Articles about Pcs

Hitler ‘ransomware’ offers to sell you back access to your files – but just deletes them

Cybercrooks have put together Hitler-themed ransomware that simply deletes files on encrypted PCs. The (apparently prototype) Windows malware displays a lock screen1 featuring the infamous Austrian dictator, together with a demand falsely stating that files have been encrypted. The ransomware says files can supposedly be …
John Leyden, 10 Aug 2016

Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that golden backdoor keys are a terrible idea

Updated Microsoft leaked the golden keys that unlock Windows-powered tablets, phones and other devices sealed by Secure Boot – and is now scrambling to undo the blunder. These skeleton keys can be used to install non-Redmond operating systems on locked-down computers. In other words, on devices that do not allow you to disable Secure …
Chris Williams, 10 Aug 2016
Swiss cheese

Web pages, Word docs, PDF files, fonts – behold your latest keys to infecting Windows PCs

Patch Tuesday Microsoft has fixed 38 CVE-listed security vulnerabilities in Edge, Internet Explorer, and Office, as well as high-profile flaws that have allowed researchers to circumvent Windows boot protections. None of the programming blunders were publicly disclosed or actively exploited in the wild prior to today's patch release. The …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Aug 2016
Coffee beans, image via Shutterstock

Oracle Java patch problem? Browsium rolls management fix

Released in 1995, Java went from a language running in a browser to the ubiquitous platform of today, one which underpins the entire industry and with deep tentacles in enterprise IT. After more than 20 years, Java remains one of the world’s most popular programming languages and employed by nine million devs. Java runs on 97 …
Gavin Clarke, 09 Aug 2016
Metropolitan police image via Shutterstock

London's Met Police has missed the Windows XP escape deadline

London’s Metropolitan Police has missed its deadline to dump Windows XP, with tens of thousands of copper still running the risky OS. The force, on the front line against terrorist threats and criminals in the capital city, is running Windows XP on around 27,000 PCs. At last count, in May 2015, the Met had a total of 35,640 …
Gavin Clarke, 09 Aug 2016
Pic of Garda car. editorial use only Photo by SHutterstock/abd

PCs’ PCs pwned: Irish cops probe mystery malware attack

External attempts to hack into the IT systems of the Garda Síochána prompted a temporary shut down of several Irish police systems last week. Details of the attack are so far sketchy but reportedly involve a new strain of malware. UTV Ireland reports the attack took place on Thursday and involved “zero day” malware. In a …
John Leyden, 08 Aug 2016
Windows 10 droplets, photo by Anton Watman via Shutterstock

Breaking 350 million: What's next for Windows 10?

After 12 months of “free” upgrades, it's now business for usual for Microsoft and the hard work begins on trying to shift paid-for Window 10. Microsoft closed the door on free upgrades from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 on July 29. The Anniversary Update of Windows 10 arrived on August 2. From now on, if you want to …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Aug 2016

World's lamest ransomware authors won't answer fake tech support line

Symantec malware manglers Sam Kim and "Val S" have spent 90 minutes on the phone to ransomware purveyors while researching a new variant that encrypts PCs through fake Windows 10 activation dialogues. Kim and "S" ran out of patience and money waiting for the net menaces to answer their call placed to a phone number listed on …
Darren Pauli, 08 Aug 2016

Windows 10 Anniversary Update is borking boxen everywhere

Users are reporting that upgrading to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update renders their PCs unusable. A lengthy Reddit thread explains the problem: the Anniversary Update installs just fine, but when users re-start their PCs after the upgrade … nothing happens. Users report that their PCs simply hang on restart, sometimes …
Team Register, 08 Aug 2016

AdBlock Plus blocked in China: 159m forbidden from stripping adverts

The makers of the AdBlock Plus (ABP) say their ad-blocking browser plugin has been effectively outlawed in China by the Chinese government. ABP communications boss Ben Williams said in a blog post that the ban was part of a larger effort by the state to crack down on technology tampering with ads. In the process, Williams …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Aug 2016

Render crashing PCs back to their component silicon: They deserve it

Something for the Weekend, Sir? My computer crashed every five minutes this morning. Please can you check what's wrong with it when you get home? This text message does not surprise me in the least. Mrs Dabbsy's computer never goes wrong when I'm nearby. It waits until I'm out of the house. As soon as it knows I'm safely on a train heading off somewhere, it …
Alistair Dabbs, 05 Aug 2016
Metal plant grows out of circuit board - Green IT concept pic. Photo by Shutterstock

California to put all your power-hungry PCs on a low carb(on) diet

California could soon become the first US state to pass laws limiting the power consumption of computers sold within its borders. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the California Energy Commission (CEC) wants to, by the end of the year, require PCs and monitors sold in Cali to use way less energy. The report cites a …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Aug 2016

