New Windows 10 build silences Cortana, brings passwordless accounts

Though as ever, Home users are special.

New Windows 10 build silences Cortana, brings passwordless accounts

The latest Insider build of Windows 10, 18309, expands the use of a thing that Microsoft has recently introduced: passwordless Microsoft accounts. It's now possible to create a Microsoft account that uses a one-time code delivered over SMS as its primary authenticator, rather than a conventional password.

In the new Windows 10 build, these passwordless accounts can be used for logging into a machine locally. The initial sign-in will use SMS, and it will then prompt you to configure biometric or PIN authentication. Your face, fingerprint, or PIN will be used subsequently. This capability is in all the editions, from Home up to Enterprise. A few previous builds had constrained it to Home only.

While SMS-based authentication has security issues of its own, Microsoft seems to feel that it's a better bet for most home users than a likely insecure password. Removing the Windows login password is part of the company's broader efforts to switch to using a mix of one-time passwords, biometrics, and cryptographic keys.

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CERT/CC Reports Critical Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Server

Original release date: January 04, 2019

The CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) has released information on vulnerabilities affecting versions of Microsoft Windows and Windows Server. A remote attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities to take …

Original release date: January 04, 2019

The CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) has released information on vulnerabilities affecting versions of Microsoft Windows and Windows Server. A remote attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system.

The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), part of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), encourages users and administrators to review CERT/CC’s Vulnerability Notes VU#289907 and VU#531281 and Microsoft’s security advisories for CVE-2018-8611 and CVE-2018-8626 and apply the necessary updates.


This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.