Telemetry removal script

Saturday, July 30, 2016 

below is a .cmd script for uninstalling all the known telemetry updates (so far) in Windows 7.  These telemetry updates are spyware Microsoft is installing on your computer to send data back to Microsoft.  They have recently begun installing tools to exfiltrate your private files and log your keystrokes to their servers.

While there are people who think Windows 10 is a normal upgrade, there are nations that formally disagree. If you care about privacy; your privacy, your private files, your passwords, accounts, personal data, love letters, medical information, financial information, browsing history, private pictures, etc. not falling into either corporate or criminal hands (via soon to be exploited security holes created by these exfiltration tools) you should consider removing all known telemetry tools from windows 7 and never updating to Windows 10.  And consider suing Microsoft.

If you don’t care about privacy at all, I hear Windows 10 has a pretty GUI.

This script removes all the telemetry (trojan horse) “updates” Microsoft has tried to sneak in so far.

Sources:

  • https://gist.github.com/xvitaly/eafa75ed2cb79b3bd4e9
  • http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/a-complete-list-of-all-updates-you-should-uninstall-to-block-windows-10/
  • http://www.blackrosetech.com/gessel/2015/08/24/microsoft-spyware-now-being-installed-on-win-7
@echo off
echo Uninstalling KB3075249 (telemetry for Win7/8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3075249 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3080149 (telemetry for Win7/8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3080149 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3021917 (telemetry for Win7)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3021917 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3022345 (telemetry)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3022345 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3068708 (telemetry)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3068708 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3044374 (Get Windows 10 for Win8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3044374 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3035583 (Get Windows 10 for Win7sp1/8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3035583 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB2990214 (Get Windows 10 for Win7)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:2990214 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB2952664 (Get Windows 10 assistant)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:2952664 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3075853 (update for "Windows Update" on Win8.1/Server 2012R2)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3075853 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3065987 (update for "Windows Update" on Win7/Server 2008R2)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3065987 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3050265 (update for "Windows Update" on Win7)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3050265 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB971033  (license validation)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:971033 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB2902907 (description not available)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:2902907 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB2976987 (description not available)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:2976987 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB2976978 (compactibility update for Windows 8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:2976978 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3102810 (update for "Windows Update")
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3102810 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3112343 (Windows Update Client for Windows 7)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3112343 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3135445 (Windows Update Client for Windows 7)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3135445 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3123862 (Windows Update Client for Windows 7)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3123862 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3081954 (Telemetry Update for Windows 7)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3081954 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3139929 (Get Windows 10 update for MSIE)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3139929 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3138612 (Windows Update Client for Windows 7)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3138612 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3138615 (Windows Update Client for Windows 8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3138615 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3150513 (Compactibility Update (another GWX) for Windows 7/8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3150513 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3133977 (buggy update)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3173040 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3139923 (Another GWX for Windows 7/8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3139923 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3173040 (Another GWX for Windows 7/8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3173040 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3083710 (Another GWX for Windows 7/8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3083710 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3083324 (Another GWX for Windows 7/8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3083324 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3050267 (Another GWX for Windows 7/8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3050267 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3035583 (Another GWX for Windows 7/8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3035583 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3021917 (Another GWX for Windows 7/8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3021917 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3146449 (Another GWX for Windows 7/8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3146449 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3044374 (Another GWX for Windows 7/8.1)
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3044374 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3075249 (Another GWX for Windows 7/8.1
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3075249 /quiet /norestart
echo Uninstalling KB3123662 (Another GWX for Windows 7/8.1
start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3123662 /quiet /norestart

Posted at 15:40:47 UTC

Category: Privacytechnology

A utility for disabling Windows 10

Sunday, June 19, 2016 

While there may be people who actually like Windows 10, there are also many people who aren’t interested in fully exposing every part of their digital life to for-profit mining as means of offsetting Microsoft’s declining profits in the desktop OS business, and if you’re one of those, fighting Microsoft’s truly viral (and malware) marketing techniques is quite a hassle.  It appears there may be an easier way.

