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The problematic Windows Defender update for Bitcoin
The problematic Windows Defender update for Bitcoin
Security

The problematic Windows Defender update for Bitcoin

By Marco Cavicchioli - 30 Mar 2020

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The new Windows Defender update contains a defect that may be problematic for bitcoin and cryptocurrency holders. 

The problem was described a few days ago, when it was noticed that the new version of the protection software seemed not to run all antivirus scans on all files in Windows 10. 

In fact, during the scan the software reported the error Items Skipped During Scanand for many users the scan stops after a couple of minutes. 

It is unclear which elements are being ignored and at this point there is no certainty that Microsoft antivirus software can detect all malware on Windows 10. 

In fact, there is also the possibility that the reported error is incorrect and the scans are still performed correctly, but the point is that you cannot be sure. 

The version that has been indicted is Windows Defender 4.18.2003, but the subsequent versions also seem to suffer from the same problems. However, the problem only affects Windows 10, whereas in other versions, such as Windows 7 or 8, it is not found.

It is assumed that scans are ignored due to the exclusion of an item or network scan settings and that the problem is associated with software updates or other Microsoft updates. 

However, Microsoft has already released a patch to fix the problem, and it appears that the offline scanning feature is still working smoothly. 

For owners of Bitcoin, tokens or cryptocurrencies, this defect may be particularly relevant. 

In fact, if antimalware scanning really fails to scan all the files, some of them could get out of control and compromise the security of sensitive information such as private wallet keys. 

The fact is that malware targeting digital currencies has been on the rise recently, and if these new malware gets out of antivirus’s control, it could end up allowing malicious users to steal user-owned tokens, for example by intercepting private keys or passwords. 

For example, a trivial technique in this sense is used by so-called keyloggers, who record what the user types on the computer keyboard and send it to their author. This makes it very easy to capture passwords that are typed on various websites.

 Another example is malware that replaces the public addresses of recipients when sending tokens from a wallet, replacing the recipient’s address with that of the malware author. Since crypto transactions cannot be reversed, this is a theft that unfortunately works very effectively. 

But it may not only be normal crypto users who have problems: even those who develop crypto projects, or who manage an exchange, may have many problems if malware is not properly recognized and blocked, which also jeopardizes the security of the project or exchange. 

In this regard, we always advise against saving critical information such as seeds or private keys of a wallet on a networked electronic device, preferring offline saving, perhaps in non-electronic format. 

Marco Cavicchioli
Marco Cavicchioli

Class 1975, Marco teaches web-technologies and is an online writer specializing in cryptocurrencies. He founded ilBitcoin.news, and his YouTube channel has more than 11 thousand subscribers.

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