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Microsoft Launches Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1

Staff Writer
Published: 2005-03-31

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Yesterday, Microsoft made the Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, which addresses a number of security issues, available to public.

The local government of Fulton Country, Georgia has already used the service pack after their network was hit with a computer virus that caused a 48-hour outage. Reports from Fulton County representatives indicate a number of improvements have been observed since the pack was installed.

According to the Redmond-based company:

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.

New technologies included in the service pack are:

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
Enables network-wide control through Group Policy and serves as a host firewall around each client and server computer.

Other security features 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.

The Windows Server 2003 Service is available now on Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 TechCenter, located here.

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