We would like to state the fact here once again that the time that will
take you to remedy your system security vulnerabilities is far less than
the total time that will take you to remedy these vulnerabilities. For
this very reason, a little time span you spend will suffice to remedy
most of your system vulnerabilities.
As time passes after the release of Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP operating
systems on the market, some security vulnerabilities on these systems
show up or newer versions of products such as Internet Explorer, Windows
Media Player, and Microsoft Office are introduced. The announcements about
the versions of the products and about the security updates are made on
the web sites of Microsoft.
It is not always possible for a Windows user to follow the update announcements
regularly on MS web pages; thus some of the updates that the users miss,
may cost them to run the risk of serious security threats to their operating
Especially, risks may follow the standard Windows installations (i.e.
installations from a CD), and this may bring about threats to our system
security that may, at some instances, create an immense congestion on
our network traffic.
This document will provide the reader with some tips to follow the recent
1-WINDOWSUPDATE and OFFICEUPDATE
Whatever the version they have, every Windows operating system user should
site frequently and regularly to download principally the essential "Critical
Update Pack" which is available at "Product Updates" link.
This pack contains all the "crucial" security updates that should
have been installed since the Windows version is released. The updates
other than the "Critical Update Pack" contain the newer versions
of some of the programs available rather than assuming the task of remedying
the vulnerabilities of the system. Our experiences with some of the newer
versions of Microsoft software such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Media
Player etc. showed that their performance is better and they have less
security vulnerabilities. Once the critical update pack is installed,
secondary updates can be run optionally. As to repeat ourselves, we recommend
you once more to run "windowsupdate" frequently at minimum once
a week (at maximum once a month), unless there is an exceptional case
or an important announcement, to be able to ensure the safety and security
of your operating system through the updates.
In a similar way, Microsoft Office users may update their Office programs
by selecting the "download" link on the address below;
2-MPSA (MICROSOFT PERSONAL SECURITY ADVISOR)
On the address below, Microsoft has provided an application, namely Microsoft
Personal Security Advisor, to detect the software that are not updated
on the computers with Windows NT/2000 operating systems and to detect
the vulnerabilities on your systems by scanning them over the network:
The "scan now" button on this page allows you to spot the system
vulnerabilities of your operating system and to remedy these vulnerabilities
by following the directions.
These processes may take time. However, the hazards that may affect
the well functioning of our systems seriously require us to take precautions
against the risks. This application can only run on Windows NT/2000 operating
3-HFNETCHK and HOTFIX REPORTER
"Hfnetchk" involves software which checks the nonavailable
updates (written by Microsoft) on Windows NT/2000/XP operating systems
installed on your computer. You can reach to this software from the following
To install the program, create a directory named as C:\Program Files\hfnetchk
(in fact, you can name the file as you would like and create it wherever
you want, during the installation of "hotfixreporter", the directory
that you have installed "hfnetcheck" to will be prompted). After
you run the program, specify the location where you will install the program
to via Browse button. Setup will be completed then.
This program runs in the DOS environment, therefore it is difficult
to use it alone. For this reason, you should use "Hotfixreporter.exe",
which is a freeware program that converts the output of "hfnetchk.exe"
file to html format to make it easily readable. You can download this
Run the hfnetchk file that you have downloaded from the address given
above. When the program asks you where you would like to copy the files
to, browse for the location and click OK. Now, after clicking on "Hotfix
Reporter" (under Windows Start menu/Programs), MS DOS mode will be
started, the program will be executed and it will then provide you with
information about the vulnerabilities of your system via using Internet
Explorer or Netscape.
The information available on this page can give you an idea about which
files are missing and which files should be updated. The links on this
page will guide you to the files you need.
"Hfnetchk" program runs only on Windows NT/2000/XP operating