Everyone has been on the alert since yesterday for the discovery of two important security flaws in modern processors. Under the name of Meltdown(which affects Intel) and Specter (which affects all processors, including AMD and ARM) there are two security flaws that put millions of users around the globe in check. Those responsible for the main operating systems have reacted quickly with patches in Windows, Linux, Android and macOS to solve the Meltdown and Specter vulnerabilities of Intel, AMD and ARM. However, in Windows we could have problems with our antivirus at the time of receiving the security patch.
Microsoft explains that it has identified some compatibility problems with a small number of antivirus when installing the patch to fix the Meltdown and Specter vulnerabilities. The compatibility problem is related to the calls to the operating system kernel. That causes the known blue screens of death and the computer in question can not start the operating system.
Your antivirus can prevent you from receiving the Windows security patch
For all this, Microsoft will only offer from Windows Update the security patch to computers with antivirus that do not have this “problem”. The Redmond confirm that they will only do so with the manufacturers of antivirus solutions that have confirmed that their software is compatible with the operating system updates released this January.
Okay there is another VERY IMPORTANT THING with Microsoft Meltdown patches – “Customers will not receive these security updates and will not be protected from security vulnerabilities unless their anti-virus software vendor sets the following registry key” https://t.co/KyEbqcKrXl
— Kevin Beaumont (@GossiTheDog) January 4, 2018
Therefore, if we have an antivirus and can not update from Windows Update (because the patch does not appear) it is quite likely that we are running an antivirus solution that is not compatible. Therefore, we will have to contact the manufacturer or try to update the antivirus to the latest version, something that will probably correct the problem and allow us to update.
On a technical level, the antivirus must establish a key in the registry so that the blue screen of death does not occur and it is possible to receive the update that closes the Meltdown security breach in the Intel processors. Specifically, this is the key:
Key = “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” Subkey = “SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ QualityCompat” Value = “cadca5fe-87d3-4b96-b7fb-a231484277cc” Type = “REG_DWORD”
Therefore, it is very important to have a compatible antivirus solution. Otherwise, we must update the one we have to see if this compatibility has been activated or opt for another alternative. More details on the Microsoft support website.