Microsoft Releases New Free Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.0 for Windows

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Microsoft has announced the release of their updated Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA), version 2.0. For those of you not familiar with this nifty piece of free software, it essentially scans your computer for security risks, including poor or sloppy configuration, security holes which have not been patched, and the like. In addition, under certain versions of Windows, it will also remotely scan other networked computers.

Microsoft has added the following new features to Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.0, among others:

Severity Ratings
Locally and remotely scan for Office XP or later security updates
Added guidance for locating updates and necessary actions
Improved help content
Automatic Microsoft Update registration and agent update
Support for detection of updates on 64bit Windows and Windows XP Embedded

According to the Microsoft website, MBSA can be installed and run on “Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 or later, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, and Windows Server 2003. MBSA can be run over the network to scan computers running Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Workstation, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Embedded and Windows Server 2003.”

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Note, however, that while a computer running XP Professional can be scanned remotely with MBSA, a computer running XP Home Edition cannot, although it can still run a local copy of MBSA and scan locally.

While Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer does not seem to be widely known, those who use it tend to swear by it (rather than at it, which is always a good sign).

You can download Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.0 for Windows [Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead].

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