Microsoft has stopped cutting sales fees for resellers? Yep

Microsoft has quit hacking into fees paid for channel software sales, and reselling clouds is getting more profitable – these seemed to be the major takeaways from top brass at Insight Enterprises in an enterprising Q2. Revenue at group level went up two per cent to $1.46bn, but this top line expansion was driven purely by the …
Clodagh Doyle, 04 Aug 2016
Signpost saying Happy Sad

EMC now spruiking PCs and thin clients, not Compellent

The Dell/EMC transaction's yet to formally conclude, but the two companies are already starting to behave as one if the agenda for a forthcoming EMC event is any guide. The Register was yesterday invited to the Australian iteration of of the EMC Forum, the single-day event at which the company talks up its latest and greatest …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2016
1980s fashion

Classic Shell, Audacity downloads infected with retro MBR nuke nasty

Classic Shell and Audacity downloads were booby-trapped this week with an old-school software nasty that knackered victims' Windows PCs. Hackers were able to inject some retro-malware into the popular applications' installers hosted on fosshub.com, an official home for Classic Shell and Audacity releases among other software …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Aug 2016
SMB sniffing

Reminder: IE, Edge, Outlook etc still cough up your Windows, VPN credentials to strangers

Updated Microsoft software still leaks usernames and password information to strangers' servers – thanks to an old design flaw in Windows that was never properly addressed. These details can be used to potentially unmask VPN users and commandeer Windows accounts. They can be obtained simply by tricking victims into visiting malicious …
Iain Thomson, 02 Aug 2016
Windows 10 Anniversary Update, showing the new three-column Start menu

Windows 10: Happy with Anniversary Update?

The Big Review One year after the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft has released the Anniversary Update, bringing new features as well as usability tweaks to the operating system. Windows 10 was always more than just another release. Notable innovations include the concept of Windows-as-a-service, with regular updates (free for consumer …
Tim Anderson, 02 Aug 2016
Ten fingers with windows flag

Windows 10 grabs 22 per cent desktop market share in a year

Windows 10 has grabbed more than 20 per cent of the world's desktops in its first year, according to the web-watchers on which The Register relies for regular assessments of operating system market share. Those watchers are Netmarketshare and StatCounter, which now have data covering the entire year since Redmond shoved …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Aug 2016
Sulawesi Slender Root-Rat

Russia reports RAT scurrying through govt systems, chewing data

Russia's Government is reporting that malware designed to steal data has been found in state systems at two dozen agencies and critical institutions. Moscow did not reveal the names of the targeted agencies nor which attacks were successful and what data if any was stolen. Military, scientific, and critical infrastructure …
Team Register, 01 Aug 2016
Kaspersky image

Kaspersky so very sorry after suggesting its antivirus will get you laid

Kaspersky has apologized for displaying a sexist pop-up advert in its security software. It's not sorry about showing adverts on people's PCs, however. The Russian giant's desktop software suite flings adverts, er, news items about Kaspersky products at users who have already paid for its applications. On Friday, one of these …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jul 2016

Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate

Comment As your humble HPC correspondent for The Register, I should probably be running Linux on the array of systems here at the home office suite. But I don't. I've been a Microsoft guy since I bought my first computer way back in 1984. You, dear readers, can rip me for being a MStard, but it works worked well for my business and …
Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update tweaked to stop you disabling app promos

Group Policy changes in Windows 10 Anniversary Update, set for release shortly, mean that users of the Pro edition can no longer disable some of the more intrusive aspects of the operating system. Group Policy is a mechanism by which system administrators can configure Windows settings centrally, for PCs joined to a Windows …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jul 2016
Crowd watches fireworks at night in the field. Photo by Shutterstock

WD disk revenues spin slower as its flash fireworks go off

WDC beat its own better-than-expected preliminary results estimates with a $3.495bn quarter but swung to a $351m loss with fewer disk units sold. Layoffs are coming. Revenues for the fourth fiscal 2016 quarter, ended July 1, were 9.2 per cent higher than a year ago and 24.8 per cent up on the previous quarter. This quarter …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jul 2016

What's on a road to nowhere? Ingram's Q2 numbers

Ingram Micro outlined progress, or rather lack of it, when it reported calendar Q2 numbers last night and did little to convince financial markets - including Shanghai’s Stock Exchange - that it is a business going places fast. The world’s largest tech distributor said revenue for the three months ended 30 June were down four …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jul 2016
Customer service motivation cube

Server vendor has special help desk for lying, incompetent sysadmins

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our festive Friday frolic through readers' recollections of jobs gone bad. This week, something a little different from reader “DB” who says “I do server hardware warranty support for a known enterprise server vendor.” DB's been at it for 20 years and says he's spent his career working on PCs, …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2016
Macbook 2015. Pic: Apple

