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Patch Tuesday problems abound, Server 2016 crashes, and a .Net patch goes down in flames

You know it’s going to be an Alice in Wonderland month when some sites report that Microsoft plugged 54 vulnerabilities on Patch Tuesday, while others report 53. Fact is, patching has become so brutal — and so banal — that there’s no consensus on counting, much less on what’s good and bad.

Suffice to say that, once again this month, there was a huge number of security patches (129 individual patches, according to the Microsoft Update Catalog), with no pressing security fixes unless you’re using the Edge browser or Internet Explorer. Microsoft changed Win10 version 1803 to “Semi-Annual Channel,” but the term now means less than it ever has before. If that’s possible.

Moral of the story: Don’t use IE or Edge, and wait a few weeks to see if any of the other patches blow up — which is pretty close to the same Patch Tuesday advice I’ve doled out monthly for the past year.

For a comprehensive listing of all the patches, see Martin Brinkmann’s list on Ghacks. For the best in-depth analysis, see Dustin Childs’s review on the Zero Day Initiative blog.

An overview with a jaundiced eye

The SANS Internet Storm Center says there are no known exploits for any of the patches, although three of the exploits have been disclosed to the patching community. None of the three is particularly interesting, unless you use Edge.

There are “critical” fixes for Edge (12 critical) and Internet Explorer (four critical), but no “critical” fixes for any Windows version. It still amazes me how many major security problems crop up, month after month, for Edge.

Our evergreen snooping patches, KB 2952664 for Win7 and KB 2976978 for Win8.1 make a reappearance, this time marked “Important,” checked and ready to load. Similarly, KB 4023057 — an “update reliability” patch for older Win10 versions — has appeared again. Unless you want Microsoft to push you to a new version of Windows, you don’t need or want them — they only shuffle more telemetry data off to Microsoft.

Win10 1803 now “Semi-Annual Channel” — whatever that means

The craziest Patch Tuesday blip wasn’t a patch at all. Win10 April 2018 update — good ol’ version 1803 — now appears in the Windows 10 release information list as “Semi-Annual Channel.” What’s more the bizarre blurb that appeared as a footnote in that post on Tuesday morning is now gone:

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