• MS-DEFCON 2, October Windows updates, and KRACK

    I’m moving us down to MS-DEFCON 2. No, installing this month’s patches isn’t a good idea. But the situation that caused me to run up to MS-DEFCON 1 has been fixed.

    Microsoft fed the wrong updates to Windows Update servers (WSUS and SCCM) for four hours on Tuesday. Those bad updates – actually, combination of updates – caused many machines to throw blue screens. All of the affected machines were on Update servers. And by now all of those Update servers have been cleaned up. I hope.

    Still, the enormous number of problems with this month’s patches looms, with some new bugs just now coming to light.

    Many of you have written, asking if you need to apply the October Windows patches to protect against the KRACK Wi-Fi WPA2 security hole.

    Microsoft released a Security Alert yesterday that says, in effect, not to worry about KRACK because the hole was plugged in last week’s patches. Which is fine. But that’s no reason to run out and install the October Patch Tuesday patches right away. As of this moment, there are no known active breaches using KRACK, and there aren’t likely to be any anytime soon.

    KRACK is a real, significant threat, but it isn’t something you have to fix right away. Somebody may figure out a way to insert themselves into your Wi-Fi conversations using the KRACK approach, but “general availability” of that kind of exploit is a long way off — certainly months, possibly years.

    Stay cool. Keep calm. And let’s see if Microsoft fixes any more of the October bugs.