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Patch Day

Friday, August 11th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Security Help

Patch Day

This week seemed to be the week for the patching of holes. There has been a number of security vulnerabilities discovered as of late, forcing companies like Microsoft and Intel to fix the problems. So, I thought I would take some time this week and inform everyone of some important downloads that could play a major role in keeping you and your system safe.

Microsoft’s Monthly Update

First on the list, our old friend, Windows Scheduled Update. Though it’s Wednesday and I don’t seem to have the download yet, Microsoft has ensured that the August 8th update would be released on time to mend some vulnerabilities of its own. Though not many details have been released as of yet, concerning the specifics of the download, what little information I did get makes this look like a very important update.

There are ten updates for the Windows operating system and two for MS Office this month. Two of the Windows OS updates and one of the MS Office updates have a severity level of critical. This is Microsoft’s highest level of threat, which really makes it imperative that you update Windows. These updates should immediately be downloaded and installed to ensure you system’s security and integrity.

You can run a Windows update manually from the All Programs list, which is also a good way to see if you have your system up-to-date. You can also use the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer, which can also detect what updates your system needs and where to go in order to acquire these fixes.

There is also an update for the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. This will also have an update this week, but don’t plan on Windows’ update service to take care of it for you. You have to go get this one on your own.

Intel Centrino Patch

Well, it’s not everyday you see an update from one of the largest chipmakers in the world, so it’s a good idea to take it seriously. According to sources, the Intel Centrino Mobile platform that has been a very popular component for laptops over the past couple of years. It has run across some problems though. There have been three flaws to be exact. One affects the PRO/Wireless Network Connection software and two deal with the hardware side of it.

According to Intel, the vulnerabilities actually stem from Microsoft’s drivers and if exploited, could potentially give the attacker kernel level privileges or even authentication credentials. If exploited, the PC then becomes an enabler of the attack, attempting to infect other PCs in the wireless network by passing along the exploit.

With Intel being proactive in the whole turn of affairs, they have issued a fix for the three flaws. They strongly recommend that you download them, with one exception. Intel advises all laptop owners who will need this update to check with the manufacturer of their device first. The reason is, because the manufacturer may have their own modified fix for their system to stop any known conflict or other problem with the update.

You can verify you version of the PRO/Wireless Network Connection drivers here.

The downloadable update from Intel can be downloaded here.

So, there’s a couple of beauties for you. Make sure you have all of the updates you need for your system. It will help keep it secure and running smooth.

Until next week, stay safe out there!

~ Chad Stelnicki

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