Ditch your Macs, Dell tells EMC staff

Exclusive Staff at EMC who go out into the world to meet customers have been told their Apple Macs aren't allowed to come with them. Amid Dell's looming takeover of EMC, an edict has been issued insisting that Dell customers must only ever see Dell laptops during meetings and consulting engagements, EMC insiders have told The Register …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2016
Nvidia GeForce

Bought a GTX 970? Congrats, Nvidia owes you thirty bucks

Graphics goliath Nvidia has agreed to a settlement that will see it pay $30 to American gamers who purchased its GTX 970 graphics cards and can file a valid claim. The pay-out deal [PDF] settles a class-action claim accusing the company of misleading consumers on the specs of the gaming card's memory and processor capabilities …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jul 2016
Projects at risk

MPs reiterate risks of mega £10bn Aspire contract overhaul

UK MPs have warned that HMRC (HM Revenues and Customs) may struggle to overhaul its expensive £10bn IT systems with Capgemini, and that further cuts could ultimately waste more taxpayers' cash. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report published today said the body remains concerned that HMRC may struggle to integrate …
Kat Hall, 27 Jul 2016

Remix chomps Marshmallow, updates its Android for PCs

An imminent update to Jide’s Remix OS, for Android, is the first to be based on Marshmallow 6.0 and a bunch of UI enhancements. Remix OS brings what the industry euphemistically calls “desktop productivity” to Android: in other words, multitasking, overlapping windows, true keyboard and mouse support, and file management. …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2016

Microsoft offers admins free Win 10 upgrade lube

Microsoft has offered free lubricant to ease the insertion of Windows 10 across PC fleets. Redmond's preferred wheel-greaser is called the Upgrade Analytics tool will help admins evaluate system readiness for Windows 10 in a bid to ease driver drama and kernel panics. The ointment provides admins with a panel showing the …
Darren Pauli, 26 Jul 2016
Dell e-commerce site

Revealed: How Dell can afford $67bn for EMC – by selling $650k laptops

World exclusive Dell's ingenious strategy for financing its audacious $67bn acquisition of EMC is a secret no more. Dell is already facing a staggering debt mountain to fund the takeover. Now a crack Reg investigative team can reveal that the Round Rock computing giant has an ambitious plan in place to raise the cash necessary for the deal …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2016
Woman looking sceptical. photo by shutterstock

They kept that quiet. PC sales via distributors DID rise in Q2

It is a Friday and El Reg is pleased to be able to answer the burning question on the lips of readers across the land - just how did PC sales via distribution do in the second quarter? They went well. Though retailers and wholesalers bought in stock conservatively, as recorded by Gartner and IDC, channel analyst Context …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2016

She wants it. She needs it. Shall I give it to her or keep doing it by myself?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? “Give it to me pleeeese!” she begs, staring longingly into my eyes. “I’m desperate and will do anything.” It’s 5:30am and we are the only people in the office. I stutter that I’m not at liberty to satisfy her demands right there and then. It’s too early for me. Could she wait a while? She takes a step towards me and begins …
Alistair Dabbs, 22 Jul 2016
Newsroom

Semiconductor $s to fall

Worldwide semiconductor spending is forecast to shrink by 0.7 per cent to $64.3bn, according to the data druids at Gartner. Economic instability, inventory excess, and crappy demand for PCs, tablets and mobile phones over the past three years have taken a toll on growth prospects. ® Newsroom
Paul Kunert, 21 Jul 2016

The cloud ain't making it rain for Intel right now: Tech giants pause server chip sales

Analysis Intel's stock price fell on Wednesday after it became clear the processor maker is not selling quite as many server processor chips as investors had hoped. The Silicon Valley giant reckons its CPU sales into data centers will hit double-digit growth by the end of the year. So far, with half the year gone, we're staring at mid- …
Chris Williams, 21 Jul 2016
Acronis_Red_Bull_950

Acronis 12 is fastest backup product out there

French data protection supplier Acronis is making a big move into enterprise data protection with a comprehensive new software release, Acronis 12, a beefed-up marketing team, and a profile-raising one race-only sponsorship deal with the Toro Rosso Formula 1 Grands Prix team. The new SW "takes 35.6 minutes to backup a 180GB …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jul 2016
mergers and acquisitions

EMC staffers: We are crashing into Dell within weeks

Staffers at EMC and its subsidiaries are to get Dell email addresses from the start of next month as the proposed mega buy edges closer, insiders have told The Register. EMC shareholders last night approved the $62.4bn bid – somewhat lower than the original $67bn offer due to a slide in VMware’s share price – and Chinese anti- …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jul 2016
Tin can phone

Apple kills eavesdrop bug in FaceTime

Apple has released a bundle of patches to fix security holes in OS X, iOS, iTunes and Safari. The bevy of updates also includes fixes for a number of issues in Apple's iCloud and iTunes for Windows software. Among the most startling vulnerabilities addressed in the updates is a man-in-the-middle flaw discovered in FaceTime by …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jul 2016
brexit_crashing_pound_currency

