Risk
11/30/2009
02:23 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

'Black Screen of Death' Linked To Microsoft Patch

A recent Microsoft security fix has been fingered as one of several possible causes of black screen Windows crashes.

Microsoft's November security patch may be to blame for the "black screen of death" that has been plaguing PC users.

Prevx, a security vendor, on Friday attributed some of the black screen crashes to a recent Window operating system change that locked down Windows registry keys.

"This change has the effect of invalidating several key registry entries if they are updated without consideration of the new ACL rules being applied," said Prevx's Dave Kennerley in a blog post. "For reference, the rule change does not appear to have been publicized adequately, if at all, with the recent Windows updates."

ACL, or Access Control List, rules set the permissions for logged-in users.

Prevx says millions of PC users could be affected by black screen crashes. A Google search for "black screen Windows," restricted to the past 24 hours, yields 436,000 results.

Forum posts seeking help about the issue are easy to find. However, it also appears that scammers are trying to take advantage of interest in the problem by promoting Web pages about the topic that launch fake antivirus scans.

According to Kennerley, the black screen issue appears to have many causes, only one of which is allegedly the ACL changes.

Prevx has identified at least 10 different scenarios that will trigger the black screen condition.

The company offers free software to fix some, but not all of these issues.

Kennerley said that black screen issues that began in the past two weeks -- since the Microsoft patch was issued -- are the most likely to be fixed with Prevx's software.

In an e-mailed statement, a Microsoft spokesperson said, "Microsoft is investigating reports that its latest release of security updates is resulting in system issues for some customers. Once we complete our investigation, we will provide detailed guidance on how to prevent or address these issues."

Update: Story updated with comment from Microsoft.

Register now for Black Hat DC, the largest and the most important security conference series in the world. It happens Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2010, in Arlington, Va. Find out more and register.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.