Infection may have triggered Blue Screens of Death

Underlying malware may have caused a rash of critical system errors for Windows users after they installed a Microsoft patch, the company has said
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor on

A number of system error messages that followed Microsoft's latest round of updates may have been caused by an underlying infection on Windows systems, according to the company.

Microsoft said in a blog post on Friday that the system error messages, colloquially known as a Blue Screen of Death, happened after users applied the KB977165 patch in the MS10-015 advisory, and that this could have been caused by malware.

"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 behaviour," said a Microsoft blog post. "We are not yet ruling out other potential causes at this time and are still investigating."

On Thursday, a number of mainly Windows XP users complained about the problem in posts to a Microsoft Answers forum.

On encountering a critical systems error, many systems will dump memory to a file on the hard disk. Microsoft said in the blog post that some technicians had driven out to customers to obtain the dump files for investigation.

"One of the key components when investigating issues like this are obtaining memory dumps from computers experiencing the problem," said the blog post. "In order to get the information we need to fully analyse the issue, some of our support engineers have actually driven to customer locations and picked up affected systems so we can get the needed crash data directly and help inform our investigation."

While Microsoft said only a limited number of users had been affected by the update, users on the Microsoft Answers forum said they had issues contacting Microsoft support due to the volume of requests for help.

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