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Windows Server 2003 SP1 Released
Includes Significant Security Updates

Microsoft has released its highly anticipated Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1. The release is primarily a security update; however, it sets the stage for Microsoft's 64-bit Server 2003 release.

Service Pack 1 goes beyond the typical service-pack rollup of hot fixes, security patches and critical updates by addressing core security issues. It is designed to effectively reduce the attack surface of Windows Server 2003, protect system services with stronger default settings and reduce server privileges. Service Pack 1 includes the latest Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 enhancements, adding new features that augment security, as well as increase reliability and performance.

"Businesses of all sizes have a critical need to better protect themselves from the security threats that exist today, and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 includes new and enhanced technologies built specifically to help our customers up-level their security," says Samm DiStasio, director of product management in the Windows Server division at Microsoft. "And because we've also built Service Pack 1with the goal of simplifying management tasks, it will help companies achieve not only greater security, reliability and performance, but improve staff efficiency in the process."

Microsoft built new security functionality into Service Pack 1 to address known security vulnerabilities and help organizations better face future threats. One of these new technologies is the Security Configuration Wizard, which reduces the attack surface by querying users about the role their servers fill, and then stopping all services and blocking ports that are not needed. This helps companies eliminate potential toeholds for hackers and malicious code.

Another new technology, Post-Setup Security Updates (PSSU), protects servers when they are most vulnerable -- the time between their installation and application of the latest security updates -- by blocking all inbound connections to the server until security updates have been installed.

Windows Firewall, a significant feature that Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 shares with Windows XP Service Pack 2, enables network-wide control through Group Policy and serves as a host firewall around each client and server computer.

Other security features in the service pack include support for no-execute hardware, which reduces the likelihood of the broadest and most exploited avenues of information attack, and Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 Metabase Auditing, which allows administrators to identify potential malicious users should the store become corrupted.

About Security News Desk
SYS-CON's Security News desk trawls the world of security for news of software, hardware, products, and services that seems likely to be of interest to infosec professionals and summarizes them for easy assimilation by busy IT managers and staff.

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

This is not good news for most of us as if you get the new service pack you are forced into all new upgrades and if you do not soon nothing will work. It appears that the solution for most people whom do not wish to be forced into using only microsoft team members software is to use a free source code software system.




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