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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Thu, Aug 23, 2001 (Vol. 6, #64 - Issue #299)
W2K Service Pack 3 Expected in Q4
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • More than 50% will not go for W2K MCSE
    • Non-Domain Admins can use TS to connect to W2K
    • Wireless LANs (802.11) Are Not Safe!
    • BillG Was Waiting Five Years For This
    • W2K Service Pack 3 Expected in Q4
    • New Site: ITCertinfo - Extensive Source of Certification data
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • White Hat Security Arsenal - Tackling the Threats
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More than 50% will not go for W2K MCSE

Yup, the results are in and it looks like MS will lose a major part of their MCSE's. At least 50% but likely even more. Just look at the results of the survey W2Knews did. We've had over 5,500 unique responses. And many sent me feedback (thank you guys) about the fact that even these 5 options did not cover all the permutations of an important question like this.

The reason they did not go for the new W2K MCSE was more based on business reasons, or other directions they were moving toward like Cisco, Linux or Security Certifications. Here are the (non-scientific) numbers:

  • I am upset with MS and not motivated to redo the exams
    32.72% - 1812 votes
  • Perhaps, when I can create some time for it
    20.40% - 1130 votes
  • Yes, I am planning to do that
    13.78% - 763 votes
  • Already cramming for my exams!
    23.04% - 1276 votes
  • Already certified as a W2K MCSE
    10.06% - 557 votes
Realistically, only the last two options are likely to get their W2K MCSE before the end of the year which means only one third (33.1%) will make it to W2K. Not sure if MS had planned the plunge to be this deep. I know they expected to lose half, but two thirds? They might want to extend the deadline for the so called "accelerated exam" 70-240.

Coming Monday, we will send you our Issue #300. That will be a special one and we'll have a powerful new product for you, plus an integrated "splash" animation. See you there!

Warm regards,

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

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Non-Domain Admins can use TS to connect to W2K

How to let Non-Domain Admins connect to a Win2K Server via Terminal Services in Remote Admin mode? Here's what Mark Minasi found out:

I really like Terminal Services for Windows 2000 in the "Remote Administration" mode; it lets up to two people use Terminal Services to remotely control a Windows 2000 Server, and doesn't require me to buy any Terminal Server client licenses. But when you select "Remote Administration" mode for Terminal Services, then Terminal Services only lets members of the Domain Admins group log into Terminal Services.

I wanted to let regular old users log in, but didn't know how. While teaching a class for a large communications company this month, I found out how.

  • Open Terminal Services Configuration (it's in Administrative Tools)
  • In the command pane (the left-hand pane of the MMC console), click on "Connections."
  • In the right-hand pane, you'll see an icon representing a connection (a hard disk atop a network connection) and the words "RDP-Tcp," "tcp," and "Microsoft RDP 5.0." Double-click the icon to bring up its Properties dialog, or just right-click the icon and choose "Properties." You'll see a property page labeled "RDP-Tcp Properties."
  • Click the "Permissions" tab.
  • Note that right now, the tab shows only the System account and the local Administrators group. Add any person or group that you like, and they'll be able to log onto the server via Terminal Services.
This came out of Mark Minasi's newsletter. I like it a lot. Sub here:

Wireless LANs (802.11) Are Not Safe!

There are several security problems with these puppies. I just read a story about a few guys tooling around in the city with a laptop, just looking if that machine would find a wireless LAN to log into. And sure enough, they were into a BANK and able to mess around on that LAN. Sitting in their car, outside the building. Yessir, remember these wireless thingies use RADIO technology to get the packets across.

The Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) protocol that is used in 802.11- based wireless LANs is broken. The RC4 encryption algorithm uses a 40-bit key to encrypt network traffic. This is now cracked. A few researchers recently came to the conclusion that "RC4 is completely insecure in a common mode of operation which is used in the widely deployed [WEP] protocol."

