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Last Month Microsoft released security Patch MS06-040 which patches a vulnerability that can allow a remote attacker to take control of your system. Some experts predicted that this vulnerability would lead to another worm like Blaster, which spread very quickly. Fortunately that has not yet happened, but the bad guys are busy working on ways to exploit the vulnerability *IF* you have not patched your PC. We have already seen (and detect) worms, BOTs, and spyware exploiting the vulnerability.
Anti-virus software is a lot like a goalie. No matter how good the goalie is, if the other team gets enough shots on goal then one will make it into the net. To help prevent shots on goal you have your defensive line. The job of the defense is to keep the attackers as far away from the net as they can. NOD32 is a world-class goalie, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need your defense too!
When you fail your keep your software patched it is just like pulling everyone on your team off the field and leaving the goalie alone out there. Keeping your operating system patched and keeping your anti-virus software up-to-date puts your defensive line back on the field. Don’t forget to check for security updates for your other software too. Programs like Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, instant messaging, iTunes, etc. will need to be updated or patched from time to time to keep your computer as secure as possible.
For information about MS06-040 see http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS06-040.mspx
For a great source of understandable information on how to stay safe online check out http://www.getsafeonline.org/
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, ESET