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Another day, another bug? It won’t be strange if you have that thought. This week, the Microsoft acknowledged the existence of a further flaw in the Windows 11. This time, the problem involves an encryption feature and can cause data loss on new computers.
To be more precise, the flaw can affect PCs and servers with processors based on the Ice Lake, Tiger Lake, Rocket Lake and Alder Lake architectures. Among them are some 10th Gen Intel Core chips, as well as all 11th and 12th Gen processors.
You didn’t read it wrong. Servers may also be affected. That’s because, in addition to Windows 11, the flaw involves the Windows Server 2022. Earlier versions of these systems — Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 — are immune to the problem because they don’t have the problematic codes.
What codes? Windows operating systems use the SymCrypta library of cryptographic functions whose development began in 2006. In Windows 11 and Server 2022, SymCrypt has undergone some updates, which is why both systems had to be given new “code paths” to use the library.
This is where the problems start.
The intention was good
Such updates include features for the operating system to take advantage of Vector Advanced Encryption Standard (VAES) instructions. As the name implies, these are based on the well-known AES encryption standard.
In general, VAES instructions serve to speed up cryptographic operations. But the processor must be compatible with them. The aforementioned Intel chips support the AVX-512 instruction set which, lo and behold, includes the VAES specifications.
On Windows 11 and Server 2022, SymCrypt has been updated precisely to allow computers with a compatible processor to take advantage of VAES instructions. Microsoft doesn’t give details, but explains that “code paths” added for this purpose can cause data loss.
The flaw is not more serious because advanced encryption features in Windows 11 are usually only used in corporate applications. In other words, home users should be little harmed.
There is a solution, but…
She is a little confused. For machines susceptible to the issue, Microsoft recommends installing security updates released on May 24 or June 14, 2022.
These updates resolve the issue, but may slow the performance of some features. According to Microsoft, the data transfer rate of the storage unit and applications based on BitLocker and Transport Layer Security (TLS) may be the most affected.
If this happens, the company recommends installing the following updates, both released on June 23:
Or installing the updates released on July 12:
Just in case, I would also have the machine blessed.
With information: BleepingComputer.