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Microsoft steps up ActiveX security

Microsoft on Monday pointed developers to two security guides to help companies create and use more secure software components after a number of critics took the company to task for common flaws in ActiveX components. ActiveX allows Web site developers to add interactivity by executing software components on a PC. Flaws in the components, however, can be abused by online vandals to take control of a person's computer.

"An ActiveX control can be an extremely insecure way to provide a feature," Microsoft stated on its site. One guide discussed how to design a secure ActiveX component, while another detailed how to use Microsoft's SiteLock security software to make ActiveX more secure.