Sunbelt W2Knews Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Sep 29, 2003 (Vol. 8, #39 - Issue #445)
Good Security Tools 10 Years Away?
This issue of W2Knews contains:
- EDITORS CORNER
- Security Scanner Survey Results
- TECH BRIEFING
- REVIEW: Microsoft Broadband Networking Wireless-G
- Good Security Tools 10 Years Away?
- NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
- MS Announces Beta Win XP for 64-Bit AMD Chips
- Update on Software Update Services
- NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
- What's New In iHateSpam Version 1.1?
- Recent Windows Flaws Validate the Need For Patching Tools
- W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
- PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
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Security Scanner Survey Results
Almost 400 of you answered the survey last week, thanks a lot!
First of all, a whole bunch of you are not using vulnerability
scanners yet, the W2Knews survey shows 45% not using one, but
the recent research by InfoWeek Magazine only counts 23% using
a scanner. (The biggest reason for not using a scanner is budget
and the perceived time needed to run one.)
But 80% of you like the scanner you are running, and only 11%
pay per IP-range. The favored way to license scanners is per
admin, well over 50% indicated this is the way they like it.
The obvious biggest benefit of using one is to detect security
vulnerabilities before the bad guys find them. Quite a few of
you (30%) use two or more scanners which makes quite a bit of
sense. Different databases and different teams compiling holes
can definitely help making sure you get them all!
More about security scanners in coming issues. Let's have a
look at all the news:
(email me with feedback: [email protected])
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REVIEW: Microsoft Broadband Networking Wireless-G
Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows just released a pretty
thorough review that I think you are going to find very
interesting for either home or perhaps limited office use. I'll
copy the first paragraph of the review, but you need to read the
rest on his site! Start quote:
"One year ago this week, Microsoft introduced its first-ever
broadband networking products, a suite of hardware that includes
wired and wireless networking adapters and base stations. The
wireless products are based on 802.11b (Wi-Fi), still the most
popular wireless technology available, with Wi-Fi access points
now springing up everywhere from airports and coffee shops to
shopping malls, restaurants, and even entire city blocks. 802.11b
Wi-Fi has a huge weakness, however: Despite reported bandwidth of
11 Mbps, most 802.11b devices struggle along at 4-5 Mbps, fine for
email, Web browsing, digital music streaming, and small amounts of
file sharing, but inadequate for streaming video, fast action
gaming, and heavy-duty file sharing.
Since then, the IEEE standards body has ratified the standard for
802.11g Wi-Fi (sometimes called Wireless-G), a faster wireless
specification that offers throughput up to 54 Mbps (though true
22-25 Mbps speeds are more typical). At this level of performance,
wireless suddenly becomes viable for virtually any home networking
need, including the fast-paced, low-latency gaming requirements
of Xbox owners. Embracing this faster wireless networking standard,
Microsoft this week released its second generation broadband
networking products, which include Wireless-G products. Let's
take a look:
Good Security Tools 10 Years Away?
The SearchSecurity Site came up with an interesting statement
from the VP of Information Security at Bindview. He claimed that
IT security staff need to learn how to batten down the hatches
more quickly, because it doesn't look like software security will
get better any time soon.
"The reality for IT security professionals for the foreseeable
future is patching and preparing to deflect the next vulnerability.
According to security expert Scott Blake, there is no end in sight
to the invasion of worms and viruses. "I would say we are five to
10 years away from the underlying technology getting to where we
can begin to stop worrying about this stuff anymore," Blake said.
Hmmm. Not sure if I agree with that, simply because I don't WANT
to have to continue patching. Sigh. Rest of the article here:
NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
MS Announces Beta Win XP for 64-Bit AMD Chips
Redmond announced last week the beta availability of a native 64-bit version of its XP operating system designed to support 64-Bit
Extended Systems, including platforms based on AMD64 technology.
Redmond made the announcement at AMD's launch of the AMD Athlon
64 processor in San Francisco. The code will run natively on AMD
Athlon 64 processor-powered desktops and AMD Opteron processors
for stuff like gaming, digital content creation and video editing.
