Fake security programs are taking advantage of user gullibility in order to hold people’s PCs for ransom.
Windows XP users who are running with administrator rights are especially vulnerable to these drive-by downloads.
Microsoft’s GDI+ graphics system could be exploited to allow hackers to use image files to launch attacks on your system.
In addition to patching Windows, this bug requires that you update your Office apps, Works 8, Digital Image Suite 2006, and nearly every Microsoft application development product.
As usual, patching the browser could lead to conflicts with third-party security programs.
Still, now that malware can be found on legitimate Web sites, you need to install the latest Internet Explorer patches right away.
The new version of Check Point’s ZoneAlarm firewall solves one problem, but Windows Small Business Server 2003 still needs a patch for the DNS patch.
A change in how Windows’ DNS client chooses ports caught ZoneAlarm’s developers — and users — by surprise.
Check Point’s security software conflicts with a new Microsoft DNS patch, necessitating a workaround to get your Internet connection operating again.
Resetting ZoneAlarm’s firewall database or reinstalling the application will get your PC back online.
If you’re using the release candidates for Vista SP1 and XP SP3, you face a June 30 deadline to convert to the final versions.
For most beta testers, the transition is seamless, but some Vista SP1 testers may not be able to uninstall the service pack.
The repeating reboots caused by XP SP3 on non-Intel systems have been quelled, but there’s still no rush to install the OS’s last service pack.
Symantec’s FAQ addresses concerns with both XP SP3 and Vista SP1, while Microsoft’s Knowledge Base article avoids singling out AMD processors.
Antivirus software from Symantec Corp. may cause the installation of Service Pack 3 for XP to corrupt the Windows Registry by adding unnecessary keys.
Symantec advises users to disable the SymProtect security feature of its products before applying XP SP3.
Both HP and Microsoft are working to fix problems causing AMD-based PCs to reboot repeatedly after XP Service Pack 3 is loaded.
In the meantime, security expert Dr. Jesper Johansson has beaten the companies to the punch by devising a tool that ensures AMD machines can be patched.