Feeds

MS ships Love Bug patch – do you feel lucky?

Doesn't break your systems after all. So it's your fault when virus hell ensues...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft finally shipped the Outlook 'Love Bug' patch today, and from the sound of it the delay in getting it out has allowed time for a climb down from the original 'take them out and shoot them' approach.

Rather than blocking everything that looked even slightly like it was packing iron - as originally planned, in a knee-jerk sort of way - the patch now incorporates some flexibility. Think of it like this: there's a knock on your door, it might be the milkman, the guy next door you didn't like anyway, or an axe murderer. With the spec as previously advertised, the door wouldn't open. Now you have the choice to decide whether to open the door, or blow the mother away.

And Microsoft isn't liable, because you've been warned. But hey, that's just our take on it. According to the release, the Outlook email security update "provides a significantly improved level of security for Outlook users by blocking access to potentially unsafe file types that virus writers target and use to transmit viruses as email attachments."

Those file types are of course Microsoft file types, but that doesn't mean the file types themselves are unsafe. No way - it's just because they're such popular file types. Microsoft "strongly recommends" that all Outlook users download the security update, and this covers Microsoft. But given that the original spec update would have broken lots of legitimate systems written to take advantage of the features of Outlook which it would have, er, disabled, the update "now allows organisations to customise the new security features for the functionality they require without sacrificing security."

We're not entirely sure about the veracity of that last bit, but we'd read the bottom line as being that if you've got mission-critical systems dependent on executable files running via Outlook, you can still run them, but it's not Microsoft's fault if some punk uses this as a loophole to trash your entire network.

You can get the patch here. We know where you can get Eudora too, but we're being nice. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.