Windows Defender Update Deletes All Start Menu And Desktop Shortcuts…. Yikes

Happy Friday The 13th. Unless you are running Microsoft Windows because an update to Windows Defender is apparently making the rounds and has some catastrophic effects. Specifically Windows users and system administrators worldwide are complaining that application shortcuts have disappeared from Start menus, desktops, and taskbars. You can read more on places like Reddit for example.

The problem appears to be related to a malfunctioning attack surface reduction (ASR) rule issued with Windows Defender security intelligence update 1.381.2140.0.

For what it’s worth, Microsoft has acknowledged the issue:

The good news is that regular Windows users and consumers aren’t affected by this bug. The bad news is that it will only affect managed machines inside organizations. Which is still hundreds or thousands or even millions of machines inside big businesses that rely on Microsoft’s threat detection security. Thus this is not a trivial issue and it will be interesting to see how Microsoft addresses this.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: