Windows 10, 7 January security updates fix Intel, AMD & ARM CPU vulnerabilities

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read
windows 10 updates january 2018

Microsoft released a series of Windows 10 updates aimed at fixing the recently revealed security bug affecting Intel, AMD and ARM CPUs.

As a quick reminder, Google recently revealed more information about two security vulnerabilities (Meltdown and Spectre) that allowed hackers to abuse CPU data cache timing so as to leak information, leading to virtual memory read vulnerabilities across local security boundaries.

Microsoft fixed this security issue by releasing the following updates:

  • Windows 10 version 1703 KB4056891 (OS Build 10240.17738)
  • Windows 10 version 1607 KB4056890 (OS Build 14393.2007)
  • Windows 10 version 1511 KB4056888 (OS Build 10586.1356)
  • Windows 10 version 1507 KB4056893 (OS Build 10240.17738)

All the updates have a generic description:

Security updates to Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Scripting Engine, Windows Graphics, Windows Kernel, Windows Datacenter Networking, Windows Virtualization and Kernel, and the Windows SMB Server.

Windows 7 is also affected by this security bug. Microsoft also released a security patch for this OS version and you can download it automatically via Windows Update, or get the standalone package from the Microsoft Update Catalog website.

Update issues

Before you hit the update button, you should know that all the patches listed above bring two issues of their own:

  •  When calling CoInitializeSecurity, the call will fail if passing RPC_C_IMP_LEVEL_NONE under certain conditions. Microsoft is working to find a fix for this issue.
  • If you installed certain third-party antivirus solutions, the updates are only applicable to the machines where the antivirus ISV has updated the ALLOW REGKEY.

Microsoft advises you to contact your antivirus solution provider to confirm that their software is compatible and have set the following  REGKEY on the machine:
Key=”HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE”Subkey=”SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\QualityCompat”
Value Name=”cadca5fe-87d3-4b96-b7fb-a231484277cc”
Type=”REG_DWORD”
Data=”0x00000000”

For the time being, users didn’t report any issues regarding the install process, so the download and install phase should go smoothly.

If you already installed the updates listed above and you encountered various bugs, describe the issues in the comments below.

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