Sat. May 18th, 2024

In resopnse to user complaints, Microsoft now confirms that its April security updates break VPN functionality in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008, and subsequent Windows Server releases. Affected users may uninstall the security updates or simply wait for a fix from Microsoft.

This problem impacts users who installed the April 2024 security update (KB5036893) or the April 2024 preview update. Some users may not experience VPN failure, though the problem is common enough to warrant a warning from Microsoft. Interestingly, the April updates may also prevent you from changing your Windows profile picture. But don’t worry—affected users won’t have any problem seeing advertisements in their Windows installation. Ads are clearly a top priority for Microsoft.

We aren’t sure how this problem found its way into a Windows security update. Millions of people use a VPN to protect their privacy, and businesses often use a VPN to shield their network from unwanted eyes. Some people who installed the April security update may be locked out of their employer’s network—it’s a good excuse for missing work, so I guess there’s a bit of silver lining here.

Naturally, Microsoft promises to resolve this issue in an upcoming update. But if you need to use a VPN and can’t wait for a fix from Microsoft, you can simply uninstall the April security updates. Use the command DISM /online /get-packages to find the name of the April update package (specifically the LCU “cumulative” package) and use the DISM/Remove-Package command line option to begin the uninstall process. Detailed instructions are listed at the bottom of Microsoft’s KB5036893 support page.

Note that the LCU package contains several security fixes, including some that address critical-severity CVEs. Removing this package will leave your system more vulnerable to malicious attacks, though you’ll regain these security fixes when installing updates in May.

To reiterate, this problem affects Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008, and later Windows Server releases. If you haven’t installed any April security updates, now’s a good opportunity to jump into Settings and temporarily pause updates. Individuals who need help should use the Get Help app, while business customers should use the Support for Business portal.

Source: Microsoft via Bleeping Computer

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By John P.

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