| By Susan Bradley |
If I were a gambler, there are two July 11 announcements (MS06-035 and MS06-036) that I’d bet will bite people who fail to patch, generating headlines that you’ll start seeing soon.
This month is also our last chance to say goodbye to Windows 98, 98SE, and Me. As of July 11, these Windows versions are no longer supported by Microsoft.
Your Linksys could ‘hack’ your computer
My headline is a bit extreme and it’s certainly not the whole truth — but it’s the fastest way to describe where the DHCP service, which is now at risk, typically resides in a home network.
Your home or small-business Linksys router picks up an Internet Protocol address from your ISP. It then hands out IP addresses to your PC or PCs. Your computers use DHCP to get an assigned address, which gives you Internet connectivity.
When I go to a Starbucks and use the wireless access, I never think twice about the security of the device that’s handing out these addresses. Unless you’ve patched with MS06-036 (914368), however, someone with a rogue router out there can use your Linksys to attack you.
The only workaround (that doesn’t involve installing the patch) is to shut off the DHCP client service and assign yourself a static IP address. That isn’t practical unless you’re a networking guru. Furthermore, the staff at Starbucks won’t be too helpful in handing out subnet mask information along with the lattes.