WinInfo Daily UPDATE, February 3, 2004

This Issue Sponsored By

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1. In the News
- Microsoft Patches Three IE Security Holes
- Intel Releases Faster Pentium 4 Generation

2. Announcements
- Check Out the Latest Web Seminar--A Practical Guide to Selecting the Right IM Security Solution
- Register for Windows & .NET Magazine Connections!

3. Event
- New Web Seminar--Realizing the Return on Active Directory

4. Contact Us
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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==== 1. In the News ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft Patches Three IE Security Holes
Microsoft issued fixes for three major security flaws in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) yesterday. The fixes include a relatively well-known "phishing" (URL-spoofing) vulnerability that appears in all standards-compliant browsers and could let attackers silently redirect users to malicious Web sites. Microsoft made the updates available outside of its usual monthly schedule for critical security fixes because the company felt they were important enough to release immediately. Since the company moved to the new schedule, Microsoft has said that it would occasionally do so when necessary.
"Due to the nature of this vulnerability and feedback from customers, we felt like there was enough of a risk to release the fixes early," Mike Reavey, a security program manager for Microsoft's Security Response Center, noted. "We did this in response to the particular nature of the URL-spoofing issue. And also there was a lot of customer feedback about this. While we like to maintain a predictable schedule, with this particular issue we released it as soon as it was ready."
Although the phishing vulnerability and one of the other vulnerabilities fixed this week are rated important, the remaining security fix is rated critical. The nonphishing patches involve flaws that could let attackers take control of Windows systems. All three fixes apply to IE 5.01 and later running on Windows Server 2003; Windows XP; Windows 2000; Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition (WTS); and NT 4.0. Microsoft has issued one critical patch that addresses all three vulnerabilities. Most Windows users can get the patch through Windows Update or automatically through Automatic Updates. For more information, visit the Microsoft Web site.

Intel Releases Faster Pentium 4 Generation
Yesterday, Intel unleashed next-generation Pentium 4 chips, ushering in a new chip design that lets the processors scale to new speeds. Intel released four new Pentium 4 chips based on its Prescott family of processors that run at 3.4GHz, 3.2GHz, 3.0GHz, and 2.8GHz--with an 800MHz bus speed. In addition, a new 3.4GHz version of the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition microprocessor that's based on the Prescott technology is now the fastest desktop processor in the world. Intel manufactures the chips by using a new 90 nanometer (nm) process that allows for a smaller physical package, which yields twice as many transistors as the earlier-generation Northwood Pentium 4 processors. And because the new chips are smaller than their predecessors, Intel can cut more chips from a silicon wafer, resulting in lower production costs.
"This new manufacturing technology, along with numerous architectural enhancements, enable us to continue delivering products that allow end users to interact with a wide variety of digital devices," Bill Siu, general manager of Intel's Desktop Platforms Group, said. "These processors provide improved responsiveness for today's corporate and home applications and offer headroom for the next wave of technologies." In addition to new speeds, which Intel says will scale to 4GHz by the end of the year, the new chips also feature the Hyper-Threading Technology multitasking feature from earlier Pentium 4 designs and a larger 1MB of L2 cache, further increasing its performance advantage over competing chips (earlier Pentium 4 versions featured 512KB of L2 cache). Intel says that the chips also include 13 new instructions that will increase the performance of multimedia applications.
Unlike most processor revisions, the new Pentium 4 designs actually consume a bit more power than the earlier generation did, drawing 90 to 115 watts of power, depending on the chip's speed. Intel says that the higher power requirements are a result of expanded L2 cache and additional processor instructions. Major PC makers such as Dell, HP, and Sony are already shipping new PCs that feature the 3.2GHz, 3.0GHz, and 2.8GHz versions of the new microprocessors. Intel says it will ship the 3.4GHz versions to PC makers by March.

==== 2. Announcements ====
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Check Out the Latest Web Seminar--A Practical Guide to Selecting the Right IM Security Solution
Deploying an IM security solution is the only way to gain control over your IM security. In this free Web seminar, you'll learn about IM authentication, encryption, support for and interoperability between different IM networks, auditing, automatic legal disclaimers, virus and worm scanning, and more. Register now!

Register for Windows & .NET Magazine Connections!
Windows & .NET Magazine Connections will be held April 4-7, 2004, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Complete details about workshops, breakout sessions, and speakers are now online. Save $200 if you hurry and register before the early bird discount expires. Register now on the Web or by calling 203-268-3204 or 800-505-1201.

==== 3. Event ====
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

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