Micrsoft has finally provided an “easy” way for people to turn off windows OS update (e.g. from 7.x or 8.x to 10) from happening automatically and without user intervention (and frequently in outright defiance of clear user intent because profits first!)

The short form for people who are comfortable with some of the internal workings of Windows is:

Search for "edit group policy" and open the editor then follow the selection cascade as:

Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates 
-> windows Components -> Windows Update 
->> Turn off the upgrade to the latest version... ->> [x] enabled

The longer instructions are at this link: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3080351

Easy, no?

I suggest doing this and then downloading and installing the following program.  It will pretty much do the same thing but it also checks to see if Microsoft has already kindly filled your hard disk with malware without your permission and offers to delete it:

https://www.grc.com/never10.htm

Note that my previous posts about removing specific “updates” are still relevant.  The above should prevent windows 10 from auto-updating but Microsoft has been pushing updates with “telemetry” to Win 7 and Win 8, which are also spyware and are tracking you and reporting your usage patterns back to Microsoft without telling you or asking you.

Welcome to the new economy: you’re the product.

Posted at 13:56:56 UTC

Category: uncategorized

Turn off windows update now!

Monday, March 14, 2016 

If you haven’t already, turn off Windows update now.  Microsoft has recently started installing Windows 10 spyware without consent.  A good friend of mine had a bunch of systems at the company where he runs IT hacked by Microsoft over the weekend, which broke the certificate store for WPA-2 and thus their wifi connections.

To be clear, Windows 10 is spyware.  Microsoft has changed their business model from selling a product to selling data – your data – to whoever they want.  Windows 10 comes with a EULA that gives them the right to steal everything on your computer – your email, your private pictures, your home movies, your love letters, your medical records, your financial records – anything they want without telling you.  “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.

If this happens to you,  I suggest contacting your state attorney general and filing a complaint against Microsoft.  Hopefully a crushing class action suit or perhaps jail time for the executives that dreamed up this massive heist will help deter future corporate data thieves, though that’s certainly irrational optimism.

I wish I could recommend switching to Linux for everyone, but there’s a lot of software that still depends on Windows and a lot of users that will have a hard time migrating (developers: please stop developing for Microsoft).  Apple seems unequivocally better in refusing to act as key player in bringing about Total Information Awareness.  I’m not a huge fan of their walled garden and computers as overpriced fashion accessories approach, but it is far better than outright theft.  For those that are slightly computer savvy, there’s Linux Mint, which is quite usable and genuinely free.

These instructions might help prevent that disaster of an update being visited upon you (and possibly law enforcement visits to come after Microsoft starts sifting through all your datas and forwarding on whatever they find).  The latest reports suggest they aren’t enough, but it is the best I have found other than isolating your windows box from the internet completely.

Posted at 14:27:03 UTC

Category: NegativePrivacySecuritytechnology

PGP Usability Regression thanks to Enigmail

Thursday, February 25, 2016 

The latest auto update to Enigmail, the essential plugin for Thunderbird for encrypted mail, is a fairly dynamic project that occasionally makes UI and usability decisions that not everyone agrees with.

The latest is a problem for me.  I use K9 for mobile mail and K9 doesn’t support PGP/MIME, but Enigmail just:

enigmail-bad-mime

Why?  OK – PGP/MIME leaks less metainformation than inline PGP, but at the expense of compatibility.  K9 should support PGP/MIME, but it doesn’t.  Enigmail should have synchronized with K9 and released PGP/MIME when mobile users could use it.

But encryption people often insist that the only use case that matters is some edge case they think is critical.  They like to say that nobody should read encrypted mail on a mobile device because the baseband of the device is intrinsically insecure (all cell phones are intrinsically insecure – phones should treat the data radio as a serial modem and the OS and the data modem should interact only over a very simple command set – indeed, the radio should be a replaceable module, but that gets beyond this particular issue).

