Windows 10 October Patch Tuesday causes problems for government cargo tracking system

Update busted access from Internet Explorer, preventing users from accessing the status of imports to Australia.

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The Australian Border Force's (ABF) duties have become a hit with bored TV viewers across the world, but besides busting rogue travellers, the agency also has to deal with the Windows 10 bugs the rest of us have had to deal with. 

The October 8, 2019 Patch Tuesday security update has caused a number of problems for Windows 10 users, such as the broken Start menu issue that was finally fixed last week.  

That same update has caused problems for users who attempt to login from Internet Explorer on the ABF's Integrated Cargo System (ICS) -- an IT system that has plagued the agency since it was rolled out 15 years ago, when Windows XP and Windows 2000 was still widely used. As per ITNews Australia, ICS was built on IBM WebSphere.

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ICS said the October 8 Patch Tuesday update "caused worldwide issues for some users, including interoperability problems between some versions of Windows 10 systems and the Integrated Cargo System (ICS)."

"The issue affects clients when attempting to login to the ICS portal using Internet Explorer," it added. 

The agency explained that the update introduced a "change in behaviour of the protocol establishing the security of the connection with ICS is causing authentication failures." It noted the update had "caused worldwide issues for some users."

Internet Explorer is of course on its way out as Microsoft pushes ahead with its Chromium-based version of the Microsoft Edge browser. Microsoft's October Patch Tuesday update included a fix for a critical remote code execution memory vulnerability.  

Some Windows 10 users who struggled with the October 8 security patches decided to uninstall the security update to overcome their problems. ABF also says that it is aware that some users have uninstalled the patch just so they can continue using the ICS website, which shows local businesses and citizens the status of their air and sea cargo, including perishable items, entering the world's largest island of 20 million-plus inhabitants.

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But ABF advises Windows 10 users to take precautions when making the decision. 

"We are aware that some users have removed the update to successfully restore connectivity. We recommend any decision to remove the security update is informed by an appropriate risk assessment and analysis," ABF said. 

"Additional security controls to limit any risk associated with the removal of the patch such as the use of standalone machines should be considered."