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Microsoft's Windows XP SP2: Page 4 of 5

Windows XP Service Pack 2 With Advanced Security Technologies, free. Microsoft Corp.

• Basic Authentication Clear Text Authentication is just asking for trouble--any user with a network analyzer can capture passwords sent in clear text. Microsoft addresses this shortcoming by disabling clear-text passwords in WebDAV and WinInet by default. You get the registry keys to turn basic authentication on, but I wouldn't recommend this unless it's necessary.

• Windows Media Player SP2 automatically installs Windows Media Player 9.0. There is no new security code; it is just a rollup of previous bug fixes. Make sure it works as expected in your environment before allowing it.

• Windows Messenger Microsoft blocks unsafe file transfers in Messenger much the same way it does in Outlook. In addition, you must make an exception for Windows Messenger in the Windows Firewall settings.

• Wireless Services Microsoft added enhanced security for logging into wireless networks and new dialogs for configuring wireless network services. The dialogs are a nice touch, but preprovisioning and added authentication require work on the part of app developers and IT staff, so they are unlikely to show benefits early on.