The dark corners of shady Internet bars just became a whole lot safer thanks to Microsoft. The boys and girls in Redmond noticed a disturbing trend towards the end of 2010; the rate of infection due to malware spread via Autorun was skyrocketing. Rather than shrugging their shoulders and telling Symantec to deal with it, the company released an update in February that disabled most Autorun functions on Windows PCs. Four months later, the results are in – malware authors looking to slip your computer a mickey via infected flash drives had better start looking at Linux instead.
One of the most popular tricks in the Malware Handbook is to fool users into installing fake antivirus software. You've seen the bogus warnings before, the ones telling you your PC is infected with viruses, and all you have to do to restore order is download and install whatever fake antivirus software is on your screen. Savvy PC users recognize this as a scam designed to get users to unwittingly install real malware under the guise of a helpful product, and the reason it still works is because malware writers keep finding new and creative ways of dishing up their bogus software.
Windows Home Server's latest update, Power Pack 2, is now available via Windows Update, the TechNet Windows Home Server Team Blog reports. WHS users must have Power Pack 1 installed before they can receive Power Pack 2. If you missed Power Pack 1, get it here.
Power Pack 2 fixes a number of irritating bugs left over from Power Pack 1 and the original release, and adds new features. For an overview of what's new in Power Pack 2, join us after the jump.
Windows Update will itself be updated, starting in late July, according to Windows Update product manager Michelle Haven, in a recent TechNet post. This update changes both the WU clients used by Windows XP and Vista-based machines as well as the back-end infrastructure, and as a result, scans for updates and update installations are faster. That's the good news. But, will the update cause problems for Windows XP users who need to perform a repair installation? And, what about users who don't want Microsoft making any changes to their system?
For more light on these questions, join me after the break.