U.S. Government to Test Windows Patches Early
The U.S. Air Force will test patches before they are officially released as part of Microsoft's Security Update Validation Program.The U.S. government will join select partners of Microsoft in receiving security patches as early as a month before they become generally available. The early-access program, already available to some customers, provides beta test versions of patches so customers can be prepared when vulnerabilities are publicly disclosed. Microsoft signed a $500 million software deal with the U.S. Air Force last year, which stipulated that the Air Force will join the Security Update Validation Program and test patches before they are officially released. In turn, the military will become a beta tester for Microsofts updates. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Air Force will first receive the prerelease patches, which, following testing, will be distributed to other government agencies by the Department of Homeland Security.
The goal is to allow the U.S. government to stay ahead of hackers who prey on disclosed flaws in Windows that are not yet patched.