For now, make sure your default encoding is Inline-PGP or you’ll break encryption.   Encryption only works if it is easy to use and universally available. When people can’t read their messages, they just stop using it.  This isn’t security, this is a mistake.

Posted at 01:52:42 UTC

Category: cell phonesPrivacySecuritytechnology

Green Lacewings

Sunday, January 10, 2016 

I noticed that my avocado tree was developing brown spots on the leaves, which were almost certainly the result of Persea mites.

Leaf Symptoms

 

So I looked up some possible cures, and it seemed like introducing a predator would be the best option and the least hassle.  I’d had good luck with introduced ladybugs a few years back, which formed a stable population that survived for many years after introduction.  For this pest, green lacewings are recommended.  I found a nearby insectary that could provide larvae on cards and they shipped them overnight.

Green Lacewing egg cards

 

 

The little guys look cute just waiting to hatch…

Green Lacewing Eggs

 

I hung he cards on the leaves of the tree after incubating them overnight in a warm room, and they should hatch sometime in the next day or two, as long as the ants don’t find them first…

Card in tree

 


Update 8 Sept 2016:

The green lacewings seem to have eaten all the mites.  It has been 9 months and there aren’t any signs of damage to this spring’s leaves.  Yay!

No mite bites

The new leaves that grew seem to be developing without any bites at all.  The old leaves that were too damaged have fallen off, but the surviving older leaves still show the scars of the mites.  Green lacewings seem to have done the trick.

Posted at 14:40:47 UTC

Category: photoPositivereviews

Signal Desktop: Probably a good thing

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 

Signal is an easy to use chat tool that competes (effectively) with What’sApp or Viber. They’ve just released a desktop version which is being “preview released/buzz generating released.”  It is developed by a guy with some cred in the open source and crypto movement, Moxie Marlinspike.  I use it, but do not entirely trust it.

I’m not completely on board with Signal.  It is open source, and so in theory we can verify the code.  But there’s some history I find disquieting.  So while I recommend it as the best, easiest to use, (probably) most secure messaging tool available, I do so with some reservations.

  • It originally handled encrypted SMS messages.  There is a long argument about why they broke SMS support on the mailing lists.  I find all of the arguments Whisper Systems made specious and unconvincing and cannot ignore the fact that the SMS tool sent messages through the local carrier (Asiacell, Korek, or Zain here).  Breaking that meant secure messages only go through Whisper Systems’ Google-managed servers where all metadata is captured and accessible to the USG. Since it was open source, that version has been forked and is still developed, I use the SMSSecure fork myself
  • Signal has captured all the USG funding for messaging systems.  Alternatives are not getting funds.  This may make sense from a purely managerial point of view, but also creates a single point of infiltration.  It is far easier to compromise a single project if there aren’t competing projects.   Part of the strength of Open Source is only achieved when competing development teams are trying to one up each other and expose each other’s flaws (FreeBSD and OpenBSD for example).  In a monoculture, the checks and balances are weaker.
  • Signal has grown more intimate with Google over time.  The desktop version sign up uses your “google ID” to get you in the queue.  Google is the largest commercial spy agency in the world, collecting more data on more people than any other organization except probably the NSA.  They’re currently an advertising company and make their money selling your data to advertisers, something they’re quite disingenuous about, but the data trove they’ve built is regularly mined by organizations with more nefarious aims than merely fleecing you.

What to do?  Well, I use signal.  I’m pretty confident the encryption is good, or at least as good as anything else available.  I know my metadata is being collected and shared, but until Jake convinces Moxie to use anonymous identifiers for accounts and message through Tor hidden nodes, you have to be very tech savvy to get around that and there’s no Civil Society grants going to any other messaging services using, for example, an open standard like a Jabber server on a hidden node with OTR.

For now, take a half step up the security ladder and stop using commercial faux security (or unverifiable security, which is the same thing) and give Signal a try.

