How To test if your Antivirus program is working

I was doing some Antivirus stuff this afternoon now let me share with you how to test if your Antivirus program is working, e.g. alerts you in the event of a virus. Of course you can go to certain places on the internet where it won’t take long until you get a real virus, but that’s probably not what you want to do, so here’s a brief description how to use the “Test-Virus”. Go to Read More …

How the Windows Defender Offline Beta Tool works

In addition to the Microsoft Security Essentials software and the Microsoft Safety Scanner Microsoft just recently released another FREE antimalware removal product called the Windows Defender Offline Beta. While Security Essentials and Safety Scanner run within Windows, the purpose of the  Windows Defender Offline Tool is to run offline from bootable USB or CD/DVD media. In fact the tool isn’t really something new, those familiar with the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack Suite (MDOP) which includes Read More …

Running an Application as Administrator or in Compatibility Mode

Today someone in a forum asked how to programmatically configure an application so that it runs in compatibility mode. Configuring this manually is easy, just open the file’s properties, select the Compatibility tab and apply the required settings. On Windows 7 this then looks as shown in the picture below. Now whatever we configure here, it all gets written to the following location in the Windows Registry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers If the settings have to apply Read More …

A Security Baseline Resource for Windows 7–Internet Explorer and Windows 7 Firewall

If you are looking for some ideas how to secure your Windows 7 clients, have a look at the USGCB (The United States Government Configuration Baseline). The USGCB has been developed by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The documentation looks impressive and even if you aren’t going to apply all of these 1-1, it might give you some ideas on how to make your clients more secure. Read More …

Least Privilege Security for Windows 7, Vista and XP

Yesterday I received a pre-release copy of Russel Smith’s book called Least Privilege Security for Windows 7, Vista and XP. The book is entirely dedicated to the subject of running Least Privilege Security (or standard user accounts) on Windows operating systems in the enterprise. The book has 420 pages and covers the following topics: Chapter 1, An Overview of Least Privilege Security in Microsoft Windows Chapter 2, Political and Cultural Challenges for Least Privilege Security Read More …

BookTip: Group Policy – Fundamentals, Security and the Managed Desktop

Today I’ve received a signed copy of Jeremy Moskowitz latest Book “Group Policy – Fundamentals, Security and the Managed Desktop”, so instead of using my laptop I guess I’ll be holding a real book in my hands this weekend. Jeremy also published 3 FREE chapters: Bonus Chapter 1 – Scripting Group Policy Operations with Windows PowerShell (co-written with PowerShell MVP Jeff Hicks.) Bonus Chapter 2 – Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPMv4) Bonus Chapter 3 – Read More …

Updated MS10-015 Security Update and Kernel Update Compatibility Assessment Tool

During the past weeks we have seen quite some messages about the MS10-015 security update which can cause bluescreens after being installed. According to a recent post on the Microsoft Security Response Center blog there is a revised installation package for MS10-015 that prevents the update from installing if abnormal conditions exist such as an infection of a computer virus as the Alureon rootkit. More details about the updated MS10-015 security update can be found Read More …

Changing Internet Explorer Security Settings on Windows Server 2008

While I was preparing my home lab for some Group Policy tests i wanted to perform I got an error when generating a report in the Group Policy Management Console which is running on a Windows Server 2008 with Internet Explorer 8. The error was: “An error occurred in the script in this page” A search on the web indicated that this had to do with the Internet Explorer Security Settings, but when I opened Read More …

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer with support for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2

With the launch of Windows 7 Microsoft also released an updated version of the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer also known as MBSA. The version is 2.1.1 which is indicating that this is basically just a minor revision of the previous MBSA 2.1, and that is exactly what it is . MBSA 2.1.1 does not appear to bring any new features other than adding support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Hoping to find Read More …

Office 2007 Trusted location configuration

When opening an Excel file that contains macros, Microsoft Excel 2007 shows a security warning as shown in the picture below and disables the macros. To continue using the Excel sheet and its macros, you must first enable then by clicking on the "Options…” button and selecting the “Enable this content” option. This is quite annoying if you must use that same file on a regular basis. You could of course completely disable this security Read More …