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  1. XLoader malware steals logins from macOS and Windows systems A highly popular malware for stealing information from Windows systems has been modified into a new strain called XLoader, which can also target macOS systems. XLoader is currently being offered on an underground forum as a botnet loader service that can “recover” passwords from web browsers and some email clients (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, IE, Outlook,Thunderbird, Foxmail). Derived from the Formbook info-stealer for Windows, XLoader emerged last February and has grown in popularity, advertised as a cross-platform (Windows and macOS) botnet with no dependencies. The connection between the two malware pieces was confirmed after a member of the community reverse-engineered XLoader and found that it had the same executable as Formbook. The advertiser explained that Formbook’s developer contributed a lot to creating XLoader, and the two malware had similar functionality (steal login credentials, capture screenshots, log keystrokes, and execute malicious files). Customers can rent the macOS malware version for $49 (one month) and get access to a server that the seller provides. By keeping a centralized command and control infrastructure, the authors can control how clients use the malware. The Windows version is more expensive as the seller asks $59 for a one-month license and $129 for three months. As mentioned in the advertisement, the makers of XLoader also provide a Java binder for free, which allows customers to create a standalone JAR file with the Mach-O and EXE binaries used by macOS and Windows. Tracking XLoader 6-month activity up to June 1st, malware researchers at Check Point saw requests from 69 countries, indicating a significant spread across the globe, with more than half of the victims being in the United States. Although Formbook is no longer advertised on underground forums, it continues to be a prevalent threat. It was part of at least 1,000 malware camapaigns over the past three years and according to AnyRun’s malware trends, the info-stealer takes fourth place over the past 12 months, after Emotet If Formbook’s popularity is any indication, XLoader is likely to be more prevalent given that it targets the two most popular operating systems used by consumers. Check Point researchers say that XLoader is stealthy enough to make it difficult for a regular, non-technical user to spot it. They recommend using macOS’ Autorun to check the username in the OS and to look into the LaunchAgents folder [/Users/[username]/Library/LaunchAgents] and delete entries with suspicious filenames (random-looking name). Yaniv Balmas, Head of Cyber Research at Check Point Software, says that XLoader is “is far more mature and sophisticated than its predecessors [i.e. Formbook].” macOS’s growing popularity exposed it to unwanted attention from cybercriminals, who are now seeing the OS as an attractive target. “While there might be a gap between Windows and MacOS malware, the gap is slowly closing over time. The truth is that MacOS malware is becoming bigger and more dangerous” - Yaniv Balmas The researcher believes that more malware families will adapt and add macOS to the list of supported operating systems. XLoader malware steals logins from macOS and Windows systems
  2. Two-for-Tuesday vulnerabilities send Windows and Linux users scrambling Both OSes have flaws that allow attackers with a toehold to elevate access. The world woke up on Tuesday to two new vulnerabilities—one in Windows and the other in Linux—that allow hackers with a toehold in a vulnerable system to bypass OS security restrictions and access sensitive resources. As operating systems and applications become harder to hack, successful attacks typically require two or more vulnerabilities. One vulnerability allows the attacker access to low-privileged OS resources, where code can be executed or sensitive data can be read. A second vulnerability elevates that code execution or file access to OS resources reserved for password storage or other sensitive operations. The value of so-called local privilege escalation vulnerabilities, accordingly, has increased in recent years. Breaking Windows The Windows vulnerability came to light by accident on Monday when a researcher observed what he believed was a coding regression in a beta version of the upcoming Windows 11. The researcher found that the contents of the security account manager—the database that stores user accounts and security descriptors for users on the local computer—could be read by users with limited system privileges. That made it possible to extract cryptographically protected password data, discover the password used to install Windows, obtain the computer keys for the Windows data protection API—which can be used to decrypt private encryption keys—and create an account on the vulnerable machine. The result is that the local user can elevate privileges all the way to System, the highest level in Windows. “I don’t know the full extent of the issue yet, but it’s too many to not be a problem I think,” researcher Jonas Lykkegaard noted. “Just so nobody is in doubt what this means, it’s EOP to SYSTEM for even sandboxed apps.” People responding to Lykkegaard pointed out that the behavior wasn’t a regression introduced in Windows 11. Instead, the same vulnerability was present in the latest version of Windows 10. The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team said that the vulnerability is present when the Volume Shadow Copy Service—the Windows feature that allows the OS or applications to take "point-in-time snapshots" of an entire disk without locking the filesystem—is turned on. The advisory explained: If a VSS shadow copy of the system drive is available, a non-privileged user may leverage access to these files to achieve a number of impacts, including but not limited to: Extract and leverage account password hashes Discover the original Windows installation password Obtain DPAPI computer keys, which can be used to decrypt all computer private keys Obtain a computer machine account, which can be used in a silver ticket attack Note that VSS shadow copies may not be available in some configurations; however, simply having a system drive that is larger than 128GB in size and then performing a Windows Update or installing an MSI will ensure that a VSS shadow copy will be automatically created. To check if a system has VSS shadow copies available, run the following command from a privileged command prompt: vssadmin list shadows Researcher Benjamin Delpy showed how the vulnerability can be exploited to obtain password hashes of other sensitive data: Currently, there is no patch available. Microsoft representatives did not immediately have a comment on the report. Et tu, Linux kernel? Most versions of Linux, meanwhile, are in the process of distributing a fix for a vulnerability disclosed on Tuesday. CVE-2021-33909, as the security flaw is tracked, allows an untrusted user to gain unfettered system rights by creating, mounting, and deleting a deep directory structure with a total path length that exceeds 1GB and then opening and reading the /proc/self/mountinfo file. “We successfully exploited this uncontrolled out-of-bounds write and obtained full root privileges on default installations of Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 21.04, Debian 11, and Fedora 34 Workstation,” researchers from Qualys, the security firm that discovered the vulnerability and created proof-of-concept code that exploits it, wrote. “Other Linux distributions are certainly vulnerable, and probably exploitable.” The exploit Qualys described comes with significant overhead, specifically roughly 1 million nested directories. The attack also requires about 5GB of memory and 1 million inodes. Despite the hurdles, a Qualys representative described the PoC as “extremely reliable” and said it takes about three minutes to complete. Here’s an overview of the exploit: 1/ We mkdir() a deep directory structure (roughly 1M nested directories) whose total path length exceeds 1GB, we bind-mount it in an unprivileged user namespace, and rmdir() it. 2/ We create a thread that vmalloc()ates a small eBPF program (via BPF_PROG_LOAD), and we block this thread (via userfaultfd or FUSE) after our eBPF program has been validated by the kernel eBPF verifier but before it is JIT-compiled by the kernel. 3/ We open() /proc/self/mountinfo in our unprivileged user namespace and start read()ing the long path of our bind-mounted directory, thereby writing the string "//deleted" to an offset of exactly -2GB-10B below the beginning of a vmalloc()ated buffer. 4/ We arrange for this "//deleted" string to overwrite an instruction of our validated eBPF program (and therefore nullify the security checks of the kernel eBPF verifier) and transform this uncontrolled out-of-bounds write into an information disclosure and into a limited but controlled out-of-bounds write. 5/ We transform this limited out-of-bounds write into an arbitrary read and write of kernel memory by reusing Manfred Paul's beautiful btf and map_push_elem techniques from: https://www.thezdi.com/blog/2020/4/8/cve-2020-8835-linux-kernel-privilege-escalation-via-improper-ebpf-program-verification Qualys has a separate writeup here. People running Linux should check with the distributor to determine if patches are available to fix the vulnerability. Windows users should await advice from Microsoft and outside security experts. Two-for-Tuesday vulnerabilities send Windows and Linux users scrambling
  3. Abyssmedia ID3 Tag Editor is a simple, freeware program that allows you to edit audio tags When you rip songs off of a CD/DVD, or buy/download your music from a website, there is the possibility of the tracks not having the proper tags. Or even worse, sometimes the songs have the wrong tags or album art, making it difficult to organize your music library. Abyssmedia ID3 Tag Editor is a no-frills free program that allows you to edit audio tags. The application is easy to get accustomed to. Use the side bar on the left to browse to your music folder, or drag and drop some tracks on to the interface to get started. Abyssmedia ID3 Tag Editor supports FLAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, WV, M4A, OGG and APE audio formats. The program lists the songs that you added, on the right pane. Select a track, and its album art is displayed in the bottom left corner. If the file does not have an image or if you'd like to use a different one, right-click on the image preview. This context menu allows you to remove the picture, and add a different cover art. It supports PNG, GIF, JPG, JPEG and BMP images. You can also extract the image that's currently saved to the file, should you want to use it. The right-pane on the bottom of the application's interface, is where you edit the tags. Abyssmedia ID3 Tag Editor supports the following tag types: ID3v1.1, ID3v2.3, ID3v2.4, MP4, WMA, APEv2 Tags and Vorbis. The format of the selected track's tags is displayed above the tag editor. The editor has 13 fields: Title, Artist, Album, Album Artist, Genre, Composer, Disc number, Track Number, Year, BPM (Beats per minute), Key, Comment, and Copyright. These are standard text boxes, so you can edit them as you see fit. You may use the buttons at the bottom of the window, to copy or paste a tag, clear all tag fields, remove a tag from the file or save the tag. This isn't a regular copy shortcut, if you click it and want to edit the tags of another song from the same album, use the Paste tab button and watch the magic. The program will paste the content in all the boxes, and it took just one click. Abyssmedia ID3 Tag Editor can fetch tags for songs automatically, all you need to do is click the Identify button on the toolbar. It is not perfect, sometimes it didn't work at all. But when the song identifier worked, the program added the title, artist, album and year tags to the track. That's not great, but it saves you a bit of the effort. Double-click on a song to play it in your default audio player, this is useful if you want to check if the tags are working correctly. The buttons on the right side of the toolbar (and the Tools menu), are shortcuts for other products from the developer, they are not free, except for Wave Editor which I have reviewed in the past. The next time you want to edit the tags of a music track, give Abyssmedia ID3 Tag Editor a shot. What it lacks in terms of advanced options, it makes up for in simplicity. The only problem with it was I couldn't rename the tracks that I was editing, and a portable version isn't available. If you are looking for alternative mp3 tagging apps, check out Mp3 Tag, Tagscanner, or Picard. Landing Page: https://www.abyssmedia.com/tageditor/ Abyssmedia ID3 Tag Editor is a simple, freeware program that allows you to edit audio tags
