Microsoft has released a new tool that should pug a security gap found to be affecting Windows 10, Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server 2016 installation images.
The patch works by allowing system administrators to update Windows’ default security package, Microsoft Defender, more easily.
In an enterprise environment, installation images are often used to mass install or service the Windows operating system on client computers. Unfortunately, this means that the images used may be outdated, leaving a vulnerability that could be exploited by malware.
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“Initial hours of newly installed Windows OS deployments can suffer with Microsoft Defender protection gap, as the installation OS images may contain outdated Anti-Malware Software binaries,” Microsoft explained in a support post accompanying the update. “These devices will remain under-protected until the first Anti-Malware software update finishes.”
The latest Microsoft Defender update script can be used to manually update Windows install images with the latest malware protection before they are installed across an organisation’s entire fleet of devices. In addition to monthly updates, the Defender update also allows administrators to remove updates and view details of any installed patches.
In order to install the new Microsoft Defender update tool, users first have to download the relevant package for their Windows image architecture (either 32 or 64- bit), before running the following script with administrative privileges:
PS C:\> DefenderUpdateWinImage.ps1 - WorkingDirectory<path> -Action AddUpdate - ImagePath <path_to_Os_Image> -Package <path_to_package>
The script required to roll back the update is as follows:
PS C:\> DefenderUpdateWinImage.ps1 - WorkingDirectory<path> -Action RemoveUpdate - ImagePath <path_to_Os_Image>
And viewing details or installed updates is as simple as issuing the following command:
PS C:\> DefenderUpdateWinImage.ps1 - WorkingDirectory<path> -Action ShowUpdate - ImagePath <path_to_Os_Image>
With installation images proving a popular way for enterprises to clone and deploy specific Windows configurations en masse, Microsoft’s decision to patch up the security around this process is likely to be a welcome one.
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