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Windows XP File Deletion Threat

A defect in Windows XP will allow anyone to delete files on your computer if they trick you into visiting a malicious web site, clicking a malicious link in email, or even perhaps opening a malicious HTML email message. This is extremely easy to take advantage of and you'll likely run across it. If the following Window appears unexpectedly on your screen DO NOT CLOSE IT. Doing so will delete any files specified in the malicious link.

If that Window appears unexpectedly, perform the following actions to prevent files from being deleted on your computer:

1. Right-click the taskbar (the taskbar is the bar at the bottom of your screen)

2. Select Task Manager from the menu.

3. Click the Processes tab on the Task Manager Window

4. Look for the process name HelpCtr.exe as shown below and click it once to highlight it.

5. Click the End Process button to kill the HelpCtr.exe process. Ignore any warning messages.

6. Let Gary Flynn (x82364) know that you ran across a malicious link and what you were doing when it happened.

The defect is fixed in Windows XP Service Pack 1 and also a patch for the prior version of Windows XP. Both of these can be obtained from the Microsoft Windows Update Site. It is recommended that the service pack be used to fix this defect as it also addresses other problems.

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