Windows-Help.NET Newsletter 15 May 2004, Vol 7 No. 16

In this issue:

w   More Windows News
w   Microsoft Security Bulletin
w   Recent Support BBS Postings
w   Web Site Updates
w   Administrivia

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More Windows News

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

A few pieces of Windows related news caught my eye this week. First a press report in Asia suggested that Windows XP Service Pack 2 would install on both legitimate and unlicensed copies of XP. But a few days later this was denied by Microsoft. "Recent press reports that Windows XP Service Pack 2 will install on pirated or illegal copies of Windows XP are not true, instead, prior to installing, SP2 will check the operating systems product ID against a list of known pirated product IDs. If the product ID is found to be invalid, SP2 will not install."

This behavior is similar to that of Windows XP Service Pack 1, and should have little impact on those who run a pirated (non-licensed) Windows XP version. There are advanced Windows XP key generators available, so it will just be a matter of generating a new product ID, one that isn't on any Microsoft block-list. (No, I don't agree with running pirated software, but both "camps" tend to get "hot under the collar" when discussing this. I just want to show it's pretty meaningless).

Apparently even Microsoft had some (internal) discussions on the subject, but decided in the end that SP2 should only install on licensed versions of its software. The problem that could arise however is that pirated versions of XP could be attacked and turned into "zombies", used to attack even legitimate users. We'll have to see what the impact of Microsoft's decision will be.

Comments? (req. registration to post)

Another piece of news last week was that Longhorn, the next Windows version will have three different graphical interfaces, each requiring a different level of graphics card. This news came courtesy of lead product manager Greg Sullivan at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC). Previously Microsoft had said it would give full details at WinHEC of hardware requirements needed for PCs to run Longhorn, but that did not transpire.

According to Sullivan, the most demanding interface, code-named "Aero Glass," (which includes transparency and other advanced three-dimensional shading features) will demand a high-end video card with at least 64 MB of video memory. Below that is the "Aero" interface, offering most of the graphics capabilities, requiring 32 MB of video memory. Below that is a Windows 2000-like "classic" interface for less capable graphic cards.

But don't despair: by the time Longhorn will be released, 64 MB video cards will probably the "low-end" standard.

Microsoft Security

Microsoft Windows Security Bulletin Summary for May, 2004

Included in this advisory is one update describing a newly discovered vulnerability in Microsoft Windows.

Severity Rating: Important

Recent Support BBS Postings

http association somehow corrupted! - Internet Explorer
Windows XP and pagefile configuration - Windows XP
LMHosts question - Networking
60 seconds until shutdown (sasser?) - Security / Virus / Spyware
How can I save a .swf page? - Internet Explorer

Web Site Updates

These pages were added/updated in the past week. Information on previously updated/added pages is available on the What's New? page for 1 month.


Added: Microsoft Windows Security Bulletin Summary for May, 2004


Sasser (A-F) Worm Removal Tool

This tool will help to remove the Sasser (A-F) worm from infected systems. Once the tool has run, it automatically checks for infection and removes any of the targeted worms that are found.

After running, the tool displays a message describing the outcome of the detection and removal process.

The user must be an administrator to run this tool.

Supported Operating Systems: Windows 2000, Windows XP

Download [114 KB - Eng]

What You Should Know About the Sasser Worm and Its Variants

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eEye: Multiple Symantec Firewall Vulnerabilities

eEye Digital Security has discovered a number of critical vulnerabilities in the Symantec firewall product line that would allow a remote, anonymous attacker to execute arbitrary code, cause a severe denial-of-service condition, or grant access to a system running an affected version of the product.

eEye Advisories

Symantec have released patches through Symantec LiveUpdate and technical support channels.

Make a Video CD with Photo Story 2

Find out how to use Photo Story 2 to create, edit, and share digital photos with effects, music, and narration. You can even make video CDs you can watch on your own TV.

Read ExpertZone Article

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