed from Microsoft Edge when Microsoft processes the refunds.



Last Updated: Apr 2, 2019
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hel ... -store-faq

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