Microsoft Includes Phishing Protection in Latest SP2

Included are significant security, stability and performance enhancements plus a new Phishing Protection feature for Outlook 2003.

Microsoft Tuesday released the latest aggregated group of updates, Service Pack 2, for its Office 2003 suite. Included are significant security enhancements, in addition to stability and performance improvements, the company said.

The SP2 release ranges from 50 MB to 104 MB, depending upon selected download components, and is available here. It is applicable to all versions of Office 2003 and includes numerous bug fixes and remedies to security flaws.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read more about an IE flaw found for some Windows XP SP2 systems.

Some of the fixes included with SP2 have been previously released as separate updates; the service pack combines them into one update, Microsoft Corp. said.

The most noteworthy enhancement is the addition of a new Phishing Protection feature to Outlook 2003s Junk E-mail Filter. This feature will be turned on by default for users who have Office 2003 SP2 and the latest Outlook 2003 Junk E-mail Filter Update, the company said.

Phishing is the luring of sensitive information through e-mail, such as passwords and other personal information, by an attacker masquerading as someone trustworthy.

Phishing attacks can result in a user divulging sensitive information, including financial information that can result in a loss of privacy or money. Phishing e-mail is hard to identify, because attackers make their e-mail appear genuine and often mimic recognizable e-mail sent out routinely by legitimate organizations such as banks and credit-card companies.

SP2 is not yet included in automatic online Office updates, but Microsoft is expected to make this available by the end of the week.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...