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NEWS - August 25, 2004

Microsoft offers SP2 compatibility guide

By Jo Best
CNET News.com
August 25, 2004, 6:24 AM PT

Microsoft has launched a do-it-yourself kit to help IT professionals assess their software's compatibility with Windows XP Service Pack 2.
Fears among system administrators and IT managers that SP2 may break homegrown applications have already led to delays in corporate launches. To get users back on track and keep developers' blood pressure down, Microsoft is offering the application compatibility testing guide.

The guide, which can be retrieved from Microsoft's Download Center, is designed to help administrators "test and mitigate application compatibility issues." Microsoft adds that the guide is meant for a network of any size and is "as relevant to peer-to-peer environments as it is to Active Directory environments."

More: http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104-5323378.html

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Windows XP SP2 Has a Dangerous Hole

In reply to: NEWS - August 25, 2004

Windows XP Service Pack 2 promises to raise the security bar for the sometimes beleaguered operating system. Unfortunately, one of the new features could be spoofed so that it reports misleading information about system security, or worse, lets a malicious program watch for an opportunity to do damage without being detected.

The feature is the Windows Security Center, which displays the status of the key elements of your defenses: Firewall, Updates, and Antivirus. If your firewall has been disabled, or your antivirus is out of date, that news will display here. The information is stored in an internal database managed by the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) subsystem built into Windows.

Based on an anonymous tip, we looked into the WMI and the Windows Security Center's use of it, and found that it may not only be a security hole, but a crater. Due to the nature of WMI, it could potentially allow attackers to spoof the state of security on a user's system while accessing data, infecting the system, or turning the PC into a zombie for spam or other purposes.


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Critical Netscape flaw could be widespread

In reply to: NEWS - August 25, 2004

Security company Internet Security Systems (ISS) is warning its customers about a critical security hole in a commonly used technology from the Mozilla Foundation called the Netscape Network Security Services (NSS) library that could make Web servers vulnerable to remote attack.

ISS has issueda security bulletin about a flaw in the NSS library's implementation of the Secure Sockets Layer Version 2 (SSLv2) protocol that could allow remote attackers to use an SSLv2 connection to take control of Web servers using the NSS library. The flaw in the NSS library affects the Netscape Enterprise Server and Sun Microsystems's Sun Java System Web Server, but may also affect countless other products that use the open source NSS library, ISS said.

The Mozilla Foundation issued a patch for the NSS library that fixes the SSLv2 hole. Alternatively, NetScape Enterprise users can disable the SSLv2 protocol, ISS said.


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Polish Cops Bust 100-Member Computer Piracy Gang

In reply to: NEWS - August 25, 2004

Polish police have broken up a gang of more than 100 hackers who sold pirated music and films, using academic computer systems around the world to store their wares, a police spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

"They broke into the biggest systems they could find and set up 'warehouses' to store pirated games, films and music," police spokeswoman Agata Salatka said of one of Poland's biggest piracy-related busts.

"They distributed the goods through the Internet, and also supplied bazaars with the latest hits -- even before their official premieres," she said, adding that the group may also have copied and sold academic theses from the host computers. Poland has won praise from anti-piracy groups for improving copyright laws and beefing up enforcement against the piracy that flourished in the mid-1990s, but illegal copies of films and music are still available at bazaars in most large cities.


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