No doubt you’ve read about Microsoft’s new Outlook antiphishing software, built into
the recent Office 2003 Service Pack 2. Some of the media coverage I’ve seen
sounds like it was copied, verbatim, from the company’s press releases.
The last few years, I’ve found myself doing quality-assurance work
for a vendor that sells software to large enterprise customers. That means,
among other things, that I’m responsible for checking the updates and patches that go out
to those customers.
Things are moving so quickly in the world of spyware that the major computer
magazines should really retest all antispyware applications every three months
or so. Fortunately, three new reviews have come out just in the past
week to give us fresh results.
Burned users howled when they ran into problems with the new, 6.0 version of
ZoneAlarm Pro and ZoneAlarm Security Suite last month — but the makers of
the award-winning software have now released an update
that they say corrects the errors.
It should be fun and harmless to play podcasts — short radio and
television programs that download automatically from the Internet. But dumb programming
mistakes in popular media players can allow spyware to silently infect your PC
while an apparently innocent multimedia file is playing.
The developers of Greasemonkey, a popular “extension” for the Firefox browser and
other Mozilla Foundation software, released on July 30 a new version
that corrects a serious security flaw. I warned about this risk in a brief
news update on July 21, 2005.
You wouldn’t think that playing an audio file or a short video clip on your PC
could infect your machine with a virus or spyware. But the growing popularity of
downloadable files called "podcasts" can do just that.
You’re looking at the new design for our Windows Secrets Newsletter updates. We
previously sent occasional updates such as this one as plain text. We’ve
switched to full hypertext format to give you clickable links to breaking
stories that can’t wait for our next complete twice-a-month newsletter.
Wi-Fi devices and software are finally starting to support real encryption to
protect you from identity theft (or worse) when you go wireless. But setting up
a truly secure system is still way too difficult in most cases.
If you’d rather spend your time using Windows for work or play, rather than
spending a lot of time configuring different security products to protect you
from hackers, you might be interested in a fairly new category of product called