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Microsoft fixes critical security holes with extra patch for XP SP2 -- and other news briefs

Short takes on this week's news

Microsoft issues extra patch for XP SP2

Microsoft has issued an additional patch for Windows XP Service Pack 2 to stop the system crashing as a result of users installing unnamed third-party anti-virus software or firewalls. The company said the patch was not a security fix but an operational fix to a "critical" flaw. The company now usually issues batches of security fixes on the second Tuesday of every month.

Graf takes chair at broadband group

The Broadband Stakeholder Group has appointed former Trinity Mirror chief executive Philip Graf as its new chairman. The BSG lobbies the government and also acts as a discussion forum for suppliers and users. Graf takes over from Keith Todd, former chief executive of ICL. Graf last year conducted a review on behalf of the government into the performance of BBC Online.

Business spend on mobile IT growing fast

Corporate spend on mobile technology will grow up to eight times faster than spending on other IT this year, a survey of 100 enterprise IT buyers has found. The survey, conducted by Quocirca on behalf of mobile operator O2, reported that 33% of respondents plan to increase their mobile spend by 20%. This compared with an average increase of 2.5% for other IT spend. The study also found that 38% of respondents provided or were planning to provide mobile access to business systems.

Flaw is discovered in anti-virus software

Security firm ISS has reported a flaw in anti-virus software from Trend Micro that could allow a hacker to enter company networks and steal data from PCs and servers. ISS said that by crafting an "ARJ file" for the Trend software an attacker could trigger a "heap overflow" within the Trend Micro Anti-virus Library. This would let them take control of systems. ISS has already made available a patch for the hole, as has Trend Micro.

Home Office aids fight against e-threats

The Home Office has launched a campaign to combat hacking groups using networks of infected computers to launch worms, spam and denial of service attacks against businesses and critical services. It features a website and an alert service to help non-IT specialists protect their computer systems.

www.itsafe.gov.uk

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