  4. Versefy is a freeware lyrics finder for Spotify, Tidal, VLC, Foobar2000 and Winamp Spotify is an excellent platform for discovering new songs. Having the lyrics sheet in view, can help you enjoy the song, until you memorize them. Spotify has a built-in lyrics viewer, which in my opinion, is not perfect. And it's also limited to a couple of dozen countries. Well, you don't need it when you have third-party apps like Versefy, that do a better job. The freeware program is available on the Microsoft Store, and is a 4MB download. It has a dark themed interface with a pleasant design, and an optional light theme that you may toggle from the toolbar at the bottom (2nd icon from the right). The window is resizable, position it where you want to. Stick the window to stay on top of other programs by using the last option on the toolbar, this is useful when you are using Spotify minimized but still want to view the lyrics. You don't need to log in to Spotify from Versefy, but the Spotify desktop program or the UWP app has to be running for the lyrics finder to work. However you can't use it with the web version of the music streaming service. Besides Spotify, Versefy also supports Tidal, VLC, Foobar 2000 and Winamp. This is perhaps the program's best feature. Click the respective icon in the top left corner of the interface, to switch to the music player of your choice. Play a track in Spotify (or one of the supported players), and Versefy will automatically search for the corresponding lyrics and display the text in its window. The search isn't exactly fast, but I'm guessing that the performance depends on the lyrics provider. Click the Prev and Next buttons to navigate between different versions of the lyrics. The text is selectable, meaning you can copy and save the lyrics to a local file. Versefy displays the album art, track's title, artist name of the song that's playing. Hit the "lyrics from text" to open the lyrics page in your default browser. Toggle the focus mode by clicking the 3rd icon at the bottom of Versefy's interface, and the app will switch to a minimal interface, aka an icon-less distraction free mode. Manage the lyrics providers from the program's settings. It supports three services: Musixmatch, Genius and Tekstowo.pl. You can disable/enable them, and move a source to the top of the list to prioritize it. The application uses a bold font by default, which has a sort of shiny glow. If you find it difficult to see, turn off the option by clicking the 5th button on the bottom toolbar. The two icons next to it allow you to increase/decrease the font size. Verdict Versefy is a good lyrics finder, but it doesn't support auto-scrolling. I couldn't test the program with Tidal, but it works with VLC, Foobar, Winamp, and both versions of Spotify (Desktop program and the UWP app). The application isn't flawless, while it did its job for the most part, it failed to fetch the lyrics occasionally. These weren't local files which were improperly tagged, but tracks from the Spotify library. When this happens, you will miss the option to do a manual search. The lyrics viewer does not have a mini player for controlling the music. Landing Page: https://versefy.app/ Versefy is a freeware lyrics finder for Spotify, Tidal, VLC, Foobar2000 and Winamp
  5. DynaWin is a simple tool that can change the Windows theme or desktop wallpaper automatically Many Windows users prefer using the Dark Theme because it's easier on the eyes. Some people like switching between the Light and Dark modes, depending on the time of the day. DynaWin is a simple tool that can assist you by changing the Windows theme or the desktop wallpaper automatically based on your preferences. The program's interface is quite unique, there are no toolbars or side-panels. Instead, there are two panes: Create a Dynamic Theme, and Create a Dynamic Wallpaper. Don't be intimidated by these names, they are just fancy ways to say theme and wallpaper switcher. Let's try the Dynamic Theme. Click the Create a new Dynamic Theme Task button, and the task creation panel appears. Give the task a name, and hit the Add an event button. Set the time when the event should be triggered. You can pick the hour, minute, and AM/PM. On a sidenote, the minute selection menu lists the time in increments of 5. I don't think this will be a problem for most people. The next option in DynaWin is interesting, it can do one of two things, the first of which is to change the default app theme or the Windows theme, from Light to Dark. That can be useful if you want the overall Windows theme to be dark/light, while the app themes should remain unaffected. Or you can go the other way, and make the system theme constant, and let the app theme be changed. Here's the best part, you can create multiple tasks. So, you can set the program to switch between the themes as and when required. Hit the save and exit button, and your task will appear on DynaWin's home screen. All you need to do is wait for the event to be triggered at the defined time. DynaWin can also be used to change the desktop wallpaper. Click the Create a New Dynamic Wallpaper task button on the program's home page, and a different task editor will pop up. There are two event triggers for switching the background. You can either set the program to change the wallpaper at a specific time, or when your laptop's battery reaches a certain threshold (% level). Don't forget to pick the image that you want to use as the wallpaper, the application supports JPG, JPEG, BMP and PNG formats. You may use it to change the wallpaper as often as you like, like once an hour, every 30 minutes, or even 5 minutes. That's up to you. The settings page has a single option, which you can toggle to make the program start automatically with Windows, a BAT file will be created if you enable this option. DynaWin is an open source program, written in .NET. It is not a portable software, and needs to be running in the background (system tray) to work. It would have been nice to have an option to select a folder which contains photos for the wallpaper switcher, instead of picking the images manually. Potential Dynawin Issues I noticed something strange happening while DynaWin was active, the taskbar would sort of refresh once every few minutes which in turn caused a minor lag, I think it happened every 2 minutes or so. I believe that the program checks the Windows Theme Settings with its own task settings, and refreshes the UI elements accordingly. I didn't see this behavior after closing the program, which is why I'm certain DynaWin was the one that was doing it. During my recent tests, the program failed to work, like it used to earlier. After fiddling with the settings and failing to fix it, it finally hit me. I had recently changed the Windows clock to the 24-hour format, which apparently DynaWin does not support. Once I switched it to the 12-hour format, it started working. Landing Page: https://github.com/Apollo199999999/DynaWin DynaWin is a simple tool that can change the Windows theme or desktop wallpaper automatically
  6. System Information for Windows - SIW 2020 v10.0.0128 SIW is an advanced System Information for Windows tool that analyzes your computer and gathers detailed information about system properties and settings (Software Information, Hardware Information, Network Information and Tools) and displays it in an extremely comprehensible manner. SIW can create a report file (HTML, JSON, CSV, TEXT or XML), and you can run it in batch mode (for Computer Inventory, Hardware, Software and Network Information, Software License Management, Security Audit, Server Configuration Management). The System Information is divided into few major categories: Software Information Operating System, Software Licenses (Product Keys / Serial Numbers), Passwords Recovery, Installed Programs, Applications, Security, Accessibility, Environment, Regional Settings, File Associations, Running Processes, Loaded DLLs, Drivers, NT Services, Autorun, Scheduled Tasks, Databases, Audio and Video Codecs, Shared DLLs, ActiveX, MMC Snap-Ins, Shell Extensions, Event Viewer, Certificates, etc. Hardware Information System Summary, Motherboard, BIOS, CPU, Memory, Sensors, Devices, Chipset, PCI/AGP, USB and ISA/PnP Devices, System Slots, Network Adapters, Video Card, Monitor, Sound Devices, Storage Devices, Logical Disks, Disk Drives, CD/DVD Devices, SCSI Devices, S.M.A.R.T., Ports, Battery and Power Policy, Printers, etc. Network Information Basic/Extended Information about Configuration, Statistics, Connections, Active Directory (Computers, Groups and Users), Shares, Open Ports, etc. Tools Network Tools: MAC Address Changer, Wake On LAN, Remote Licenses (from Windows Folder, Remote Computer or Registry Hive), Hosts Scan, Ping, Trace, etc. Miscellaneous Tools: Eureka! (Reveal lost passwords hidden behind asterisks), Shutdown / Restart, Monitor Test, MUICache Viewer, URL Explorer, Open Files, etc. SIW (Technician's Version) is a standalone utility that does not require installation (Portable Application) - one less installed program on your PC as well the fact that you can run the program directly from an USB flash drive, from a network drive or from a domain login script. SIW is periodically updated (usually once per quarter) in order to provide most accurate results. Client Platform: Windows 10 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Vista / Windows XP SP3 / WinPE / WinRE / Winternals ERD Commander Server Platform: Windows 2019 / Windows 2016 / Windows 2012 (R2) / Windows SBS 2011 / Windows Server 2008 (R2) / Windows Server 2003 (R2) Homepage: https://www.gtopala.com Changelogs Updated CPU module: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X, 3970X and 3990X and TRX40 chipset. Intel Core 10xxx Comet Lake processors. Updated Operating System module: Windows 10, version 2004. Added support for detecting Windows 10 "Active Development Branch". Fixed CTreeCtrl Copy&Paste. Improved support for High Contrast themes. Improved support for Right-to-Left languages. Improved Storage Devices S.M.A.R.T. support. Added Properties for CD-ROM. Renamed few fields: System Directories: Key -> Source NT Services: Start -> Startup Type Drivers: Start -> Startup Type Scheduled Tasks: Status: Enabled/Disabled -> Enabled:Yes/No State -> Status ActiveX: Class -> Class Name Updated Devices database. Minor enhancements and compatibility fixes. https://www.gtopala.com/siw/changelog.php Download: Site: https://www.mirrored.to Sharecode: /files/SVAQORDT/ Included: Home, Technician and Enterprise Editions
