Windows Hotfixes

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Sigid, Jun 14, 2007.

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  1. Sigid

    Sigid Registered Member

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    I admit to being dumb about computer security, but I have a very general question: do I really need to install the hotfixes supplied by Microsoft or would I be just as safe using a firewall and av and anti-malware software package(s)? I mean, what specific advantages do the hotfixes supply that I need and which do not come from the other software I already have?
    I ask this because I just installed Windows XP SP2 fresh on a new machine this past weekend, and did a bandwidth check (www.bandwidthplace.com/speedtest) and got a score of 11.1. After installing the 79 hotfixes from Microsoft Windows Update, this score went all the way down to 1.2!!
    Can anyone help me understand the benefit vs cost here?
     
  2. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    Hotfixes patch certain vulnerabilities that are found within windows and can help to make windows more secure/more stable. I don't believe you need them all, i only install the ones that i believe to be critical for my specific system.
    However there are some people like easter who are still only using sp1 who seem to do just fine in regards to security.
     
  3. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

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    Hello Sigid.

    You would have to go to that MS update site and read what each patch exactly do. As I have noticed, these are mainly patches for Windows applications (IE, OE, Media Player), so if you use alternate browser/mail client/player, you should be fine. And of course, your AV/AS should replace that Malicious Removal Tool. But, don't take me for granted, find some time to read on the subject...

    Cheers.
     
  4. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    I usually sort through the critical updates before downloading any.
    I never use the Malicious Removal Tool.

    A lot of the patches are for IE.
    Even though I use alternative browsers,IE is part of the XP operating system so I take the critical updates.
    That's just my thinking though.
     
  5. wantsprotection

    wantsprotection Registered Member

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    Remember, it's not just Windows updates you're getting, it's also driver updates, application updates, etc. I have Windows XP service pack 2 with all the high-priority fixes and my system is smoking fast. I don't install the other patches unless they sound useful to me. If your Internet connectivity has dramatically slowed down, be especially suspicious of any drivers related to your network controller or the board it sits on (eg, NIC card or motherboard).
     
  6. Sigid

    Sigid Registered Member

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    Thanks to one and all for your time and trouble in responding!

    Just to clarify, the 79 hotfixes were ONLY those classified as "critical" (is that the same as "high priority"?) by the Windows Update website, and the change in bandwidth was as I have described it.

    Since the updates were on a fresh install of WinXP SP2, there probably were no applications (other than IE6) which would have been detected for a "fix". Since I did not select any of the other fixes, I don't think I got any device driver updates, but I am not 100% certain.

    I think that, if I ever find myself in this situation again, I'll follow the advice about "reading what each one is for" before simply allowing MS to provide me with "blanket fixes"!
     
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