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Microsoft's Windows security flaw is a big deal. Here's what you can do about it – CTV News

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Microsoft’s latest security vulnerability could have a lingering impact both on consumers and businesses at a time when many around the world are already on high alert for disruptive cyber attacks.

Researchers at security firm Sangfor recently found a Windows vulnerability, called PrintNightmare, that could allow hackers to remotely gain access to the operating system and install programs, view and delete data or even create new user accounts with full user rights. The firm accidentally leaked instructions on how the flaw could be exploited by hackers, exacerbating the need for Windows users to update their systems immediately.

Here’s what you should know about the issue and how to address it:

HAS MY WINDOWS DEVICE BEEN IMPACTED?

Microsoft is urging all Windows users to install an update that affects the Windows Print Spooler service, which allows multiple users to access a printer. The company has already rolled out fixes for Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 and some server versions. Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 last year, so the decision to push an update to that software highlights the severity of the PrintNightmare flaw.

Although many Windows users don’t have remote access capabilities on their home computers, business computers or people working remotely and connecting back to the office could be most affected, according to Michela Menting, a cybersecurity expert at ABI Research.

HOW BIG A DEAL IS THIS?

Windows 10 runs on about about 1.3 billion devices worldwide, according to market research firm CCS Insight, so the magnitude of the vulnerability’s reach is massive. “This is a big deal because Windows 10 is the most popular desktop OS out there with over 75% market share,” Menting said.

Because Windows 10 is used by desktop computers as well as some servers, it could potentially enable hackers to infiltrate a network “very quickly” and get in “practically anywhere to find the most lucrative databases and systems,” Menting said.

Once Sangfor shared a proof-of-concept exploit code on the Microsoft-owned code hosting platform Github, it was copied by users before it was deleted.

HOW TO DOWNLOAD THE PATCH

Windows users can visit the Settings page, then select the Update & Security option, followed by Windows Update, or else visit the Microsoft website to download the new software.

However, one researcher on Twitter showed how the emergency update isn’t entirely effective, leaving room for potential actors to still exploit the vulnerability. After this story published, a Microsoft spokesperson said the company is “not aware of any bypasses to the update” but continues to investigate the matter.

Menting said a buggy patch is in many ways like “years in cybercrime time,” adding it’s “highly likely” ransomware attacks or data theft could occur as a result. “There is no doubt that not every company will have updated their OS before attackers get in,” she said.

THE BIG TAKEAWAY

Still, the incident serves as a reminder for both businesses and consumers to routinely update any kind of software to ensure impacted systems aren’t left exposed. For anyone who believes they could be at risk to a vulnerability or isn’t sure, Menting suggested disabling impacted functions until a company rolls out an official fix.

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Cat simulator 'Stray' heads to PlayStation and PC in early 2022 – Engadget

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The last time we saw Stray was in the form of a cinematic trailer Sony shared in 2020 that highlighted the game’s futuristic neon-soaked setting and adorable feline protagonist. At the time, we didn’t get to see the game in action, a fact that Annapurna Interactive has now remedied. The publisher shared a slice of gameplay footage from the title during its recent showcase and said it would release Stray sometime in early 2022.

In the opening moments of Stray, our feline protagonist finds himself injured and separated from his family. Gameplay involves using his physical abilities as a cat to navigate the environment and solve puzzles. In the time-honored tradition of duos like Ratchet and Clank, partway through the adventure, you’ll meet a drone named B-12. They will allow you to converse with the city’s other robotic inhabitants and interact with certain objects in the environment. The cat has a playful side to his personality, and you can do things like scratch furniture, interact with vending machines and rub up against the legs of the robots you meet. Good stuff.

When Stray comes out next year, it will be available on PlayStation 4, PS5 and PC. Developer BlueTwelve Studio promised to show off more of the game before then.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Cat simulator 'Stray' heads to PlayStation and PC in early 2022 – Yahoo News Canada

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The last time we saw Stray was in the form of a cinematic trailer Sony shared in 2020 that highlighted the game’s futuristic neon-soaked setting and adorable feline protagonist. At the time, we didn’t get to see the game in action, a fact that Annapurna Interactive has now remedied. The publisher shared a slice of gameplay footage from the title during its recent showcase and said it would release Stray sometime in early 2022.

In the opening moments of Stray, our feline protagonist finds himself injured and separated from his family. Gameplay involves using his physical abilities as a cat to navigate the environment and solve puzzles. In the time-honored tradition of duos like Ratchet and Clank, partway through the adventure, you’ll meet a drone named B-12. They will allow you to converse with the city’s other robotic inhabitants and interact with certain objects in the environment. The cat has a playful side to his personality, and you can do things like scratch furniture, interact with vending machines and rub up against the legs of the robots you meet. Good stuff.

When Stray comes out next year, it will be available on PlayStation 4, PS5 and PC. Developer BlueTwelve Studio promised to show off more of the game before then.

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Sony’s new PS5 beta update also fixes one of its silliest flaws – The Verge

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The first major system update for Sony’s PlayStation 5 is arriving in beta form today, finally letting you expand the console’s 667GB of usable storage by adding your own PCIe Gen 4 SSD as well as testing new UI options and expanding 3D Audio support. But the full changelog also includes a few features that Sony didn’t highlight to press — including a way to easily update your DualSense controller if you press the wrong button!

You see, the PS5 currently has a very silly flaw: the only time you can update your controller is when you boot the console. And if you say no or accidentally press the O button instead of X, you can’t trigger that update until 24 hours have passed (or you tweak your PS5’s internal clock to cheat it).

But in Beta 2.0, there’s now a dedicated menu for that under Settings > Accessories > Controllers called Wireless Controller Device Software. Please forgive my grainy photo.

You’ll still see controller update prompts when you launch the console, too — and hitting the circle button will still instantly dismiss them.

The beta also makes one of our other UI frustrations slightly better: the ability to easily turn off the console. It’s still a mystery why Sony switched away from letting you long-press the PS button to requiring extra taps, but at least now you can change how many taps it takes. Pressing the hamburger / start button in the PS5’s quick actions menu now lets you drag any of them (including the PS5’s digital power button) to a different position in that menu.

Separately, did you know the PS5 lets you set up all kinds of parental controls for your kid on what they can play, watch, and do, and it lets you remotely approve their requests over the web? I didn’t realize that, and the beta update now lets you see and respond to those asks through the latest version of the mobile PlayStation App, not just via email.

Frankly, it still needs work: it’s a convoluted process that kicks you out to a web browser for setup, requires your kid to be signed into a PlayStation Network account (not just a local profile), has you set up all kinds of limits, and kicks you out to a web browser again (requiring you to log in) when you want to approve a request. And once you let your kid play a particular game, they get to keep playing until you remove it from the whitelist.

What I want is a simple rich phone notification that effectively lets me tap “yes, you can play this for 30 minutes” or “not right now, kid” and be done with it right away. Perhaps there’s time before the 2.0 software goes gold? Or perhaps in a future update.

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