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DHS Urges Patching

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is recommending that Windows Operating Systems users apply Microsoft security patch MS06-040 as quickly as possible. This security patch is designed to protect against a vulnerability that, if exploited, could enable an attacker to remotely take control of an affected system and install programs, view, change, or delete data, and create new accounts with full user rights.

Windows Operating Systems users are encouraged to avoid delay in applying this security patch. Attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems routinely occur within 24 hours of the release of a security patch. This vulnerability could impact government systems, private industry and critical infrastructure, as well as individual and home users.

Users can apply the Microsoft MS06-040 security patch at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms06-040.mspx. Home user may prefer to go to Windows Update at http://update.microsoft.com and select “express” to install critical security updates, including the MS06-040 security patch.

The Department’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) continues to work closely with Microsoft to minimize any impact from this vulnerability. US-CERT has issued an alert through the National Cyber Alert System and conducted a series of briefings with federal Chief Information Officers and Chief Information Security Officers, and critical infrastructure sectors through Information Sharing and Analysis Centers. Additionally, all federal agencies are required to provide US-CERT with regular updates on their patching status.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

The Department of Homeland Security