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Microsoft: Beware Bogus Bulletins

In an otherwise light week for infrastructure security news, Microsoft issued a reminder to customers to beware of bogus security bulletins that look like they come from Microsoft.

The note, posted on the TechNet security site on April 3, doesn't appear to be tied to any specific incident. "From time to time malicious individuals circulate e-mails that purport to be a Microsoft Security Bulletin or Patch."

Microsoft provided several clues that a bulletin is bogus:

  • Above all, Microsoft never attaches a patch to security e-mails or provides a direct link to the patch (the links always refer to the bulletin itself, which then links to the patch.) Any e-mail that says it's from Microsoft and includes a patch or a link to a patch should be deleted immediately.
  • Each patch has a digital signature. The key is published at www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/notify.asp.
  • The authoritative version of each bulletin is also posted on Microsoft's Security Web site. If there's any doubt that a bulletin is real, check it there: www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Default.asp.

    The entire Microsoft notice, a good resource to forward to all users, is available here: www.microsoft.com/technet/security/news/patch_hoax.asp.

  • About the Author

    Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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