Remove applications not needed

Many of the Internet worms are being spread because servers have too many applications on them. For instance, when Windows NT Server is installed, it also install IIS by default. The many vulnerabilities of IIS is what Code Red, Nimda and others are attacking. If your server is not being used as a Web server, you don't need IIS, and it should be removed. You should also prevent the server from being accessed on port 80.

It is a good security practice to only have those applications that are actually being used residing on your computer. Flaws in other applications that are not even being used could allow compromise of your machine. For the sake of security, remove those applications that are not being used right now.

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This was first published in September 2001

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