Microsoft accused of another flawed Patch Tuesday

September 12, 2013 // 9:45 a.m.

Tags: #insecurity #microsoft-office #outlook-2013 #patch #patch-tuesday #security #software-update #windows #windows-8 #windows-81 #windows-update

Microsoft stands accused of releasing yet another series of flawed patches in what is to date the most disastrous Patch Tuesday run in the company's history.

Rather than releasing security updates and bug fixes as they are developed, Microsoft runs a regular rolling-release patch cycle it dubs Patch Tuesday - for, as the name implies, it occurs on the second Tuesday of every month. This gives system administrators a date on which they know they will receive patches for testing, and arguably gives Microsoft adequate time for testing the patches prior to release.

Sadly, that doesn't appear to have been the case recently. In recent months, the company has embarrassingly had to withdraw multiple patches for causing problems on customers' systems that are often worse than the security holes they attempt to fix. In August an Exchange patch was withdrawn, in July it was a faulty WMV patch, in June a badly-tested DLL update which caused processors to chug, and in April a file-system driver which repeatedly crashed client systems.

Now, September's Patch Tuesday batch can be added to the list, with users reporting numerous flaws spreading across five of the updates released this week. According to InfoWorld's analysis of customer support threads, users are seeing issues with patches KB2817630, KB2810009, KB2760411, KB2760588, and KB2760583.

The flaws reported include the folder pane in Outlook 2013 disappearing entirely and, worryingly, security patches appearing to install but failing to protect against the flaw - only to be re-offered by Windows Update the next time it is run, and again failing to install.

This latest gaffe by Microsoft means that of the last six months of Patch Tuesday updates, only one month has gone without a hitch - a hit-rate that is likely to leave many concerned about the company's plans to silently install updates in the background as part of the revamped patching process offered by Windows 8.1 when it launches next month.

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