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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, May 20, 2002 (Vol. 7, #40 - Issue #371)
Fingerprint Scanners: 80% Defeated!
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • What Tape Technology Would You Buy Today?
    • Fingerprint Scanners: 80% Defeated!
    • Do's And Don'ts: How To Save Big Bucks On Software Licenses
    • NTAccess Saves 2-week Locked-Out Laptop User
    • Strategy: Microsoft Platform Security in a MultiPlatform Site
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • The MS 6.0 Licensing Report
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What Tape Technology Would You Buy Today?

We all back up our servers religiously, don't we? We rely on tape drives for the most part. Well, some one in our accounting dept deleted a file and asked IT to recover it. And of course this was not data that was replicated in real time, and sat on a user share on the file server. When IT tried to read the tape with the file the TAPE DRIVE DIED. No tapes readable, no restores possible. So now we're going to get ourselves a new server (Dell) with a new tape drive built in. We are just interested in what technology you'd prefer if you buy a new tape drive, so here is the new SunPoll and you can see in real-time what your peers think about this:

What Tape Technology Would You Buy Today?

  1. LTO
  2. DLT (and SuperDLT)
  3. VXA (Mammoth)
  4. AIT
  5. DDS (4mm dat)
Vote here at the leftmost column:

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

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Fingerprint Scanners: 80% Defeated!

The Register site reported that a Japanese cryptographer has demonstrated how fingerprint recognition devices can be fooled using a combination of low cunning, cheap kitchen supplies and a digital camera. Now, does this mean you have to rip out all the devices you already implemented? No, but you do need to keep the golden anti-hacking rule in mind: "Physical Access Is Paramount". Lock down and protect the actual physical servers that host sensitive data, and make sure that workstations are behind locked doors after working hours.

So, how did this smart man fool the fingerprint devices? First Tsutomu Matsumoto used gelatine and a plastic mould to create a fake finger, which he found fooled fingerprint detectors four times out of five.

Flushed with his success, he took latent fingerprints from a glass, which he enhanced with a cyanoacrylate adhesive (super-glue fumes) and photographed with a digital camera. Using PhotoShop, he improved the contrast of the image and printed the fingerprint onto a transparency sheet. Here comes the clever bit.

Matsumoto took a photo-sensitive printed-circuit board (which can be found in many electronic hobby shops) and used the fingerprint transparency to etch the fingerprint into the copper. From this he made a gelatine finger using the print on the PCB, using the same process as before. Again this fooled fingerprint detectors about 80 per cent of the time. He tried these attacks against eleven commercially available fingerprint biometric systems, and was able to reliably fool all of them. Full article at:


Do's And Don'ts: How To Save Big Bucks On Software Licenses

The SearchWindowsManageability Site has this interesting article.

"Businesses lose millions each year because they are too lazy to do a good job managing software licenses, according to licensing expert Laura DiDio."

IT managers may realize poor license management costs them money and increases the risk for penalties. Yet, they still procrastinate to create effective license management processes, said DiDio, principal of Information Technology Intelligence Corp (ITIC). They don't jump through hoops to take charge and figure it out either, said DiDio. "It's like, 'I know I should clean out the garage, but it's a sunny day today so why should I?'"

Didio is the co-author of the recently released report: "Microsoft Licensing 6.0 Program: Practical, Tactical Advice for Negotiating the Best Deal," available at Sunbelt Software, see link below.

Several IT professionals attending last week's Windows Decisions conference in Chicago, Ill admitted they have weak license management practices, too. Yet, some have home grown management practices in place that could rival any software company. DiDio and the attendees shared what to do to keep software up-to-date, computers in compliance and save money by not spending too much on licenses.

Don't buy licenses you don't need, and don't overbuy licenses. Some organizations, for example, will buy a server license but not buy enough client access licenses (CALs). "They're out of compliance and in line for penalty," DiDio said.

Do invest in license management tools. Three weeks ago, Kevin Rost bought Track-it! Rost, manager of network technologies at Autostock International in Barnaby, British Columbia, took charge of his system. Track-it! is a Web-based PC management system from Tampa, Fl-based Blue Ocean Software. "We'll use it for licensing right through to hardware," he said.

Do have a method to know if you're paying too much for licenses. Even if it means you buy everything through a value added reseller (VAR). That's what Rost does. "Everything we get is with a license directly through Microsoft. So, it's really a registration process," he said. "We don't actually go out and buy a copy of a license. We get a piece of paper telling us we can install that software or application."

Do create an in-house auditing system and keep licenses updated manually like Rick Woffard, Information Systems Coordinator at Hydro- gear, in Sullivan, IL. "We ensure compliance through the in-house auditing," he said. Yet, "We probably don't know if we're paying too much for software," Woffard admitted with a laugh. No, he does not have a method to make sure his company gets a good deal.

Do figure out what's on your network for security's sake, said DiDio. "Different versions of software require different patches." If you know what's there, you'll have an easier time getting the right patches in place in a timely manner. Also, "if you're not getting a true account, you may be gypping yourself out of higher licensing discount levels."

Full article here:

The complete 50+-page report on how to get the best licensing deal from MS is here:


NTAccess Saves 2-week Locked-Out Laptop User

NTAccess is getting very popular, especially since Windows XP now requires passwords. But more and more system admins are simply having a copy in their toolkits just in case. Here is a story of a happy user we just received today:

"I love this program! I've been locked out of my laptop for two weeks. I've been pulling out what hair I have left trying to figure out how to hack into my system without destroying valuable data. NTAccess did a superb job and is worth every penny I paid. Mark me down as one very happy customer."

Strategy: Microsoft Platform Security in a MultiPlatform Site

A continuous stream of stories about Microsoft Windows security holes has left many executives stressed and security teams stretched. Organizations have scrambled to plug the obvious holes in Windows, so why is there still an abundance of system security failures causing managers to miss a good night's sleep?

Security of your Microsoft platform is about more than securing the core Windows operating system or individual applications. Enterprise security hinges on execution of an integrated security management strategy that works within the context of your techno-human environment, while real financial payback and risk reduction is generated by a security management strategy that takes advantage of the heterogeneous multi-platform environments found in most organizations.

An effective security strategy is built on four security management pillars that fully address the technical and human context:

  1. Policy Management
  2. User Management
  3. Vulnerability Management
  4. Intrusion Management
PentaSafe invites you to see how VigilEnt Security Agent for Windows and VigilEnt Security Manager make your Windows platform part of your organization's infrastructure security solution rather than part of the problem.

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

  • Tech Support Howlers. The Chronicles of George, the criminally stupid support guy:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020520FA-George_Chronicles
  • This site is the coolest. The videos really show some AMAZING anti- gravity stuff and tell you how to build it at home. Careful: High voltage!

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020520FA-AnitGravity
  • Need some help troubleshooting Group Policy Issues in Windows 2000?

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020520FA-Group_Policy
  • The ExtremeTech site has gathered a whole bunch of tools to check your systems for vulnerabilities.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020520FA-ExtremeTech

    The MS 6.0 Licensing Report

    This easy-to-read report provides your business, you and purchasing agents with the latest information you'll need to make an informed decision on when and whether to migrate to the upcoming Licensing 6.0 Program and save (tens of) thousands in licensing fees. This report actually gets you the negotiating tools in your hands which will get you a better deal from Microsoft. It will get you the ammo to come prepared to the negotiating table and walk away with the knowledge you got the best deal from Microsoft you could get. So, is that worth a few hundred bucks? We think so. Buy here: