Microsoft's Patch Policy Pickle

Blaster attacks could prompt default enablement of automated updates.

In the wake of recent widespread worm attacks on the Internet, Microsoft is considering taking an unprecedented step: making automatic download and installation of security updates the default option for Windows and perhaps Microsoft Office. But first, experts say, Microsoft needs to improve the quality of both its patches and the Windows Update system that delivers them.

Despite problems with current patches, many people could be better off with automatic updates as the default (users currently must enable them). A Windows Update download to repair the RPC (remote procedure call) flaw that the Blaster worm exploited had been available nearly a month before Blaster showed up in mid-August, and Blaster didn't affect Windows XP, NT, 2000, and 2003 Server users who installed the patch. But those who don't accept updates probably didn't know about the patch until too late.

News source: PCWorld.com

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