  7. Microsoft releases mandatory Windows updates to fix PrintNightmare exploit [Update] Earlier last week, Microsoft acknowledged that it was investigating a critical vulnerability in Windows 10 that when exploited could let attackers run arbitrary code on the victim’s system. The vulnerability, tracked under CVE-2021-34527, is present in the Windows Print Spooler service and is termed print "PrintNightmare" that can allow for remote code execution (RCE). As the vulnerability was still being investigated, the Redmond firm listed two possible workarounds to mitigate the risks caused by the bug. Today, the firm has provided an update in the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) listing for the vulnerability noting that it is rolling out a patch for the latest Windows 10 versions to address the issue. The update, KB5004945, is currently rolling out to the three most recent Windows 10 versions, 2004, 20H2, and 21H1, bumping them to Windows 10 builds 19041.1083, 19042.1083, and 19043.1083, respectively. Since these versions are based on the same codebase, the updates are identical for all the versions. The changelog and documentation for the update are yet to go live. Considering that these are security updates to fix a critical vulnerability, they are mandatory updates and are downloaded automatically through Windows Update. Users can also manually download the patch from the Update Catalog here. Future patches, such as the upcoming Patch Tuesday updates, will contain these fixes. There is no word from the firm on how the vulnerability affects older versions of the OS, though it notes that it has completed the investigation of the issue. The updates today are only rolling out to the three most recent and fully supported Windows 10 versions, but it will not be surprising to see a patch being made available for older versions still being supported for Enterprise and Education customers sooner, as the firm notes that supported Windows versions that do not receive an update today will get one "shortly after July 6". For those unaware, the PrintNightmare vulnerability is caused by the Print Spooler service not restricting access to a function that is used to install printer drivers remotely. An attacker that gains unrestricted access can execute arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges, examples of which are already available on the web. Considering the severity of the vulnerability, it is best for all users to update to the latest build as soon as possible. Update: The patches are available for most supported Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7 (ESU users). You can either update via Windows Update, or head to the MSRC document to find links to the requisite Update Catalog pages. The company has also provided the KB article links, but as is the case these days, those pages are yet to be updated. Windows 10 version 1607, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2016 are yet to receive updates. Here is the complete list of links posted by the firm: Product Severity Article Download Windows Server 2012 R2 (Server Core installation) Critical 5004954 Monthly Rollup Windows Server 2012 R2 (Server Core installation) Critical 5004958 Security Only Windows Server 2012 R2 Critical 5004954 Monthly Rollup Windows Server 2012 R2 Critical 5004958 Security Only Windows Server 2012 (Server Core installation) Critical Windows Server 2012 Critical Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 (Server Core installation) Critical 5004953 Monthly Rollup Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 (Server Core installation) Critical 5004951 Security Only Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 Critical 5004953 Monthly Rollup Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 Critical 5004951 Security Only Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2 (Server Core installation) Critical 5004955 Monthly Rollup Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2 (Server Core installation) Critical 5004959 Security Only Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2 Critical 5004955 Monthly Rollup Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2 Critical 5004959 Security Only Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2 (Server Core installation) Critical 5004955 Monthly Rollup Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2 (Server Core installation) Critical 5004959 Security Only Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2 Critical 5004955 Monthly Rollup Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2 Critical 5004959 Security Only Windows 8.1 for x64-based systems Critical 5004954 Monthly Rollup Windows 8.1 for x64-based systems Critical 5004958 Security Only Windows 8.1 for 32-bit systems Critical 5004954 Monthly Rollup Windows 8.1 for 32-bit systems Critical 5004958 Security Only Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 Critical 5004953 Monthly Rollup Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 Critical 5004951 Security Only Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1 Critical 5004953 Monthly Rollup Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1 Critical 5004951 Security Only Windows Server 2016 (Server Core installation) Critical Windows Server 2016 Critical Windows 10 Version 1607 for x64-based Systems Critical Windows 10 Version 1607 for 32-bit Systems Critical Windows 10 for x64-based Systems Critical 5004950 Security Update Windows 10 for 32-bit Systems Critical 5004950 Security Update Windows Server, version 20H2 (Server Core Installation) Critical 5004945 Security Update Windows 10 Version 20H2 for ARM64-based Systems Critical 5004945 Security Update Windows 10 Version 20H2 for 32-bit Systems Critical 5004945 Security Update Windows 10 Version 20H2 for x64-based Systems Critical 5004945 Security Update Windows Server, version 2004 (Server Core installation) Critical 5004945 Security Update Windows 10 Version 2004 for x64-based Systems Critical 5004945 Security Update Windows 10 Version 2004 for ARM64-based Systems Critical 5004945 Security Update Windows 10 Version 2004 for 32-bit Systems Critical 5004945 Security Update Windows 10 Version 21H1 for 32-bit Systems Critical 5004945 Security Update Windows 10 Version 21H1 for ARM64-based Systems Critical 5004945 Security Update Windows 10 Version 21H1 for x64-based Systems Critical 5004945 Security Update Windows 10 Version 1909 for ARM64-based Systems Critical 5004946 Security Update Windows 10 Version 1909 for x64-based Systems Critical 5004946 Security Update Windows 10 Version 1909 for 32-bit Systems Critical 5004946 Security Update Windows Server 2019 (Server Core installation) Critical 5004947 Security Update Windows Server 2019 Critical 5004947 Security Update Windows 10 Version 1809 for ARM64-based Systems Critical 5004947 Security Update Windows 10 Version 1809 for x64-based Systems Critical 5004947 Security Update Windows 10 Version 1809 for 32-bit Systems Critical 5004947 Security Update Update 2: The KB articles are now live for those interested in reading through the changelog. For Windows 10, the changelog is mostly similar across versions. Here is how the firm details the update: Addresses a remote code execution exploit in the Windows Print Spooler service, known as “PrintNightmare”, as documented in CVE-2021-34527. After installing this and later Windows updates, users who are not administrators can only install signed print drivers to a print server. By default, administrators can install signed and unsigned printer drivers to a print server. The installed root certificates in the system’s Trusted Root Certification Authorities trusts signed drivers. Microsoft recommends that you immediately install this update on all supported Windows client and server operating system, starting with devices that currently host the print server role. You also have the option to configure the RestrictDriverInstallationToAdministrators registry setting to prevent non-administrators from installing signed printer drivers on a print server. For more information, see KB5005010. Microsoft releases mandatory Windows updates to fix PrintNightmare exploit [Update]
  8. JRiver Media Center 28 is the all-in-one media management app turns any Windows PC into an entertainment hub for complete control of your digital media: Audio, Video, Images, and Television. It connects PC to stereo, TV, remote control devices, digital cameras, scanners, and portable MP3 players. It plays all media, rips, burns, and organizes all your music, images, and video. JRiver Media Center encodes and plays all popular media formats. Powerful utilities include Media Server for streaming music and images to remote PCs. JRiver Media Center is more than a world class media player. It’s also a Media Network, a whole house music, movie, TV, and photo solution. The leader in audiophile quality sound. The most powerful media database available; an essential tool for large collections. JRiver Media Center is a DirectShow player. Obsessive taggers will be delighted with cover art and metadata options. And MC backs up your work. JRiver Media Center supports more cell phones, MP3 players, DLNA, and other devices. Powers an HTPC to entertain your family. Even different playback in multiple zones. And it can record high definition TV, and provide a replacement for cable TV. It has a Theater View interface, controllable by a MC Remote, an iPad, iPhone, Android, a Windows netbook or Touchscreen. JRiver Media Center has a streamlined user interface designed to make it even easier to organize, find and play your digital files, and to connect to hardware devices. Make a CD of music for your car. Record your favorite shows and watch them on your TV. Play different music simultaneously in different rooms. MC’s Media Server can even stream your music to your PC at work!JRiver Media Center Features: Audio Audiophile – WASAPI exclusive output using high-end USB DACs. Native support of DirectShow DSP filters. Audiophile – Added ability to play files from memory instead of disk. Headphone DSP makes listening more natural and comfortable. Audiophile – Support for high end USB DAC’s with WASAPI. SoundcardSwitch command for the launcher, allows soundcard selection. 3D album view adjusts text size to display more tracks when necessary. 