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Win XP SP 2 and You

Published: 2004-09-04
Last Updated: 2004-09-05 00:31:24 UTC
by Kevin Hong (Version: 1)
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Win XP SP 2 and You

It is almost a month since the public release of Win XP SP 2 and already there is much talk on installation and compatibility issues. There are also discovery of new vulnerabilities. Expecting SP 2 to fix everthing, leaving Win XP to be totally free from vulnerabilities will be a bit far-fetched. There is no perfect software.

Proper usage and configuration of the system also play a critical role. There is no point installing a good firewall when you configure it to allow everything to go through, or run an anti-virus scanner but yet do not bother to to update the virus definition. Worst still if you always click on executables without second thoughts whether they are trusted or free from malcodes.

If you have not install SP 2 because it is too big for you to download, you can now order it on a CD send to you free of charge:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/updates/sp2/cdorder/en_us/default.mspx

Before you start installing SP 2, it is recommended that you back up your data and read the release notes. In the event that the SP 2 setup program is not completed successfully and you need to recover your computer to its previous configuration, Microsoft has an article on how to recover your computer to a bootable state and to remove Windows XP SP2 if Windows does not start correctly after you try to upgrade your computer:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;875355

Don't forget to share your experience at:
http://isc.sans.org/xpsp2.php

With the release of SP 2, Microsoft has also updated the Windows XP Security Guide and the Antivirus Defense-in-Depth Guide:

Windows XP Security Guide
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/prodtech/winclnt/secwinxp/default.mspx

<quote>
The Windows® XP Security Guide v2.0 describes the features and recommended settings for Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). The Guide includes thoroughly tested templates for security settings for Windows Firewall, which replaces Internet Connection Firewall (ICF). Information is provided about closing ports, Remote Procedure Call (RPC) communications, memory protection, e-mail handling, Web download controls, spyware controls, and much more.
</quote>

The Antivirus Defense-in-Depth Guide
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/guidance/avdind_0.mspx

<quote>
The information presented in the Antivirus Defense-in-Depth guide has been updated to reflect the security improvements provided as part of Windows XP Service Pack 2. A number of the features in Windows XP Service Pack 2 have made it more difficult for malware to attack a Windows XP-based computer. The updates to this guide are designed to ensure that these enhancements are identified and explained.
</quote>

Have a nice weekend and hope you enjoy reading them.
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