Centrino Users Need to Patch Their Laptop & Notebook Computers NOW
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- Written on: August 28th, 2006
If you own a laptop or a notebook equipped with an Intel Centrino processor, you need to manually install a patch NOW, or your computer could be taken over by anyone with some technical savvy. Oh, by the way, if you have already installed the patch, keep reading. You are not out of the woods yet.
Over the past week, a vulnerability has been exposed in Intel’s PROSet wireless networking software that comes preinstalled on all notebook computers equipped with an Intel Centrino processor. Apparently, there is a security flaw in the PROSet wireless software that can allow an unauthorized user to take complete control of a laptop or notebook computer that is equipped with an Intel Centrino processor. You can download the Schrock Innovatiosn “Detect and Patch” utility here to see if your system is effected.
Centrino processors integrate wireless operations directly into the CPU to save on power consumption. Because this capability is built into the processor its self, Intel includes software with all Centrino-based laptops to manage their wireless networking capabilities. Earlier this week a patch was released by Intel to solve this problem, however technical problems with the patch soon surfaced that caused unexpected crashes and memory leaks. Today, Intel has released an updated patch that resolves these issues and closes the security loop hole.
Unfortunately, there isn’t any auto update mechanism for the Intel PROSet software and drivers. Each notebook or laptop needs to be manually tested and if needed, the patch needs to be manually applied. The PROSet update is a whopping 51 MB, so dial-up users may want to do this one overnight. Because this patch does not come from Microsoft, it will not be included in any future Windows Update. The only way to get this patch is to download it directly from the Intel website and install it yourself.
The Schrock Innovations software development team is working on a small application that detects the current version of your PROSet software and determines if you need the patch. If needed, your computer will be automatically sent to the Intel download website. to our knowledge, this will be the only detect and patch application available at this time for this situation.
1) If you are an IT manager for a small (or large) network with a lot of Centrino processors you might appreciate these tips.
2) If you do not use the Intel Wireless Connection Manager software to connect laptops and notebooks to your network, select the driver only installation method to prevent connectivity problems after installing the patch.
3) If you use Windows XP Select the “Driver Only” installation option.
4) If you use any other operating system (like Windows 2000) Install the entire package. (“driver plus software”)
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- Comments: 1