Installing Windows 7 from a backup? You need a BitLocker patch right away

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2019 09:33:00 -0700

No doubt you recall the warning back in February that Windows 7, Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2 patches starting in July would use the SHA-2 encryption protocol. If you want to install Win7 patches issued after July, you have to get the SHA-2 translator installed.

A few days ago, Microsoft tossed a zinger into the FAQs down at the bottom of its SHA-2 post, 2019 SHA-2 Code Signing Support requirement for Windows and WSUS. That post now says that you have to install a seemingly unrelated patch, KB 3133977, entitled, BitLocker can’t encrypt drives because of service crashes in svchost.exe process in Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.  

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Microsoft Patch Alert: Welcome to the Upside Down

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2019 09:33:00 -0700

This month, Microsoft Patch Land looks like a stranger Stranger Things Upside Down, where Security-only patches carry loads of telemetry, Visual Studio patches appear for the wrong versions… and we still can’t figure out how to keep the Win10 1903 upgrade demogorgon from swallowing established drivers.

As we end the month, we’ve seen the second “optional” monthly cumulative updates for all Win10 versions — the 1903 patch was released, pulled, then re-released — and fixes for Visual Studio’s transgressions. There’s a kludge for getting the Win10 1903 upgrade to work. And BlueKeep still looms like a gorging Mind Flayer.

Win7 Security-only patch brings telemetry

Those of you who have been dodging Windows 7 telemetry by using the monthly Security-only patches — a process I described as “Group B” three years ago — have reached the end of the road. The July 2019 Win7 “Security-only” patch, KB4507456, includes a full array of telemetry/snooping, uh, enhancements.

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Microsoft Patch Alert: The Windows patching heavens buzz with silver bullets

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2019 04:36:00 -0700

How many bugs could a WinPatcher patch, if a WinPatcher could patch bugs?

Ends up that June’s one of the buggiest patching months in recent memory – lots of pesky little critters, and the ones acknowledged by Microsoft led to even more patches later in the month.

In June, we saw eight single-purpose Windows patches whose sole mission is to fix bugs introduced in earlier Windows patches. I call them silver bullets – all they do is fix earlier screw-ups. If you install security patches only, these eight have to be installed manually to fix the bugs introduced earlier. It’s a congenital defect in the patching regimen – bugs introduced by security patches get fixed by non-security “optional” patches, while waiting for the next month’s cumulative updates to roll around.

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Microsoft is better at documenting patch problems, but issues abound

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2019 03:55:00 -0700

I don’t know about you, but I’ve given up on Microsoft’s ability to deliver reliable patches. Month after month, we’ve seen big bugs and little bugs pushed and pulled and squished and re-squished. You can see a chronology from the past two years in my patching whack-a-mole columns starting here.

For the past few months, though, we’ve seen some improvement. Microsoft has started identifying and publicly acknowledging big bugs, shortly after they’re pushed. Consider:

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

NSA, Microsoft implore enterprises to patch Windows' 'BlueKeep' flaw before it's too late

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Wed, 05 Jun 2019 13:16:00 -0700

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) on Tuesday called on IT administrators to apply security updates issued by Microsoft three weeks ago, adding to a chorus of voices urging haste.

“The National Security Agency is urging Microsoft Windows administrators and users to ensure they are using a patched and updated system in the face of growing threats,” the NSA said in a June 4 advisory.

The agency’s advice followed by several days that of Microsoft itself. On Thursday, May 30, a company official reminded users of the updates – which the company released May 14 – and implied that time is short. “We strongly advise that all affected systems should be updated as soon as possible,” Simon Pope, the director of incident response at the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), wrote in a blog post.

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Microsoft Patch Alert: Patching whack-a-mole continues

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Thu, 30 May 2019 04:16:00 -0700

In a normal month, you need a scorecard to keep track of Windows patches. Now, your scorecards need a scorecard. One ray of hope: It looks like some Windows 10 cumulative updates will include the new “Download and install now” feature.

The May 2019 Windows updates have taken so many twists and turns it’s hard to pin things down, but as of Thursday morning, here’s what we’ve seen.

Windows 10 cumulative updates

As of now, all of the recent versions of Win10 (1607/Server 2016, 1703, 1709, 1803, 1809/Server 2019) have had three cumulative updates in May. Depending on where you live (or, more correctly, which locality you’ve chosen for your machine), you’ve been pushed one or two of them. If you’re a “seeker” (and clicked “Check for updates” or downloaded and installed the patches), you’ve had at least two, and maybe three. Got that?

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Microsoft sets post-retirement patching record with Windows XP fix – 5 years after support ended

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Thu, 16 May 2019 10:03:00 -0700

Microsoft on Wednesday resurrected Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 long enough to push patches to the long-dead products. It was the first time since 2017 that Microsoft deemed the situation serious enough to warrant a security fix for XP.

Windows XP fell off the public support list in April 2014, while Windows Server 2003 was removed in July 2015.

“If you are on an out-of-support version, the best way to address this vulnerability is to upgrade to the latest version of Windows,” Simon Pope, director of incident response at the Microsoft Security Response Center, asserted in a post to a company blog. “Even so, we are making fixes available for these out-of-support versions of Windows.”

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Microsoft Patch Alert: April patches have sharp edges, with several missing, others reappearing

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2019 09:32:00 -0700

You have to wonder who’s testing this stuff.

Admins, in particular, have had a tough month. April brought widespread breakdowns – bluescreens, hangs, very sluggish behavior – to hundreds of thousands of Win7 and 8.1 machines. This wasn’t a “small percentage” kind of event. For some companies, rebooting overnight on Tuesday brought seas of blue screens on Wednesday morning.

The first round of cumulative updates and Monthly Rollups arrived on Patch Tuesday, but the now-ubiquitous second round didn’t show up until late Thursday afternoon, two and a half weeks later. Talk about admins taking a beating.

We still have one Tuesday left this month – the mythical “E week” that Microsoft never talks about – so the month may yet end with both a bang and whimper.

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Here's an easier way to block the IE XXE zero day security hole

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2019 09:57:00 -0700

The latest Internet Explorer XXE zero-day depends on you opening an infected MHT file. MHT is an old file format that’s almost always opened by IE — no matter which browser you’re using, no matter which version of Windows. Catalin Cimpanu has a good overview of this XXE vulnerability on ZDNet.

It’s a doozy of a security hole as it affects every recent version of IE, and it infects whether you’re actively browsing with IE or not.

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Microsoft Patch Alert: Most March patches look good

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Mon, 01 Apr 2019 16:04:00 -0700

March was an unusually light patching month – all of Office only had one security patch – and there don’t appear to be any immediate patching worries. Just as in the past few months, Microsoft’s holding off on its second cumulative update for Windows 10 1809, raising hopes that it’s taking Win10 quality more seriously.

Win10 1809 deployment proceeded at a positively lethargic rate, even though Microsoft declared the OS fit for business consumption last week, leading to all sorts of speculation about the next-next update, Win10 version 1903, ultimately overtaking its younger sibling.

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Microsoft to start selling Windows 7 add-on support April 1

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Tue, 05 Mar 2019 12:06:00 -0800

Microsoft plans to start selling its Windows 7 add-on support beginning April 1.

Labeled “Extended Security Updates” (ESU), the post-retirement support will give enterprise customers more time to purge their environments of Windows 7. From Windows 7’s Jan. 14, 2020 end of support, ESU will provide security fixes for uncovered or reported vulnerabilities in the OS.

Patches will be issued only for bugs rated “Critical” or “Important” by Microsoft, the top two rankings in a four-step scoring system.

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more