Customers who currently have Windows XP-compatible 32-bit apps
can run those applications on the 64-bit operating system. The
WOW64 architecture takes advantage of the AMD64 architecture to
enable compatibility with 32-bit applications without a loss of
performance in nearly all cases.
"We've heard from our customers that, until now, the inability to
efficiently run 32-bit applications on 64-bit systems has been a
major barrier to investing in 64-bit technologies," said Chris
Jones, corporate vice president for the Windows Client Division
at Microsoft. "With the combination of Windows XP and the new
AMD64 processors, customers can be assured of having all the
computing power and memory they need, now and into the future,
while still being able to run their current applications."
The beta version of Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended
Systems is available to MSDNŽ subscribers, and a final release is
expected to be available in the first half of 2004. More at:
Update on Software Update Services
First the good news: Like we reported in the last issue, Windows
customers can now use Software Update Services -- Microsoft?s
freebie patch management application -- to distribute service
packs. The bad news is that the beta for a new and improved SUS
has been postponed. The eagerly awaited SUS 2.0, which is due
out in late 2003, will be expanded from just patching Windows
to patching all products, such as Office, SQL Server and Exchange.
But as always, "buyer beware." Freebies don't always get you what
you need. For details, read this:
THIRD PARTY NEWS
What's New In iHateSpam Version 1.1?
Here are the new features, from most requested ones on down.
PS: The Gateway version (which supports Exchange 5.5, 2000 and
2003) will be released in Q3 as promised, the beta's are doing
- Centralized Quarantine Mailbox
This feature allows spam to be redirected to a different mailbox.
- Ability to automatically delete quarantine items.
Instead of quarantined spam building up forever you can now set
it to automatically delete messages older than XX days.
- Support for SQL7 and Access reporting, a new report viewer
and reporting engine.
- Exchange 2003 Support Added
- Replication setup via the Management console, and automatic
replication of changes in clusters
- Extended Diagnostic ability
- Ability to mark quarantined messages as unread
- X-Headers for non-quarantine e-mail, so you can see what score
a message received.
- Ability to mark quarantined messages as unread
Get your copy/upgrade of the Server Version 1.1 here:
Recent Windows Flaws Validate the Need For Patching Tools
September proved to a busy month for IT Managers responsible for
managing Microsoft patches. No less than 6 patches were released
by Microsoft in the first 10 days - two of which were branded as
"critical", as they fixed severe vulnerabilities that could open
up networks to MSBlaster-style attacks.
If you haven?t already installed critical patches MS03-037 and
MS03-039, we recommend that you do so immediately - along with
the four other less critical patches also released in September.
If you?re concerned about patch interdependencies or confused
about which patches are really applicable to your IT environment,
you?re not alone.
This is one of the top concerns among IT admins. It's nearly
impossible to manually keep up with the frequency and number of
patches being released each month. Although Microsoft remains
committed to improving the security of its software, in all
likelihood there will always be an ambitious hacker that finds
a way in. This dose of reality makes intelligent third-party
software solutions like UpdateEXPERT highly desirable in today?s
IT environment, especially over some freeware out there which
may not be smart enough to do it right.
UpdateEXPERT takes the guesswork out of the patch management
process. This powerful patch management and remediation tool tells
you which patches are missing and then allows you to automatically
deploy the patches that are relevant and compatible for your
environment. You don't have to worry about waiting for the latest
patches either; 95 percent of critical patches released by Microsoft
are tested and added to St. Bernard?s database within 24 hours.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
Want Faster Wireless Data Transfer? This site is a riot.
Modified car, driving backwards thru traffic. Interesting clip,
Newest Xbox controllers: Home built by a Sunbelt tech:
Tired of complaining end-users? This Remote Control Tank will
No, not a milkshake, check out this new "meatshake shite"!
Want a sneak peek of the new version of Windows, code name
Longhorn? The GUI is called "Aero".
Cool. A Silent pump for water-cooled PCs has been developed:
The things people come up with to develop a splitting headache.
Here is some one in Canada using cellophane to convert a laptop
computer screen into a three-dimensional display:
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
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