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    When Windows updating goes bad — the case of the problematic patch

    Every month, Windows customers and directors obtain updates from Microsoft on Patch Tuesday (or Wednesday, relying on the place you are situated). And every month, most customers all apply the identical updates.But ought to we?Case in level: KB5012170, a patch launched on Aug. 9 that both causes no points — or triggers Bitlocker get well key requests or gained’t set up in any respect, demanding that you just go discover a firmware replace. This patch, referred to as the Security replace for Secure Boot DBX, applies to just about all supported Windows releases. Specifically, it impacts Windows Server 2012; Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2; Windows 10, model 1507; Windows 10, model 1607 and Windows Server 2016; Windows 10, model 1809 and Windows Server 2019; Windows 10, variations 20H2, 21H1, and 21H2; Windows Server 2022; Windows 11, model 21H2 (unique launch), and Azure Stack HCI, model 1809, all the way in which to Azure Stack Data Box, model 1809 (ASDB).Whew.But here is the factor: not all machines share the identical threat elements. This particular replace offers with a safety threat the place “a security feature bypass vulnerability exists in secure boot. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability might bypass secure boot and load untrusted software. This security update addresses the vulnerability by adding the signatures of the known vulnerable UEFI modules to the DBX.”As famous within the Microsoft steering: “To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would need to have administrative privileges or physical access on a system where Secure Boot is configured to trust the Microsoft Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Certificate Authority (CA). The attacker could install an affected GRUB and run arbitrary boot code on the target device. After successfully exploiting this vulnerability, the attacker could disable further code integrity checks, thereby allowing arbitrary executables and drivers to be loaded onto the target device.” I don’t advocate ignoring or blocking updates except the danger of unwanted effects is bigger than the patch itself.  In this particular case, the attacker has to have one in all two issues to happen.
    They must have bodily entry to the machine. For the standard house or shopper person, this threat is low. Attackers must break into your home first after which try and bypass the bootloader of your working system. In actuality, they’re extra prone to steal your tv, search for money, or seize different valuables. It can be a lot simpler for the attacker to steal your laptop or your onerous drive.
    They must have administrative rights to your laptop. For the common person, if an attacker has administrative rights to the system already, they’re there monitoring usernames and credentials to banking websites and different delicate info.
    I’ve but to be satisfied that for many house customers the danger to those machines warrants the set up of this patch. Too typically, we’ve seen unwanted effects which might be simply as impactful as the danger of assault itself. As famous within the Eclypsium weblog: “In April 2019, a vulnerability in how GRUB2 was used by the Kaspersky Rescue Disk was publicly disclosed. In February 2020, more than six months after a fixed version had been released, Microsoft pushed an update to revoke the vulnerable bootloader across all Windows systems by updating the UEFI revocation list (dbx) to block the known-vulnerable Kaspersky bootloader. Unfortunately, this resulted in systems from multiple vendors encountering unexpected errors, including bricked devices, and the update was removed from the update servers.” So when KB5012170 was launched to sure machines, it was supplied to all machines — together with digital ones (even these utilizing Legacy BIOS settings). While the overwhelming majority put in the replace simply high quality, there have been some machines explicitly blocked, although together with HP Elite sequence with out DBXEnabled,  FUJITSU FJNBB38 and Mac Boot Camp.. KB5012170 will get The three boot loaders which might be weak embody CryptoPro Secure Disk, one other is a testing software and disk wiper referred to as Eurosoft UK, the final, Reboot Restore Rx Pro, is used to revert adjustments in a PC after a reboot in a classroom, kiosk PCs, lodge visitor PCs, and many others.. Even in case you aren’t utilizing these three weak loaders, you’ll get this “BIOS update.”But the unwanted effects may be disastrous. Just ask Mike Terrill, who writes Mike’s Tech Blog, who defined just lately how the unhealthy aspect of patching performed out for him. Most doubtless, he had a pc like sure Dells or HP fashions that arrange Bitlocker on their C: drive after which did not immediate them to save lots of the restoration key to a backup location the individual is aware of about. (Normally, when Bitlocker is ready up with both an Azure lively listing account or a Microsoft account, the Bitlocker restoration key’s saved and you’ll log in and discover it. But sure machines activate drive encryption and don’t again up the important thing; you reboot your system after putting in KB5012170 and it asks for a restoration password you don’t have.)Some customers have reported that following these steps allowed them as well efficiently into the working system:
    Restart your laptop.
    When you see your gadget’s emblem on display screen, maintain tapping F2.
    Enter the BIOS display screen.
    Under General, choose Boot Sequence.
    Then choose UEFI and underneath Security, choose TPM 2.0 Security.
    Choose Enable and click on on Apply.
    Under “Secure Boot,” choose Secure Boot Enable.
    Click on Apply. Then restart the system.
    All of that is designed to focus on why you shouldn’t assign the identical stage of threat to each replace. In this instance, putting in the replace and triggering the request for a bootlocker restoration password you don’t know causes as a lot injury, if no more, than the problem being fixerd. Microsoft has to acknowledge and supply extra help for updates that set off unwanted effects and warn customers. It’s not sufficient to doc the considerations in a Known Issues part — customers should be assured patches gained’t injury their methods.  Users on  standalone machines needs to be prompted to enter a Bitlocker restoration key earlier than these type of updates to make sure they’ve the important thing. If they can not accomplish that, the replace ought to immediate them by the method of both disabling Bitlocker or resetting the Bitlocker restoration key.Patches shouldn’t damage. This isn’t the primary time {that a} safe boot patch has triggered further ache and injury, but it surely needs to be the final.

    Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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