Microsoft releases out-of-band update for Windows connectivity issues

Microsoft has published out-of-band updates for the Windows connectivity issue that it acknowledged last week-The updates are not available via Windows Update, WSUS or other update management systems at the time of writing but only on the Microsoft Update Catalog website as direct downloads.

Last week, Microsoft confirmed a new issue affecting the company’s Windows operating system for all supported versions of Windows 10 (client and server) that affected connectivity. On some systems, the issue was experienced as a lighter one as it would change the Internet connectivity icon on the system to indicate limited or no connectivity even though that was not the case. The more severe form caused connectivity issues so that some applications could not connect to the Internet anymore; both issues happened when proxy or VPN connections were established on the device.

Windows 10 connectivity issue fix

The issue could not come at a worse moment at time as worldwide remote working exploded because of the Corona pandemic.

A recent announcement on the Windows 10 Release Information page on the Microsoft Docs website indicates that Microsoft has released a patch for the issue.

Out-of-band optional update is available for internet connectivity issues on devices with manual or auto-configured proxies including VPNs.

An out-of-band optional update is now available on the Microsoft Update Catalog to address a known issue whereby devices using a proxy, especially those using a virtual private network (VPN), might show limited or no internet connection status.

Microsoft recommends that the out-of-band update is only installed on systems affected by the issue and not by systems not affected. Administrators may activate the following link to download the updates. The updates are provided for all supported versions of the Windows 10 operating system. All it is required is to install the downloaded update package on the system to resolve the issue.

Windows administrators should install the out-of-band updates on affected systems. We recommend that you create backups of affected systems before the update is installed.

Microsoft has not revealed plans to provide the update via Windows Update and other updating systems at the point in time. It is possible that the update will be included in the April 2020 Patch Tuesday which happens on April 14, 2020.

Now You: Were you affected by the issue? (via Ask Woody)

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Latest Debotnet Windows 10 Tweaker gets debloating scripts

We have the Windows tweaker Debotnet several times before on Ghacks. It is a relatively new program that was released to the public in 2019 for the first time. Back then, it focused on providing administrators and users with options to improve privacy.

The developer has released numerous versions of the application since then and introduced new features, some of them not privacy related but still very useful.

Mirinsoft, the developer of the application, published a new version of Debotnet yesterday which raises the version of the application to 0.7.5.

Users may download the latest version of the application from the official GitHub website and run it after the downloaded package has been extracted. Some of the new features require administrative privileges;, right-click on the program executable and select “run as administrator” to run the program with elevated rights.

The main new feature of Debotnet 0.7.5 is support for the debloat scripts of W4Rh4WK. Mirinsoft added five scripts to the application which you find under Debloat Windows 10 in the sidebar.

debotnet windows 10

Here is what these scripts do:

  1. Block Tracking Domains — The script blocks Telemetry related domains via hosts files and Windows Firewall.
  2. Disable Services — Disables unneeded / unwanted Services on the Windows machine.
  3. Remove Default Apps — Removes unwanted / unneeded applications that come with Windows 10 from the system.
  4. Remove OneDrive — Removes OneDrive integration from the system.
  5. Restart Computer — Should be run after any of the scripts listed above have been run.

The developer recommends that users select “test script” to make a dry run before running any of the scripts in earnest; this downloads the latest version of the script from the project site and displays its content to the user.

Note: Debotnet comes without backup options at the time of writing. We recommend that you create a backup of the system before you run any scripts or make any changes using the program.

Debotnet 0.7.5 includes download optimizations and several minor tweaks next to that. PowerShell scripts can now be downloaded/opened in Test Mode only, third-party tool downloads have been optimized, and several themes the program uses have been tweaked.

You can check out the entire release notes here.

Now You: Do you run Windows privacy tools / scripts on your devices?http://www.mirinsoft.com/ms-apps/debotnet

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0Patch publishes micropatch to address Windows Font Parsing vulnerability

Microsoft published an advisory about a new font parsing vulnerability in Windows on March 23, 2020. The company rated the vulnerability as critical and said that it was aware of limited targeted attacks exploiting the vulnerability.

Microsoft listed several workarounds to mitigate attacks but they all reduced functionality for users in one way or another.

Microsoft has yet to release a security patch to address the issue for all versions of Windows affected by the vulnerability.

Security company 0Patch, well-known for its pledge to create and distribute patches for the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems that ran out of official support this year. While business and Enterprise customers may extend support by up to three years, home users cannot officially and 0Patch patches.

Microsoft already announced that it won’t provide the font parsing patch for unsupported versions of Windows 7 while it will provide it to companies and Enterprise organizations that have joined the ESU program to receive extended support updates.

0Patch announced today that it has created a micro-patch for the font parsing vulnerability that affects all major client and server versions of the Windows operating system.

A blog post on the official 0Patch blog lists the official information and analyzes the workarounds that Microsoft posted. While all work to a degree, all have disadvantages that 0Patch highlights. Disabling the preview pane, details pane and thumbnails in Windows Explorer for example only blocks attacks when the file manager is used but it won’t protect against other attack vectors.

font parsing vulnerability fixed

The team analyzed the vulnerability — it had to since Microsoft did not disclose details about it — and found a solution that it turned into a micro patch.

Basically, what 0Patch did was put a bouncer in front of font operations if Adobe Type 1 Script fonts are used so that the vulnerability cannot be exploited.

So we decided to find the common execution point that various Windows applications such as Windows Explorer, Font Viewer, and applications using Windows-integrated font support are using to pass a font to Windows, then place a bouncer there that would keep Adobe Type 1 PostScript fonts out.