3D album view allows playing, adding, shuffling, and adding as next to play. Images Image Preview allows zoom from a thumbnail to rotate, delete, compare, edit, and more. Image thumbnail frames (optional). Photoshop PSD file support. Single command copy/send to an editor like Photoshop, and stack new image with original. Video Video tagging using sidecar files. Chapter Support for MKV and MP4. Chapters added to On Screen Display. Info Panel displays metadata. Television Added new “watched” column to metadata. EPG can automatically retrieve XMLTV data. Automatic correlation of XML channel names and MC channel names. Info Panel displays metadata, including TV program art. TV program art from YADB. Theater View Watch Hulu and YouTube from Theater View Customizable nested views in Theater View Customizable File Info panel to display metadata Speed and quality enhancements Custom backgrounds Touch screen support On screen clock Remotes and Servers Wiki articles: Remotes and Servers Remote Relay using IR transceivers for controlling a set top box or receiver Remote Setup Wizard Media Center Remote learning and blasting Media Center can connect to another Media Center to act as a remote (TRemote) New HID remote control plug-in supports shortcuts with keyboard, mouse and gamepad Remote control with REST based Web Service Interface in Library Server Library Server supports read and write to allow for shared, multi-user database access DLNA added to the UPnP Server Library Server clients can write changes back to server Library Server connections allow playback on server as Playing Now zones JRiver Media Center plays more file formats than any other player. Connected media from Netflix, Hulu, Last.fm, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia. And it sends to Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter. Changes in JRiver Media Center 28.0.29 (2021-06-24): Fixed: The Edge Web component was not being properly installed on Windows 7. NEW: Added the new S-Curve cross-fade modes. Fixed: When playing videos, the player could return to the previous size and position as it advanced tracks. Fixed: Equalizer presets would not fully upgrade to the new 20 band approach. NEW: When bitstreaming DSD at a higher rate than bitstreaming supports, it will just down convert the DSD so it will still be a DSD bitstream. Changed: Using a smaller VST block size to avoid latency that could happen with some visualizers. Fixed: DLNA Conversion to DSF was setting the header of the DSF file to an incorrect number of samples (2x the real amount) resulting in odd or no playback on some devices. Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7 Windows 8/8.1 Windows 10. Homepage –https://www.jriver.com download 32 bit https://files.jriver.com/mediacenter/channels/v28/latest/MediaCenter280032-x32.exe download 64 bit. https://files.jriver.com/mediacenter/channels/v28/latest/MediaCenter280032-x64.exe
  9. Public Windows PrintNightmare 0-day exploit allows domain takeover Technical details and a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit have been accidentally leaked for a currently unpatched vulnerability in Windows that allows remote code execution. Despite the need for authentication, the severity of the issue is critical as threat actors can use it to take over a Windows domain server to easily deploy malware across a company’s network. The issue affects Windows Print Spooler and because of the long list of bugs impacting this component over the years [1, 2, 3, 4], the researchers named it PrintNightmare. Several researchers have tested the leaked PoC exploit on fully patched Windows Server 2019 systems and were able to execute code as SYSTEM. An accidental leak Leaking the details for this vulnerability happened by accident, out of a confusion with another issue, CVE-2021-1675, also impacting Print Spooler that Microsoft patched in this month’s rollout of security updates. Initially, Microsoft classified CVE-2021-1675 as a high-severity, privilege escalation issue but a couple of weeks later changed the rating to critical and the impact to remote code execution, without providing any details. Credited for reporting CVE-2021-1675 are researchers from three cybersecurity companies (Tencent, AFINE, NSFOCUS) but multiple teams were analyzing Windows Print Spooler. On June 28, Chinese security vendor QiAnXin announced that they found a way to exploit the vulnerability to achieve both local privilege escalation and remote code execution, and published a demo video. source: QiAnXin Seeing the exploit video and believing it's the same issue, another team of researchers from Chinese security company Sangfor, decided to release their technical writeup and a demo exploit, calling the bug PrintNightmare. However, it turns out that PrintNightmare is not the same as CVE-2021-1675, which received a patch on June 8, but a zero-day vulnerability in Windows Print Spooler in need of a fix. Mitja Kolsek, CEO of Acros Security and co-founder of micropatching service 0Patch clears the confusion by pointing to the technical details that AFINE researchers released for CVE-2021-1675, which are different from what Sangfor researchers published yesterday. source: Mitja Kolsek Confusion aside, PrintNightmare is a serious flaw that needs to be treated accordingly. Since a patch is yet to come, administrators are strongly advised to stop and disable the spooler service, especially on domain controller systems. Matthew Hickey, co-founder of Hacker House, was able to obtain full SYSTEM privileges from a normal Domain User account on an up-to-date Windows Server 2019 machine vulnerable to PrintNightmare. Benjamin Delpy, the developer of mimikatz post-exploitation tool for penetration testing, achieved remote code execution with the highest privileges on a fully patched system, too. While his test was also on a Domain Controller, Delpy said that the same result is achieved “on all systems with RPC to spooler available, remote or local.” Delpy made a video showing that his test system, running the latest updates, did not stop the PrintNightmare exploit: Will Dormann, a vulnerability analyst for CERT/CC confirmed that a remote, authenticated attacker can run code with elevated rights on a machine with the Print Spooler service enabled. Dormann also confirmed that Microsoft’s June security updates have no effect against the PrintNightmare zero-day vulnerability detailed by the researchers from Sangfor. source: Will Dormann The general advice at the moment is to stop and disable the service on Domain Controllers as soon as possible, as the need for authentication is far from a deterrent for an attacker. Threat actors, ransomware groups in particular, are likely to jump at the occasion to compromise company networks, since getting credentials for limited-privilege domain users is an easy task, security researcher Jonas Lykkegård told BleepingComputer. Credentials for regular users can be just as good for an attacker in environments vulnerable to privilege escalation, and there is a market for this type of data, sustained by info-stealing activities. On some underground forums, a valid login and password pair for a Windows Remote Desktop server can go for as low as $3 and as high as $70. One of the largest marketplaces for Windows Remote Desktop logins had a collection of 1.3 million credentials, showing that selling them is a lucrative business. Sangfor researchers (Zhiniang Peng, XueFeng Li, and Lewis Lee) will talk at Black Hat this year about how they found PrintNightmare and created an exploit for it in a presentation titled Diving Into Spooler: Discovering LPE and RCE Vulnerabilities in Windows Printer. Public Windows PrintNightmare 0-day exploit allows domain takeover
  10. uView Player Lite is a freeware picture-in-picture video player that supports many streaming services Watching a video in picture-in-picture mode is a great way to keep yourself entertained while browsing the internet. Sometimes we may need a break from work or even gaming. People with powerful computers often have their browser running in the background while playing games, and use it from time to time. But that consumes a lot of memory, for a lightweight option, try uView Player Lite. This is a freeware picture-in-picture video player that supports many streaming services. Install the program, and open it to be greeted by a colorful interface, which is a bit too flashy in my opinion. The GUI keeps things minimal, the lone text box in it is the one you will be using for the most part. UView Player Lite supports the following services: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Netflix, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Prime Video, Smashcast, Youku, BiliBili, Tencent Video, Crunchyroll, and Disney Plus. Click the up or down arrow buttons to switch to the service that you want to use it with, e.g. YouTube. Open your browser and go to the video's page, and copy its URL from the address bar. uView Player Lite's floating interface will pop up near the bottom right corner of your screen, and start playing the video in picture-in-picture mode. You may close the browser, and the video will continue playing in the pop-up panel. The player's interface will stay on top of other windows, you can't disable this behavior because that's the whole point of it, watching videos while working with other programs or gaming. A lot of video players can play streaming media via a URL, but uView Player's minimal interface gives it a slight edge ahead of the rest, and it doesn't use up a lot of resources. The floating video player is similar to the streaming service's player, so you get all the on-screen controls for the playback, volume, closed captions, etc. You can resize the window according to your requirements. Mouse over the player's title bar to lock the view, maximize it to fit the screen, or to close the video. Here's the best part, uView Player Lite also supports offline media content, so you can watch MP4, MKV, AVI, WMV, MPEG videos or listen to MP3 audio tracks that you have on your computer. uView Player stays in the background as a system tray program. The media application has a couple of options that you can toggle, such as moving the player's location to the left side of the screen, toggling the URL detection from the clip[board, and to disable the animated effects of the interface. If the video's streaming service isn't among the list, choose the Other sites option, to give it a shot. I tested it with YouTube and Facebook videos, and had no trouble with those. Technically, you don't need to visit the video's website or even have your browser open for uView Player Lite to work. The tool monitors your clipboard and captures the video URL, and sends it to its video player. So, if you have a link saved in a text document, copy it to the clipboard and the player will pick it up. That said, there is another way to use it, with the help of an optional browser extension. When you install the plugin, and visit a video's page, you can click the extension's button to open it in uView Player without using the clipboard. The add-on is available for Firefox, Chrome, and Microsoft Edge. It is important to understand this difference, you can use uView Player without the browser extension, but not the other way around, i.e. the add-on isn't a standalone tool. uView Player Lite is available in a regular installer, and as a Microsoft Store app. Both versions have an identical interface, and the same features. I'm not sure why it's called Lite, because there aren't any other versions available. Sometimes, you may get stuck in a game and might need help getting past it. There's no shame in looking up a guide or a video, and uView Player's PiP mode works well for such scenarios. The lack of customization options could deter some people, but that's what keeps it minimal and user-friendly. Landing Page: https://www.idruf.com/ uView Player Lite is a freeware picture-in-picture video player that supports many streaming services
