Dark Web

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The Dark Web is a network of systems connected to the Internet designed to share information securely and anonymously. These capabilities are abused by cyber criminals to enable their activities, for example selling hacking tools or purchasing stolen information such as credit card data. Be aware that your information could be floating around the Dark Web, making it easier for cyber criminals to create custom attacks targeting you..

Preview updating PowerShell 7.2 with Microsoft Update

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Updating PowerShell 7 with Microsoft Update

Today, we’re happy to announce that we’re taking the first steps to making PowerShell 7 easier than ever to update on Windows 10 and Server. In the past, Windows users were notified in their console that a new version of PowerShell 7 is available, but they still had to hop over to our GitHub release page to download and install it, or rely on a separate package management tool like the Windows Package Manager, Chocolatey, or Scoop. But with Microsoft Update, you’ll get the latest PowerShell 7 updates directly in your traditional Windows Update (WU) management flow, whether that’s with Windows Update for Business, WSUS, SCCM, or the interactive WU dialog in Settings. With today’s announcement, you’ll soon be able to try this new update process for yourself
on the latest PowerShell 7.2 previews.

How updates will work

Because of the large changes and validation required to get this to work, we will publish updates only for future releases. We have already been working on a release that updates 7.2 preview 5 or newer to 7.2 preview 7. We will begin the Microsoft Update publishing process once we release an update to GitHub.

How you can opt-in and help test the upgrade

First, you’ll need to have Windows 10 RS3 (10.0.16299) or newer installed, as well as PowerShell 7.2 preview.5 or preview.6 installed. You’ll also need to ensure that your machine is set up to receive Microsoft Update updates. (On Windows 10, this is done by going to Settings -> Windows Update -> Advanced options and checking “Receive updates for other Microsoft products when you update Windows.” Next, you’ll need to make sure not to update to the latest 7.2 preview.7 or greater using the MSI. Finally, you’ll need to add a specific registry key to opt-in to Microsoft Update usage for PS7. Running the following script from an elevated PowerShell session will setup the registry for this scenario:

$pwshRegPath = "HKLM:SOFTWAREMicrosoftPowerShellCore"
if (!(Test-Path -Path $pwshRegPath)) {
    throw "PowerShell 7 is not installed"
}

Set-ItemProperty -Path $pwshRegPath -Name UseMU -Value 1 -Type DWord

About a week after PowerShell 7.2 preview.7 update is released, @PowerShell_Team will tweet that the Microsoft Update release is available. At this point, you should be prompted to update PowerShell 7.2-preview in your standard Windows Update workflow.

Test new installs of PowerShell 7.2 preview

If you don’t already have PowerShell 7.2 preview installed, you can still help us try out a new install method! Again, you’ll need to have Windows 10 RS3 (10.0.16299) or newer installed and Microsoft Update enabled. Then, run the following script from an elevated PowerShell session to setup the registry in such a way that Microsoft Update will install and update the latest version of PowerShell 7 preview. Running the following script from an elevated PowerShell session, will setup the registry for this scenario:

$pwshRegPath = "HKLM:SOFTWAREMicrosoftPowerShellCore"
$previewPath = Join-Path -Path $pwshRegPath -ChildPath "InstalledVersions39243d76-adaf-42b1-94fb-16ecf83237c8"
if (!(Test-Path -Path $previewPath)) {
    $null = New-Item -Path $previewPath -ItemType Directory -Force
}

Set-ItemProperty -Path $pwshRegPath -Name UseMU -Value 1 -Type DWord
Set-ItemProperty -Path $previewPath -Name Install -Value 1 -Type DWord

Note: due to an issue with the installer, make sure to uninstall any previously installed version of the PowerShell Preview MSI.

Also, as noted in the previous section, this will not work until @PowerShell_Team tweets that the 7.2 preview.7 MU release is live.

