Microsoft June Security Update Breaks Copy/Paste of Files in Windows

Overview

We recently looked at a problem on a Windows computer that was peculiar. The computer had Windows v8.1 installed and as of last week everything was working fine. Over the weekend Microsoft updates for June got applied and now the system cannot copy/paste files. Copy/paste works fine between regular programs, just not for files. The symptoms are:

  1. Selecting files, doing Ctrl-C, and then Ctrl-V in a different folder does not do anything.
  2. Right clicking with your mouse on the files, and selecting “Copy”, then right clicking in another folder and selecting “Paste” does not work.

“Send To” still works fine, but some users are also reporting issues with copy/paste not just with files but also Microsoft Office programs including Outlook.

Further digging led me to the fact that a specific update for Windows breaks copy/paste. I have verified this issue by un-installing and re-installing the update, and checking Copy/Paste of files in between. This update is:

“Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers Could Allow Elevation of Privilege” — MS-061 and KB3057839

The interesting question is why this is happening?

Several possibilities:

1. This maybe related specifically to SpectorSoft and its suite of surveillance programs (eBlaster, SpectorPro, etc.).

It is possible that SpectorSoft hooked onto some Windows API that potentially can cause a security issue, and Microsoft closed that hole. It is also plausible that other spyware-like programs have been using this hole. According to some comments on Reddit, this maybe directly related to Duqu-like spyware that recently infected Kaspersky.

THIS MEANS THAT IF YOUR WINDOWS COMPUTER CANNOT COPY/PASTE FILES AFTER JUNE 9, 2015, YOU PROBABLY HAVE SURVEILLANCE SOFTWARE OR SPYWARE INSTALLED!!!

2. The security patch is for the clipboard.

The vulnerabilities disclosed by Microsoft seem to revolve around memory management. Perhaps Microsoft was concerned with people trying to hack their way in via the placing items in the clipboard and then moving the code into a different place in memory?

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