Microsoft Confirms Bug in SSL Patch

By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2004-04-29 Print this article Print

Windows 2000 systems can lock up and fail at startup if drivers fail to load.

Microsoft Corp. has confirmed in a knowledge base article that its patch for a critical bug can cause some Windows 2000 systems to lock up and fail at boot time. The patch is for a particularly critical vulnerability of which experts have begun to see exploits in the last few days.

The knowledge base article goes by the unusually long name: "Your computer stops responding, you cannot log on to Windows, or your CPU usage for the System process approaches 100 percent after you install the security update that is described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-011."

The problem occurs, according to the article, because Windows tries repeatedly to load drivers that fail to load. Microsoft acknowledges that the problem is a bug in the patch and that the company is investigating solutions.

The article also gives one specific example, where the Nortel Networks VPN client is installed and the IPSec Policy Agent is set to Manual or Automatic for the startup type. In such cases, the article suggests disabling the IPSec Policy Agent.

But the problem is a more general one, and these specific drivers need not be involved.

Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center at for security news, views and analysis.
Be sure to add our security news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  
Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel