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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Oct 20, 2003 (Vol. 8, #42 - Issue #448)
Future Service Pack Problems?
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Future Service Pack Problems?
    • How To Prevent A Truly Dreadful Day
    • The Difference between IHSSE and iHateSpam Gateway
    • This Is Big - FCC Blesses New Wireless Spectrum
    • New 2004 Service Pack Turns On Firewall By Default?
    • MS Issues Patches For Five Software Flaws
    • Trend Micro Announces Spam Survey Results
    • iHateSpam Server: Now Available for V5.5 and Gateway!
    • Sinking Under A Wave Of Fixes?
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Finally, A Great Spam Filter For Exchange V5.5
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Future Service Pack Problems?

First, a bunch of small but interesting items, here goes!

  • In the NT/2000 related news section is a bit of data that is a bit worrying. MS might go a bit overboard in getting their security beefed up. I'd suggest to confirm this with your MS Rep, and if so, voice the problems you see with this for your environment.
  • This week, if you are a IT manager in the USA, you'll get a $10 Amazon gift cert if you are within the first 100 qualified respondees. SG Cowen currently surveys future data networking trends. They need your thoughts and opinions. You will also be eligible to receive a copy of the survey results. That alone is worth the time doing this survey. It took me 7 minutes myself.
  • The latest version of iHateSpam Server is out. It's available for Exchange V5.5 and if you want to run it on a Gateway, now you can. See 'Product Of The Week' below.
  • Here is the new SunPoll Question:
    Redmond now releases security patches on a monthly basis. What's the result for the security of your Windows domains?
    - Improve security
    - Makes little difference
    - Will hurt it
    Vote here, leftmost column:
  • The results of the last SunPoll are interesting: We asked: "Would you consider open-source security software for use on your network? (Example: Snort's Intrusion Prevention System)" You answered:
    - Yes: 58.21%
    - No: 16.24%
    - Maybe: 19.7%
    - Never: 4.92%

    Looks like you trust Open Source software in general, which is corroborated by a recent WIRED magazine survey where 50% said that open source has forever changed the software industry.

Quotes Of The Day:

"Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World."
- Christopher Columbus

"A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns."
- Mario Puzo.

"The best proof of intelligent life in space is that it hasn't come here."
- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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

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How To Prevent A Truly Dreadful Day

A posting on the NTSYSADMIN list last week prompted me to send you this reminder. It's true for you, but also for your users:

"Thanks for this link - it has brightened a truly dreadful day. I got up yesterday morning to find my laptop and a clients laptop had both been stolen along with all my financial info. So make sure you have a backup and if anyone hears of someone flogging a Sony laptop with a cracked case and a wireless card in the Scotland area let me know 'cos I need my data. - Mike"

PS, the site in question was:

The Difference between IHSSE and iHateSpam Gateway

The iHateSpam Server Edition only works on the Exchange (2000 and 2003) servers. It has to be installed on these machines. Some people though prefer to have the filtering done on a separate gateway box, to offload that from the server. This is an architectural choice; some sites simply do not allow anything else to run on their Exchange servers. That's why we developed the Gateway version, so that the filtering process occurs off the Exchange Server.

And since a lot of people wanted a version for Exchange 5.5 we combined the Gateway with the 5.5 version. During the install of the Gateway version, via the install wizard, you have the option to get it running on a 5.5 machine, or with a 5.5 machine, having the filtering done on a Gateway. But, if you run Exchange 5.5 and you do not have a Gateway, the install allows you to run everything on the 5.5 box.

Practically all the code of the Server version has been re-used for the Gateway, it's just a different implementation. Hope this clarifies things a bit. Check it out over here:

And as a side note, TechRepublic wants to know how much time tech leaders spend cleaning mailboxes filled with spam. And, if you've solved the spam issue, tell them how. If they use your feedback in an upcoming article, they will send you a TechRepublic coffee mug! Please mail to:
[email protected]

Are you battling spam with some success? If you've implemented anti-spam countermeasures in a large-scale environment, the editors of MCP Magazine would like to talk with you. Send e-mail to:
[email protected].

This Is Big - FCC Blesses New Wireless Spectrum

You could call it the wireless equivalent of fiber-optics. Speed? A whole movie in 10 seconds... Reason why I mention this is that the technology is backed by MS and Cisco, and MS is enhancing Windows so that the native wireless networking service will be interesting for Wi-Fi network providers and of course mobile users.

The Redmond initiative is called Wireless Provisioning Services. It gives Wi-Fi network providers an integrated platform, so they can manage/provision Wi-Fi hot spots. And if you run XP on a laptop: seamless sign-up and secure wireless access, with transparent roaming. I Like. Better yet, it's going to be a free download for XP users in Q1, 2004. I Like More. The whole thing runs of course on 2WK3. And Guess What? It's built into W2K3 SP1 at no charge! I Like A Lot.

Oh, the outfit that designed this stuff is in Hawaii. Sounds like a pretty cool place to work. Design hot wireless gear and then go surf 5 minutes later. I Like Best!

Loea Communications, a subsidiary of Trex Enterprises, markets Ultra Broadband Wireless which can transmit 1.25 Gigabits per second (equal to over 800 T1 lines) at a distance of up to 10 miles utilizing millimeter wave technology. Ironically, the http://www.loeacommunications.com site was down when I checked, probably slashdotted.


New 2004 Service Pack Turns On Firewall By Default?

More stuff from the New Orleans Microsoft 'meet'. I'm not sure if this is correctly reported by CNN, or if MS has not been clear enough in their statements, but in this article it looked like they are coming out with a new SP early next year, with the MS firewall turned ON from the get go. This could get scary. I'm quoting the article: "The update will automatically turn on the updated firewall and enable companies to centrally manage each computer's protective settings."