ASUS first Asian PC maker to warn of price hikes... in 2.5 months

Exclusive ASUS has confirmed the UK list price of computers are expected to rise on average by nine per cent in the Christmas quarter due the weakening of the British pound versus the US dollar. Unlike American rivals Dell and HP Inc, the Asian PC makers have been far slower to react to currency swings, with Lenovo and Acer still unable …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jul 2016
China will see you on the dark side of the moon

Maxthon web browser blabs about your PC all the way back to Beijing

A web browser developed by Chinese company Maxthon has allegedly been collecting telemetry about its users. Polish security consultancy Exatel warns [PDF] that Maxthon is phoning home information such as the computer's operating system and version number, the screen resolution, the CPU type and speed, the amount of memory …
John Leyden, 19 Jul 2016
Do the right thing on the internet of things

If managing PCs is still hard, good luck patching 100,000 internet things

Internet of Things (IoT) hype focuses on the riches that will rain from the sky once humanity connects the planet, but mostly ignores what it will take to build and operate fleets of things. And the operational side of things could be hell. “IT can barely keep their desktops patched,” Splunk chief technology officer Snehal …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jul 2016

Reader needs Aircon help

Reg reader "PG" has mailed looking for advice on "a suitable air conditioning unit for a small office/data centre." PG says the facility has "no windows, only a door to the outside world" and is approximately "6m (l) x 3m (w) & 2.8m (h)." "It's over 33c in here today and a few of the non-critical servers have shut down (rack …
Team Register, 19 Jul 2016

Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

When Windows 10 launched, Microsoft claimed it would have the new operating system on a billion devices by mid-2018. That isn't going to happen, however, Redmond has now admitted. For the past year, Microsoft has offered the new OS as a free upgrade for both desktop and mobile users (provided the phone can handle it in the …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2016
Confused/annoyed looking man looks irritated during outage. Photo via Shutterstock

Since you love Flash so much, Adobe now has TWO versions for you

Adobe says a buggy installer is the reason some people have two different versions of Flash Player on their Windows PCs. The software house told The Register it had to create an additional build of the browser plugin specifically for Microsoft's Internet Explorer after the version made for other browsers – such as Mozilla's …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2016
Woman watches TV with cat, uses remote to change channel. Photo by Shutterstock

Ad blockers responsible for rise in upfront TV ad sales, claims report

The upfront market for broadcast and cable networks has taken an unexpected U-turn from last year’s dip, seeing an increase in advertising sales of $800m to $18.6bn in the most recent completion. According to research firm Media Dynamics, this 4.5 per cent increase in TV ad revenue is a blow to OTT video platforms on PCs and …
Faultline, 15 Jul 2016
Upset man in suit and drinking liquor. Photo by Shutterstock

One in five consumers upgraded to Win10 for free instead of buying a PC

Microsoft’s free upgrade of Windows 10 hit PC makers where it hurt though the extent of this was apparently a surprise to the software giant, data druids at Gartner have claimed. According to a survey by the holders of the Magic Quadrant, one in five consumers that upgraded to the free version of the OS decided they didn’t …
Paul Kunert, 15 Jul 2016

If we can't find a working SCSI cable, the company will close tomorrow

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our Friday fumble through memories of jobs on which things didn't go as planned. Or sometimes went in ways it's not possible to plan. This week, meet “Jean” who in the early noughties scored a gig as “a fairly new-to-the-game support engineer for a shifter of overpriced household furniture.” Jean …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2016

Server techies 'stiffed on overtime pay' banned from ganging up on HP

Hewlett-Packard has succeeded in breaking up a class-action lawsuit brought by its tech support workers who say the IT giant stiffed them on overtime pay. In an order [PDF] handed down yesterday, Judge Beth Labson Freeman said the enterprise field-support technicians can't band together against the Palo Alto goliath, and must …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jul 2016

Exploit kit miscreants rush to plug gap in cyber-crime marketplace

Cybercrooks behind the Sundown Exploit Kit are rapidly updating the hacking tool in a bid to exploit a gap in the market created by the demise of the Angler and Nuclear exploit kits. While RIG and Neutrino have been the primary protagonists in the void left by Angler and Nuclear, Sundown is also vying for an increased share in …
John Leyden, 13 Jul 2016
recruitment_hired

Dell and EMC name the captain who'll run their $36bn channel biz

Dell has chosen one-time AMD exec and its current veep of sales John Byrne to head up its near-$36bn turnover global channel biz, once it has swallowed EMC in the coming weeks. The $67bn buy of the storage giant is due to close late in July or early August, sources close to the situation told us, when the enlarged organ will …
Paul Kunert, 13 Jul 2016