Patch Tuesday: KB3023607 Breaks Cisco AnyConnect, Here's a Fix

Patch Tuesday: KB3023607 Breaks Cisco AnyConnect, Here's a Fix

If unreadable fonts and a broken PowerPoint aren't enough to get your hackles up this week, there's yet another patch that is causing considerable problems. KB3023607, which is the update designed to change the way the Transport Security Layer (TLS) works to eliminate the Poodle vulnerability, is causing headaches for users of the popular Cisco AnyConnect VPN application.

I use the app constantly to connect to the mother ship. This morning, in fact, I was all set to do my expenses (which is a hated, laborious task anyway), but was met with the following error when attempting to connect.

The problem has been verified by Cisco and the company is reported to be working with Microsoft for a permanent fix. But, a temporary fix is also available that includes allowing Windows to configure the compatibility for the application. The following is an expanded and tweaked version of the fix Chris Tierney posted to his blog:  Cisco AnyConnect "Failed to initialize connection subsystem"

To fix it, do this:

  1. On the Windows Taskbar, right-click on the Cisco AnyConnect icon and choose Quit.

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to: C:\Program Files (x86)\Cisco\Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client\.
  2. Find vpnui.exe, right-click on it, and then choose the Troubleshoot Compatibility option.

  1. Choose Try Recommended Settings.

  1. Click Test Program (notice that Windows chooses Windows 7 compatibility mode in case you have to set it manually). Choosing to "Test the Program" will launch the Cisco AnyConnect client, giving you the chance test logging in. It should work.

  1. Once it's proven that Cisco AnyConnect works, choose to save the settings. If it doesn't work, the troubleshooter gives you the options of trying again with different settings. The Windows 7 compatibility worked for me and I run Windows 8.1.

  1. Program Compatibility Troubleshooter will give you a final report. Close the troubleshooter and you should be good to go.


Now that it's temporarily fixed, I just have to build up the gumption again to finalize my expenses. The temporary fix is way easier than working through my obvious character flaw.


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