The whole thing boils down to the fact that if you are currently using WEP on your LAN, you're inviting trouble. To get out of this, the only quick fix is to create another layer of encryption between ALL wireless nodes. A VPN would do the trick. Don't think about it. Just do it.


BillG Was Waiting Five Years For This

Coming Friday the 24-th of August, Microsoft will deliver the final Windows XP code to PC makers accompanied with some more PR hoopla than usual for an RTM. Chairman BillG and VP Jim Allchin, (both Windows hawks) will participate in a stunt that involves helicopters that will circle the Redmond campus while the two honcho's hand over WXP to PC makers. The choppers will have WXP and major PC maker logo's slapped on.

This is the final fulfillment of Bill's dream: a unified code base for both consumer and commercial products. He must be a happy man 'cause the delays have been plenty. Windows 2000 was supposed to do this already, and he's been wanting this well before W2K was even designed. WXP is built on the NT kernel, and basically is NT V5.1. It's good it's early: it will grab some late back-to-school sales and create a happy holiday eXPerience for Christmas shoppers.

We'll finally have a client OS that is as reliable as the server side. This is a good thing. The fact you might need a major hardware upgrade to run it may not be so good for budgets. But the major press WXP has gotten relates more to the integration of the MS Passport service, its Windows Media Player, the new messenger features, the photo imaging software and plug-and-play camera support, taking Java out, and of course the controversial Windows Product Activation (WPA). Also, keep in mind more features will be added later via Service Packs. But be aware of crashes due to incompatible drivers. With new machines this will not be a problem, but with upgrades you might be confronted with some nasty surprises.

MS pushed Release Candidate 1 (RC1) to beta testers early July, and RC2 came out later that same month. These went so well that a third RC was not deemed necessary. You'll see it appear factory installed on shiny new boxes late September. An interview with Jim Allchin is on the Windows 2000 magazine site over here:

W2K Service Pack 3 Expected in Q4

On the Microsoft Beta Place Website, they announced the fact they will start the W2K SP3 beta in about 45 days from now. That means we will likely see it in Q4. They said that this latest SP3 will be mainly covering improvements in setup, compatibility of apps, security patches and reliability. MS has made a significant series of improvements for WXP, and I'm pretty sure a good chunk of these are now rolled back into W2K to make sure the code base stays the same. The Wininformant site has some more about this story, visit:


New Site: ITCertinfo - Extensive Source of Certification data

What IT certification is best for me? MediaTec Publishing, the people that print Certification Magazine launched a new Web site: ITcertinfo.com.

ITcertinfo.com provides certification candidates with comprehensive tools to determine which certifications will help achieve your career goals. The site is a database for vendor-provided certification information. ITcertinfo.com also offers an array of information on IT certifications, which you can select by desired career path, by a program of choice or by certification acronym.

Eileen Hughes, editor of electronic media for MediaTec Publishing said. "We give you the basics and more, including what the program is about, how much it costs, what IT fields it involves and where you need to go to become certified. No other certification source offers this much detail about the programs professionals need to become certified in. Best of all, it links with the extensive archives of Certification Mag and IT Contractor magazine to provide additional research components to users."

They feature a Skills Assessment to test your IT knowledge, a Salary Survey, a job board, a bookstore selling the most current study aids, info on financial aid programs, special community pages and more. All information on ITcertinfo.com is available for free. Check it out:


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

  • Interesting site that explains all about bootdisks for different OS
  • Andrew Baker's UltraTech Knowledge Base is one of the best of its kind
  • Another reason to keep holes closed. The Net can get infected in 30 seconds

    White Hat Security Arsenal - Tackling the Threats

    As a computer security expert at AT&T Labs, author Avi Rubin regularly meets with IT staffs from all types of companies. When asked to recommend resource material to his customers, Rubin realized that there just wasn't a book on the market that would give them concise, direct answers to all their security questions. So he wrote one. You will find it at the W2Knews BookClub: