Updated 5:20 p.m. PDT with more details and comments from Microsoft executive.
Microsoft will begin offering its first hosted security service under the Forefront brand on Thursday, dubbed Forefront Online Security for Exchange and designed to help keep malware and spam out of e-mail in-boxes.
The hosted service, which will cost $20 per user per year or less based on volume licensing, targets enterprise Exchange customers and includes a Web-based console for setting up policies for virus and spam protection, said Doug Leland, general manager of Microsoft's Identity and Security Business Group.
The releases will follow the … Read more
PCs do the darnedest things. When a program crashes, your system slows down, or a file or program refuses to open, it's probably due to a problem with an application or device. But not always. Computer viruses and worms will cause your PC to exhibit many of the same symptoms as a failed or failing component or program.
Here are some of the primary indicators that your system is infected:
• Your system slows to a crawl for no apparent reason. • The machine crashes, with or without an automatic restart. • Error messages pop up repeatedly. • Programs or files open slowly … Read more
A correction was made to this story. See below for details.
Microsoft on Thursday said next week's Patch Tuesday would include eight patches, five of them critical, including one addressing a vulnerability in Excel.
A company representative declined to confirm whether the patch for its spreadsheet software addresses a vulnerability that has seen "zero-day attacks" which target unpatched security holes. But given the fact that both that Excel vulnerability and the Excel patch slated for Tuesday affect Microsoft Office 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2007, as well as Microsoft Office 2004 and 2008 for the Mac, it could … Read more
Microsoft is working with Facebook to keep the persistent Koobface virus off the popular social-networking site, the companies said on Thursday.
"In working with Facebook, we were able to add detection of Koobface to our Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT), which checks computers running Windows software to detect and remove viruses," Jeff Williams, a principal group program manager for the MRST, wrote in a guest post on the Facebook Blog.
The MSRT has removed Koobface nearly 200,000 times from more than 133,600 computers around the world just in the past two weeks, he wrote.
Koobface is … Read more
Not every computer user turns his or her attic into a graveyard for outdated, useless PCs the way I do, as I described in a post last week on the safe and sane way to dispose of an old hard drive.But before you don the goggles and break out the power tools, consider whether there isn't some mileage left in the drive, as well as in the PC you removed it from. It has never been easier to find a nonprofit willing to sanitize and refurbish old computers.
However, if the system has indeed chomped its last bit, … Read more
I'm a confirmed pack rat. I've got stacks of old utility-bill statements dating back to the 1980s. Alongside the boxes of ancient paper records in our attic are about a half dozen old PCs. The jewel of my "collection" is an original 60-MHz Pentium PC, complete with the famous floating-point bug. Well, it was famous in 1994.
One benefit of holding onto these PC relics is not worrying about their data falling into the wrong hands. (OK, I suppose a determined thief could break into our attic and walk off with the computer antiques, but I … Read more
Last week, Steve Bass described in his TechBite newsletter how someone cracked into his PayPal account, hitting him up for $400. Fortunately, Steve caught the theft in time to have the bogus charge reversed, but reading about Steve's experience made my blood turn cold.
The fact is, people get their online accounts pilfered every day. But this is Steve Bass we're talking about. I learned more about PC security from Steve while we worked together at PC World than I have picked up from any other 10 so-called experts. I know how careful he is when making purchases … Read more
Updated 4:30 p.m. PST with latest Microsoft comment.
Some Xbox Live players are finding that winning has its drawbacks.
Microsoft said it is investigating reports that people are using malicious software to disrupt Xbox Live players' Internet connections in malicious attacks.
"In our continued effort to help provide a safer and more secure experience for our community of more than 17 million members, we are investigating reports of a malicious Web site that attempts to lure Xbox LIVE members into providing personal information," Microsoft said in a statement on Friday.
"Phishing is an unfortunate and … Read more
When the mainstream media first announced Barack Obama's "victory" in keeping his BlackBerry, the focus was on the security of the device, and keeping the U.S. president's e-mail communications private from spies and hackers.
The news coverage and analysis by armchair security experts thus far has failed to focus on the real threat: attacks against President Obama's location privacy, and the potential physical security risks that come with someone knowing the president's real-time physical location.
Serial numbers Before we dive in, let's take a moment to note that each mobile phone has … Read more