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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Jan 22, 2001 (Vol. 6, #4 - Issue #238)
All Kinds Of New Stuff
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
  1. EDITORS CORNER
    • All Kinds Of New Stuff
  2. TECH BRIEFING
    • It's Now Radically Easy To Manage Internet Usage
  3. NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
    • Melissa-X In The Wild
    • Microsoft Does Well In Q2 - Shares Rise
    • Update on Security
  4. NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
    • FREE (really) Reporting tool for Windows Networks
    • New System Admin Tool: REMOTE TASK MANAGER
    • DiskAdvisor Now Available On-Line
    • NetIQ and WebTrends Merge
    • New Sunbelt Community List Server: AlphaNT
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
  6. PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
    • Free Shipping for W2K Administrator's Black Book & Windows NT Power Toolkit
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  EDITORS CORNER

All Kinds Of New Stuff

Hi Everybody!

Well, where do I start. The amount of relevant news is getting to be so much that there is no way I can cram it in something readable just once a week. I'll chop it up in two newsletters, the text-based one you get on Mondays that stays the way it is now, and the new one that will be delivered Thursdays. The latter will be in HTML format. You can see how it will look over here, and we already have a bunch of back issues in HTML over at http://www.w2knews.com

But, before we can do that, we need to increase our bandwidth. We're upgrading to a fat DS3 pipe. Perhaps even wireless instead of fiber, we're doing the math now. Should be ready in a few weeks. I'll keep you in the loop. (One of these days you will receive a test message from 'w2knews-html' that you can delete right away)

The especially made Sunbelt SysAdmin Browser is also practically ready. It's an (IE-based) browser with a network performance monitor built-in so you can manage systems via the web-interface and also see the stuff that is going on in your domain. Kind of network-wide taskmanager graphs of the CPU and Memory of any machine you want to see. Ready Real Soon Now.

There are some extremely useful tools down below, especially the one in Tech Briefing that will save you a bunch of time. Oh, and remember to check out the Fave Links this time. It's got an unbelievable story. But first, let's have a look at all the news!

Warm regards,

Stu Sjouwerman
(email me with feedback: [email protected])

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  TECH BRIEFING

It's Now Radically Easy To Manage Internet Usage

SurfControl is a company known as the Global Filtering Leader. They offer highly advanced Internet filtering technology, especially for the corporate environment. SurfControl recently announced a new version of their filtering software. I had a look at it and it radically eases your challenge of managing Internet usage in your environment.

SurfControl's SuperScout V3 automates time-consuming admin tasks, such as generating reports on employee Internet activity - detailing who are the hogs that compromise network bandwidth and your precious domain resources for less than legitimate reasons. Other features designed to make your Admin's life easier include:

  • over 60 standard reports
  • largest content database of URLs in the industry
  • positive and negative filtering
  • granular rules
  • intelligent access policies
  • precision bandwidth control

    Additionally, SuperScout's Pass-By monitoring uses advanced packet sniffer technology to give you a picture of network traffic without having a negative impact upon your network performance. With this technology you can monitor, generate reports, block and manage all TCP/IP protocols, and SuperScout enables you to control your network resources, without slowing down traffic.

    Offload your administrative burden to SuperScout and spend your time on more important matters like guarding against hackers and staying current on technological advancements. SurfControl is offering a FREE 30-Day Trial Download. This is a 'Stu's Warmly Recommended'. I suggest you give it a try it today. You'll like it!
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/redir.cfm?id=012201A-surfctr

  •   NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

    Melissa-X In The Wild

    CNET reported: Computer virus experts say a new variant of the Melissa virus is spreading, this time in the guise of a Macintosh-formatted Microsoft Office document. The latest variation arrives as an email with the words "Here is that document you asked for ... don't show anyone else ;-)" in the body, along with an attachment called "anniv.doc.". It?s not high-risk yet, but it's a nuisance allright.

    The virus, dubbed alternatively Melissa-X and Melissa 2001, was set loose on the Net after a Macintosh Office 2001 user saved a document infected with the virus as an Office 2001 file. The document was sent to a Windows 97 user, who opened the infected email and started the latest round of infection. The virus can be spread on either a PC or a Macintosh. Like other Melissa variants, though, only Windows PCs will send mass email copies of the infected file. Most antivirus companies are in the process of updating their signature files to recognize this new variation. To protect your domains, warn users (again) to not open any suspicious email attachments. Also, make sure you have the latest antivirus definitions running on your servers.

