No February 2017 Patch Tuesday

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 16, 2017
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Microsoft

In case you have been wondering what is going on with the February 2017 Patch Tuesday that did not happen. Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it would postpone the Patch Day, but did not reveal a date back then.

Our top priority is to provide the best possible experience for customers in maintaining and protecting their systems. This month, we discovered a last minute issue that could impact some customers and was not resolved in time for our planned updates today.

After considering all options, we made the decision to delay this month’s updates. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this change to the existing plan.

Patch Tuesday is a recurring event on the second Tuesday of each month. Microsoft will release security patches for Windows operating system versions and other company products on that day.

An update to the original announcement on February 15, 2017 confirms that the February 2017 Patch Tuesday has been cancelled, and that the next batch of updates will be delivered on the March Patch Tuesday instead.

no february 2017 patch day

Microsoft is very vague in the announcement. First, it is not really clear if all updates are postponed, or if only a subset of updates are not delivered. While it seems clear that Windows updates are postponed, it is not really clear if the same is true for Office, Microsoft .NET or other Microsoft product updates.

Second, and this is the major problem for many probably, is that the postponing means that Flash has not been updated yet, and that the SMB Zero-Day vulnerability has not been patched either.

Third, we don't really know anything about the issue that delayed the release of security patches. This opens the door for speculation, and suggestions ranged from "what Microsoft said" to Windows Update servers may have been compromised.

Some updates, including the telemetry updates KB2952664 and KB2976978 have been pulled from the Microsoft Update Catalog as well. It is unclear whether this is related to the issue.

It is unclear whether Microsoft will push out select, critical security patches prior to March's Patch Tuesday, or if all Windows users will have to wait until March 2017 to get the patches for their machines.

Windows users are on their own right now to deal with these issues. It is recommended to block Flash in Microsoft Edge to block any attacks on this front.

You do so in the following way:

  1. Click on the menu icon (the three dots) and select Settings from the menu.
  2. Scroll down and select "view advanced settings".
  3. There you find a toggle for Adobe Flash. Switch "Use Adobe Flash Player" to off, to disable the technology in Edge and protect the browser from Flash-targeting attacks.

Now You: What do you think happened that forced Microsoft to postpone the February 2017 Patch Day?

No February 2017 Patch Tuesday
Article Name
No February 2017 Patch Tuesday
Microsoft announced on February 15, 2017 that the February 2017 Patch Tuesday will be moved to the March 2017 Patch Tuesday.
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  1. ghub said on February 18, 2017 at 11:40 pm


    Is this ghacks dot net ?

    1. A different Martin said on February 19, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      I’m just disappointed that no one has brought up McKinley or Wilson. ;-)

  2. A different Martin said on February 18, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    I have a friend whose system drive was rendered unbootable by a bad MS update around half a year ago. While we had an excellent backup and recovery system in place, it took some time to figure out exactly what had happened and how to avoid a recurrence. Accordingly, where updates are concerned — except maybe for extreme security vulnerabilities that cannot be avoided or mitigated — I say better late than buggy.

    Also, not to flog a dead horse or anything, but if you fire half of your quality-assurance staff, you’re going to get more bugs or more delays, or both.

  3. iKnow said on February 18, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Now that Obama is gone, they do not have to snoop the public any longer. Figures. This guys was a total mess.

  4. Raphaelo said on February 17, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    This is just a marketing ploy by MS to get users away from expecting all updates on Patch Tuesday. Think about it it, if the problem was so great that they had to delay their normal roll out, why would they wait until next month to make the fix available. Asinine right, but what else is new at MS. Common sense would tells you to put out the fixes they had already, and not advise those causing problems the extent of harm they caused.

  5. Pete12 said on February 17, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    No security-updates, no flash-updates, no monthly KB 890830, etc., they are taking a big risk, how can they sell this to the customer……….

  6. Xircal said on February 17, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Just as well since another security vulnerability has just cropped up:

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 17, 2017 at 7:42 pm
  7. KevB said on February 17, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Donald Trump is my theory. The folks at MS are working on the next exec order against Korea

    We all know that MS is part of the US Security Agency.

    Bill Gates auto qualifies for Donald’s cabinet. Bill is a billionaire. Respect Respect Respect

  8. efs said on February 17, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    not sure what you mean. win defender on win10 definitions have been updated daily pretty much. there was one just this morning. of course that doesn’t mean they can detect/remove malware…
    the removal tool is updated once a month with the patch day.. so if there ain’t a patch day.. obviously they won’t punt it out (even though it should.. like other standalone patches)

  9. Joe said on February 17, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Windows 10 nor Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) have had any updates since January 2017.
    The following info (see below) was sent to various Microsoft websites many times; but they don’t do anything about it.

    02-12-17 (Sun)

    Windows Defender Malware found…

    BrowserModifier: Win32/Foxieboro




    Windows Defender and Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool are unable to detect and delete/remove it.

    Alert level: High

    It only seems to be detected when running Microsoft Recovery Tools (Create a recovery drive) under Windows 10.

    Can’t create a recovery drive.
    Microsoft has yet to do anything about it.

