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Microsoft mulls patch distribution with AV updates

Lookouts for Outlook

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Virus Bulletin Microsoft is considering using anti-virus vendors to deliver security patches for its product alongside their own updates for virus definition files.

Randy Abrams, release antivirus specialist at Microsoft, whose main job is to ensure that software shipped of Redmond is virus-free, told us the idea, still in its formative stages, came up during his discussions with vendors at the Virus Bulletin conference in Prague this week.

Initial reaction to the idea was mixed, with Sophos, among others, suggesting that the best time to apply a Microsoft patch is when it first becomes available - not when a virus which exploits a particular vulnerability is released.

Another point is that corporates need to plan the deployment of any patches to make sure they apply them in the knowledge of the effect they have on other systems.

That said, integration between virus updates and security updates for consumers has its merits. when people are encouraged to update their protection against the Nimda worm, for example, they would also be reminded that it exploits an Outlook vulnerability, for which Microsoft has issued a patch.

Of course for this to work Microsoft patches would always need to work as advertised. ®

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