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NEWS - August 23, 2004

Microsoft Pushes XP SP2

Automatic delivery of the security update will resume this week.

Joris Evers, IDG News Service
Monday, August 23, 2004
After a nine-day postponement, Microsoft this week plans to start pushing out Windows XP Service Pack 2 to PCs running Windows XP Professional Edition.

Taken off guard by the large number of business customers who rely on the Windows Automatic Updates feature for patches, Microsoft last week postponed automatic distribution of the mammoth service pack. The software maker sent a note to corporate customers saying the delay was in response to customer requests for more time to install a registry key that will block the automatic delivery of SP2.

More: http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,117513,tk,dn082304X,00.asp

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IT Admins Not 'Trusting' SP2 Security

In reply to: NEWS - August 23, 2004

By Dennis Fisher
August 23, 2004

More than two years after company officials claimed Microsoft Corp. would emphasize security over features in all products, the whopping update to the company's Windows XP operating system is being hit for introducing new vulnerabilities.

IT administrators and security experts who have had a chance to install, work with and investigate the changes Windows XP Service Pack 2 makes to the operating system said last week the upgrade doesn't live up to the spirit of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing campaign announced by Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates in January 2002.

Within about a week of its limited release two weeks ago, a German security researcher found two issues with SP2 that changed the way Microsoft products typically warn users about dangerous online content


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IT Managers Can Stall SP2

In reply to: NEWS - August 23, 2004

By Neil J. Rubenking, PC Magazine
Not all companies are thrilled at the thought of Windows XP Service Pack 2 gradually infiltrating their PCs through automatic updates. IT Managers want to perform the update under controlled circumstances and upgrade all PCs at the same time, avoiding a hybrid configuration where IT doesn't even know which systems have SP2. Microsoft has created a toolkit to allow administrators in such companies to delay the SP2 automatic update by up to 120 days from the starting date of August 16.

The toolkit, called XPSP2BlockerTools.EXE, is available at this page: Toolkit to Temporarily Block Delivery of Windows XP SP2 to a PC Through Automatic Updates and Windows. It includes an executable file, a script, and an administrative template, all of which can be used to enable blocking the update to SP2. The apparent sole effect of these tools is to create a Registry value named DoNotAllowXPSP2 in the Registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate and set its data to '1'. These same tools can be used to unblock automatic updates when the administrator is ready. After the 120 days, all XP systems using automatic updates will be updated to XP SP2.


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MS Help For SP2 Setup Problems,

In reply to: NEWS - August 23, 2004

What to do for an SP2 "Uh oh?"

How to recover your computer if the WinXP SP2 Setup program is not completed successfully


Applies to:

* Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 (SP2)
* Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 (SP2)
* Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition Service Pack 2 (SP2)
* Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005


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Microsoft readies CD launch of SP2

In reply to: NEWS - August 23, 2004

Those who don't want to download the mega-patch should be able to find it on CD 'throughout September', says Microsoft.

For the nearly 71 percent of the UK who still use dial-up Internet connections, XP SP2 will soon be at hand without a long download. However, for users who think Microsoft will make XP harder to get into than Fort Knox with a rusty spoon, Microsoft isn't so sure.

While Microsoft has begun the lengthy process of feeding XP SP2 to users via its various online update services, it's counting on the first batch of CDs to carry the hard-copy service pack to appear sharpish.

The first CDs are expected to be available from next month, Paul Randle, Windows client manager, told ZDNet UK's sister site silicon.com. The CDs will start to be released free with PC-focused magazines "throughout September", he said, but the precise dates will "depend on print schedules".


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Re: Microsoft readies CD launch of SP2

In reply to: Microsoft readies CD launch of SP2

I was under the impression that at some point, those of us on dialup would be able to ORDER the CD from MS much like we did with that recent security CD.

Anyone read anything different?

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Revolutionary Spam Firewall Developed

In reply to: NEWS - August 23, 2004

The email spam nightmare could be halted in cyberspace by a groundbreaking firewall developed at The University of Queensland. The new technology is the only true spam firewall in existence, according to co-developer Matthew Sullivan.

"Existing anti-spam software filters out spam whereas ours puts up a firewall, stopping all email traffic and only allowing real mail through," said Mr Sullivan.

?In addition, our technology is accurate and fast. We recently completed a successful trial of a key layer of the spam firewall and it processed the emails at 90 messages per second, misclassifying only one out of 25,000 emails.?

?It turned out that the software was even better than us, picking up spam we?d incorrectly classified as legitimate emails.?


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Virus targets 64-bit Windows

In reply to: NEWS - August 23, 2004

Virus writers have unleashed the first program that infects 64-bit Windows files, antivirus firm Symantec said Monday. The virus, dubbed W64.Shruggle by Symantec, seems mainly to be an experiment to test the concept of a 64-bit infecter and is not actively spread, said Alfred Huger, senior director of security at Symantec.

"The most interesting thing about this is that virus writers are already developing for the 64-bit platform," he said.

Symantec got a copy of the virus from an antivirus newsgroup the company monitors, Huger said. The virus, even if released on the Internet, would not spread, he added, because the Windows software that the program exploits has not yet been released by Microsoft. Some developers are trying out the 64-bit extensions for Windows, but the software is still being tested. The virus will not run on 32-bit versions of Windows, such as Windows 2000 and Windows XP, owned by the vast majority of Microsoft users.


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