If you want to disable either scenario

If you hit an issue that is bad enough you want to disable MU-based install or updates, run the following script from an elevated PowerShell session:

$pwshRegPath = "HKLM:SOFTWAREMicrosoftPowerShellCore"
$previewPath = Join-Path -Path $pwshRegPath -ChildPath "InstalledVersions39243d76-adaf-42b1-94fb-16ecf83237c8"
if (!(Test-Path -Path $previewPath)) {
    throw "PowerShell 7 Preview is not installed"
}

Set-ItemProperty -Path $pwshRegPath -Name UseMU -Value 0 -Type DWord
Set-ItemProperty -Path $previewPath -Name Install -Value 0 -Type DWord

Final words

Going forward we are working to remove the need to manually add the UseMU registry value.

If you try either scenario and it works, please upvote the Microsoft Update discussion. If you have any issue, please file an issue and link it in the discussion above.

Thanks for all your help,

Travis Plunk

The post Preview updating PowerShell 7.2 with Microsoft Update appeared first on PowerShell Team.

Ransomware

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Ransomware is a special type of malware. Once it infected your computer, it encrypts all of your files and demands you pay a ransom if you want your files back. Be suspicious of any emails trying to trick you into opening infected attachments or click on malicious links, common sense is your best defense. In addition. backups are often the only way you can recover from ransomware.

Fake News

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Fake news is a false narrative that is published and promoted as if it were true. People (and organizations) create fake news to control and manipulate your thoughts and actions. Be skeptical of what you read on the Internet, use trusted sources that are vetted, check their motivations and funding.

PowerShell for Visual Studio Code May 2021 Update

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We are excited to announce that an update to our PowerShell extension is now available on the Visual Studio Code Marketplace. This blog will explain what is new in this release as well as what you can expect from the extension in the coming months.

What’s new in the PowerShell Extension release

This incremental release incorporates a major update to OmniSharp, the Language Server Protocol library we use (like many other VSCode extensions). Behind the scenes there has also been a concerted effort to improve our build and release processes, with the intention of accelerating our release cadence.

Some highlights of the release include:

Since we have disabled semantic highlighting by default now, if you wish to re-enable it, use:

"[powershell]": {
    "editor.semanticHighlighting.enabled": true
}

The intention of this change is to reduce issues while the semantic highlighting backend is improved.

We now also remove - and $ from the word separators by default for PowerShell files. To add them back, use:

"[powershell]": {
    "editor.wordSeparators": "`~!@#$%^&*()-=+[{]}|;:'",.<>/?"
}

The intenion of this change is to increase predictability, as double-clicking PowerShell variables now selects the same portion that the extension highlights (with the exception of scoped variables due to the continued inclusion of : as a word separator).

For the full list of updates please refer to the changelog.

More about the OmniSharp update

The most significant change is the update to OmniSharp v0.19.2, from the previous version v0.18.3, released in November 2020. OmniSharp is the underlying Language Server Protocol (LSP) and Debug Adapter Protocol (DAP) server library, and as such is our biggest dependency. This update brings us to the LSP 3.16 and DAP 1.48.x specifications, enabling us to start incorporating all the latest LSP changes, and it includes numerous bug fixes and enhancements resulting in a faster and more stable server and extension experience.

After our initial upgrade to OmniSharp v0.19.0, as early adopters we encountered two major bugs in the library. Rob and Andy spent a month identifying and solving a serialization bug in the Debug Adapter Protocol which would have broken the extension’s debugger, and a race condition which temporarily impacted startup reliability in the preview extension. As our fixes went upstream, we improved the OmniSharp library not only for the PowerShell extension, but also for several other Visual Studio Code extensions similarily relying on OmniSharp.

What’s next for the extensions

Over the coming months we plan to continue work on the Editor Services pipeline stability (intellisense, formatting, etc.), work to maintain compatibility with changes to Visual Studio Code, and improve testing infrastructure (to allow for more community contribution and more predictability with preview releases). You can track the progress on all of these projects, and others on our roadmap, in our GitHub repository.

Getting support and giving feedback

If you encounter any issues with the PowerShell extension in Visual Studio Code or have feature requests, the best place to get support is through our GitHub repository.

Sydney Smith, Andy Schwartzmeyer, Rob Holt

PowerShell Team

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