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Daily Archives: May 7, 2020

  • MS-DEFCON 3: Time to get Windows and Office patches up-to-date

    Posted on May 7th, 2020 at 08:56 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    For those of you new to this particular piece of AskWoody arcana…

    Every month, I recommend that people pause Windows updating long enough to make sure there aren’t any real stinkers in the Patch Tuesday bunch. That sets up an ongoing tug-of-war. On the one hand, there are inevitable problems with all of the patches. Every month. On the other hand, there’s an ongoing threat that some miscreant will use the patched security holes to make new malware.

    I watch both sides incessantly and try to come up with solid patching recommendations. Been doing it for 14 years.

    You can read about my general approach in a Computerworld article, The case against knee-jerk installation of Windows patches. The AskWoody site has details about the MS-DEFCON system, which I’ve used for years to give normal Windows users a red-light/green-light signal about installing patches. (Very advanced Windows users and admins in charge of many systems are better off following Susan Bradley’s Master Patch List.) Whenever there’s a change in the MS-DEFCON level, I publish detailed, step-by-step instructions in Computerworld.

    Every month, there comes a time when – in my opinion – it’s better to install the (possibly modified) patches than leave the month’s round of patches uninstalled. We’ve just reached such a point. I figure we know enough about the problems at hand to help people who get socked by this month’s patches — and the malware cretins are close enough that it’s time to put the shields up.

    We’re now at MS-DEFCON 3: Go ahead and patch, but watch out for potential problems.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    (Yes, it’s true, my main machines are all on Win10 version 1909. Test machines run other versions and, of course, the Seven Semper Fi machine runs bone-stock Win7. See the Computerworld article.)