Updates 2020-11-13

Welcome back, Folks!

Today is Friday the 13th of November, 2020. It’s not Patch Tuesday, but updates from Microsoft, Apple, Google, and others have triggered an out-of-cycle update.

This Month in Technology

Ransomware authors have long used ads on services like Google and Facebook to distribute their malware, but are now using Facebook ads for “social proof” to promote their own effectiveness and encourage compliance to their ransoms.

Animal Jam has been hacked, restaurant POS ModPipe is being actively hacked, Dell printer drivers are being flagged as malware, and Vertafore (a company offering insurance validation) has allowed over 27 million records of Texas drivers to be compromised.

After over a decade since the release of Stuxnet to target PLCs in Iranian nuclear facilities, other PLC vendors for different industries are now being massively targeted using similar methods.

Microsoft finally acknowledges that the use of your phone number for 2FA (two-factor authentication) actually weakens account security.

The EFF has a great write-up of HP’s current bait-and-switch, and Google has announced that their free unlimited photo storage “forever” isn’t quite forever after all.

The Judge in the Epic Games lawsuit has dismissed Apple’s claims of theft.

Twitch has clarified their new copyright policies and encourages users to simply disable background music when they stream.

I think the biggest difference between those who study history and the low-information crowd is that those of us who have taken the time to research instead of taking what the media spoon feeds us invariably suffer from Cassandra Syndrome. We’re forced to witness while people who have made no bones about reducing the population push an untested vaccine created in less than 6 months that purportedly resolves the ADE response flaw that virologists have failed to address over the last 18+ years to provide an estimated 90% protection from a virus with less than 0.02% mortality.

Now for the good news:

We continue to win against insane abuses of the legal system.

Let’s Get Busy

Patch Tuesday was only a couple days ago, so while these updates (except for Big Sur) are relatively small (under 1 GB total), keep in mind that there’s likely still several more GB for people that haven’t patched yet.

Apple released updates for macOS Big Sur 11.0.1, Safari 14.0.1, macOS Catalina 10.15.7, Security Update 2020-005 High Sierra, Security Update 2020-005 Mojave, Security Update 2020-006 High Sierra, and Security Update 2020-006 Mojave. These are security updates.

The next major version of macOS has been released, macOS 11 (Big Sur), which includes some major changes under the hood and many new cosmetics and compatibility capabilities for iOS/iPadOS software.

Performance changes for some features are estimated to be as much as 1.9x faster, though with history as a guide, I would assume this statement applies only to very recent hardware, and anything older than 2 years will actually experience significant performance lags in actual use.

Some devices as old as 2013 are technically “supported” though performance and reliability on older hardware is going to be the biggest consideration. If your goal is the iOS-ification of your Mac, Big Sur will start you on that path. If you plan to upgrade then you will need to have at least 30 GB free space before installation and you’ll lose approximately 4 GB permanently. This is necessary due the to new upgrade process for the static operating system partition. My advice is to wait until at least version 11.1 before upgrading to Big Sur. They’ve already fixed some significant problems, but Apple has a history of releasing major software insufficiently tested and with significant unanticipated issues.

With the release of macOS 11, be aware that any Mac running High Sierra (10.13) and older is no longer supported. Please upgrade to Mojave (10.14) if you can, or remove your device from the Internet.

Google Chrome OS 86.0.4240.198 is a security update. Use Menu, Help, About to install the most current version. A reboot is required.

Important Notes

Everything above this section should be checked by everyone on every computer. Chances are good that close to every single computer you touch will be affected by those updates. This is not the case with the items below, though you should still check each line item below to see if it applies to software you have installed.

Please remember that while I list many different applications within these updates, most people should ONLY install updates for a program if they already have a previous version of that program installed.

It is essential to maintain all the applications you have installed on your computer, but often you can minimize the time investment and the potential for exploitation simply by uninstalling software you do not need.

Also note that using the applications own “check for updates” function, when available, will best preserve your current settings, and often avoid any crapware that might come with a fresh installer. Use this option if it’s available to you.

Finally, if you’re sick of doing this all yourself, let me! Call or email me any time, and we can set you up with subscription SaferPC updates which will be installed each month whenever necessary. Click, call or email for more details:
https://saferpc.info/updates/
209-565-12PD
shawn@12pointdesign.com

Browser Updates

One or more of these are likely to be of interest to everyone.

Brave 1.16.76 is a security update. Use Menu, Help, About to install the most current version.
https://brave.com/

Google Chrome 86.0.4240.198 is a security update. Use Menu, Help, About to install the most current version.

Microsoft Edge 86.0.622.68 is a security update. Use Menu, Help, About to install the most current version.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/edge/business/download

Vivaldi 3.4.2066.106 is a security update. Use Menu, Help, About to install the most current version.
https://vivaldi.com/

Media Updates

These are unlikely to be of interest to most people.

Flickr Downloadr 3.3.2.1 upgrades libraries. This should be treated as a security update.
https://flickrdownloadr.com/downloads/

Game Updates

These are unlikely to be of interest to most people.

PlayStation PS4 8.00 is a re-release and doesn’t indicate what has changed. This should be treated as a security update.
https://www.playstation.com/en-us/support/system-updates/ps4/

Office Updates

One or more of these are likely to be of interest to most people.

OpenOffice 4.1.8 is a security update. I want to note that I am impressed that the otherwise-abandoned Apache OpenOffice project has released a security update. It is still a little disappointing that it took them 5 months to address it. One more reason to switch to LibreOffice.
https://www.openoffice.org/download/

Converter Updates

These are unlikely to be of interest to most people.

DVDFab 12.0.0.6 adds support for new encodings and resolves several bugs. This is not a security update.
https://www.dvdfab.cn/download.htm

Utility Updates

These are unlikely to be of interest to most people.

CCleaner 5.74.8198 resolves a settings bug. This is not a security update.
https://www.ccleaner.com/

CurrPorts 2.63 adds option to align numeric columns to the right. This is not a security update.
https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/cports.html

IsMyHdOK 2.66 updates language support. This is not a security update.
https://www.softwareok.com/?seite=Microsoft/IsMyHdOK

NTLite 2.0.0.7722 resolves several bugs. This is not a security update.
https://www.ntlite.com/download/

Developer Updates

These are unlikely to be of interest to most people.

Node.js 15.2.0 resolves dozens of bugs. This is not a security update.
https://nodejs.org/en/

Web Package Updates

These are likely to be of interest only to web developers.

ScreenConnect 20.11.1622.7619 resolves stability and reliability bugs. This is not a security update.
https://www.connectwise.com/software/control/download

phpList 3.5.7 is a security update.
https://www.phplist.org/

Antispam Bee 2.9.3 improves compatibility and resolves several bugs. This is not a security update.

W3 Total Cache 0.15.2 resolves several bugs. This is not a security update.

WooCommerce 4.7.0 resolves dozens of bugs and improves compatibility. This is not a security update.

WPtouch 4.3.39 resolves style bugs. This is not a security update.

That’s all for now folks. Keep it clean out there. 😉

Regards,

Shawn K. Hall
https://SaferPC.info/
https://12PointDesign.com/

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