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18 February 2010, 17:41

Microsoft confirms rootkit cause of Windows XP blue screen of death

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Microsoft Logo Microsoft has confirmed that a rootkit is responsible for the blue screen problems currently occurring with Windows XP following a recent update intended to fix a 17-year old security vulnerability in the virtual DOS machine. According to a post on Microsoft's Security Response Center blog, all of the affected systems were infected with the Alureon rootkit.

The company says that the rootkit made several modifications to the system's behaviour, which caused the systems to become unstable. It also determined that 64-bit systems are not affected. Apparently, however, not all 32-bit systems with the Alureon rootkit were affected: the "chain of events" relating to when the machine was infected and when the update was installed played a role. Microsoft went on to say that it had "not found quality issues with security update MS10-015". Only a few days ago, based on its own analysis, Symantec had suspected that a rootkit was responsible for the blue screen of death (BSOD) issues.

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