Dear Windows-Help.NET Subscriber,
Microsoft announced that it is developing a significant security enhancement to the Microsoft Outlook messaging and collaboration client designed to thwart the spread and impact of many computer viruses - including those similar to the recent I Love You and Melissa viruses. This update limits certain functionality within Outlook to provide a significantly improved level of security for Outlook users. The new security enhancement will be available to download free of charge from the Office Update Web site the week of May 22, 2000. The patch will require a download of approx. 1MB.
"Given the global impact of the I Love You virus and the growing threat of malicious hackers, we strongly believe we must take the unprecedented step of limiting certain popular functionality in Outlook to provide a significant, additional security option for our customers," said Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president of Microsoft Office at Microsoft. "While this new security enhancement won't eliminate the threat of viruses, we believe it can greatly help eradicate the damaging class of viruses that have resulted in the I Love You and Melissa viruses. We strongly recommend that customers download this update to help safeguard against these types of viruses."
These security enhancements will be offered to Outlook 98 and Outlook 2000 customers. Changes made by the enhancements will make it harder for other programs to interact with the Outlook address book, one of the key areas which causes these latest viruses to spread so rapidly, because they access the Outlook address book, and mail copies to everyone listed. With the security update, a program other than Outlook itself will need permission from the user every time it needs access to the address book. This feature, cannot be turned off.
This will also mean that Palm or Windows CE handhelds will have to ask permission each time it syncs with Outlook. It will not be possible to sync remotely over a network. Mail merges from Word or other Office programs will also be affected.
When the Outlook Email Security Update is installed, some functionality in Outlook and other Office applications may be impaired. Microsoft has a list of this functionality impact on the Office Update Web site.
New version of LoveLetter (NewLove virus) not nearly as widespread as LoveLetter
Security firms are warning e-mail users of a new version of the VBS/LoveLetter virus. This new version is known as VBS.NewLove.A, and it carries much more dangerous payload than LoveLetter. However, NewLove is not widespread at present.
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