| By Susan Bradley |
A collision between one of Microsoft’s recent Windows security patches and the rootkit Alureon is giving some PC users the infamous “Blue Screen of Death.”
I previously advised you not to install Microsoft’s security patch MS10-015 until I looked into it in more detail, but now I’m ready to give you the all-clear — with caveats.
You may need tools to eliminate a gnarly rootkit
The day after the Feb. 11 Patch Tuesday, security MVP Robear Dyer reported that an extraordinary number of people had experienced a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) after applying the patches. It was soon apparent that the troublesome patch was in security bulletin MS10-015 (977165). My previous Patch Watch column cautioned you to wait to install MS10-015, but now you can do so — if you know what symptoms to look for.
Unfortunately for those who installed the patch when it first came out, recovering from the BSOD wasn’t easy. Their PCs crashed on restart, so users needed to dig out their original Windows discs in order to run the repair procedure.
Microsoft states in a recent Security Response Center blog post that only those workstations infected with the so-called Alureon rootkit (also called TDSS, Tidserv, and TDL3), are affected.
In an odd way, this patch/BSOD debacle has a silver lining. The affected PC users discovered that their machines had previously undetected malware.