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Microsoft SSL patch contains a bug

May 10, 20041 min
Enterprise ApplicationsMicrosoftPatch Management Software

* Patch for Microsoft SSL vulnerability can crash some Windows 2000 machines

Today, we continue our discussion of the Microsoft Secure Sockets Layer buffer overflow vulnerability. According to Netcraft’s March survey of SSL servers, some 39% of all Web facing servers that support SSL run Microsoft Windows 2000.

Should you be one of those lucky sites and you have applied the patch to fix the aforementioned vulnerability (that would be the Windows MS04-011 security patch), sorry, but your problems may not be over.

It turns out that the patch, which addresses 14 separate security holes, includes a bug that crashes some Windows 2000 machines.

According to Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 841382, dated May 3, 2004 and titled (rather depressingly) “Your Windows 2000-based computer stops responding, you cannot log on to Windows, or your CPU usage for the System process approaches 100 percent,” the patch will cause the problem described in the title if any one of the following drivers is installed: Ipsecw2k.sys, Imcide.sys, or Dlttape.sys.

The Knowledge Base article describes the problem further and explains that a hotfix is available from Microsoft specifically for systems displaying this problem. Microsoft says: “To resolve this problem immediately, contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the hotfix.”

Hopefully this will be the last we’ll hear of this vulnerability.


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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