When Aunty reported on the five Windows security updates earlier this week, you didn’t actually think that it would be the last update for the week, did you? Oh no.
Say “hello” to bouncing baby update #6 for the week. This fine young specimen is an update for Windows XP users. It turns out that there is a flaw in the XP Servicepack2 firewall which allows hackers to gain entry to your PC if you have file sharing set up (and Aunty doesn’t mean in the BitTorrent file sharing sense – Aunty means if you do such innocent things as enabling file and printer sharing).
The way file and printer sharing works relates to your local network (i.e. the machines in your home or office which are networked together). For example, the computer in your bathroom (what, you don’t have one??) can use the printer attached to the computer in your back yard. But your brother in Peoria cannot use that printer (well, unless you live in Peoria and your brother lives with you (slacker! Get a job!))
However, the security flaw, which is present if you run the firewall, which is turned on by default by Windows XP SP2, allows users outside of your local network to access your computer if and when you access the Internet by dial-up.
Users who run Windows XP SP2 will receive the security update for this hole automatically when the run Windows Update. You can also read more about it at the Microsoft site, and if you don’t run Windows Update automatically you can get the update there as well.
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