Featured Post

Avira Antivirus Pro - Review 2020 - PCMag India

Avira Antivirus Pro - Review 2020 - PCMag IndiaAvira Antivirus Pro - Review 2020 - PCMag IndiaPosted: 11 Jun 2020 12:00 AM PDTEvery computer needs antivirus protection, and one way companies can support that aim is to provide free antivirus to the masses. But these companies can't survive unless some users shell out their hard-earned cash for paid antivirus utilities. Piling on pro-only tools and components is one way companies encourage upgrading to a paid antivirus. Avira Antivirus Pro adds several components not available to users of Avira Free Security, but they don't really add much value. The biggest reason to pay for it is if you want to use Avira in a commercial setting, which isn't allowed with the free version.Avira's pricing is undeniably on the high side, with a list price of $59.88 per year for one license, $71.88 for three, and $95.88 for five. Admittedly, it seems to be perpetually on sale; just now, the one-license price is discounted to $44.99. That…

Windows Defender crashes: Microsoft fixes bug causing full scans to fail - ZDNet

Windows Defender crashes: Microsoft fixes bug causing full scans to fail - ZDNet

Windows Defender crashes: Microsoft fixes bug causing full scans to fail - ZDNet

Posted: 17 Apr 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Microsoft has rolled out a fix for a recent update that has been causing the Windows Defender built-in antivirus software to crash on Windows 10 PCs when running a full system scan.

With around half a billion Windows 10 PCs using Windows Defender or Microsoft Defender, when things go wrong, lots of users feel the pain. 

Windows 10

Users on Reddit and Microsoft's Answers forum yesterday started reporting error messages that were caused by a recent definition update to Microsoft's antivirus. 

Per BleepingComputer, running a Quick Scan didn't produce any error messages, but a Full Scan resulted in a failure when scanning files and multiple error messages due to an issue affecting the Windows Defender Antivirus service. 

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)

Users on Reddit discovered Windows Defender was crashing when it reached filenames with two dots (..) in it. Simply removing one of the dots would allow Windows Defender to continue scanning. 

Fortunately, a few hours ago Microsoft released a new Security Intelligence Update for Windows Defender that addresses the two-dot crashes. Since Microsoft automatically issues updates to Windows Defender outside its Patch Tuesday schedule, users should have received it and no longer experience the crashes.

If users are currently experiencing Windows Defender crashes, they can manually grab the latest updates by clicking 'Check for updates' within the Windows Security app.    

Windows Defender users also ran into problems with Microsoft's built-in antivirus in September, though in that case both Quick Scan and Full Scan were complete within seconds because Windows Defender wasn't actually scanning files. 

SEE: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

While Microsoft fixed the issue fairly quickly this time, any bug it introduces that prevents people from connecting to work machines is an extra problem given remote-working conditions during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic

In March Microsoft raced out a patch for a Windows 10 bug that was causing internet connectivity issues for users and preventing some Office 365 setups from reaching the cloud. 

Riot Addresses Concerns Over Valorant's Always-On Anti-Cheat System - Kotaku

Posted: 14 Apr 2020 09:35 AM PDT

Illustration for article titled Riot Addresses Concerns Over iValorant/is Always-On Anti-Cheat System
Image: Riot Games

Players who install Valorant, the new first-person shooter from Riot, also add to their computer an anti-cheat system that activates whenever they boot up their computer. It's practically always on, which caused quite a stir within the gaming community after being discovered yesterday.


A Riot rep tells Kotaku that their anti-cheat system, called Riot Vanguard, needs this depth of access to stop aggressive cheaters, but some players insist the program goes overboard with its coverage.

"You have a piece of software that can't be turned off, that runs with elevated privileges non-stop on your system," one of the Reddit users who first called attention to the issue wrote. "Let's say the anti-cheat gets compromised tomorrow, you won't know that your computer is exposed and it won't update until you start the game."


Riot's anti-cheat lead Paul "RiotArkem" Chamberlain responded to these concerns on the Valorant subreddit, telling concerned players that Vanguard was functioning as intended. This is very different than common anti-cheat programs like Fortnite's EasyAntiCheat, which is only active when the game is active. A common way to bypass such measures is to activate cheats before loading the anti-cheat program and even utilizing exploits that tamper with the anti-cheat directly as it turns on, Chamberlain said. Riot claims that having Vanguard boot up with players' computers was the best way to prevent these tactics.

"The anti-cheat driver itself is only one small component of Vanguard," Chamberlain told Kotaku via email, expanding on the answer he gave on the Valorant subreddit. "We've also built a new backend that allows us to be more specific with our anti-cheat checks, instead of running the same security scans on all computers, we can run checks in response to player reports, or other suspicious behavior which allows us to reduce the frequency and intensity of scans on the majority of players' computers."

Another sticking point players have with Vanguard is that it's given administrator-level privileges on their machines, further opening the possibility for malicious attacks should a shady person or persons compromise the anti-cheat system. Chamberlain again said this wasn't an issue since most computer programs, especially anti-cheat software, are given that level of access. One way to think of Vanguard, he continued, is as a "very specialized antivirus program that only protects Valorant."

"All of Vanguard has been audited for security weaknesses by external audit firms as well as our internal security team, with a particular emphasis being placed on the kernel component," Chamberlain explained. "We've built it on a principle of 'least privilege,' where the driver has as few features and does as few things as possible. For example, the driver does not communicate with the internet or collect any information. All functions that can be done outside of the driver context are done by non-driver components. This reduces the attack surface of the driver making it less likely that security vulnerabilities exist."


That said, it's hard to verify these claims about Vanguard from the outside looking in. Players are simply being asked to trust Riot. Vanguard will also prevent players from using any modifications, even innocent cosmetic changes. The official line from Riot is that they are open to changing their anti-cheat measures in the future should players continue to find issue with them.

"We invite players who are unsure to observe our actions and call us out if they don't like what they see," Chamberlain said. "We think most players will appreciate our efforts but if they don't then we'll change tactics and find another way to meet our player's expectations."


Popular Posts

System detected an overrun of a stack-based buffer in this application [FIX] - Windows Report

Valorant anti-cheat lead answers many questions on Reddit - Millenium US