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From: De Velopment (devel_at_www2.kparker.org)
Date: Tue Oct 08 2002 - 00:19:41 CDT
First off, thanks everyone for the massive response to my "can of worms".
One person summed it all up when he told me, "I'm sure there's ten
million answers being sent on this". Maybe not 10 million, but
definitely lots of widely varying responses.
To my question about downloading patches via dialup, I got projected
speeds of everywhere from 90 minutes to 4 hours, 16 minutes! Several
responses suggested that I get all of the fixes for Windows XP via
broadband and burn them onto a CD. (Sorry, no CD burner and none
of my own PC's have XP on them). I got two EXCELLENT suggestions,
however, to request a CD from Microsoft. One person said I should
be able to get one, "no questions asked". The other person narrowed
the scope by telling me to ask for a CD of the "Microsoft Security
To the question on safety, one person suggested that I have my friend
turn the PC off, put it in a closet, and put blankets on it to make
it safe! Other responses ranged from "a dialup machine is not a very
large target and not to worry too much" to "running an XP system out
of the box is suicide" or "it will be hacked in ten minutes". One
suggested that it be converted to OpenBSD. (I use Linux, myself,
by the way, but that's not the point of this particular exercise).
The best suggestions here, in my opinion, were that Anti-Virus and
Firewall software (Black-Ice Defender most popular) is as important,
if not more so, than getting XP up to date. (Turns out that the
system came preloaded with Norton Anti-Virus, by the way).
To my question about Microsoft releasing XP, already patched,
several consider this a great idea. (Microsoft, are you reading
this?) A couple of responses suggested that this sort of thing is
the responsibility of the OEM, and that my friend should call
Gateway about XP updates. (She said she will call Gateway tomorrow,
by the way).
The wide variation in responses is quite telling, by the way,
and suggests that Microsoft needs to be clearer about securing
its operating systems. A few people game me links to Microsoft
Technet pages, and I will certainly review them. The problem,
however, is that people purchasing new computers may not be
computer literate, and, therefore, may not even know that they
are sitting on a potential powder keg.
Again, thank you kindly for all the responses. They have given
me a direction to take in helping my friend, and a general
understanding on Windows XP Security issues.