Maybe at some later date I’ll write up an easy to follow guide on setting up your own jabber server as a tor hidden service and federating it so you can message securely, anonymously, and keep your data (meta and otherwise) on your own hardware in your own house, where it still has at least a little legal protection.

 

Posted at 10:21:22 UTC

Category: PositivePrivacyreviewsSecuritytechnology

10 Gbyte Win10 Spyware “upgrade” now forced on users

Sunday, September 27, 2015 

Microsoft has, historically, done some amazingly boneheaded things like clippy, Vista, Win 8, and Win 10.  They have one really good product: Excel, otherwise everything they’ve done has succeeded only through illegal exploitation of an aggressively defended monopoly. OK, maybe the Xbox is competitive, but I’m not much of a gamer.

Sadly for the world, the model of selling users for profit to advertisers and spies has gained ground to the point where Microsoft was starting to look like the least evil major entity in closed-source computing.  Poor microsoft.  To lose the evil crown must be at least as humiliating as their waning revenue and abject failures in the mobile space (so strange… try to enter a space where they don’t have a monopoly to force users to accept their mediocre crap and they fail, who’da thunk it?)

“There is a difference between policy and practice. We don’t read customers mail. We don’t read customer documents. We don’t triangulate YouTube views and searches. We don’t use the content of your Hotmail to target ads in Bing,”

Frank Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications for Microsoft

Well, never fear: Windows 10 is here and they’re radically one-upping the data theft economy by p0wning not just the data you idiotically entrust to someone else’s server for free without ever considering why they’re giving you that useful service for “free” or what they, or whoever buys their ultimately failed business, might do with your data, but also the data you consider too sensitive for the Google or the Apple.  Windows 10 exfiltrates all your data to Microsoft for their use and profit without your information.  Don’t believe it? Read their Privacy Statement.

Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary.

And it is free (as in beer but not as in speech).  What could possiblay go wrong?

Well, people weren’t updating fast enough so Microsoft is now pushing that update on you involuntarily.  Do you have a data cap that a 10G download might break and cost you money?  So what!  Your loss!  Don’t have enough space on your drive for a 10G hidden folder of crapware foisted off on you without your permission?  Tough crap, Microsoft don’t care.

To be clear, Windows 10 is spyware.  If this was coming from a teenage hacker somewhere, they’d be facing jail time.  It is absolutely, unequivocally malware that will create a liability for you if you use it.  If you have any confidentiality requirement, you must not install windows 10.  Ever. Not even on your home machine.  Just don’t.

The only way to prevent this is really annoying and a little risky: disable automatic downloads.  One of the problems with Microsoft’s operating systems is the unbelievably crappy spaghetti code that results in a constant flow of cracks, a week’s worth are patched every Tuesday.  About 1 serious vulnerability every fortnight these days (note this is about the same as Ubuntu and about 1/4 the rate of OSX or iOS, why people think Apple products are “secure” is beyond me – live in that fantasy walled garden!  But nice logo you paid a 50% premium for on your shiny device). Not patching increases the risk that some hacker somewhere will steal your datas, but patching guarantees that Microsoft will steal your datas.  Keep your anti-virus up to date and live a little dangerously by keeping Microsoft out.

Here’s an interesting article: how-to-clean-the-windows-10-crapware-off-your-windows-7-or-81-pc

And a tool referenced in that article: GWX control panel (that can help remove the windows 10 infection if you got it).

And a list of patches I found that are related to Win10 malware that you can remove if you haven’t installed it yet (Windows 10 eliminates the ability to choose or selectively remove patches, once you’re in for the ride, you’re chained in: all or nothing.)

Basic advice:

  • Disable automatic updates and automatic downloads of updates.
  • Review each update Microsoft offers.  This is tedious, my win 7 install reports 384 updates, 5-10 a week, but other than security patches, you probably don’t really need them.  Only install a patch if there’s a reason.  Sorry, that sucks, but there’s always Linux Mint: free like beer AND free like speech.
  • If you’re still on Win 7/8, uninstall the spyware Microsoft has probably already installed.  If you’re on Windows 8, you probably want to upgrade to Windows 7 if at all possible.
  • If you succumbed to the pressure and became a Microsoft Product by installing Windows 10, uninstall it.
  • If uninstall doesn’t work, switch to Mint or reinstall 7.

