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Windows Client UPDATE--Patch Tuesday Spawns Phishing Scams--April 14, 2005

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1. Commentary
- Patch Tuesday Spawns Phishing Scams

2. News & Views
- Microsoft Removes Windows XP SP2 Block, World Doesn't End

3. Peer to Peer
- Tip: Adjust the Bandwidth Available to System Services
Featured Thread: Match Your Wits Against Anglers

4. New and Improved
- Recover Overwritten Office Files
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

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==== 1. Commentary: Patch Tuesday Spawns Phishing Scams ====
by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

Microsoft released eight patches this week, five of which the company deemed critical and will require that you reboot the computer after installation. Although that's a serious set of patches, the release occurred on the scheduled release date for patches (second Tuesday of the month), and your Windows XP computer should have downloaded the patches according to how you've configured Windows Update to work for you.

You (or your users) might also get an email alert about yet another update that's reported as critical for Windows users. If so, remember one important detail: Microsoft doesn't alert users to updates via email. If a user clicks the apparent link to the Windows Update site included in the email message, a Trojan horse, Troj/DSNX-05, installs itself and grants a malicious user backdoor access to the infected computer. The Trojan then copies itself to the System directory using a randomly chosen name from the list of DLL files typically found at that location but with an .exe file extension instead of .dll. The installer program then adds an entry to the registry so that the program reinstalls itself at boot. If you believe your system has been compromised, run your antivirus program or check the registry for the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\WinDSNX= <Windows System>\<Trojan name> subkey.

Remember, if you use Microsoft Office Outlook as your email client, the actual URL of a link will appear when you run the mouse over the suspect link without clicking. Other email applications will show you the actual URL of a link at the bottom of the screen. Phishing emails appear to list valid links. But although the displayed URL is valid, the HTML code that displays the link routes the user to a different location.

There's nothing new about this type of attack, but because it coattails so closely with the security patch releases from Microsoft (which is sure to generate the usual run of paranoia), more users are likely to follow the bogus link than might otherwise be tempted to click it.

Be proactive. Alert users to this new phishing attack to help prevent the problem from spreading through your network.

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==== 2. News & Views ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft Removes Windows XP SP2 Block, World Doesn't End
Microsoft has removed a software block that had let some small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) block the Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) download. The company announced in August that the blocking tool would be in place through April 12, 2005, and a series of stories recently reported that everything short of Armageddon would occur when the company removed the tool. Because you're reading this now, a day later, you can see that the world didn't end. Read the entire story at

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==== 3. Peer to Peer ====

Tip: Adjust the Bandwidth Available to System Services
(contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])

I've recently received some reader email about the Microsoft's Automatic Updates service running under Windows XP. The email messages referenced various problems that occurred when the update service was downloading new updates to client computers. About half the messages complained that Internet browsing slowed when users received notification that an update was being downloaded. The other messages had a similar concern--how to get updates to download faster. I schedule updates to download at 4: 00 A.M., and although I'm occasionally working at that time, I've never noticed an update slowing down my system. The readers with questions were all in environments in which the computers were turned off at the end of the business day and, as a result, ran the update during business hours.
By default, XP uses as much as 20 percent of the connection bandwidth for its own communications. If you feel this amount is too much (or too little), you can make a policy change that will reduce or expand the amount of bandwidth available to system services. You can even make the policy change on a standalone system. To make the policy change, perform these steps:
1. Go to Start, Run.
2. Enter gpedit.msc into the Open dialog box and Click OK.
3. In Group Policy Editor (GPE), click Computer Configuration.
4. Click Administrative Templates.
5. Click Network.
6. Click QoS Packet Scheduler.
7. Double-click "Limit reservable bandwidth."
8. Click the Enabled radio button.
9. Set the Bandwidth limit (increase or decrease).
10. Click OK.

Featured Thread: Match Your Wits Against Anglers
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