Woody Leonhard's no-bull news, tips and help for Windows and Office
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  • MS-DEFCON 4: Get patched

    Posted on April 3rd, 2012 at 17:18 woody 4 comments

    I feel a bit vindicated. Last month, the whole security industry was bellowing that we needed to install MS12-020, the RDP patch, like, RIGHT NOW because there were bad guys who were going to develop exploits, like, RIGHT NOW, and everybody was going to be in trouble.

    Bah. I didn’t buy it then, and I don’t buy it now. Some people figured out how to use the exploit for a denial of service attack, but as far as I’m concerned, I’ve got a USB modem that crashes my Windows 7 machine – a much more clear and present DoS danger.

    Anyway, it now looks like the patches from last month aren’t going to break anything, so it’s time to get caught up.

    The .NET patches are still a pain in the neck, but that’s nothing new.

    I’m moving us down to MS-DEFCON 4: There are isolated problems with current patches, but they are well-known and documented here. Check this site to see if you’re affected and if things look OK, go ahead and patch.

  • MS-DEFCON 2: Make sure you have automatic updates turned off

    Posted on March 14th, 2012 at 07:26 woody 6 comments

    Microsoft released a bumper crop of Black Tuesday patches.

    At this point, if you don’t use Remote Desktop, there’s nothing particularly interesting. If you have a Windows Server and you use Remote Desktop, you should look at MS12-020, per this SANS advisory.

    Hang in there. Let’s see how this bunch shakes out.

    I’m moving us up to MS-DEFCON 2: Patch reliability is unclear. Unless you have an immediate, pressing need to install a specific patch, don’t do it.