Can Microsoft Save Users From Themselves?

Most security issues and virus outbreaks happen because people don't know how to protect themselves or don't bother to do what they know they should. In the latest update to Windows XP, Microsoft is focusing on helping people become more aware of what they need to do, and encouraging them to actually do it, says Ryan Burkhardt, lead program manager for Service Pack 2. A new test version of SP2, called Release Candidate 1, was made available to beta testers this week, and the completed update will be released in mid-2004, Burkhardt says.

Get the Message

In RC1, if someone receives an e-mail with an .exe attachment, or another file type that's regularly used to spread so-called malware, the message will be identified; then, either the message is blocked or the recipient must confirm that they want to open it, Burkhardt says, speaking at the Cebit trade show here. The AES (Attachment Execution Services) API is a public application programming interface that lets developers add attachment security to their e-mail client and browser applications. In Outlook Express, Burkhardt says, file types known to be dangerous will be blocked and an explanation given to the user. The user will be given a choice of whether to open suspicious but less-dangerous file types.

News source: PC World

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