Microsoft patch secures Outlook for DMS users

Microsoft patch secures Outlook for DMS users

By Michael Cheek

GCN Staff

In the first service release for Office 2000, Microsoft Corp. has added numerous upgrades to Outlook 2000 so the e-mail client will meet the Defense Message System's Version 2.2 specifications.

SR1, which the company issued late last month, affects all Office 2000 applications and has updates for 608 items. Besides 124 fixes for the Outlook e-mail client, the release has 92 patches for Word, 85 for Excel, 66 for Access and 34 for PowerPoint.

Outlook 2000 is undergoing testing for DMS 2.2 compliance at the Joint Interoperability Test Command at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. Microsoft provided JITC with SR1 as a post-delivery update, said Tim Dioquino, DMS product manager for Microsoft's federal group.

SR1 updates Outlook 2000 for medium-grade messaging under X.509v3, Dioquino said. It also provides other security enhancements:

• A Lightweight Directory Access Protocol update'DMS users can retrieve certificates using LDAP services

• Digital receipt capability'a sender of a secure DMS message receives an encrypted notice, after the recipient opens the e-mail, that the missive was not tampered with during transmission.

• The ability to customize security policies'DMS users can define how messages should be handled on an intranet.

The update's other security enhancements to Outlook include support for dual encryption keys and a method for storing security certificate information in the contacts database.

Outlook also incorporates Cryptographic Message Syntax, Version 3 of Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions and the Extended Security Services of MIME for High Assurance Messaging, a requirement of DMS.

More details on the security update are available in a white paper on the Web at www.microsoft.com/office/ork/2000/appndx/toolbox.htm.

Service packs

The Defense Information Systems Agency will deploy DMS 2.2 this summer. Microsoft's current offering for DMS 2.2 does not include Windows 2000, Dioquino said. Microsoft did submit Service Pack 5 for Windows NT 4.0 and Service Pack 3 for the Exchange Server 5.5 mail server application under DMS 2.2, he said.

SR1 is available as a free download. But ordering the free CD-ROM might be the better choice because the patch is between 26M and 40M, depending on the applications the user has loaded.

Microsoft said the CD-ROM would take six to eight weeks to arrive. Visit www.microsoft.com/office to download or order the update.

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