Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Microsoft Windows Updates for April

On Tuesday, Microsoft released several updates for Windows and Internet Explorer. Three of the updates, also called patches, are critical. That means your computer is at risk from hackers and criminals who can use the unfixed flaws to do things on your computer that should not be allowed. Many of the spyware makers use these flaws to get their spyware onto your computer.

One of the patches fixes a serious flaw in Internet Explorer that could allow spyware, trojans, and other unwanted files onto your computer. Simply visiting a page with this exploit can allow your computer to be taken over. This is stated in the detail page for one of the updates.

"An attacker who successfully exploited the most severe of these vulnerabilities could take complete control of an affected system," Microsoft said in its alert. "We recommend that customers apply the update immediately."
To check your computer and to install these updates, visit Windows Update.

In addition to updates, the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool is part of the update process. The tool checks for some of the most serious virus and trojan risks that could be on your computer. A list of threats detected and removed by the Malicious Software Tool can be seen on the Families Cleaned page. Currently added threats include Locksky, Reatle, and Valla. Other threats include Sober, Blaster, and Zlob. Trojan Zlob is better known by the programs it tries to sell. SpyAxe, SpywareStrike, SpywareQuake, and WinHound are a few of the ones installed by Zlob. Even thought the tool is part of Windows Update, you can run the tool anytime by visiting the tool's homepage here.