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XP SP2 - Windows XP Service Pack 2

 
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Aug, 2004 11:12 pm
I gotta say I figure its gonna be overall for the best. Previous M$ practice left way too much responsibility for security up to the user, given what is a given for "the average user". SP2 is a definite move in the right direction, even if it causes a few headaches right now. I think the direction things seem to be heading speaks real well for Longhorn ... the scriptkiddies and the spam hackers are gonna find entertainment and revenue a whole lot harder to come by. I suspect a few of 'em will manage, though.
0 Replies
 
Tomkitten
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2004 07:06 am
XP SP2 - Windows XP Service Pack 2
Well, I wish that all this, especially the article Thok quoted yesterday morning, were in English. I love my computer, and can make it do all kinds of nice tricks, but that article left me nowhere. Like - I couldn't even understand the problems it discusses, let alone appreciate the solutions.

I hope Microsoft issues a version of SP2 that us humble non-techies can deal with.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2004 01:51 am
Tom,

The problem is less for end users than developers.

Think of it like this:

Buffer overflow exploits basically work like this (more or less, as some of this is stuff I have never done myself).

Code is loaded into a "buffer" and by overflowing the buffer the puter can be tricked into executing the code.

Microsoft implemented a way for this to be done more securely, think of it like asking for ID.

Thing is, Microsoft did not require the ID as many applications did not provide it and would break.

They planned to phase it in, and as expected, some lazy programmers have still not made their programs give ID.

Now, they require ID, and this protects you and your computer, but has the downside of forcing the third party developers to fix their software and adhere to the new security standard.
0 Replies
 
Tomkitten
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2004 10:12 am
XP SP2 - Windows XP Service Pack 2
Thanks for the explanation, Craven. Now what I want to know is what are the implications forordinary end-users?
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2004 02:20 pm
Re: XP SP2 - Windows XP Service Pack 2
Tomkitten wrote:
Now what I want to know is what are the implications forordinary end-users?


Some programs that do not adhere to the stricter security standards will not work.
0 Replies
 
Thok
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2004 11:27 am
IMPORTANT

50 programs and games, what don't work regular at present with XP SP2, actually there are among any Microsoft products. Very ironical.

THE LIST AND INFORMATIONS
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2004 03:46 pm
It's not ironic at all if you understand the very basics of how a firewall works.

It's pathetic to see people make hay on Microsoft for going out of their way to help users with that list.

When just about every other firewall "breaks" applications that need firewall exemptions do they think it's "ironic" too?

Seriously, the irrantional MS hating undermines the many legitimate complaints about Microsoft. Rolling Eyes
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2004 07:09 pm
Agree strongly with CdK here ... SP2 is a giant, long-overdue, pretty well-done step forward. Actually, the list of known issues is pretty damned small and just about all the problems encountered can be worked around via proper firewall configuration. Basically, what M$ has tried to do here is to make it harder for the end user to screw up. The talk on the boards and forums seems to be pretty positive so far. There are always gonna be some folks who have problems with upgrades, and plenty who don't; its been that way since Windows 3.1, ya know.

All that said, if your operating system, browser, security, and privacy software are kept up-to-date, and properly configured, and if you just use your head out there on the 'net, you're already about as safe as SP2 is gonna make you, if not moreso. Exploits happen either because folks trigger 'em or fail to prevent them. Its not M$'s fault folks don't bother to do what's necessary, any more than its the car-maker's fault if your engine siezes after 30,000 miles without an oil change, or if you blithely sail through a stopsign and get broadsided by a truck.
0 Replies
 
Thok
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Aug, 2004 07:50 am
IMPORTANT 2

Microsoft fixed 870 Bugs at XP SP 2



THE LIST HERE
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Aug, 2004 10:58 am
Well, sorta ... Service Packs are cumulative. Over 400 of the SP2 "Fixes" were included in SP1/SP1a (the difference between the two is mainly that SP1a does away with the no-longer-supported Microsoft Virtual Machine) and subsequent updates.

