Hvorfor betyder denne service pack så meget for os udviklere? Svaret er forbløffende simpelt: Hvis ikke vi griber angrebene mod vores individuelle maskiner an fra andre sider end med security patches, så vil tiden fra patch (lukning af hul fra leverandør) til exploit (hvor en faktisk virus eller lign. er i omløb) blive så kort at ingen når at få deres maskine opdateret. Windows XP SP2 indeholder bla. følgende rettelser (på engelsk):

Network protection: Windows Firewall will be enhanced with more granular policy controls and turned on by default to help stop network-based attacks by closing unnecessary ports.

Safer email and instant messaging: Default settings have enhanced security, improved attachment control using the Attachment Execution Service (AES) API. Potentially unsafe attachments that are sent through e-mail and instant messages are isolated so that they cannot affect other parts of the system. This results in security and reliability enhancements for applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express and Windows Messenger.
Attachment Manager. Stronger default protection against viruses spread through Outlook® Express, Windows Messenger and Internet Explorer by isolating potentially unsafe attachments during the opening process.

Safer web browsing: Installs code-level changes in Internet Explorer that help protect against certain types of exploits.
Restricts script-initiated windows that are used to fool users by hiding Internet Explorer controls and concealing malicious activity.
Limits a hacker’s ability to attack a PC by restricting HTML in the local machine zone from running with elevated system privileges; and warns customers about potentially harmful downloads and helps them block unwanted software.
Centralized management of Windows Firewall and Internet Explorer. Provides system administrators with more configuration options for Windows Firewall and Internet Explorer, such as Group Policy, command line, multicast support and unattended setup. Windows XP SP2 also enables administrators to better manage applications and increase compatibility with Windows Firewall by allowing only ports needed by an application to be open. 
Internet Explorer Add-on Manager. Windows XP SP2 allows administrators to easily manage and enforce a list of add-ons to Internet Explorer that are either permitted or disabled to enhance security and reduce the potential for crashes.
Internet Explorer Pop-up Blocker. Enabled by default, this feature makes browsing the Internet more enjoyable by enabling people to reduce unwanted ads and content.
Internet Explorer Information Bar. This new toolbar provides better information about Internet Explorer settings and alerts customers to unsigned controls and downloads.
Internet Explorer download monitoring. New feature that identifies and warns customers about potentially harmful downloads and helps them block unwanted and unauthorized code.

Enhanced memory protection: This will reduce the threat of buffer overruns through compiler check improvements.  Buffer overruns result from adding more information to a buffer than it was designed to hold. An attacker may exploit this vulnerability to take over a system.

Windows Security Center. The ability to automatically check the status of crucial security functionality such as firewall, automatic update and antivirus.  The feature will tell a customer whether key security capabilities are turned on and up-to-date. When a problem is detected, they will receive a notification and recommended actions to help protect their computer.

Min kollega Andrew Coates fra down-under har lavet en generel præsentation om SP2 og et godt kode-eksempel der viser hvordan man f.eks. fra et program kigger på firewall instillingerne mm. Du finder begge dele her!

På MSDN finder du ligeledes en hel sektion om SP2 under Security Developer Center!

Har du ikke set på dette endnu, så er det tid til at vågne op! Det varer ikke særligt længe før SP2 er en realitet - ej heller længe før dine brugere har den installeret. Fingrene ud - og på med SP2'en Danmark :-)