A few months ago people were telling me that Windows XP Service Pack 2 would be secure, and that they were running the beta release and were therefore safe. As with every previous Microsoft promise of security, this one has turned out to be an illusion. A new worm called Phel infects systems running the final XP SP2. All you have to do is visit a web page, and it downloads and installs itself and puts a backdoor on your machine.

OK, who didn’t see this coming?

Microsoft Windows XP SP 2, the new service pack promised to improve the shoddy insecurity of Windows systems, has already had two critical holes found in it. The result is that innocent looking files with non-executable extensions like .gif can execute arbitrary code on your machine when launched, without XP SP2 warning you in any way.