  11. Fluent Search is a customizable desktop search engine program If there's one thing that Windows is bad at, it has to be the Search tool. I never use it, because it crawls at a snail's pace, and I'd rather use Voidtools' Everything search program. Fluent Search is a similar desktop search engine that offers various customizations. The application runs in the background, and can be accessed using the hotkey Ctrl + Alt, or by double-clicking the tray icon. Use the hotkey Ctrl + Alt to bring Fluent Search's interface which looks nice. Type your query in the box at the top, and the program will list all results. The search occurs in real-time. Navigate the list using the up and down arrow keys. Pressing the right arrow key switches the focus from the sidebar to the pane on the right. Each item in the search result has a number of actions that you can execute, this varies based on the file type. You can execute the actions using keyboard shortcuts. Fluent Search can be used to find files, programs installed on the computer, and also to find content inside files and running processes like tabs and links. The program's pretty fast since it indexes the files and folders, just like the Everything search engine. Hit the space bar to preview the file's contents, it works with images and documents. Click the pin icon, and the next time you want to search for it, it will appear at the top of the results. Use tags to filter the search results, to assign a tag hit the Tab key, or click the + button on the right pane, and enter a word that you want to tag it with. The program retains Windows Explorer's file context menu, which is quite useful. Ctrl + M triggers the screen search, which basically is Vim-like keyboard shortcuts. To perform a web search, type Google or Bing, followed by the query. e.g. Google Windows 11. This opens a new tab in your default browser with the search results page. You may add other search engines from Fluent Search's settings. The application handles app queries rather nicely and puts them at the top of the list. You can invoke terminal commands to run in Powershell or Command Prompt. Press the tab key to switch between different search modes. e.g. If I search for Ghacks, and then hit tab, the program will search the website for the term that I enter. You'll need to hit the backspace key twice to exit the tab search mode. Right-click the tray icon and select Settings. Fluent Search's appearance is customizable, you may change the font type, scaling, accent color, the interface's opacity and transparency. The program has a light theme and a dark theme that you can switch, or let it follow the operating system's theme. The tray icon doesn't look good with the light theme in Windows. You can modify the hotkey used to access the search tool, set the number of results that appears in the results. The application uses machine learning, i.e. it analyzes your usage to prioritize your favorite results, and puts them at the top of the list. If you don't like that, you can turn the option off. For even more tweaks, enable the Advanced options by toggling the switch at the top of the window. The button next to it opens the plugins manager. It has 5 add-ons as of now, which adds some extra functionality to the search tool. Use Ctrl + Q and Ctrl + Shift + Q to jump between the previous and next process in the list. There are other modules in the program such as the Calculator, To Do (with the Microsoft To Do app) that you can enable from the settings. Fluent Search is a freeware application, it is not open source. The program is in beta phase, and it has a few issues. Firefox and CudaText crashed several times during my tests, but only when I tried searching for content in said programs. I also experienced freezing issues with QuiteRSS, while Fluent Search was running in the background. To fix these problems, go to the search tool's Settings > Processes > Other, and toggle all three options that are enabled; Enable Application, Search in app content, and Show process history UI. Though process related search is a key feature of Fluent Search, I don't really recommend using the function until the bugs are fixed, because you could lose unsaved data if a program crashes. I didn't have problems with the other options. While it is a fine search utility, I wouldn't compare Fluent Search with the Everything program, not yet anyway because the latter feels more optimized and easier to use. But I think Fluent Search is more than a search application, it's a keystroke launcher. The program doesn't have a help file or a list of hotkeys for navigating the interface or explaining the actions, which makes it somewhat difficult to learn. There's one thing that was bugging me, and it's the way the search box handles the cursor. Normally, I don't move the mouse pointer over the text in the address bar or search box of any program. Double-clicking anywhere inside the box selects the contents, I think that you maybe familiar with this. Well, Fluent Search doesn't do it properly. If I searched for the word document, and switched to a different window and came back to Fluent Search, double-clicking the box wouldn't place the cursor inside it. I had to move the mouse precisely over the text and click on it. I think that's because the clickable part of the search box is dynamically resized, i.e. it's restricted to the length of the text inside it, and the phrase" Press Tab to search" makes the rest of the box unclickable. This slows you down a bit, if you want to delete the search and start a new one. Fluent Search comes in an optional portable version, there's also a Windows Store app available if you prefer it. If you want a similar program, try Flow Launcher or Pinpoint. Landing Page: https://fluentsearch.net/ Fluent Search is a customizable desktop search engine program Software Updates: Fluent Search 0.9.86.0
  12. Lightscreen is an open source, minimalistic screenshot tool for Windows Everyone takes screenshots, at least once in a while. You could be using Windows' Snipping tool, others may prefer Snip & Sketch. Some of us opt for a third-party program, for sake of simplicity, customization and more options. Martin's preferred tool is PicPick, but there are plenty of others around. Lightscreen ticks all the right boxes. The program's interface is compact, and user-friendly. There are three buttons in the GUI, the first icon captures a full screen snapshot. The one in the middle is the area selection tool, that lets you draw a box around the part of the screen that you want to capture. You may resize the selection by dragging the edges of the box, or typing the pixel size like 100x100 followed by the Enter key. The tool will display two more buttons when you have drawn the box, a check mark that captures the screenshot and an X button that cancels the process. Pressing the Escape key also cancels the capture. The third option in Lightscreen is select window, which is handy for saving a screenshot of a specific window. You can also use the program's tray icon or hotkeys to capture screenshots. You can find the images in the Documents > Screenshots folder, to open the directory click the Folder button in the program's window. The application also saves a copy of the screenshot to the clipboard. Click the Options button to customize Lightscreen's settings. The first box lets you set the screenshot directory. The next section is the filename setting. Each image is saved with the filename "screenshot" and an incremental number at the end. You can assign a different name from the General tab, and the menu next to it has a couple of suffix options; date, timestamp and none. The images are saved in the JPG format, but you can switch to PNG or BMP instead. Though LightScreen supports keyboard shortcuts, only one shortcut is activated by default. To enable the rest go to the Hotkeys tab and toggle the ones you find useful. While you're there, you can customize the shortcuts per your requirements. The utility can optionally upload the captured images to the Imgur cloud service, for which you will need to authorize Lightscreen with your account. Head on to the Options tab to toggle the tray icon, and notification settings. With the default settings, Lightscreen displays a pop-up near the tray, and plays the Windows 10 notification alert sound. You can turn these off. Toggle the screenshot preview option, and a thumbnail of the captured image will appear in place of the notification banner. The preview window has three buttons; to save the screenshot, view it in Photos, or to delete it. The program has a built-in magnifier that you can toggle from the settings. Lightscreen is an open source program. It is not portable by default, though you can make it so by creating a file called Config.ini in the program's folder. Copy the folder to a different computer, and you'll be able to use it without installing it. The screenshot tool does not come with a built-in editor, but the option that I missed the most was timed-screenshots. For a more robust screen capture and editing options, ShareX is the best option available Landing Page: https://github.com/ckaiser/Lightscreen Lightscreen is an open source, minimalistic screenshot tool for Windows
  13. BandiZip is an intuitive and fast archiving application that supports WinZip, 7-Zip, and WinRAR, as well as other archive formats. BandiZip supports for ZIP, 7Z, RAR, ALZ, EGG, TAR, BH, LZH, GZ, BZ2, ISO, CAB, WIM, XZ, ARJ, and Z archives files and users can create self-extracting files (.EXE) and multi-volume (split) archives files. Bandizip has very fast Zip algorithm for compression & extraction by "Fast Drag and Drop" and "High Speed Archiving" function. When you archive multimedia files (AVI, WMV, MP3...) or archived files (ZIP, RAR, 7Z...), you can't get good compression results. These files are hard to compress and sometimes the file size could be bigger than the original one. Bandizip's "High Speed Archiving" function will allow you to compress or bypass the files its own algorithm. It will increase the archiving speed dramatically. A number of file archiving software extract files to temporary folder, and then it copies the files to the targeted folder. BandiZip's "Fast Drag & Drop" function does not use temporary folder, and it just extracts to the targeted folder directly. It will increase the extraction speed dramatically. Another advantage of BandiZip is that it supports Unicode system perfectly. BandiZip has "Code Page", and it will allow you to select a language in archive without breaking international characters. With "Fast Drag & Drop", "High Speed Archiving", and "Code Page" functions, BandiZip might be the sensation in archiving software market. v7.17 Jun 16, 2021 Added a feature decompressing DAA (v1.0) archives Fixed a bug that the progress bar is not displayed correctly when the program handles an XZ archive Fixed a compatibility issue with screen-reading apps for visually impaired users Fixed a bug that the Honeyview requires the password again when opening image files in an encrypted archive (Honeyview v5.36 or later required) Fixed a bug that occurs with the "Compress to custom filename" feature Fixed a compatibility issue between the installer and screen-reading apps Added -date switch inserting the current system time in an archive's path Improved the program not to create an empty archive when compressing a locked (being used by another process) file Added a feature decompressing DEB archives Improved the program not to delete a newly created archive when "Test archive" is canceled in the midst Fixed a bug that the program does not automatically handle the request for administrative privileges when decompressing a ZIP archive containing symbolic links Improved the installer and updater Fixed a bug related to the image preview in an archive Added a feature testing an archive after its compression Added a feature scanning malware in an archive before its decompression Other modifications Home: https://www.bandisoft.com/ Changelog: https://www.bandisoft.com/bandizip/history/ Download Page: https://www.bandisoft.com/bandizip/dl/ Downloads: Installer Pro - All CPUs (x86, x64, ARM64): https://dl.bandisoft.com/bandizip.std/BANDIZIP-SETUP-STD-ALL.EXE Installer Pro - x64 CPUs (Intel/AMD 64bit): https://dl.bandisoft.com/bandizip.std/BANDIZIP-SETUP-STD-X64.EXE Installer + Fix | x64 Only: Site: https://www50.zippyshare.com Sharecode: /v/DoCtO9Na/file.html or Site: https://www.mirrored.to Sharecode: /files/0EO6LTZG/Bandizip_Professional_7.17_x64.zip_links
