Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is now available

by Shijaz Abdulla on 19.03.2008 at 10:44

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is now available via Windows Update.

Standalone package (5 languages) is also available for download at Microsoft Downloads Center. The recommended method of update is via Windows Update.

Internet Explorer 7 to be distributed via WSUS on February 12

by Shijaz Abdulla on 24.01.2008 at 18:49

On February 12, 2008 Microsoft will release the Windows Internet Explorer 7 Installation and Availability update to Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). IE 7.0 will be distributed as an Update Rollup package.

The update is an installation package that will completely upgrade Windows machines running IE 6.0 to IE 7.0.

If you have configured WSUS to “auto-approve” Update Rollup packages, IE 7 will be automatically approved for installation after February 12, 2008 and consequently, you may want to take the actions below to manage how and when this update is installed. You will need to take action if:

  • You use WSUS 3.0 to manage updates in your organization.
  • You have Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)-based computers or Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1)-based computers that have Internet Explorer 6 installed.
  • You do not want to upgrade Internet Explorer 6 machines to Windows Internet Explorer 7 at this time.
  • You have configured WSUS to auto-approve Update Rollups for installation.

See the Microsoft KB article for more information.

Hold ’em Poker!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 30.01.2007 at 11:18

Microsoft is pushing a new, free game for Windows Vista Ultimate today along with Windows Update. It’s an optional update, so you need to choose to install it.

So all of you poker fans out there… watch out!

Fake Microsoft emails

by Shijaz Abdulla on 21.01.2007 at 17:52

Today I received a mail, supposedly from Microsoft, regarding a “security vulnerability”:

Click on the image to zoom

It had an EXE attachment “installation689.exe”. The message was written in the kind of language Microsoft uses to communicate with its customers – clear, courteous and concise explaining clearly what the update is for, etc. The first thing a novice (or even an intermediate) user would do, is to download the attachment and install the patch.

It even had the classic Microsoft footer:

Click on the image to zoom

Now, there are a few things that are revealed upon closer examination:

  • The “from” address is suspicious: Network Security Center [xclocltwp@confidence.microsoft.net]. (Hmmm…)

  • It addresses you as “MS” customer. It also uses terms like “MS Internet Explorer” and “MS Outlook”. Microsoft officially doesnt use “MS” to address itself :). (Hmmm Hmmm…)

  • Microsoft NEVER (never never ever) sends an update out to its customers as an email attachment.

  • Microsoft update files normally have a filename that start with the letters “KB” followed by the KB article number.

What a clever way to outwit the unsuspecting user! So those of you out there, beware of stuff that comes in your e-mail! Think twice before you run an EXE attachment.

From my experience, 9 out of 10 EXE attachments are viruses. Sometimes they appear to come from people you know, because they are actually sent by malicious programs that have already infected their machines.