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Tightening Windows security with Microsoft's EMET utility

Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) is a simple but powerful configuration utility that allows you to harden applications that weren't originally designed to take advantage of Windows security features. Here's how it works.
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Topic: Microsoft
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1 of 8 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) is a simple but powerful configuration utility that allows you to harden applications that weren't originally designed to take advantage of Windows security features. Here's how it works.

For a full description, see the accompanying blog post, The one security tool every Windows user should know about.

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2 of 8 Ed Bott/ZDNet

The EMET interface is divided into two parts. The top shows the system status; the bottom shows a list of running processes and whether they are currently running with EMET enabled.

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3 of 8 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Although it sounds tempting, I don't recommend the Maximum Security Settings option for Windows 7. That's especially true in a business setting, where compatibility is crucial.

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4 of 8 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Your XP options are more limited, because XP doesn't support SEHOP or ASLR. Enabling DEP universally on XP is a smart idea.

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Most zero-day threats attack commonly used Internet-facing applications, such as Internet Explorer add-ons, Adobe Acrobat and Reader, Apple QuickTime, and so on. EMET let you tighten security on these individual programs.

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6 of 8 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Because Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) is not supported on Windows XP, EMET offers five app-configuration options here, instead of the six you find with more modern Windows versions.

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To view the security status of programs, open the main EMET UI and look in the Running Processes list.

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In all Windows versions, you can click the Running EMET heading to sort the list so that all EMET-enabled apps are grouped together.

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