  14. Tidy Desktop Monster is an open source tool that deletes shortcuts from your desktop automatically I prefer organizing my desktop in a specific way, so it's easy for me to tell where programs that I use are, and where my game shortcuts are. Everyone has a way to organize their desktop shortcuts. Some may prefer using docks and taskbar icons, while others simply have icons all over the place. What about a layout with no icons at all? Or only the icons that you want? Tidy Desktop Monster is an open source tool that helps you do that. Before we begin, I recommend taking a backup of your current desktop shortcuts. Extract the application from its portable archive, and run it. Tidy Desktop Monster's interface is user-friendly. Click on the only button in the interface, it's labeled Start Tidying Desktop. You will notice that the program minimizes itself to the system tray. It runs in the background and constantly monitors your desktop for changes. Let's take a look at the interface again. Bring it up by double-clicking the icon or with a right-click and by selecting "Open Settings". Tidy Desktop Monster is set to delete "app shortcuts" by default. What does that mean? When you install a program, there is a good chance it will create a shortcut for itself on your desktop. Sometimes, applications tend to create multiple icons, e.g. one for the product's website, other software from the developer, etc. You don't need all this trash on your home screen. Tidy Desktop Monster will not prevent these icons from being added, but once it spots a new shortcut, the program deletes it instantly. Technically, it doesn't delete the icons permanently, they are sent to the recycle bin. You can restore them when you want to. The program does not require administrator privileges to run for the most part, I'll explain more about this in a bit. It's worth noting that shortcuts that you create manually aren't deleted. That's a good thing. But if you really don't want any icons, you can use the drop-down menu in the utility and set it to "Delete All Shortcuts". The application only discards shortcuts that were created for the current user account logged in to Windows. You can check the box next to "Tidy All Users desktop too", to ensure it cleans shortcuts added for every account. If you find that the program is still failing to remove the icons when you install something else e.g. when I tried installing EA Origin, Battle.Net, Bleachbit the shortcuts weren't deleted. The workaround for this is to run Tidy Desktop Monster with administrator rights. If the tool is running, you'll need to click the Stop Tidying Desktop button, and make your changes, i.e. to delete all shortcuts, or delete for all users, and then start the service. Though Tidy Desktop Monster is portable, you may optionally set it to run automatically when Windows starts. This can be useful if you want to avoid the chore of starting the tool manually. The program worked fine, but sometimes the shortcut was deleted permanently from the recycle bin. It's not a huge deal, since you can re-add it if required. I think it would be helpful if the Tidy Desktop Monster had a log of the items it deletes. Not having icons on the desktop is cool, but you'll still need some way to access your favorite programs. I recommend taking a look at Cairo Desktop, Astounding Dock, or launcher programs like PinPoint, Super Launcher, Portable Start Menu. Landing Page: https://github.com/mkropat/TidyDesktopMonster Tidy Desktop Monster is an open source tool that deletes shortcuts from your desktop automatically
  15. DeadHash is an open-source file hashing utility for Windows and Linux Do you use a file hashing program? It can be useful to check the integrity of files that you've downloaded from the internet, or to verify the integrity of backed up files. I use it whenever possible to avoid broken or corrupted downloads, though this isn't always possible, as it depends on the availability of the file hash. Not every developer provides one. DeadHash comes in an optional portable self-extracting archive. Unzip it to any folder and it's ready-to-use. The application has a modern interface with a toolbar at the top, that has a nice accent color. The File tab is the first step in verifying your files. Click it and on the next screen, you can enter the file path box or use the select button, to navigate to the folder which contains the files that you want to verify. The utility does not have a Shell extension for adding files from the Windows Explorer context menu. To make up for this, DeadHash supports drag-and-drop. The caveat here is that the program does not support batch file processing, that means you can't use it with folders either. When you have selected the file, hit the Calculate button and DeadHash will process it. The time taken for the task depends on the file size, if you're checking a very large file, it might take a quarter of a minute or so. The program doesn't tell you that it is done hashing the files. You'll need to scroll down the window to see the list of hash values of the file. If you are cross-verifying the hash value with one that has been provided on the download page of a website, you should enable the Compare button, before hitting the Calculate option. DeadHash displays a checkmark next to the result to indicate a match. The symbol won't be displayed when no matches were found, nor does the tool alert you about the same. The hash values are selectable, so it's easy to copy the data and paste it to/from other applications. You can export the data to a CSV file for future use. This is the faster way to get all the data. DeadHash supports the following hashing algorithms: MD4, MD5, SHA1, SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384, SHA-512, RIPEMD160, and CRC32. It has four additional options that are not enabled by default. If you only want a specific hash algorithm, you may toggle the other options off from the program's settings page. Click the gear icon at the top of the window to switch the light and the dark mode. DeadHash has a dozen themes that you can pick from, which changes the accent color of the interface. The Text tab in DeadHash can be used to calculate text hashes. This is not something the average person may use, it's usually used for verifying whether some text content that you received is unmodified. DeadHash is an open source utility. The Electron app is available for Windows, Linux, and Android. The installer version of the program is a bit buggy, it starts with a white screen and takes about half a minute for the interface to appear. The portable version does not suffer from this problem. That said, I think OpenHashTab is a better program overall. Landing Page: https://codedead.com/software/deadhash DeadHash is an open-source file hashing utility for Windows and Linux
  16. Microsoft is hiring engineers to “modernizing existing parts of the Windows” Microsoft originally planned to create a whole new version of Windows free from the 30+ year legacy of the operating system, but some time earlier this year the company scrapped the plans, and instead decided to improve Windows 10. We can see that decision reflected in an April 2021 job posting where Microsoft was looking for an engineer in the Windows shell team (which is responsible for things like the “Start & Taskbar to the touch, voice, and pen+ink interaction models, as well as features like snap and windowing“) to build “new parts and modernizing existing parts of the Windows UX“. The senior program manager would conduct “user research to understand users’ needs” and test their new solutions. Microsoft says its goal is to “unlock the creative and productive potential of customers” and we expect to see the early fruits of their work when Windows 11 is announced next week on the 24th June. via WindowsLatest Microsoft is hiring engineers to “modernizing existing parts of the Windows”
  17. Change the monitor brightness on Windows quickly Win10_BrightnessSlider is an open source program for Microsoft Windows devices -- Windows 7 to Windows 10, not just Windows 10 despite the name -- to change the brightness of connected monitors quickly. The application requires the Microsoft .NET Framework, which may need to be installed depending on the operating system the application is run on. Just download the program from the GitHub project page and run it afterwards, an installation is not necessary. Note that you may get Safe Browsing and Windows SmartScreen warnings when you download and/or execute the program. The application is not widely used and that is the reason why it is seen as suspicious. Three antivirus engines mark it as malicious on VirusTotal, but these are (very likely) false positives. If you want to be sure, don't run the program or run it in a sandbox. Win10_BrightnessSlider adds an icon to the Windows System Tray which you may see right away or not, again depending on the system you run it on. Select the icon directly or the up-arrow icon on Windows 10 and then the icon, to display the sliders. The program supports multi-monitor systems, and you may use it to change the brightness on these systems using the sliders that it displays. I ran into a detection issue, as it displayed two sliders, one with the brightness value -1, on a single monitor test system. Using that slider crashed the app, using the other slider changed the brightness level of the monitor as expected. Windows 10 users may right-click on the taskbar, select Taskbar Settings, and on the page that opens "select which icons appear on the taskbar" to display the Win10_BrightnessSlider icon in the system tray area directly to save one click. A right-click on the program icon displays an option to run the program on startup, so that it is available right away. The program reacts to certain events, e.g. monitor power on or off, or plug/unplug, and comes with a rescan option to add or remove monitors from its interface after plug or unplug events. Closing Words Not everyone needs a brightness slider in the system tray area of the Windows operating system, but some users may like it. Besides the ability to quickly change the brightness on desktop systems, it is also useful when hardware brightness buttons are defect, or when multiple monitors need to be managed with different and changing brightness settings. Landing Page: https://github.com/blackholeearth/Win10_BrightnessSlider Change the monitor brightness on Windows quickly