The blog post goes into detail and users interested in additional details may check it out for additional information on the implementation.

All administrators need to do is install the micro patch on the device to protect it against the vulnerability.

With this micropatch in place, all applications using Windows GDI for font-related operations will find any Adobe Type 1 PostScript fonts rendered invalid and unable to load. For example, Windows Explorer will start looking like this when viewing a folder with a pair of otherwise valid PFM and PFB files.

The patch is available for free for Windows 7 64-bit and Windows Server 2008 R2 without Extended Security Updates. 0Patch plans to create patches for ESU versions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, as well as Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 soon as well.

Windows 10 and Server won’t receive the patch as these systems face less of a risk from the vulnerability than previous versions of Windows.

Here is a video by the company:

Now You: Do you use 0Patch software to micro-patch vulnerabilities?

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Windows 10 has a new network connectivity issue

Windows users who run recent (and not so recent) versions of Windows 10  may have noticed network connectivity issues recently. Microsoft acknowledged a new issue for all supported versions of Windows 10 on March 26, 2020 that comes in two different severity levels.

The lighter issue changes the Internet connectivity icon of the operating system to one that indicates limited or no Internet connectivity even if that is not the case. Some users may also notice that some applications may not be able to connect to the Internet while the issue persists.

windows 10 connectivity issue

Microsoft notes that both issues may be experienced on devices that use a proxy connection or a virtual private network connection.

Devices using a proxy might show limited or no internet connection status

Devices using a manual or auto-configured proxy, especially with a virtual private network (VPN), might show limited or no internet connection status in the Network Connectivity Status Indicator (NCSI) in the notification area. This might happen when connected or disconnected to a VPN or after changing state between the two.

Devices with this issue, might also have issues reaching the internet using applications that use WinHTTP or WinInet. Examples of apps that might be affected on devices in this state are as follows but not limited to Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Office, Office365, Outlook, Internet Explorer 11, and some version of Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft lists Windows 10 version 1709 and higher on the client side as affected and Windows Server version 1709 and higher on the server side. Microsoft programs are especially affected by the issue according to the report as programs such as IE11, Microsoft Office, or Microsoft Teams may not be able to connect to the Internet.

The company is working on a resolution and plans to release an out-of-band patch in early April to resolve the issue.

Users may resolve the issue temporarily by restarting the device according to Microsoft.

Now You: Did you notice the issue on your devices?

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KB4541335 for Windows 10 1903 and 1909 released

Microsoft released the optional non-security update KB4541335  for the company’s operating systems Windows 10 version 1903 and version 1909 on March 24, 2020.

The company announced earlier that it will pause the production and distribution of preview updates for all supported versions of Windows from May 2020 on.

Note: Preview updates should be considered beta updates. These are usually included in the following Patch Tuesday update and should not be installed unless they address critical issues that are experienced on devices. In any case, it is recommended that you create a backup of the system before you install any update.

KB4541335 for Windows 10 version 1903 and 1909

KB4541335 windows 10 1903 1909 update

Windows 10 version 1903

The following issues are fixed in the preview update:

  • Fixed a document repository printing issue.
  • Fixed the cause of a misleading reset message for Win32 apps converted to UWP.
  • Fixed a Microsoft Foundation Class toolbar drawing issue in multi-monitor environments.
  • Addressed an issue that ignored the first key stroke in a DataGridView cell.
  • Fixed a performance issue that occurred when DRM content is played or paused in the background.
  • Fixed a PrintWindow API issue that caused screenshots of windows to fail.
  • Fixed a File Explorer issue that caused it to close unexpectedly when using roaming profiles between different Windows 10 versions.
  • Fixed a search issue that failed to return results in Start or the Search box for users without local profiles.
  • Fixed an application termination issue caused by the entering of East Asian characters after changing the keyboard layout.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the Mute button from working on devices with the Microsoft Your Phone app.
  • Fixed a calendar issue affecting the Samoa time zone.
  • Fixed the cause of the error “Remote host method get_WindowsSize is not implemented”.
  • Fixed a log reading issue using the OpenEventLogA() function.
  • Fixed a domain controller registration issue.
  • Fixed a sign-in or unlocking issue on Hybrid Azure Active Directory-joined machines that delayed the process by up to 2 minutes.
  • Fixed multiple authentication issue in Azure Active Directory environments.
  • Fixed a Credential Guard issue that prevented machines with it enabled from joining domains.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented some machines from entering Sleep mode caused by Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) Auto Incident Response (IR).
  • Fixed a performance issue in the Windows Runtime API.
  • Fixed an issue that caused Windows.admx templates to miss one of the SupportedOn tags.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented applications from closing.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the creation of the Storage Replica administrator group with the incorrect SAM-Account-Type and Group-Type.
  • Fixed a Windows ecosystem compatibility status evaluation issue.
  • Fixed a Microsoft User Experience Virtualization roaming issue.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the Network Policy Server accounting feature from working.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented standard users accounts configured with maximum UAC control settings from installing Language Features on Demand using System settings.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the connection to virtual private networks.
  • Restores the constructed attribute in Active Directory and Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) for msDS-parentdistname
  • Improved support for non-ASCII file paths in Microsoft Defender ATP Auto IR

Windows 10 version 1909

Includes all the changes listed under version 1903 plus the following change:

  • Fixed an issue that prevented that the local language setting in the OS image is retained during system preparation.

Microsoft lists no known issues.

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