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Microsoft has identified a compatibility issue with a small number of their antivirus software products. The compatibility issue arises when antivirus applications make unsupported calls into Windows kernel memory. These calls may cause stop errors (also known as blue screen errors) that prevent a device from booting.

Microsoft released an out-of-band update for Windows-supported machines on the 3rd of January 2018. Microsoft is still working on finalising all the details of the fix and is working with antivirus vendors to ensure systems are properly protected.

We are aware of the potential issue with the new release from Microsoft. For those customers who are on a support agreement, we’ve been pushing this out to devices ever since its release.

Managed Antivirus Solutions

For those who are on a Managed Antivirus Solution, Symantec has rolled out an update for the Microsoft changes and will continue to refine this in the coming weeks.

This vulnerability* also effects Macs, iPhones, and Apple TVs. Apple is recommending that the following updates be installed to protect these devices:

  • Mobile Devices: iOS 11.2
  • Macs: macOS 10.13.2
  • Apple TV: tvOS 11.2

There are currently no known exploits for these vulnerabilities, and we are working to ensure all systems are protected before there are any.

Meltdown and Spectre

Meltdown and Spectre exploit critical vulnerabilities in modern processors and have the potential to leak your passwords and sensitive data. These hardware vulnerabilities allow programs to steal data that are being processed on the computer. While programs typically can’t read data from other programs, a malicious program can exploit Meltdown and Spectre to get hold of secrets stored in the memory of other running programs. This includes your passwords stored in a password manager or browser, your personal photos, emails, instant messages and even business-critical documents.

Meltdown and Spectre work on computers, mobile devices, and in the cloud. Depending on the cloud provider’s infrastructure, it might be possible to steal data from other customers as well.

The team at Steadfast Solutions works hard to be one step ahead when instances like this occur to ensure the safeguarding of your systems. If you have any questions you can contact us by phone at 1300 739_ 335 or by email at hello@steadfastsolutions.com.au.

Published on 10th January 2018 by Ian Brady.

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