  18. MP3 Timer is a freeware program that plays a music track when the countdown runs out Do you have a timer in your kitchen? Many people use one, it helps keep track of time when you're busy and have something on the stove or in the oven. If you're like me and work on the computer while the food's getting ready, you may want a timer on the screen, and that is exactly what MP3 Timer does. Extract the program's executable from the portable archive and run it. MP3 Timer's GUI is odd, the egg-shaped design with the buttons kind of looks like a Tamagotchi device. It's a floating widget, so feel free to drag it around the screen. The window stays on top of other programs. You may have noticed that the timer has started to countdown already, the application has a timer set to 12 minutes. Don't worry, you can change this, click the red button and set the time that you want the alarm to ring at. The menu that appears has options in increments of 15 minutes. If you want to set a shorter timer, mouse over the clock that's counting down, and click on it. This way you can set the number of minutes and seconds for the timer. There are a couple of quick ways to change the timer. Click the -5 or +5 buttons on the edges of MP3 Timer's interface to reduce or increase the countdown by 5 minutes. To change the clock by one minute, use the -1 and +1 buttons. Or you can right-click on the program's interface, mouse over the Set Time menu, and change the value to 5, 8, 12, 15, 20, 30, and 60 minutes. This can be handy depending on the task you want to use it for. It's time we choose a tune for our alarm. Drag and drop a music file on the program's window or click on the area below the clock or the eject symbol (between the pause and stop button) and browse for a music track. Contrary to its name, MP3 timer supports Wav, Midi, AVI (audio) and MP3 formats. Click the play button to play the music, this is useful for testing the audio. When the alarm goes off, use the stop button to silence the music playback. MP3 Timer does not have a snooze button, the top portion of the window will keep flashing to alert you that the timer has run out. Exit the program by clicking the X button, or reset the timer to start a new countdown. The application's right-click menu has a Play MP3 option, it appears to be buggy, and does not play the music immediately. MP3 Timer has an icon on the system tray, its menu is identical to the one that appears when you right-click on the GUI. When you minimize the application, it stays running in the background and can be accessed from the tray. Mouse over the icon to view a tool-tip that displays the timer. MP3 Timer is a freeware program, it's compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit systems. The application is also called MP3 Pizza Timer. It isn't meant to be used like a calendar or to-do program, but I'm not going to hold that against it. If you want a reminder program, you should try the open source tool, RemindMe. Landing Page: https://www.mp3timer.com/en/ MP3 Timer is a freeware program that plays a music track when the countdown runs out
  19. YAFFplayer is a simple video player which has some cool filters and can download videos What's your favorite media player? VLC, PotPlayer, MPC? I like testing new players, and the one that I've been using recently is YAFFplayer. The name stands for Yet Another FFmpeg Video Player, you know because a lot of media players rely on the open source encoding library. YAFFplayer's interface is minimal, it doesn't have a right-click menu or a fancy toolbar. To play a video, drag and drop it onto the interface. The program is portable, but you can add it to the context menu from the settings page, it helps open files a bit easier. Right-click on the window to pause or play the video, or use K or the Spacebar. Use the arrow keys to rewind or fast-forward the playback, or click the seek bar. The program supports incremental fast-forward (and rewind) like YouTube does. Hit the keys from 0 - 9 to move the timeline by 10%. The media player displays the fps (frame rate per second) count of the video, on the title bar. If you'd like to view more information about the video, press I. This panel tells you the video's name, folder location, the total number of frames, the video's resolution, and the video and audio codec that it was encoded with. YAFFplayer does more than just play media: click the Download Video button and the program will start downloading the video from the URL that's in the clipboard. The application uses the popular open source tool, youtube-dl to download videos. Alternatively, you may click the Video++ button, which brings up the Settings page, from which you can paste the URL in the box under the video download section. There are a couple of advantages in this method, as this page has shortcuts to open the download folder, open the video's page on YouTube. Check the first box in the section to add the current timestamp to the downloaded video's name. Optionally, you can use YAFFPlayer to extract the MP3 audio from a video. I tested the downloader with several sites, and it works fine. The Colors & Effects settings allows you to enable filter effects for the video. The available filters are: Sketch which is sort of a pencil drawing, Displacement, Electric, Dot Screen, CRT, Halftone, and Gray (monochrome). The media player places a vertical slider on the screen, similar to ones you may have seen in before and after image comparisons. You can move the slider to apply the filter over the part of the video that it is on, and it's kind of cool. YAFFplayer is available for Windows, Linux and Raspberry Pi devices. The program had trouble playing AC3 audio, but had no issues with AAC. It's a little strange because the application could handle H.265 and H.264 videos without a hiccup. There is no volume controller in the media player, so you'll need to stick with the Windows audio slider, or use something like EarTrumpet to control the application's sound output levels. If you're coming from something like VLC, MPC or PotPlayer, I don't think you may like YAFFplayer, because it is way too simple. The lack of support for basic features like subtitles, full screen toggle, etc., is holding the program back. I liked using it to download videos and test the resultant media. Landing Page: https://www.geeks3d.com/yaffplayer/ YAFFplayer is a simple video player which has some cool filters and can download videos
  20. Microsoft releases new Office Insider Build 14204.20006 for Windows users Microsoft has released a new Office Insider Preview Build 14204.20006(Beta Channel) for Windows users. The new Office Insider Preview build adds no new features, instead, you get a ton of fixes for issues found in Word, Excel, OneNote. You can read the full official changelog below. Changelog Word Notable fixes We fixed an issue in which squares appeared when using the Microsoft Word Manuscript Paper Add-in. We fixed an issue in which some pages in print preview were blank. Excel Notable Fixes We fixed an issue where extra entries appeared in the Excel Add-in list for some users. We fixed an issue where a saved workbook would appear at the top of the Recent list when saving to an SPO document library. OneNote Notable fixes We fixed an issue where copying a link to a paragraph did not always redirect to the correct page. To update to the latest Microsoft Office Insider Preview Build, open any Office program and go to File> Account> Update Options> Update Now. Microsoft releases new Office Insider Build 14204.20006 for Windows users
  21. Get a list of all USB devices that connected to a Windows PC USBDriveLog is a new application by Nirsoft to display a list of all USB devices that were connected to a Windows PC in the past. One of the main uses of the application is to find out if an unauthorized device was connected to the machine, for example to copy data from the PC to the USB device. USBDriveLog is a portable program for Windows, like all Nirsoft applications. The program works only on Windows 10 devices, as previous versions of Windows don't support the event log channels that it uses. It is free and interested users may download it directly from the developer website. Just extract the archive it is supplied in, and run the program from any location. The application displays the list of connected USB devices directly on start. It retrieves the data from the local system by default, but you can change that in the options to pull it from one or multiple remote computers, shadow copy, or a local folder. Data is displayed in a table, revealing device model and revision, the manufacturer of the device, serial numbers, plug-in and unplug time, the device ID, the capacity of the device, and other information about each device. A click on a header sorts the data accordingly. You can sort by time, starting with the most recent recorded connection, by device name, or by any other bit that is displayed in the interface. Use Ctrl-F to display the built-in search option to find specific devices quickly. You may search by name but also by time, manufacturer, and anything else that is displayed by the portable application. Selected items or all items can be exported to the local system. USBDriveLog supports saving the information to plain text files, csv and xml files, json files, or HTML files. As far as options are concerned, there are not that many. You can change the capacity unit under the options menu, select which columns to display under view, and enable or disable the automatic resizing of columns and headers. Closing Words USBDriveLog is another handy small program by Nirsoft. It has been designed for a specific purpose, just like the majority of applications created by Nir Sofer. It is a solid addition to the tools collection of system administrators and support technicians. Landing Page: https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/usb_drive_log.html Get a list of all USB devices that connected to a Windows PC
