Microsoft updates security alerts

Microsoft is revising its End User Security Notification Service this month in response to customer feedback.

The head of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing initiative in Australia, Calum Russell, said end users will need to update subscriptions to the software maker's security notification mailing service to get the correct bulletins as there will be distinct services for technical and non-technical professionals.

Specific services for developers and system administrators will be maintained and Russell said mailing list customers will have the opportunity to change their subscriptions to the new service.

"We have also modified our Security Bulletin Rating System to enable customers to more easily evaluate the impact of security issues on their systems and networks," he said.

The new severity rating system more clearly identifies the most serious security issues, and provides customers with rating information that is easier to understand and act on.

The updated Microsoft Security Response Centre Security Bulletin Severity Rating System is available at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/policy/rating.asp.

The changes were announced in an e-mail sent by Microsoft's US-based director of Security Assurance Steve Lipner which said there is widespread feeling that the Severity Ratings are difficult to understand and apply. It was for these reasons the criteria was modified, the e-mail said.

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