Most importantly, if you develop software for servers or for end users, stop developing for Microsoft (and Apple too).  Respect the privacy of your customers by not exposing them to exploitation by desperate operating system vendors.  In many classes of applications, your customers buy their computers to run your software: they don’t care what operating system it requires – that should be transparent and painless.  Microsoft is no longer an even remotely acceptable choice.  Server applications should run under FreeBSD or OpenBSD and desktop applications should run under Linux.  You can charge more and generate more profit because the total net cost for your customers will be lower.  Split the difference and give them a more reliable, more secure, and lower cost environment and make more money doing so.

Posted at 08:07:54 UTC

Category: FreeBSDHowToLinuxSecuritytechnology

Successful connect to WPA2 with Linux Mint 17

Saturday, September 26, 2015 

I found myself having odd problems connecting to WPA2 encrypted wireless networks with a new laptop.  There must be more elegant solutions to this problem, but this worked for me.  The problem was that I couldn’t connect to a nearby hotspot secured with WPA2 whether I used the default config tool for mint, Wicd Network Manager, or the command line.  Errors were either “bad password” or the more detailed errors below.

As with any system variation mileage may vary, my errors look like:

wlan0: CTRL-EVENT-SCAN-STARTED 
wlan0: SME: Trying to authenticate with 68:72:51:00:26:26 (SSID='WA-bullet' freq=2462 MHz)
wlan0: Trying to associate with 68:72:51:00:26:26 (SSID='WA-bullet' freq=2462 MHz)
wlan0: Associated with 68:72:51:00:26:26
wlan0: CTRL-EVENT-DISCONNECTED bssid=68:72:51:00:26:26 reason=3 locally_generated=1

and my system config is reported as:

# lspci -vv |grep -i wireless
3e:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Wireless 7260 (rev 6b)
 Subsystem: Intel Corporation Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260
# uname -a
Linux dgzb 3.16.0-38-generic #52~14.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Fri May 8 09:43:57 UTC 2015 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

I found useful commands for manually setting up a wpa_supplicant.conf file here, and for disabling 802.11n here. The combination was needed to get things working.

The following successfully connects to a WPA2-secured network:

$ sudo su
$ iw dev
 ... Interface [interfacename] (typically wlan0, assumed below)
$ iw wlan0 scan
 ... SSID: [ssid]
 ... RSN: (if present means the network is secured with WPA2)
$ wpa_passphrase [ssid] >> /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf 
...type in the passphrase for network [ssid] and hit enter...
$ sh -c 'modprobe -r iwlwifi && modprobe iwlwifi 11n_disable=1'
$ wpa_supplicant -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

(should show CTRL-EVENT-CONNECTED)
(open a new terminal leaving the connection open, ending the command disconnects)

$ sudo su
$ dhclient wlan0

(should be connected now)

Posted at 10:16:28 UTC

Category: HowToLinuxtechnology

That’s so Colorado

Thursday, September 3, 2015 

“…Not allowed in the cargo hold: lithium batteries, e-cigarettes, personal vapes.”

Posted at 13:04:47 UTC

Category: placestravel

United’s Magic Trays

Thursday, September 3, 2015 

@United has new coach trays that are coated with a material that has an amazing coefficient of friction.  They are not sticky at all—there’s no adhesion effect—it is all friction.  Even low surface energy plastics don’t slide on it at all.

The approximately 75-80° angle in the picture is the point at which the cup topples over itself.  It isn’t adhered to the surface and it doesn’t appear to slide at all before toppling.

Super Friction Tray

This would be the perfect coating for a smart phone pad in a car.

Posted at 11:00:39 UTC

Category: Fabricationphotoplanestechnologytravel