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BBC News: Microsoft locks out [some] viruses

May 16, 2000, 13:12 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mark Ward)

[ Thanks to David Dorward for this link. ]

"As yet Microsoft has no plans to release a patch for Outlook Express - a cut down version of the program that is often included on cover discs given away with many computer magazines."

"It will also warn a user when a program is trying to access their address book or send email on their behalf. This tactic was used by the Love Bug to spread itself around the world. The third change made by the patch switches the default internet security setting in Outlook from "trusted" to "restricted". This disables the automatic scripting and ActiveX Controls that the Love Bug used."

"Microsoft was keen to point out that it was only limiting the functions within Outlook not closing a security hole. ... "It's a rare occasion of Microsoft reducing functions to help defeat viruses," said Graham Cluley, a spokesman for anti-virus company Sophos, "It is surprising but it is good news."

"The patch will still allow many common types of email attachments to pass unchallenged. Attachments given a ".doc", ".htm", ".jpg" and ".mp3" and many others will not be stopped. This may mean that some types of malicious programs such as the Melissa word macro virus continue to proliferate. Mr Cluley said that Word macro viruses are still the most common type of malicious programs."

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