Posted by Lori Ayre on May 4, 2004

With the proliferation of all the worms these days...the Sasser worm being the most recent one, I decided to take another step to ensure I was properly patched. Seems like all the junk floating around has to be the result of people who think they've done the right thing but haven't. It can't JUST be a bunch of irresponsible blokes causing all this trouble...can it?

I decided to try out
Microsoft's Baseline Security Analyzer V1.2 (MBSA)
. Using this handy tool, I found that I had not installed the updates necessary for my Office XP programs and the MBSA helped me locate the place to get that update. To my chagrin...I was potentially one of the irresponbile blokes. Sigh.

If you don't know about the MBSA, here's a nice FAQ about it.

To summarize, MBSA is the next generation of the MPSA, Microsoft Personal Security Advisor. It does everything MPSA did plus "performs additional application checks (e.g., IIS, SQL) and can be used to scan both servers and workstations, locally and remotely over the network."

It can be run on the following operating systems:
Windows? 2000 Server
Windows 2000 Professional
Windows XP Home Edition
Windows XP Professional
Windows Server 2003

Network can be run over the network against Microsoft Windows NT? 4.0 Server and Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Workstation, Windows XP Professional and Home Edition systems, and Windows Server 2003!

What it does (from the FAQ ):
MBSA V1.2 scans for security misconfigurations in Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0, Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 5.01+, Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 and 2000, and Microsoft Office 2000, XP, and 2003.

It's very easy to understand. Basically, if you see a red flag, you should fix it. It's that simple.

And in case you thought you were all patched up because you use the Windows Update feature, think again. Even if you don't download, install and run the MBSE, you should take a trip to the Office Updates page at the URL below:

Office Updates -