Black is not the new Blue this season: more on “Black Screen” issues and the Microsoft November Security Updates

Well, Black really isn’t the new Blue this season, as some may have you believe.

Over at the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) blog, Christopher posted a note on the reports of so-called “Black Screen” issues that some customers might have experienced with their systems as a result of issues with the November Security Updates

We’ve investigated these reports and found that our November Security Updates are not making changes to the system that these reports say are responsible for these issues.

While these reports weren’t brought to us directly, from our research into them, it appears they’re saying that our security updates are making permission changes in the registry to the value for the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell key.

We’ve conducted a comprehensive review of the November Security Updates, the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, and the non-security updates we released through Windows Update in November. That investigation has shown that none of these updates make any changes to the permissions in the registry. Thus, we don’t believe the updates are related to the “black screen” behavior described in these reports.

We’ve also checked with our worldwide Customer Service and Support organization, and they’ve told us they’re not seeing “black screen” behavior as a broad customer issue. Because these reports were not brought to us directly, it’s impossible to know conclusively what might be causing a “black screen” in those limited instances where customers have seen it. However, we do know that “black screen” behavior is associated with some malware families such as Daonol.

If you think that you’ve been affected by this type of an issue, contact our Customer Service and Support group and any time you think that you’ve been impacted by malware. As he further notes, Christopher reminds us that "this enables us to determine what might be happening and take steps to help customers by documenting new malware families in our MMPC malware encyclopedia or documenting known issues in our security bulletins and the supporting Knowledge Base articles."

To avoid malware and other bad things as I wrote here, you should only download software from a trusted source – for example, via Microsoft for our products and service – and avoid peer to peer to save yourself an additional security risk.

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Tags: Windows Vista, Security, what I read, twitter, Microsoft, Windows 7, Microsoft Security Essentials.

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