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Old 4th April 2007, 08:26 AM   #1
SoKyBiz
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Exclamation Microsoft Issues Emergency Security Patch

I've been mildly concerned about this for about a week now.
Microsoft Patches Windows Vulnerability
Apr 4, 7:55 AM (ET)
By JESSICA MINTZ

SEATTLE (AP) - Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) released an emergency security patch Tuesday to plug a hole in several versions of Windows - including Vista, which the software maker has touted as its most secure operating system ever.

Microsoft was so worried about the hole - which allowed hackers to break into personal computers and install malicious software - that it pushed out the critical security fix a week ahead of a regularly scheduled update.

The Redmond-based software company told customers last Thursday about a vulnerability in ".ani" files, which are used to change the cursor into an hourglass while a program works, or into a dancing animal or other animation on specially designed Web sites. Security experts said the hole was actively being exploited by hackers to install keystroke-logging programs.

http://apnews.myway.com//article/200...D8O9P4N80.html
I'm not sure it it was a bell or whistle that caused the hole, but the fact is the little animate cursor is the culprit. That little bugger had the potential of allowing hackers to record keystrokes, upload files and more or less ruin your day. There is a patch available by clicking tools in Windows Explorer and then Windows Update. Or you can visit http://www.microsoft.com/security for more information.

Your friendly neighborhood computer nerd,
David Francis



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Old 4th April 2007, 11:08 AM   #2
TrinityOasis
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Default Hacker or Hobbyist

I'm sorry, but you are not going to keep a true hacker out of your system if it is connected to the internet. Microsoft makes it difficult, but not impossible to enter a computing system. If you have an open port, you are accessible.

All of these security protocols keep the "want-a-be" hackers (aka computer hobbyist) from running around the internet and playing on other peoples computers.

If you want to secure your system, your best bet is first to install both a hardware and software firewall. The best software firewall on the market is Zone Alarm; best of all, the basic version is free. If you are a little more sophisticated, download a port scanner and test your system. Close unused ports and reroute/direct open ports from those on the outside of your firewall. Hardware firewalls have many settings to secure your system: do not use DMZ and expose yourself, turn off broadcast on your wireless system, ... etc.

If you are comfortable with computers, consider LINUX as your operating systems. Fewer viruses (trojans, worms,... )are written to attact Linux Desktop systems, and you have more control over Linux settings. If you are new to Linux, try Kanotix or Slax Linux packages.

These are just a few reasons why I don't use MS Windows unless I have to.

Good luck,

Trinity Oasis


Last edited by TrinityOasis; 4th April 2007 at 11:11 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 5th April 2007, 10:38 AM   #3
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrinityOasis View Post
I'm sorry, but you are not going to keep a true hacker out of your system if it is connected to the internet.

... snip for space ...

These are just a few reasons why I don't use MS Windows unless I have to.

Good luck,

Trinity Oasis
Thanks Trinity! I agree about security and have written about it here before. I have a hardware firewall, software firewall on the network server and another one (AVG) on my desktop.

I've told people if you want to be 100% sure that you are safe, then don't connect your computer to a modem/network and never put a disk in the CDROM. Not very practical, but a sure fire way to be safe. (Then sure enough, a lightning storm will come along and fry the hard drive anyway.) DOH!

As far as operating systems, I'm not sure I agree entirely. There are many hackers/crackers out there looking to exploit any system.

I'm a MS disciple having operated PC's since 1985 back before Windows. I develop web applications exclusively on Windows platforms. That said, I have just installed a Macintosh in my office because of a new project that requires extensive layout and graphics for commercial printing. It's taken a good bit to get used to it, and I do see some advantages, but I'll continue to do the bulk of my work on my MS machine.

My point is, the OS should be one that fits your needs. If Windows/Office can make a small business productive and receive a wide range of affordable support options, then secure the network, update the software and allow yourself to grow and manage your business effectively.

Well, in my opinion of course. What do you think?

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