SP1/1a Windows Fixes (325 Items)

SP1 IE 6 Fixes (75 Items)

Apart from these, a few dozen patches and security fixes have been released following SP1/SP1a. If your updates are up-to-date, your SP2 download/install will be less than half the full version.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Aug, 2004 03:27 pm
SP2 flaws uncovered:
a German security company says it found minor problems in Windows XP
Service Pack 2. Experts predict more critical issues will emerge.

http://ct.com.com/click?q=ca-iciuQUgl71~jyhV7215uOfPuuUPR
0 Replies
 
ezrider
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 05:40 pm
If it aint broke, why fix it? I'd still wait a few more months before all the bugs on the SP2 are worked out. Divx is a known problem with SP2, as are a few other apps, that I don't know about.
0 Replies
 
ezrider
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Aug, 2004 09:11 pm
On second thought, after reading this article, I just figure it aint worth the hassle, or just taking a chance on it.

Quote:
Sir! Step Away From That Service Pack!

Here is another anecdotal one regarding XP SP2: "I downloaded the latest version of SP2 (WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe) to try on our network. I started with my own computer since its the most complicated, thinking that if it worked on there it would work with all the rest.

"I went to reboot after the installation and it froze on the XP screen. I tried several times with the same result. I then tried safe mode and going to the last known good configuration, but nothing worked. So I put in the XP disc and after running the automated version of repair twice, got back onto XP SP1. Of course, somewhere along the process all of my previous system restore points were deleted. After verifying that a few things were working again, I went to the task manager and shut down all apps which weren't essential to XP, and tried again to install SP2. Same result, totally froze up upon rebooting. Same thing with the automated system repair, it worked after the 2nd try.

"Now I've heard that SP2 has problems with certain apps, but thought that the boot problems were all worked out. Well they're not. I suspect it has to do with the RAID configuration, but have no way to verify this. I then realized that my copy/paste no longer works. I'm sure that there are more problems, but won't spend the time sorting through them all as I need this computer. I'll reformat again and stick with SP1. So my advice to others, is that unless you have the most simple of systems, don't install SP2. Even then, make sure that you won't lose anything, in case your computer will no longer boot. Back up everything beforehand."

Here is a list of 50 applications that break, from the MS-website:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=040823TB-KB_842242


Hunt For XP SP2 Flaws Seen In Full Swing

While users are testing Service Pack 2 for Windows XP to prevent compatibility problems, hackers are picking apart the security-focused software update looking for vulnerabilities, security experts said. Network World has an interesting article about it:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=040823TB-Hunt
0 Replies
 
Monger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Aug, 2004 01:06 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
SP2 flaws uncovered:
a German security company says it found minor problems in Windows XP
Service Pack 2. Experts predict more critical issues will emerge.

http://ct.com.com/click?q=ca-iciuQUgl71~jyhV7215uOfPuuUPR


Heise Security's report of "flaws" is a joke. If Microsoft circumvented what they describe, untold numbers of programs' behavior would change & potentially break--& guess who would take the heat for it?

Just how far can we go with blaming Windows for social engineering attacks?

It seems some people are simply setting unrealistic expectations for SP2 & then criticizing Microsoft for not meeting them.

Of course there will be vulnerabilities found in SP2, as there always will be new vulnerabilities found in Windows & every other operating system. But the bar for Windows security has now very efectively been raised for the average user, as far as I'm concerned.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Aug, 2004 03:55 pm
BTW, Heise recommends that users install SP2 despite their trumped up "flaw" finds (that are easier to exploit in Linux and non-MS apps).
0 Replies
 
ezrider
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Aug, 2004 06:15 pm
Only problem, is that I had a few close calls, with this so called automatic update and install feature. One time, it screwed up my graphic display so bad, it took me days to fix it. Bull Gate's Windows kind of reminds me of NASA'S Space Shuttle. If there is an inherent design flaw from the beginning....you'll always wind up with a disaster in the end.

