In the words of Sgt. Esterhaus, “And hey, let’s be careful out here….”

News reports are saying that high traffic web sites that IIS 5.0 sites were not patched with 04-011 security hot fix [hello people let's patch!] have been infecting people browsing the infected web sites.  If you are running XP sp2, you are protected.   But what if you can’t run the RC [after all it still "is" in beta], how can you protect yourself while surfing.

1.  Alternative browser.  I’m not a fan of this one because I have no patch tool to help me patch the browser. 

2.  Run with IE in High security and do a little tweaking.

Download a tool:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/previous/webaccess/pwrtwks.mspx

I blogged about this before.  This little IE addition adds a quick shortcut under “Tools” for “add to trusted sites”.  When you get to a web site that you really “need” to have working [like a business site] you can add the site to the trusted zone and hit “refresh” and voila.

Then, I go to tools, Internet options, Security, and I click on the “trusted sites” and I click on custom level and instead of “low” I change it to run as “medium” [prompt me for stuff like scripting and downloads... don't just "do" stuff].  Then I click on Internet and change it to “high security”.  THEN, and here’ s the fun part.  When I need to go to a web site that will not work in “high security” and it’s a web site THAT I TRUST, I then add the web site to my “trusted sites” with the toolbar.  Yes the tool bar works with IE 6.0 and even under XP sp2.

3.  Try to run with less privileges.  A blog recently opened up recommending ways to do this.

I really recommend that we all try to push our vendors to support “user” and limit the privileges.  We do NOT need to be admins on our own boxes anymore.

Notice in SBSland our threat vectors here.  Not so much our SBS boxes themselves, it’s our workstations that are the big targets.  Your threats are YOU surfing the web, not THEM out there.

[for those of you not old enough, Sgt. Esterhaus was the character on the 1981-1987 USA cop show called “Hill Street Blues”, he would end each roll call with “...and hey, let's be careful out here...”]

One more note – keep your antivirus up to date on your workstation as well. 

3 Thoughts on “In the words of Sgt. Esterhaus, “And hey, let’s be careful out here….”

  1. Kevin Weilbacher on July 2, 2004 at 1:26 am said:

    Susan, re: your link to the IE power tools, when I go there it was released on Aug 27, 2001 for IE5 — any problems with using it on IE6???

  2. None at all, works on XP sp2/IE 6

  3. BobP on July 8, 2004 at 8:42 pm said:

    A similar tool is available at http://www.jasons-toolbox.com/programs.asp?Program=Trust%20Setter. It add buttons to the toolbar to add or remove a site

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