    Microsoft Does Well In Q2 - Shares Rise

    Despite the slowing PC sales MS posted earnings in line with the lowered expectations. Revenues were a bit higher than expected. The outlook for 2001 looks reasonably stable. MS Office sales were flat, 2% less than last year. But the new version has some new goodies that MS expects to boost sales. Biggest is the speech recognition that is now built-in. But the biggest long-term problem is that 'everybody's already got one'. The good news was that NT WS and W2K Pro sales were up 39% and NT and W2K servers up 19%. Biggest rise in sales are of course tools for the server. Sales from Enterprise products like SQL and Exchange rose 20%+ from last year.

    The new Bush administration that is coming in, also may change MS' legal destiny but the future regarding that is still murky. The new Attorney General Ashcroft kept himself carefully non-committed on this topic. In general, this administration is a lot more business-friendly so we'll see how much time might be cut off from the years of dragging through the court system. Tech shares were also helped by excellent results of IBM that boosted its share price with 12% this week.

    Update on Security

  • A private alliance was formed last week by some of the biggest names in Technology, including bitter rivals Oracle and Microsoft. Pretty much all the big IT guys are represented and they will share info about vulnerabilities and cyber attacks. Main goal: protection from cyber-hazards whether deliberate or accidental. It's called IT-ISAC and sits in Atlanta, GA. other companies will be able to join for $5,000.
  • Most of you know that Egghead was cracked and a $#!+load of credit card numbers were stolen. Quite a few were fraudulently used but a lot of people had not used that particular card for more than a year. Conclusion: Egghead kept card numbers on file for long times so that they could nicely be ripped off. My suggestion if you run an online shop: Set a routine in place to 'age off' cards of people after 3 months.
  • Getting hit by a hacker or a virus or electronic theft costs an arm and a leg. The Computer Security Institute surveyed 273 outfits, 74% of them reported losses of a combined $266 million. And it it only the tip of the iceberg. In contrast, a recent poll of 1,400 CIO's showed that 91% were confident their networks were secure.

    What planet are these guys living on? Incredible. Nobody is really 100% safe, except perhaps for outfits like the NSA that spend hundreds of millions on security alone. Anybody can be hacked/cracked. It's just a matter how much time it takes, and how many resources are thrown into the hack attempt. The more attractive the target, the more effort will be applied. It's very much like breaking into a house. By defending your castle you BUY TIME, but anybody can get in if they really want to and have the resources. The upshot: Build your layered defenses and get security trained.

  •   THIRD PARTY NEWS

    FREE (really) Reporting tool for Windows Networks

    Quest Software announces: Domain Detective

    In order to quickly assess network security and status, administrators need a tool that : presents a 'network view' of all users and groups; identifies potential security holes; and provides policy-based exception reporting. Domain Detective offers an effective, field-proven solution.

    Domain Detective helps network administrators to inventory users and groups on Windows networks. There are no native tools that offer all this information in one place. Domain Detective's view of all users and groups, combined with its security and policy reports, gives network administrators the information they need in order to make fast, informed decisions.

    Domain Detective efficiently queries the network and determines if data is an exception to a defined policy or represents a security threat. This information is gathered and displayed in concise reports, giving administrators an overall, objective view of corporate IT and security policy conformance.

    In just minutes, install and run Domain Detective to identify security holes and run policy-based exception reports! Domain Detective is now available -- FREE of charge -- download today from Quest's website at:
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/redir.cfm?id=012201A-QuestSW

    Domain Detective is part of Quest Software's complete solution for managing Microsoft Windows networks. For more information on Quest's Microsoft solutions, please visit:
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/redir.cfm?id=012201A-Quest2

    New System Admin Tool: REMOTE TASK MANAGER

    Remote Task Manager (RTM) is a systems control interface that can be run from any remote Windows 2000/NT computer. This enables you to control most aspects of a remote environment. The simple-to-use, tabbed interface separates applications, services, devices, processes, events, shared resources and performance monitor, making each of these very easy to control.

