The latest Patch Tuesday update from Microsoft included several critical security fixes. Unfortunately, as Microsoft has now confirmed, it also borked some things. If you haven’t applied that August 13 update and are running on Windows 10, Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, you may want to read this before you do.
Microsoft has confirmed a bunch of “known issues” with the August 13 Windows update. Some, such as the “black screen during first logon after installing updates” issue, have hit users after previous updates. That can be filed in the annoying but ultimately not much to worry about folder: it only impacts a “small number” of users and only the first time they logon after the update.
Anything that impacts millions of users is a far more serious thing. And so it is that Microsoft has confirmed that this Patch Tuesday update does just that.
This is a security problem because it makes people think twice before applying updates that are essential from that security perspective. I’m not even talking about the organizations that will implement some reasoned risk analysis that balances the threat exposure against the business continuity. Instead, I’m talking about the hundreds of millions of ordinary Windows users who will see the updates breaking stuff and switch them off where they can.
These are the very same users who are most at risk from the vulnerabilities that get fixed in those updates. These are the users for whom security isn’t front and center when using their computers; getting the task at hand, whatever it may be, done is all that matters.