To this very day, I always thought that Netscape was the superior browser. Any 3rd party addons are always vastly superior to what Microsoft has to offer. Oh well, I guess thats what you wind up, when you kill off your competition.
0 Replies
 
Monger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2004 10:31 am
How is your Web browser preference & your past experience with auto update the problem with SP2?

Anyone can continue to use whatever browser they prefer after installing XP Service Pack 2, & SP2 only improves the auto update functionality. It also does not in any way force you to enable auto update.
0 Replies
 
Locke15
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2004 10:18 pm
I won't install sp2 until I'm certain that it won't cause any problems.
0 Replies
 
Thok
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2004 10:51 am
Microsoft, a company of troubles...

Microsoft feels the pain of tricky world

Quote:
A tiny shading error in a computer program involved Microsoft in a multimillion-dollar business fiasco, the head of the firm's geopolitical strategy unit disclosed yesterday.

Tom Edwards made the admission at the International Geographical Union congress in Glasgow. He explained how erroneously colouring eight out of 800,000 pixels dark, rather than light green to represent Kashmir's disputed territory as non-Indian in Windows 95's time-zone feature had led to the product's being banned in India.

He said 200,000 copies had to be recalled and the firm's reputation in the region took a serious battering.

The Kashmir example was only one of a series of embarrassing mistakes that Mr. Edwards owned up to on behalf of his employer's programmers.

Others offended by the corporation in similar computer software diplomatic faux pas in recent years include the Saudi Arabian and Turkish governments, the Kurds and Chinese, women in several Latin American countries and computer game-playing Muslims.

"The geographical illiteracy of a lot of Americans is well known," Mr. Edwards said. "When you take that illiteracy and put it into products that are distributed globally, the results can be very serious.''

Saudi Arabia's government complained over the accidental use of Koranic chanting as the soundtrack for a scene of Kakuto Chojin, a fighting game released by Microsoft in 2002.

Mr Edward had recommended that 75,000 copies of the game be destroyed after a Muslim linguist he consulted "went ballistic.''

Senior managers removed the offending chanting from future versions but decided to sell the original copies. Three months later Saudi authorities banned the game and demanding an apology.

The original Encarta 95 Encyclopaedia had a map of Turkey that included the label Kurdistan, an area the Kurdish people claim as their own. The Turks were deeply offended and Microsoft distributors in the country were arrested and questioned. The company quickly removed the reference to Kurdistan, which led to protests from its less lucrative Kurdish market.

Windows XP includes a section where the user sets up a profile by entering details such as age, sex and number of children.

A version distributed in Latin America asked users their gender, giving their options as No especificado (unspecified), varon (male) or hembra (female). Unfortunately in some countries the term hembra means "bitch."

Listing Taiwan as a separate country called the Republic of China in Microsoft's Small Business Server 2000 software distributed in the People's Republic of China led to its staff in Beijing being hauled in for questioning.


Link
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2004 11:48 am
Sure is a buncha lookin' for issues where none exist. At this point, I've deployed SP2 on a number of standalone machines and across several networks and haven't had a client bitch yet. There have been some minor issues related to security and privacy apps, but they're already well-documented and easily overcome, so far as I've noticed. Many 3rd-party vendors' websites provide updates (which, if you properly keep your product updated, or if it is set to auto-update, you've likely already got) to allow their products to mesh with SP2, or specific product configuration instructions. If in doubt, visit the product vendor's website and check ... if they have an SP2-related patch or advisory, it will be headlined on their splashpage.

Still, if you're paranoid about it, Here's A Script that will block it from auto updating. If you are unfamiliar/uncomfortable with using tools such as this script, then you definitely need the update anyway, so don't even bother to ask for an explanation of how this script works or how to get it to work. You can always turn off Windows Auto-Update and avoid going to the Windows Update site for a while, but that's really not a very good idea.

Oh, and BTW, the auto-update delivery of SP2 for WinXP Home machines begins tomorrow, Aug 25, so whatever you intend to do to get ready, you'd better get your butt in gear and do it.
0 Replies
 
 

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