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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Thu, Nov 29, 2001 (Vol. 6, #91 - Issue #326)
I'm An XBOX Addict
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • I'm An XBOX Addict
    • And Another Worm In The Wild
    • The Big Picture - How Is Microsoft Doing?
    • Getting Your HIPAA Project Started
    • Results Windows 2000 Password Poll: Logon Passwords
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Hackers Challenge
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I'm An XBOX Addict

I'll come right out and admit it. Never played computer games for the last 10 years but bought an XBOX on the day they came out, got a few games and after sniffing at them got completely hooked on the Gotham Car Racing game. The XBOX graphics are AWESOME! It's adrenaline pumping, heart thumping excitement as you fight other fast cars for kudos and the medals. I'm running it on a wide-screen high-def TV and the quality is excellent. This little box runs on a stripped version of W2K and packs a powerful punch of NVIDIA boosted graphics. I'm amazed that W2K can support graphics this fast. That chip set really must kick butt.

Sales of the XBOX have been robust and MS has a winner with this puppy, I'm tellin' ya. I decided that we're going to start a new "Refer A Friend" program, and give away an XBOX every week as one of the prizes. Stay tuned! This is a short Editor's Corner, I need to get back and finish my race in the Fisherman's Wharf area of San Francisco. [grin]

Warm regards,

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

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And Another Worm In The Wild

The Badtrans.B worm exploits an Outlook and Outlook Express hole to execute its infected attachment automatically when the e-mail is opened. The worm's subject line appears to be a reply to a previously sent message. Badtrans.B self-propagates, then installs a back door on the computer, sends the machine's IP address to the worm's author, and runs a key logging program. Not a nice one for sure. There is a good article with some more background over at the InfoWorld site here:

And I also have the link for the Microsoft Patch for you:


The Big Picture - How Is Microsoft Doing?

Yes, this is W2K and NT related, from a helicopter perspective. If you standardize on an operating system you want to know the company that builds it is stable and will be there for another 10 years at least. MS is doing pretty well actually. And especially with the current economy, having deep pockets helps MS to muscle in on other markets

It's not that MS is immune to the harsh conditions at the moment, their 1-st fiscal quarter growth slowed from 13% to just 6%, but it's still growth at least. A lot of other IT companies shrunk significantly. But MS has some good things going for it these days. New products and a lot of companies that are focused on cutting costs more than ever.

With W2K it has achieved the reliability it always wanted, and generally it is a lot cheaper than higher-end Unix based solutions. For instance, companies like Merrill Lynch & Co standardize on MS more and more, despite the fact they also run IBM and Sun equipment.

Despite the security problems, MS' market share in the server space went up 53% from 1999 to 2000. For 2001 it will be a bit less, but still high up in the double digits. To compare, Sun grew just 20% in the same period. If you look at the total Server Operating System market, Unix is still leader, but MS went from 20.7% to 22.7%.

So, what five additional markets is MS penetrating?

  1. Video Games. The competition there is of course mainly Sony with its PlayStation and then there is a distant second: Nintendo. MS and the latter are going to battle for the #2 spot to begin with.
  2. Enterprise Servers. Here the players to beat are Oracle, Sun, and IBM. Microsoft's market share in the database server segment went up from 13.1% to 14.9 percent.
  3. Handhelds. Palm is the leader to beat in this space. The latest version of Windows for handhelds is good. I'm currently looking at a Compaq iPAQ handheld, with MS Pocket PC 2002 on it. We're soon coming out with remote management tools and they run on Cell Phones and iPAQ's. Pretty cool stuff, it's fast, looks good and it works. Our Chief Tech stood beside my desk, holding the iPAQ, worked his stylus and POOF my Outlook disappeared. He had killed the process: wireless!
  4. Internet Destination Sites. Here MS competes with its MSN against Yahoo and America Online. You may not be aware of this, but MSN now has 10% of the online advertising market, and Yahoo has just 9% (!)
  5. Streaming Media. Win Media Player is steadily gaining share, although RealNetworks is still ahead. I used to run RealNetworks code, but uninstalled it when the most recent version of Media Player came out. That version is really good. So apart from the Windows franchise and Office Suite sales, MS shows continued expansion in other (future) markets. That means they are here to stay and provide a measure of stability, warts and all.

Getting Your HIPAA Project Started

How many of you have heard of Home Depot? Of course. Now, why are they so big? The Do-It-Yourselfer. This is a guy with enough knowledge (usually) or time to fix it himself. Whatever, "it" might be. This guy (or gal) can acquire any tool needed to get the project done from Home Depot.

Well, HIPAA is a project. For those of you who have to deal with this privacy and security law, know that it is a project. Every project requires certain tools to get the job done and HIPAA is no different.

Sunbelt now has two different angles that you can come at for you HIPAA Compliance issues. A few newsletters ago I mentioned and gave a little bit of information on our Sunbelt HIPAA Compliancy Services. To recap, those services cover all aspects of creating and implementing policies and procedures for the Transaction Rule, Privacy Rule, and a head start on the Security Rule. This includes both physical and electronic info, safeguards, policies, and procedures. We?ve got you covered. You can get some more information on that here:

The other is the Sunbelt HIPAA Toolbox. This is for the HIPAA Do-It- Yourselfer. We have consolidated all HIPAA relevant products that Sunbelt carries into one location for all you HIPAA shoppers. These are our Security, Monitoring, HA, DR, and User Management tools that are relevant to HIPAA. The most important thing to remember about this site though is that we will be adding more tools to it for the purpose of providing HIPAA tools. Give it a look:

Some of you after looking at this site may find a few of the tools necessary for your compliance. Others may find the tools nice to have but you feel you can do without. Sure you can drive a nail with a brick. But a nice 22oz. framing hammer would be a lot more efficient. Don?t you think? For more information on both the Services and the Toolbox contact:

Michael Graves
Service and Product Consultant
Sunbelt Software Dist. Inc.
1-800-688-8404 Ext. 221
[email protected]

Results Windows 2000 Password Poll: Logon Passwords

You probably all know Windows 2000 Magazine. It's the #1 pub in the NT/W2K bizz by a long shot. They also have their e-zines and the most recent one reported on one of their Instant Poll's for the question, "How often do you require users to change their logon passwords?" Here are the results (+/-2 percent) from the 169 votes:

  • 19% At least every 30 days
  • 49% Every 60 to 90 days
  • 12% Longer than 90 days
  • 20% Never
WOW! That is not good people. It leaves a significant vulnerability there, especially if you never force password changes. We strongly recommend a centralized password management policy, with strong passwords and found a cheap tool to do that for the whole domain. Do not get caught with your "security-pants" down. Check out the new PassWord Bouncer at:

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

  • Here?s the Tablet PC that Bill Gates is using in his daily work.
  • Control software license costs with WebCensus PC inventory.
  • HardOCP is a pretty good site for hardcore hardware fans that exchange info.
  • Probably the most secure server bunkers in the USA: 85 feet underground!
  • Satire is healthy now and then. Justice to break up Apple for turning Microsoft into monopoly:

    Hackers Challenge

    Mike Schiffman has hit upon a great formula for Hacker's Challenge. Rather than try to research, fully understand, and adequately explain attacks that have taken place on other people's networks -- the approach taken by too many writers of books about computer security -- Schiffman lets network administrators and security experts tell their stories first-hand. This is good. What's better is that he has edited each of their war stories into two sections: one that presents the observations the sysadmin or security consultant made at the time of the attack, and another (in a separate part of the book) that ties the clues together and explains exactly what was going on. The challenge in the title is for you to figure out what the bad guys were doing--and how best to stop them--before looking at the printed solution.