Author Archives: Susan Bradley

Susan Bradley

About Susan Bradley

Susan Bradley is a Small Business Server and Security MVP, a title awarded by Microsoft to independent experts who do not work for the company. She's also a partner in a California CPA firm.

Learn to read the obscure WindowsUpdate.log file

Every moment your computer is on, a nearly undocumented Microsoft file — WindowsUpdate.log — maintains a record of your system’s patching activity.

Making sense of the information in this update log can be a challenge, but I’ll show you how you can use it to learn the inside story of your PC’s update history.

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Fake e-mails to patch Outlook lead to malware

All Windows users need to be aware that Microsoft never links to downloads in its e-mail messages, but always requires a visit to a security bulletin landing page to download a patch.

If you receive an e-mail containing a link promising to upgrade Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express, you should simply delete the message to avoid being nailed by a Trojan horse.

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Big-name sites spread latest malware infections

Going by such names as Gumblar, JSRedir-R, Martuz, and Beladin, a new generation of malware has managed to surreptitiously place malicious JavaScript code on tens of thousands of popular Web sites.

The hacker scripts try to infect site visitors and then attempt to use their compromised PCs to spread the infection to yet other sites.

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Microsoft calls IE 8 an important security patch

You may already have been offered version 8 of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser via Windows’ built-in Automatic Updates routine, but you should be aware that some Web sites don’t work with the new release.

In my testing, IE 8’s security and compatibility settings cause problems with some sites, and XP users must first uninstall SP3 in order to remove the latest build of IE.

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Shavlik, Secunia top Windows Update alternatives

If you followed the instructions in my May 21
Top Story
to build new systems without installing the trouble-prone Windows Genuine Advantage app, you may want to patch your PC using something other than Windows Update, which offers again and again to install WGA.

My favorite third-party software update service is currently the Shavlik Patch Google Gadget, although Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector is a worthwhile alternative.

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