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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Aug 4, 2003 (Vol. 8, #31 - Issue #437)
What's New in Win2003: Part 1
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • What's New in Win2003: Part 1
    • Windows Server 2003 IPv6 Support
    • Free Online Windows NT 4.0 to Windows Server 2003 Upgrade Training
    • Test Windows Server 2003 Networking Configurations with VMware 4.0
    • Windows Server 2003 Shadow Copies of Shared Folders
    • Buffer Overrun In RPC Interface Could Allow Code Execution Threatening Mass Panic (MS03-026)
    • Can You Believe It? Windows Server 2003 Sales Outpace Windows 2000
    • Survey: Utility and On-Demand Computing
    • Black Hat Puts Hacker on Mock Trial
    • UltraBac Builds On 7.0 Series: 7.1.1 Beefs Up Dynamic Disk and Locked File Support
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • ScriptLogic: Cut Your Help Desk Support Calls by 50%
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What's New in Win2003: Part 1

Our next four issues of W2Knews are dedicated to all the new stuff in Windows 2003.

I'm going to keep the Editor's corner short so we can get to it!


"Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one."
A. J. Liebling (1904 - 1963) US journalist, author

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

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Windows Server 2003 IPv6 Support

There was some experimental support for IPv6 in Windows 2000, but it wasn't anything you'd want to put into production. Windows Server 2003 introduces a fully functional IPv6 network stack. While the OS is getting on board the IPv6 train, most Windows admins are being left at the station. Check out Microsoft's IPv6 clearing house for tons of info on Windows Server 2003 IPv6 overview's, tech drill-downs and white papers.

Free Online Windows NT 4.0 to Windows Server 2003 Upgrade Training

A lot of us take Windows 2000 technologies, like advanced RRAS services, Active Directory, Group Policy, Dynamic DNS, IPSec and dynamic disks for granted. But if you've been living in a Windows NT 4.0 world and now need to upgrade to Windows Server 2003, then you're in for a rude awakening. Microsoft is offering a Windows NT 4.0 to Windows Server 2003 upgrade course for free until October 24, 2003. After that you pay $199US. (Site registration required)

Test Windows Server 2003 Networking Configurations with VMware 4.0

Some of you work with great companies who provide a live lab with a couple of dozen workstations, servers, routers and switches to test Windows Server 2003 domain and networking features. However, most of you are lucky if the boss says "there's a couple computers over there you can use to test it out. Knock yourself out".

If you're in the latter group, consider using VMware 4.0 for your pre-deployment testing. VMware 4.0 allows you to create multiple virtual switches that allow you to completely segment your virtual network. You can test up to 7 virtual machines on a single box if you have a machine with a gig of RAM. Bring a second machine into the mix, and bump up your test bed to 14 machines. For the cost of two computers you have a 14 machine, fully virtually routable test bed. Not too shabby.

Windows Server 2003 Shadow Copies of Shared Folders

A new feature included with Windows Server 2003 is the volume shadow copy feature (also known as the Volume Shadows Copy Service or VSS). VSS can take a snapshot of the content stored in selected shares and then records changes to the content of those shares. The changes are detected on a per-file basis, so that only the changes are stored, not the entire changed file. Shadow copies allow users to retrieve previous versions of a file they might have inadvertently deleted or corrupted.

There are two pieces to the shadow copy equation: a VSS service on the Windows Server 2003 server and the VSS client software. The client software is on the Windows Server 2003 CD and can be disturbed via a share or Group Policy based software deployment. The client can be installed on Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows 98 computers. At this time there's no support for Windows NT 4.0 or Windows ME. As usual, Microsoft denies the existence of Windows 95 [g].

For everything you ever wanted to know about VSS and the shadow copies of shared folders feature, check out the "Shadow Copies of Shared Folders" clearing house.


Buffer Overrun In RPC Interface Could Allow Code Execution Threatening Mass Panic (MS03-026)

You've really been out of the loop if you haven't heard of this jewel. This critical security fix applies to Windows NT 4.0, Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Services Edition, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Good news is that if you're running Windows ME you don't have to worry about it.

