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LISA 1998 Abstract

Patch 32: A System for Automated Client OS Updates

Gerald Carter, Auburn University


The adage "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link" is true for network security, the link being the host on the network. To secure a network, hosts must be thoughtfully installed and kept updated with the appropriate patches. For hosts running Microsoft Windows 95® or Microsoft Windows NT Workstation® keeping patches current is problematic.

Unlike most Unix variants, neither Windows 95 nor NT Workstation ship with a network extensible update mechanism. Though third party solutions are available, they can be costly to implement for large networks. This paper presents a free update mechanism for hosts running Windows 9x or NT Workstation served by Samba (see Appendix A).

Developed to patch Microsoft’s 32 bit operating systems, the name Patch32 was adopted. Patch32 was developed for an existing network dominated by Sun Microsystems’ SPARC servers running Solaris®, however, Patch32 can be used in any environment that provides SMB file services.

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