Feeds

Am I Patched Or Not?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Letter A reader writes: Maybe I'm just behind the times - it's quite possible, since I rarely boot into Microsoft Windows, but I just downloaded the latest (9!) Critical Updates for Win2K, of which one caught my eye:

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS02-050
Certificate Validation Flaw Could Enable Identity Spoofing (Q329115)

Technical description:

The original version of this bulletin was released on 05 September 2002.

Microsoft re-issued this security bulletin on November 11, 2003 to advise on the availability of an updated Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 (SP4) security patch. This revised security patch corrects a regression that may occur during the installation of Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 Service Pack 1 on Windows 2000 SP4. This regression removes the update that is discussed in this bulletin and that is provided as part of Windows 2000 SP4. Customers who are using Windows 2000 SP4 and then installed Internet Explorer 6.0 Service Pack 1 should apply the updated Windows 2000 SP4 security patch to help protect from this vulnerability.

On 09 September 2002, we updated the bulletin to advise customers that a Microsoft-issued digital certificate, used to sign device drivers, did not meet the stricter validation standards established by the patch. As a result, customers who installed the patch could see unexpected error messages when installing new hardware, or in some cases might be unable to install new hardware altogether. On 20 November 2002, we released an updated version of the patch that not only eliminates this problem, but also eliminates a newly discovered variant of the original vulnerability.

I'm fscked if I can follow all this - am I patched or not? If I admin 100 workstations, are they patched or not? Have previous patches f*cked my current "clean" install? I have no idea.

Fortunately for me, I run a single W2k laptop, and only ever use W2k on it for dialup (Solaris x86 doesn't support the WinModem, haven't get got JDS (SuSE SLEC-based) to work with it either) so I only need MS when connected to the internet - surely a harmless thing?

I'm sysadmin for a 14-person firm, one fool uses Windows, everyone elses uses Solaris_x86 and/or Linux. Most of us have these crappy Dell laptops with a WinModem, though, so onsite this week I had to use my Windows partition just to dial up. I'm so thankful I don't have to support Windows users any more - we all have to use Windows on those occasions we need onsite dialup, but that is (hopefully) rare.

I realise that most of your readers are Windows admins - my heart bleeds for them. I have so much grief keeping a single laptop working - and we all have to do this individually, costing God only knows how much time - and what level of reliability?

Cheers,

One disgruntled (but enforced) Win2k user

Steve Parker

So dear readers. Is Steve Patched or is he Not? ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
Google's whois results say it's a lousy smut searcher
Run whois google.com or whois microsoft.com. We dare you, you PIG◙◙◙◙ER
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.