    This product has had its 'trial by fire' as a shareware tool and only now has come available commercially with support and maintenance. Current Version is 3.5.2, so you see what I mean. Every Sunbelt Customer that earlier purchased the Task-Xplorer tool, will get a free single license copy of this new tool from us, as Task-Xplorer was taken off the market by its developer. Send an email to [email protected] for information how this upgrade will be released.

    With Remote Task Manager you can:

  • Monitor all running tasks, processes, services and events on remote computers
  • Watch features of running tasks (the handle of the main window, process ID, etc.)
  • Watch features of running processes (process ID, CPU time, privileges used, memory, priority)
  • See which process is associated with a selected task
  • See which process is associated with a selected service
  • End a selected task correctly
  • Terminate a selected process at any time
  • Change priority of a selected process
  • Control which CPUs the process will be allowed to execute on
  • Stop, start, restart, pause/continue any selected service or device
  • Change startup parameters of a service or a device (name, account, startup - type, dependencies, etc.)
  • Change service's repair parameters on Windows 2000
  • Watch dependent services
  • Adjust service's and device's security (permissions, auditing and owner)
  • Manage shared resources on remote computers
  • Clear event logs
  • Monitor a dynamic overview of the computer's performance (CPU and memory usage)
  • Shut down and reboot remote computers
  • Create processes on remote computers
  • Lock computers remotely
  • And much more...

    The best news about this tool is that you can get a SITE LICENSE for just $1095.00 usable by any number of admins. Check out:
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=380

    Two remarks: When the 'registration file' is asked for, just click cancel. After the install, go START->Programs->RTM. You'll like what you see. Call your Sunbelt Rep or reseller for a quote for the sitelicense. This is a very useful little tool.

    DiskAdvisor Now Available On-Line

    DiskAdvisor gives you the valuable information you need to restore disk space wasted by unnecessary files. Run DiskAdvisor today and you?ll:

  • Discover problem files that meet pre-defined criteria such as age, duplication, size or security.
  • Avoid costly storage, backup, and recovery of unwanted files.
  • Manage usage by user, workgroup, share, or directory giving you a total view of disk consumption habits.
  • Determine quota levels appropriate to consumption habit trends.
  • Document disk consumption trends for possible storage expansion justification.
  • Gain virtually infinite reporting capabilities with Custom Report Writer feature.

    Check the specs at:
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=420

    NetIQ and WebTrends Merge

    Mergers are practically always one company acquiring another. This case is no exception. NetIQ is moving from tools to e-business and out of just NT/W2K to multi-platform. NetIQ will combine its intrusion detection and low-level security products with firewall management products from WebTrends for a complete security suite.

    New Sunbelt Community List Server: AlphaNT

    The AlphaNT Mailing List is for anyone who has to use or support NT running on DEC (Compaq) Alpha hardware. It's also the unofficial home of FX!32. Since the AlphaNT platform is no longer officially supported, migration issues are also discussed. Subscribe at:
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/alphant-list_charter.htm

  •   FAVE LINKS

    This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

    A wealth of Special Interest Newsletters for NT/W2K-ers. Check 'em out over at:
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/redir.cfm?id=012201S-w2kmag

    Here is a really excellent brand new book about W2K performance tuning:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0130891053/sunbeltunivers0c/107-4997383-6905317

    Always hitting the left CAPS Lock when you really want to hit Tab? This lil' Italian tool allows you to reassign them so it won't happen again.
    http://users.iol.it/falsinfab/falsinsoft/fc21.zip

    The Dumbest Guy On Earth! This is unbelievable but true. These people must have been on speed or crack. You gotta see this! This planet never seems to amaze me.
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/stu

      PRODUCT OF THE WEEK

    Free Shipping for W2K Administrator's Black Book & Windows NT Power Toolkit

    On all US orders of the W2K Administrator's Black Book and Windows NT Power Toolkit Book by the Editor of this e-zine Stu Sjouwerman. The shipping cost is only $10.00 USD for all orders shipped outside the US. To take advantage of this offer and order a Windows NT Power Toolkit book visit the Sunbelt Software web store
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/onlineshop.cfm

    For orders outside the US, email [email protected] This offer is good until the end of January or while supplies last.