Scary because the personal firewall, when enabled, could break a lot of client-server software. This is an example of just one of many third party vendors (ScriptLogic) that has a KB article on this particular subject. It could very well cause problems for a lot of other client-server code.

We're attempting to get our hands on a pre-release of this SP to see if our suspicions are correct.

CNN Article here:

ENTMag reported on this too:

MS Issues Patches For Five Software Flaws

The security update includes warnings about five Windows vulnerabilities, four of which the company deemed "critical" and three of which affect recent versions of Windows. It's in many press sites, but the ComputerWorld story is as good as any. It's patchin' time 'gain.


Trend Micro Announces Spam Survey Results

Trend Micro and TechRepublic conducted a nationwide survey online in August and September 2003. More than 200 technology pros from organizations with 100 or more employees responded to the survey. All respondents identified themselves as anti-spam purchase influencers or decision-makers. The upshot? Security and Productivity Concerns make spam a top IT priority.

Unsolicited commercial email, was identified as a top technology priority by survey respondents nationwide and more than two thirds of the respondents expressed concern over the loss of productivity and threat of viruses and malicious code found in spam.

"The survey results confirmed many of the trends that we have seen with our customers," said John Maddison, Product Group Manager for gateway products at Trend Micro, Inc. "Both spam and viruses cause a loss of productivity in different ways, techniques from these non-legitimate emails are overlapping and both need stopping at the Gateway before they enter the customers network."

Key Findings of the Trend Micro/TechRepublic Spam Survey: A Spam Epidemic is Underway

  • More than 70 percent of respondents agreed that spam has reached epidemic proportions.
  • More than half of the organizations in the survey have experienced a 25-100 percent increase in spam volume over the past three months.
  • Approximately two thirds of technology professionals worry most about lost productivity and malicious code/viruses as a result of spam.
  • One in three respondents believed that viruses originate in the spam received by their organization.
  • Spam is among Top 3 IT priorities for nearly half of all respondents' organizations.
Preferred Solutions:
  • While spam was clearly an immediate priority, nearly 30 percent of the organizations surveyed did not have an enterprise-wide anti-spam solution in place.
  • The majority of respondents agreed that the most effective spam filtering occurs at gateway and server.
  • The top three factors that determine which anti-spam solution the organization selects are high catch rate, vendor reputation and low false positives.
  • Respondents identified heuristics, real-time blacklists and rules-based solutions as key technology solutions to stop spam.

iHateSpam Server: Now Available for V5.5 and Gateway!

First, some user feedback: "It is the hit of the year with our users. We have gotten more positive feedback from implementing iHateSpam Server Edition than any other IT implementation. Since last week, it has caught 19,750 emails as spam, 74% of our total email. Thanks, Bill"

And the good news is that it's now ready for Exchange V5.5 and Gateway. So, why wait? Get 30 spam-free days right now:

Sinking Under A Wave Of Fixes?

  • Are you sinking under a wave of hotfixes and service packs?
  • Can you easily tell which patches to deploy?
  • And which ones are safe?
Let?s face it, keeping your NT4/2000/XP/Server 2003 OS-en, service packs and hotfixes current is vital for your system's health and security. And, don't forget those mission-critical MS applications. Software patches add risk to maintaining uptime but are required for securing your business. You live with this contradiction every day. But, how do you know when new hotfixes are available? Which patches should you deploy? Which ones can be safely implemented? How do you mitigate the risks to uptime while securing your systems? Where do you find the time to deploy the next service pack to all the machines in the network? How do you validate that the job was done right? Let UpdateEXPERT help. It's a simple, reliable and comprehensive approach to patch deployment management.

Automate Your Patch Research and Deployment.

Designed for the IT admin, UpdateEXPERT automates the process of researching patch histories and co-dependencies. Deployment scripting is no longer necessary.

UpdateEXPERT supports the following patch management steps:

  • Select machines to manage (works for servers and workstations alike)
  • Select required patches (defines a baseline against which all machines are compared)
  • Test deploy to test machines (if any corrections are required UpdateEXPERT will inform you before the deployment)
  • Deploy to production machines
  • Issue Conformance Report (compare results to required patches "baseline")
  • Validate patches over time (patches get overwritten and corrupted)
The next wave of patches just arrived. Don't drown:

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

  • Errorwear: Embrace your computer problems. T-shirts that fuse geek culture with high fashion:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=031020FA-Error_Wear
  • Cute number trick - promo for 7UP.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=031020FA-7UP_Promo
  • Great Halloween prop: Barrel gets activated when user calls helpdesk. That will teach them in a hurry to RTFM first.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=031020FA-Halloween_Helpdesk
  • A High Tech "Can" for your High Tech can. What is the I PEE address?

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=031020FA-High_Tech
  • One of the best sites to stay up to date with MS: Microsoft-Watch

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=031020FA-Microsoft_Watch
  • Friday 5pm, your users have left. The IT group had a few beers. Time for cubicle hurdles!

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=031020FA-Friday_5pm
  • You're tired of your old car. Nothing to do this weekend? Launch it.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=031020FA-Car_Launch

    Finally, A Great Spam Filter For Exchange V5.5

    It's here! A spam filter tightly integrated with V5.5 that has a host of features that will save you, the administrator, a tremendous amount of time. Powerful enterprise-wide V5.5 spam filtering at a great price. The E2K version sold more than 1,000 licenses in its first months. 30-day eval: