Microsoft issues spam patch for Windows 2000

Microsoft issued a security bulletin late Thursday warning of a hole in the Windows 2000 operating system that allows intruders to relay spam e-mail from a remote PC.

The Redmond, Washington, software maker acknowledged the vulnerability, which was discovered in the Windows 2000 Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) service, a standard protocol used for sending and receiving e-mail. The company issued a patch for the hole, available for download from its Web site, and said it would be included in the Windows 2000 Service Pack 3.

Microsoft said the vulnerability could allow an unauthorized user to successfully authenticate to the SMTP service using false credentials, and gain user-level privileges. The most likely reason for exploiting the vulnerability, the company noted, would be to send unidentifiable bulk mail.

"This vulnerability results because of an authentication error in the Windows 2000 SMTP service that installs by default as part of Windows 2000 Server products and optionally on Windows 2000 Professional," Microsoft said in the bulletin. "Download (the patch) now to prevent a malicious user from using your computer for mail relaying."

PCs that are members of a domain or run on Microsoft's Exchange 2000 Server are not affected by the vulnerability, Microsoft said. Customers who use SMTP services on their machines should apply the patch. Those who don't should disable the service, the company said.

Microsoft, is available at +1-425-882-8080. The security bulletin is available online at

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Berger

PC World
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?