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February 2003

Microsoft Security Response Center revamps its patch processes

The Code Red and Nimda worms revealed severe problems in Microsoft's security alerting system. Despite the availability of patches weeks before either worm hit the Internet, few users--particularly enterprises--deployed them. We always took security seriously and were committed to it, but much more of the company takes it much more seriously in the aftermath of Code Red and Nimda. Steve Lipner, directorMicrosoft security assurance The problem was twofold: Some users found Microsoft's advisories difficult to understand or didn't receive them at all; others had a difficult time obtaining and verifying the patch. The situation prompted a complete revamping of the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), the gateway for vulnerability reports and security fixes. "We always took security seriously and were committed to it, but much more of the company takes it much more seriously in the aftermath of Code Red and Nimda," says Steve Lipner, director of security assurance, who oversees the MSRC. "We know it's important to get it all ...

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