What's the big deal? This security flaw leverages a weakness in the Windows DCOM interface with RPC. DCOM and RPC might be considered the "heart of Windows" and this security issue strikes at the heart of Windows. Microsoft tries to buoy our flagging confidence by saying that TCP ports 135, 139 or 445 have to be open for inbound access to launch a successfully attack. Nobody in his right mind would have those ports opened on a machine directly connected to the Internet so in fact the threat is more apparent than real. Right?

Wrong. Even if your firewall is properly set up, you can expect a worm to arrive in the not so distant future that will introduce an exploit against this weakness into your corporate network. Once the exploit gets through the firewall via an email message, HTTP download, KaAzA downloaded warez application, etc., it will attack the RPC weakness on your internal network.

FACT: Danger! Danger! Will Robinson. This is not a drill. You must, without a doubt, immediately install this security patch. We've tested it and it hasn't broken anything that we can tell so far:

Can You Believe It? Windows Server 2003 Sales Outpace Windows 2000

It's hard to believe, but Windows Server 2003 sales are outpacing point in time sales for Windows 2000. Eric Rudder, vice president for Microsoft servers and server tools implied that Windows Server 2003 sales for the quarter since its release April 24, 2003 may be three-fold greater.

There are a number of explanations for this: Windows Server 2003 is more secure, more stable, more mature (even though it's a newly released product), more flexible and its being sold during an economic upswing. Although Windows 2000 was released when there appeared to be an economic boom, those in on "the know" knew the balloon was about to pop and weren't spending on software.


Survey: Utility and On-Demand Computing

Does your organization make use of utility or on-demand computing? Is your company considering on-demand computing as viable option? How about storage? Are you planning on a massive storage increase or an overhaul of your storage infrastructure? Let us know! We'll really appreciate it if you can take a few moments to fill out this survey. It'll only take about 10 minutes and you'll be entered into a drawing for a cash prize of $500. (Don't live in the USA? Ignore this item.)

Black Hat Puts Hacker on Mock Trial

Are the days of thinking about hackers/crackers as "romantic warriors" over? Seems like the tide has turned and the term "Internet criminal" is replacing hacker at the moniker of choice.

The Black Hat Briefings in Las Vegas ran a hacker court last week. As a network admin or engineer, you'll be a first responder to most criminal attacks against your network. The mock trial went over the type of evidence that you might collect for investigators and the types of questions that you'll be presented with by prosecutors, defense attorneys and computer criminal investigators:

The best of all possible worlds is the one where you're never successfully attacked. When's the last time you conducted a "pen test" against your Web and application servers? Are you falling behind with your patching? There's no way anyone can get a handle on Windows security without some automation. That's why we use and recommend Retina. No, it's not that layer of rods and cones in the back or your eye. It's an enterprise security tool that gets the job done. Check it out, it might just help you out in court:

UltraBac Builds On 7.0 Series: 7.1.1 Beefs Up Dynamic Disk and Locked File Support

The fastest backup solution gets faster and more secure with their shipment of v7.1.1. The latest version of this popular backup and disaster recovery software now includes:

  • Restore of extended partitions now supported via UBDR
  • Backup log improvements
  • Single File Restore improvements
  • Dynamic Disk Backup support (including Dynamic Disk groups)
  • New and improved Locked File Backup Driver
  • Mailbox Agent improvements (users may need to recreate mailbox sets)
Built-in encryption for backup files is included in v7.1.1. Many organizations are currently required by law (under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) to protect sensitive information in order to comply with privacy laws. Users are given an integrated security option to ensure the privacy and protection of their backup files with UltraBac's new encryption feature.

Admins will definitely welcome the remote install feature that centralizes the task of installing or updating UltraBac. This innovative feature allows the administrator to double-click on the setup executable file to distribute and install the software to servers and workstations throughout the network. Pricing starts from USD $495 per server with the ability to backup an unlimited number of workstations:


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

  • Hear politicians from around the world sing:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030804FA-Politicians
  • We've known about this for a long time - now science confirms it:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030804FA-Science
  • Escaped Batboy Sighted in Texas:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030804FA-BatBoy
  • Create a Drive-in Theater in your backyard:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030804FA-Drive-In
  • Cool nanomotor will drive future optical switching gear:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030804FA-Nanomotor
  • These are the guys that discovered the critical security vulnerability (RPC Buffer Overrun) that we talked about in NT/2000 Related News:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030804FA-Security
  • Tons of ASCII movies:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030804FA-ASCII_Movies

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