Feeds

Rootkit blamed for Blue Screen patch update snafu

Malware is probable cause of Win XP freeze, MS confirms

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The presence of a hard-to-detect rootkit may have caused Windows XP machines to freeze up after applying a patch from Microsoft last week, according to preliminary analysis of the problem from Microsoft's security team.

Microsoft's users forums filled up with reports of Windows XP users experiencing the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) after applying the 13 patches released by Redmond last week. The problem was later linked to one specific update - MS10-015 - a patch for an "important" kernel flaw - and it was discovered that uninstalling this package unfroze affected machines.

The Blue Screen problem affected a minority of machines but was far from isolated, with many reported cases. Subsequent security sleuthing by sysadmin Patrick Barnes revealed that Windows XP machines that hit a brick wall after applying the update may have been infected with the TDSS rootkit.

Microsoft's security team has since confirmed that the malware may explain the Blue Screen issue in many cases, without ruling out other possibilities.

In our continuing investigation into the restart issues related to MS10-015 that a limited number of customers are experiencing, we have determined that malware on the system can cause the behavior. We are not yet ruling out other potential causes at this time and are still investigating.

Microsoft is asking affected users to send memory dumps in order to aid its ongoing investigation. But it acknowledges this is tricky when users who hit the problem are left with unbootable machines.

Redmond's security team suggested on Thursday that users may want to hold off on the potentially troublesome MS010-015 update and apply a workaround for that particular problem instead. Sysadmins following this advice are strongly advised to apply the other 12 patches issued by Microsoft last Tuesday. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?