  22. RetroBar is an open source tool that changes the taskbar's appearance to that of Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME or XP Which version of Windows did you use first? The first one I tried as a kid was Windows 3.1. I consider myself lucky to have experienced the evolution of the operating system, from Windows 95,98, XP, Vista, 7, 8/8.1 to Windows 10. If you have never used one of the older versions of the OS, or if you're feeling nostalgic about them and want the old UI back on your Windows 10 computer, you may be interested in RetroBar. The freeware tool replaces parts of the GUI to give it a retro feel, hence the name. The program is portable, extract it and run the executable. Your taskbar will disappear, give it a few seconds and a different bar takes its place. This is the Windows 95 taskbar. Windows 98 had the same interface. It's not just the task bar, RetroBar also modifies the system tray and the start button for uniformity. The program retains all your taskbar shortcuts, which is helpful. Right-click on a blank area of the taskbar, and RetroBar's context menu will pop-out. Use it to access the Windows Task Manager, or to toggle the clock or the quick launch icons. There is a much cooler option here, the theme drop-down menu. Click on the menu, and you may choose any of the following options: Windows 2000, Windows 95-98, Windows ME, Windows XP Blue and Windows XP Classic. RetroBar doesn't waste time when switching between themes, the change happens instantly. To close the program, select Exit from the right-click menu. Surprisingly, it exits (and opens) without restarting Explorer, which probably means that it uses an overlay over the default Taskbar. RetroBar is an open source application written in C#. I think it's worth mentioning that the program does not alter the appearance of the Start Menu, you may want to look into Open Shell for an XP styled skin. Advanced users maybe interesting in customizing the program's theme. To do so, you will need to create a folder in the program's directory, and an XAML file. The project's GitHub repository has XAML files for the built-in themes, that you can use for reference. Windows 10's tray icons (Wi-Fi, speaker, battery, etc.) appear too thin and faint, but we can't really blame the tool for that. However, the default icon size on the taskbar is way too small, the program needs to offer a way to resize them. Windows 10 avoids creating labels on the task bar for programs that are running, it uses icons. RetroBar does not support this, and as a result your taskbar could get cluttered really quickly. Look at the first screenshot above and the one below from Windows 10, and you'll see what I'm talking about. RetroBar hides nearly all options of the Taskbar's context menu, which makes it a bit inconvenient to use. You can't access the Action Center or use the Show Desktop button. The fly out menu (right-click menu) for taskbar icons, and task preview are not available either. And, if you're using custom toolbars like the Everything Toolbar, you can't access any of those. On the other hand, notifications work fine. I think Windows XP Blue's taskbar, start menu and tray still looks the best. What about you, which one do you like? Landing Page: https://github.com/dremin/RetroBar RetroBar is an open source tool that changes the taskbar's appearance to that of Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME or XP
  23. Find your Windows product key or validate it with ShowKeyPlus Do you know what your Windows product key is? Well, you paid for the Windows license. Should you build a new computer, and no longer plan on using the old system, you don't have to pay for the operating system twice, you may be able to activate your old copy of Windows on the new PC. The simplest way to activate Windows 10 is to sign in to your Microsoft account. In case you aren't aware, your Windows license is tied to your Microsoft account. To validate the product key, the OS sends some information to Microsoft's servers. This data is unique to your PC, such as the processor and motherboard information. So, if you upgrade your computer, i.e. install a new CPU or motherboard, it is likely that your copy of Windows will get deactivated. It has happened to me, and I had to reactivate the license from the Windows 10's Settings page. On the off chance that you are unable to activate the operating system by signing in to your account, you may want to use the Windows 10 product key instead. Some pre-built PCs and Laptops come with an OEM copy of Windows, you'll probably have a sticker on the computer that mentions the code. If the sticker gets worn out or dirty, wouldn't you be glad if you had a backup of the key? ShowKeyPlus is a freeware tool that tells you what your Windows product key is. Run the program, and it lists the name of the operating system, the product ID, the build version, and the key. It also indicates whether your license is an OEM Key. Since my laptop came with Windows pre-installed and activated, it has an OEM key from Acer. Click the save button in the sidebar and ShowKeyPlus will save the license data to a text file. This information can come in handy in the future, if your computer crashes, and you are unable to recover the system or the hard drive. ShowKeyPlus can do more. The Check Edition button on the left pane switches to a different screen. Paste the license and hit Check, and the tool will tell you which Windows edition your product key is valid for. Ever downloaded the wrong Windows ISO and had to start over? You can avoid that mistake by checking the key beforehand. The Retrieve Key option pulls the license information from the Software Hive file located at C:\Windows\System32\config. This review is based on ShowKeyPlus version 1.1.15.0. According to the software's website, it only works with Windows 8 and Windows 10. So Windows 7 users may not be able to use it to fetch the product key info. You can't copy the product key from the program's interface, you'll need to save the data to a text file. It didn't recognize my copy of Microsoft Office. Now that maybe a little unfair, because ShowKeyPlus isn't designed for that. But rival programs can do that, so in a way the lack of support for Office is disappointing. The application does not list the computer's name, this shouldn't be a problem for most users, but if you have multiple computers and are looking at the text document, you probably won't know which system it applies to. This can be easily fixed by including the name of the computer in the document. ShowKeyPlus is listed under the MIT license, but I couldn't find the source code on the GitHub repository. If you don't want to use a program to find your Windows key, open a Command prompt and paste the following code in it. wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey That's not exactly the easiest thing to remember, why bother with it when you can use the program to do the job with a single-click? Landing Page: https://github.com/Superfly-Inc/ShowKeyPlus/releases/ Find your Windows product key or validate it with ShowKeyPlus
  24. Poddycast is a desktop application that can stream your favorite podcasts Podcasts are a fun way to keep yourself entertained. Some users prefer to play the episodes on their phone, while some opt to listen to podcasts while they work on their computer. Poddycast is a desktop application that can stream your favorite podcasts. The program's interface is divided into two panes. To add a podcast, use the search function on the sidebar. Poddycast supports the iTunes API, which makes it easy to find your favorite show. The results are displayed on the right pane. Click the heart button next to a feed, to subscribe to it. The program displays your subscriptions in the favorites section on the side panel. I think it needs a better name, like podcasts. Poddycast displays a broken chain-link icon on a podcast's cover picture, if the show's URL is broken. Select a podcast to view a list of all available episodes. Click on an episode and the program will start playing it. You can control the playback by using the rewind/fast-forward, play/pause buttons at the bottom, or using the seek bar next. Control the volume and playback speed with the slider and the buttons towards the bottom right corner. Back on the episode list, you can view the title, the airing date, the duration of each episode. Mouse over the i-icon to view the description of the episode. Poddycast lists new episodes in a special tab that you can access from the sidebar. The history tab has a list of all episodes that you listened to. The application places an icon on the system tray, even though it does not run as a tray program. You can create playlists in the program, but the feature is not what you may think it to be. This basically a list of the most recent episodes from your subscriptions. It can be kind of useful if you are subscribed to many feeds, an all-in-one list is better than having to go through the favorites section and each feed to find new episodes. That being said, I'd rather have an option to add individual episodes to create a custom playlist. You can edit a playlist, rename it, or delete it by right-clicking on its name on the side panel. Poddycast has many hotkeys, hit space to play or pause, the left and right arrow keys to rewind or fast-forward the playback. The program has a dark mode, that you can toggle from the View menu. Poddycast is an open source Electron app. It is available for Windows, Linux and macOS. The program is portable. The lack of an option to export or import a list of OPML feeds was a bit disappointing. But that's not the dealbreaker, the major issue with the app is that it cannot download episodes. So, if you're someone who likes to archive episodes, or just prefer to listen to episodes offline (or across devices), you should look elsewhere. Hopefully the program will pick up these features in future releases. The best podcast application, in my opinion, is gPodder. The only thing that it's missing is support for iTunes search. Landing Page: https://github.com/MrChuckomo/poddycast Poddycast is a desktop application that can stream your favorite podcasts
  25. HomeCinema: media cataloging software for Windows If you happen to have lots of media files on your system, you may sometimes have troubles keeping an overview. On which hard drive was that movie again that you wanted to watch? HomeCinema is a media cataloging software designed specifically for disk-based collections. It is an open source software that scans folders that you select automatically to add media files, movies and TV shows, to the collection. The program is not a universal media cataloging software; you cannot use it to catalog disc-based movies, e.g. those on Blu-Ray, and you can't use it to catalog media that is not connected to the PC. The application requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6 or higher and 4 Gigabytes of RAM or more. The developer notes that it is compatible with Windows 10 only, as it has not been tested with older versions of Windows. There is a chance that the program will run on these versions, but I did not test the hypothesis. Just run the program after you have downloaded and extracted it. The app prompts for a folder right away and this is the first folder that it will scan for movies or TV shows. HomeCinema fetches information from IMDB and adds these to each movie or TV show that it detected on the system, provided that information is available. The first load may take a while, especially if the folder contains lots of media files. Movies and TV shows are listed in alphabetical order in the application interface. A search is provided to find media quickly, and you may use filters to filter the listing as well, e.g. to display only a specific genre or year range. A click on a title starts its playback in the default media player on the system right away. HomeCinema supports multiple folders. Select Settings > File to add more locations for movies or TV shows. These are scanned by the application automatically to add the content to the database and display. The app detects common media formats such as mp4, mkv, avi, or ts automatically, and you may add more formats to the list of detected formats. Content that is displayed in the app may be edited; useful if the detection got it wrong and you need to correct titles or other information.- Closing Words HomeCinema is a useful application for Windows users who store large parts or even all of their movie and TV show collection on their PC or connected storage devices. The main limitation is that you cannot add titles manually to the collection. Landing Page: https://github.com/Superfly-Inc/ShowKeyPlus/releases/ HomeCinema: media cataloging software for Windows
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