May's 'Patch Tuesday' updates break some UK government websites

What you need to know

  • The latest batch of "Patch Tuesday" updates included the addition of gov.uk to the HTTP Strict Transport Security Top Level Domains.
  • While the update was meant to improve compatibility to certain UK government websites, it has apparently broken others in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer.
  • Microsoft is working on a fix.

Updated May 20, 2019: Microsoft has now released a patch for all versions of Windows 10 with a fix for this issue.

Microsoft's latest round of monthly "Patch Tuesday" updates rolled out to Windows 10 this week, a critical patch for a newly discovered vulnerability for Intel processors. However, if you live in the UK, you may find that the updates also introduced a bug of its own that breaks some government websites in Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge (via Softpedia).

In an update to the release notes for this week's updates, Microsoft outlined a new known issue impacting certain gov.uk sites. From Microsoft:

After installing the May 14, 2019 update, some gov.uk websites that don't support HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) may not be accessible through Internet Explorer 11 or Microsoft Edge.

This appears to be related to an additon in the cumulative update that added "gov.uk" to the HTTP Strict Transport Security Top Level Domains. According to the details on the known issues, Microsoft is currently working on a fix, but there's no word on when it will be shipped. In the meantime, you can still access any websites that give you trouble by simply turning to another browser.

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