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Microsoft To Windows Users: Apply Security Patch


For Immediate Release

Microsoft Advises Users to Mitigate Risks and Apply Security Patch Now

New Zealand Businesses and Home Consumers Should Download MS-03-026 from Microsoft Web Site Today

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Monday, August 11, 2003 - Microsoft New Zealand is strongly urging all New Zealanders with Microsoft® Windows® products to apply a security patch to help protect them against the potential of serious attack.

Last month Microsoft announced the first critical security issue impacting Microsoft Windows 2003 and released security patch MS03-026, fixing a hole in the RPC (Remote Procedure Call) section of code which although known for security issues is critical to data transfer over the internet.

It was then discovered that four different versions of exploit code exist publicly for MS03-026, all of which Microsoft have since tested and verified to be mitigated by the patch.

Terry Allen, Enterprise and Partner Group Director, Microsoft New Zealand, explains that while there is no known attack in progress, the company believes this may occur in the near future and that it could be a wormable, active attack.

"To put this into perspective, this issue could be comparable to Slammer or Code Red if people have not applied the patch. If they have, they are not at risk from this vulnerability." Allen says the download can be applied directly from

http://www.microsoft.com/security/security_bulletins/ms03-026.asp

"Microsoft recommends that anyone using any of the following versions of Microsoft Windows should immediately apply this patch:

* Microsoft Windows NT® 4.0

* Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Services Edition

* Microsoft Windows 2000

* Microsoft Windows XP

* Microsoft Windows Server(tm) 2003.

"By applying this patch, people can be confident their computers will be safe from attack. However, if people do not apply the patch, there is a risk that an attacker could take over their computer remotely." Microsoft says that there is also a risk that this issue could become a worm virus, which means that sites could be attacked randomly and en masse.

"We cannot emphasise how important it is for people to apply patches to risks and viruses. Whenever Microsoft is advised of such issues, it immediately works to develop appropriate patches to protect its customers, " says Allen.

"This, along with our ongoing commitment to developing more secure products, comes directly from the core of our desire to provide our customers with the best possible products to help them in their work and lives."

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

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Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.


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