  10. chesscanoe said on February 17, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    I speculate that the The Patch Tuesday postponement until Tuesday March 14, and the 2 day unavailability of manual or automatic update of Windows Defender for my Windows 10 x64 Home laptop, are related absences of patches. At least I have the new Flash update on Chrome, Firefox, and Opera….

  11. SCBright said on February 17, 2017 at 11:51 am

    They will not release Patch Tuesday while my main computer is not repaired.
    That’s the reason for the cancellation. :)

  12. wdf said on February 17, 2017 at 7:33 am

    though.. weirdly, is this a win10 issue or more of an issue for other os?
    looking at my win 10 updates history.. they push stuff out not just on patch tuesdays (though oddly, the history only lists back to jan 17)

    begs the question why they can’t release what they’ve fixed and just delay the ones they have problems with. flash being one of the ones that should be released, seeing as it’s always been done as standalone patch for edge anyway…
    Security Update for Adobe Flash Player for Windows 10 Version 1607 (for x64-based Systems) (KB3214628) <- the jan one.

  13. jupe said on February 17, 2017 at 4:39 am

    I wonder why they preemptively delayed a whole month and not just until the issue (whatever it may be) is resolved, then release them, still late but not a month late.

  14. All Things Firefox said on February 17, 2017 at 1:16 am

    At the end of the linked article, Wood Leonhard writes: “Gregg Keizer at Computerworld just posted an interview with a security expert who, amazingly, seems to say exactly what I’m saying.”
    On the contrary, that article doesn’t at all say that Windows Update has been compromised. The interviewee does say, like Woody, that it’s probably because of an infrastructure issue but doesn’t suggest it’s a security problem.
    I think that is somewhat irresponsible of Woody, making a conjecture which has no basis in fact and which could scare people away from Windows Update and make them less secure.

    1. Corky said on February 17, 2017 at 7:21 am

      Someone didn’t read where Wood Leonhard said “and it’s 100% speculation”

      1. All Things Firefox said on February 17, 2017 at 8:51 pm

        I suppose so, although there’s still no reason to make this suggestion. Even if it only affects a few people, that doesn’t excuse stupid conjectures and outright lies. Also, it undermines your credibility for legitimate criticism.

      2. Corky said on February 17, 2017 at 8:18 pm

        I’m not sure you could scare more people off Windows update, with the GWX experience and other problems it seems lot of people are just avoiding Windows update altogether.

        I would guess there’s people that don’t know or care what Windows update is won’t realise Microsoft missed a month, then there’s people that don’t bother with any updates from Microsoft because of lack of trust, there’s probably very few people who would read what Woody said and decide to stop using Windows update based entirely on that one supposition.

      3. All Things Firefox said on February 17, 2017 at 7:55 pm

        That’s exactly my point. Woody doesn’t have any hard evidence for his claim, and he doesn’t offer any convincing reasons, or any reasons at all, why Windows Update could be compromised. He’s just throwing out this wild speculation, which could scare people away from Windows Update.
        Furthermore, he says that the ComputerWorld article “amazingly, seems to say exactly what I’m saying”, while in fact it only agrees with half of his conclusion.

  15. LD said on February 16, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    I am curious as to why there were almost no patches in January and now February will have none. That is pretty much 60 days that MS has little to nothing on offer. There are some critical vulnerabilities out there, like the SMB problem that they said was ready to go in January, but was rescheduled for February, so it is not a matter of nothing critical is pending. Even if there was a patch that was causing problems, you would think that they have the methodology to pull it out of the rollup bundle with relative ease and within a few days or so. Security updates are not cumulative, so they can be easily pulled. The ‘bug’ therefore may be in the new infrastructure for bundling updates. Was it not February 2017 when they were going to start including all the orphaned patches for W7/8 that are not currently in the cumulative rollups? Windows Update may be stressed beyond its design.

  16. Corky said on February 16, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Hanlon’s_razor says never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity and Microsoft hasn’t been short on stupidity of late so the most likely explanation (IMO) is that Microsoft broke Windows update, however i wouldn’t be surprised if it leaks out that a third-party compromised their servers.

  17. Robert said on February 16, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    This was mentioned on last Tuesday’s “Security Now” podcast. Steve Gibson thinks he knows why the update was delayed but it’s all speculation right now.

  18. hfj said on February 16, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    should at least push flash patch out.. pfft.

  19. CHEF-KOCH said on February 16, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    If there is a patch day people freaking out and if not .. exactly the same…. I chill and drink my coffee until the hype is over. ;o)

    1. Corky said on February 16, 2017 at 6:11 pm

      Yea the cheek of people, it’s almost like they expect a service to work and work well, where will this madness end?

      Next thing we know people will be complaining about the trains being late, overcrowded, smelly, dirty and to top it all they’ll complain if there’s no trains at all. ;)

  20. Mr. Jim Business said on February 16, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    If ever a company had its head firmly embedded in its ass. Some people of course will say, good on ms for not releasing borked updates. I am guessing the ones affected by zero days would beg to differ. Note to the idiot at ms that decided lump updates would be a great, you are fired, hell they should just fire everyone and start over with windows 13.

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