January 2018 was a month that will go down in patching infamy. Looking back on my notes, we had patches released, yanked, re-released and/or re-re-released on 15 different days in January. Untold thousands of machines were bricked by Microsoft patches. Millions of hours were lost chasing down bad patches and bad advice.

Although there were a couple of real bugs fixed in the January patches — the Equation Editor vulnerability being suspect #1 — most of the angst was completely superfluous. The Meltdown/Spectre patches at the heart of the drama attacked a problem that wasn’t — and isn’t — there. We still have no known Meltdown or Spectre exploits in the wild. None.

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