Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws for Windows 2003 Windows, Meltdown and Spectre: Keep calm and carry on

Microsoft releases Windows patches

Yesterday evening, Microsoft released Windows patches — Security-only Updates, Cumulative Updates, and Delta Updates — for a wide array of Window versions, from Win7 onward. See the Update Catalog for details. (Thx, @Crysta). Note that the patches are listed with a “Last Updated” date of Jan. 4, not Jan. 3, the nominal release date. The Win7 and 8.1 patches are Security Only (the kind you have to install manually). I’ve been assured that the Win7 and 8.1 Monthly Rollups will come out next week on Patch Tuesday.

The Win10 patch for Fall Creators Update, version 1709, contains other security fixes besides those related to Meltdown. The other Win10 patches appear to be Meltdown-only. Those of you running the beta version of Win10 1803, in the Insider Program, have already received the patches.

BUT… you won’t get any patches installed unless and until your antivirus software sets a specific registry key. (It now appears as if the value of the key doesn’t matter; just the presence of the registry entry turns on Meltdown protection. Thx, @abbodi86, @MrBrian.) If you’re running third-party antivirus, it has to be updated before the Meltdown patch installer will run. It looks as if there are known problems with bluescreens for some antivirus products.

There are also cumulative updates for Internet Explorer 11 in various versions of Win7 and 8.1 listed in the Update Catalog. The fixes for Win10, and for Edge, are inside the respective Win10 cumulative updates. Microsoft has also released fixes for SQL Server 2016 and 2017.

Note that the Windows Server patches are not enabled by default. Those of you who want to turn on Meltdown protection have to change the registry. (Thx @GossiTheDog)

Question: Does Microsoft will release patches for olders operating systems like Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000?

Answer: Maybe No. Windows XP and Server 2003 don’t yet have patches. As you know these operating system are out of support. No word on whether Microsoft will release those sooner or later.

Operating system version Update KB
Windows Server, version 1709 (Server Core Installation) 4056892
Windows Server 2016 4056890
Windows Server 2012 R2 4056898
Windows Server 2012 Not available
Windows Server 2008 R2 4056897
Windows Server 2008 Not available

Kevin Beaumont, @GossiTheDog, is maintaining a list of antivirus products and their Meltdown-related problems. On Google Docs, of course.

Related Articles: Windows, Meltdown and Spectre | Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws | Widenet Meltdown and Spectre CPU Blog

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