Patch Tuesday alert: Make sure Windows Auto Update is temporarily disabled
For those of you who haven’t patched since May, there’s exceedingly bad news on the horizon. Per Catalin Cimpanu at ZDNet, Metasploit’s working-but-just-barely BlueKeep exploit is about to get a significant bug fix. That’ll put BlueKeep infection capabilities in the hands of mere mortals. The script kiddies won’t be far behind.
If you’re using — or you know someone who’s using — Windows XP, Vista, Win7, Server 2003, Server 2008 or Server 2008 R2, get patched now. The fix is easy. Even Aunt Martha can handle it.
Think of it this way. Would you rather spend the holidays with Aunt Martha over tea and crumpets, or cleaning a BlueKeep infection off her cute little PC? Your choice.
Yes, you have to get patched eventually. But there’s very little reason to jump head first into the pernicious patching pit. Sit back and watch like a pro. Get automatic update disentangled for a while, and wait while we all watch the unpaid beta testers take one (or more) for the Gipper.
Blocking automatic update on Windows 7 and 8.1
If you’re using Windows 7 or 8.1, click Start > Control Panel > System and Security. Under Windows Update, click the “Turn automatic updating on or off” link. Click the “Change Settings” link on the left. Verify that you have Important Updates set to “Never check for updates (not recommended)” and click OK.
Blocking automatic update on Win10 Pro 1803 or 1809
Not sure which version of Win10 you’re running? Down in the Search box, near the Start button, type About, then click About your PC. The version number appears on the right under Windows specifications.
If you’re on Win10 Pro version 1803, you have three options: Stick with version 1803 a while longer (the last scheduled patch for 1803 arrives Tuesday); upgrade to version 1809; or go for 1903, which has had teething problems lately. I have details on the options, what they entail, and how to pursue them here: Is Windows pushing you to upgrade? Don’t be bullied. There’s a middle path.
If you’re using Win10 Pro version 1809, or if you’re on Pro 1803 and…