Microsoft: Windows 10 devices will get Windows 11 for free, but not until 2022

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Notebookcheck.net 27 June, 2021 - 08:17am 30 views

How do I get Windows 11?

Most users will go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and clicking Check for Updates. If available, you'll see Feature update to Windows 11. Click Download and install. CNETWindows 11: Price, compatibility, release date and features for Microsoft's big new update

Microsoft has just revealed the timeline for the free Windows 11 upgrades it promised to existing Windows 10 users with compatible machines and it is not good news. At the launch, the company announced that Windows 11 will be launching later this year which people naturally assumed to mean that those free Windows 11 upgrades would also begin to roll out too. This is not the case. Instead, Windows 11 will only start rolling out to existing Windows 10 users in 2022, and even then, the rollout will be staggered.

According to a post from Microsoft’s official Twitter account, the rollout of Windows 11 to existing users of Windows 10 will start in the first half of 2022 “and will be delivered over several months”. The only devices that will feature Windows 11 will be new devices launching in Q4. There is no word yet on whether Microsoft will sell Windows 11 through retail channels, but there is the real possibility that if you want Windows 11 on your existing Windows 10 machine in 2021 it will mean an additional retail purchase.

Of course, there’s the Windows 11 Beta that is rolling out in the coming week that you can download to get a good taste of what Microsoft has in store. However, once Windows 11 rolls out officially, all Windows 11 Beta privileges will be revoked until the official rollout begins in 2022. There’s no doubt about it, it is certainly disappointing. But on the plus side, it is a free upgrade if you can hold out for a few months once the Beta period ends.

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Microsoft (via Twitter)

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Microsoft Confirms it Signed Malicious 'Netfilter' Drivers

PCMag AU 27 June, 2021 - 02:47pm

Microsoft says the Netfilter drivers used to distribute rootkit malware were signed as part of the Windows Hardware Compatibility Program.

Microsoft confirmed that it gave its seal of approval to Netfilter, a malicious driver used to distribute rootkit malware, as part of its Windows Hardware Compatibility Program (WHCP).

BleepingComputer reported that Netfilter was publicly disclosed by G Data researcher Karsten Hahn on June 17. The Microsoft Security Response Center officially recognized the issue on June 25; Hahn offered more information about how the malware functioned that same day.

“Since Windows Vista, any code that runs in kernel mode is required to be tested and signed before public release to ensure stability for the operating system,” Hahn said in the followup blog post. “Drivers without a Microsoft certificate cannot be installed by default.”

That’s why attackers sometimes attempt to compromise the WHCP signing certificate. It’s much easier to distribute malware that appears to have been signed by Microsoft. In this case, however, Microsoft said the Netfilter driver was legitimately signed as part of the WHCP.

BleepingComputer characterized this mistake as a “supply-chain fiasco” because it showed even rootkit malware can receive Microsoft’s approval via the WHCP. What’s the point of blocking drivers that aren’t signed by Microsoft if even officially sanctioned drivers can be malicious?

Microsoft, for its part, downplayed the impact of this campaign. The company said the attack was only effective post exploitation because “an attacker must either have already gained administrative privileges in order to be able to run the installer to update the registry and install the malicious driver the next time the system boots or convince the user to do it on their behalf.”

The company also said “the actor’s activity is limited to the gaming sector specifically in China” and that “the malware enables them to gain an advantage in games and possibly exploit other players by compromising their accounts through common tools like keyloggers.”

Microsoft said it has suspended the account of an unidentified third party who built the Netfilter driver, blocked the driver via Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, and shared information “with other AV security vendors so they can proactively deploy detections” to their products.

Instructions for determining if a system has been affected by Netfilter can be found in Microsoft’s blog post. The company said it “will be sharing an update on how we are refining our partner access policies, validation and the signing process to further enhance our protections” in light of this incident but didn’t say when exactly it plans to share that information.

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Nathaniel Mott is a writer and editor who has contributed to The Guardian, Tom's Hardware, and several other publications in varying capacities since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter: @nathanielmott.

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