Microsoft yanks troublesome Exchange security patch

For the second month in a row, Microsoft has released, then withdrew, buggy software patches

Citing installation issues and inadequate testing, Microsoft has withdrawn an Exchange Server 2013 security update that it issued earlier this week as part of its "Patch Tuesday" release cycle.

This is the second month in a row that Microsoft has withdrawn a patch because it could cause problems for the system it was designed to repair. In July, the company recalled four buggy patches.

When installed, the MS13-061 security update for Exchange can impede access to the content indexes for mailbox databases and may also rename the Exchange Search Host Controller service.

Microsoft advised against installing the patch. For those who have already installed it, the company offered instructions to fix the problem, which involves editing registry keys.

Microsoft had failed to test the patch correctly, it admitted.

"Unfortunately, this security update did not get deployed into our dogfood environment prior to release," Microsoft said in an alert.

The bug doesn't affect Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010 because they have a different architecture.

Last month, Microsoft issued four bad patches, including three that were part of July's patch Tuesday release.

Microsoft also withdrew a patch last December.

Despite the series of missteps, "I don't see this as indicative of a larger quality control problem at Microsoft, but rather of a consequence of the high degree of variations that one encounters in the enterprise software market," Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of security and compliance software provider Qualys, said via email.

He said it's virtually impossible for enterprise software vendors to quickly test an update across all the possible hardware and software combinations.

To mitigate potential damage from faulty patches, Kandek suggested customers test the update in a controlled environment before rolling it out across the entire organization.

He also advised organizations to stick to popular hardware and software configurations as much as possible, to increase the chances that a patch will have been tested against their own setup.

Migrating to the cloud is also an option, Kandek said.

"In Microsoft's case it is much easier to make sure Office 365 works perfectly or even hosted SharePoint, than assuring that their software will operate as designed in all different customer environments," he wrote.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityMicrosoftpatch managementsoftwareapplicationse-mail

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?