Putting Outlook Clients to the Test

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2002-01-21 Print this article Print

Free set of tests from GFI to find known holes in an Outlook mail client and in what the mail server gateway lets in.

E-mail viruses such as Badtrans and Kournikova rely on a variety of potential security holes within Microsofts Outlook client, and its difficult for administrators to know if theyve patched every hole.

Those looking for a way to find possible vulnerabilities in their Outlook clients can turn to a free set of tests from GFI (www.gfi.com/emailsecuritytest). To use them, I chose from the e-mail tests available. After an e-mail confirmation, GFI sent the six tests I had specified. These included a .vbs attachment, a hidden CSLID attachment, the MIME vulnerability that Nimda used, plus other potential holes.

The tests were very useful for detecting potential holes in Outlook. However, some of the e-mail messages can be misleading. For example, I got one stating that my mail had accepted a message with a .vbs attachment when the attachment was actually blocked at the server gateway.

Still, for free, its hard to complain, and these tests are a quick way to find known holes in an Outlook mail client and in what the mail server gateway lets in.

Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr Rapoza's current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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