MS Defender Update Removes Start Menu Shortcuts, Files and for some, Office

MS at it again

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 by DrJBHL | Discussion: Personal Computing

Well, MS did it update which sabotages your computer.

"Last Friday was a rather unlucky day for Windows users and system administrators worldwide. According to multiple reports, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint turned into a shortcut and file "killer" that fateful day, after the security suite began to delete application shortcuts from the Windows Taskbar and Start Menu, sometimes even removing the linked program files from disk.

The issue was experienced by multiple system admins on Windows 10 and Windows 11, and its likely cause was soon pinned down to an ASR rule modified by a recent update for Defender. Attack surface reduction (ASR) rules target certain software behaviors like launching executables and scripts, running obfuscated scripts or "performing behaviors that apps don't usually initiate during normal day-to-day work," Microsoft explains." - Alfonso Maruccia, Techspot

MS explained the error here:

"A further update posted on Microsoft Community Hub offered a partial solution to this last issue, with a PowerShell script designed to recreate the deleted shortcuts for 33 of the most popular programs affected by the bug (see list below). Needless to say, the script didn't bring joy to those sysadmins that were forced to reinstall deleted programs or recreate the shortcuts that were deployed per-user in a multi-user organization.

Adobe Acrobat Adobe Photoshop 2023
Adobe Illustrator 2023 Adobe Creative Cloud
Firefox Private Browsing Firefox
Google Chrome Microsoft Edge
Notepad++ Parallels Client
Remote Desktop TeamViewer
Royal TS6 Elgato StreamDeck
Visual Studio 2022 Visual Studio Code
Camtasia Studio Camtasia Recorder
Jabra Direct 7-Zip File Manager
Access Excel
OneDrive OneNote
Outlook PowerPoint
Project Publisher
Visio Word
PowerShell 7 (x64) SQL Server Management Studio
Azure Data Studio  

ibid "


You can check your Defender update history by going to Settings>Windows Update>Update History>Definition Updates.

For those affected, there's this:

I haven't turned off my updates, as my system has updated without disaster...but, if your system hasn't updated yet, I'd advise you delay the update to give MS the opportunity to fix this.

You can read more about the 98 patches in the January update here:

Additional information:

Reply #1 Tuesday, January 17, 2023 1:53 AM MS Defender defends you against MS....

Reply #2 Tuesday, January 17, 2023 2:04 AM MS Defender defends you against MS....

A whole new twist to "Sed qui custodiet ipsos custodes?".

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