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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Jan 19, 2004 (Vol. 9, #3 - Issue #459)
Redmond Attacks Linux Directly
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Redmond Changes Their Mind Re Win98 Support
    • Trojan Wrapped In Phony XP Service Pack
    • Restoring an Active Directory DC on Dissimilar Hardware
    • New Microsoft SmartWatch Review
    • Redmond Attacks Linux Directly
    • 64-Bit Public Beta for W2K3 Opteron Released
    • January Security Update
    • Changes In WinXP Service Pack 2
    • Microsoft Virtual PC is ready
    • Major Upgrade - Version 4 iHateSpam Client Released
    • Print Manager Plus: Review Shows Short Payback
    • Third Party Tools Market Consolidates
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • BOOK: Anti-Hacker Toolkit
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Redmond Changes Their Mind Re Win98 Support

I'm sure there was an enormous hue and cry about the "sudden" decision to stop supporting W98. About 30% of the machines out there still run this OS. So, MS will extend support for Win98, Windows 98 S.E. and Millennium Edition through June 30, 2006. Don't count on getting support any longer. System admins are not really going to like this too much. Many of them think that OS should have been put to bed years ago... it's a pain to support.

Looks like the decision to extend support was mainly made to make it a bit easier for small international countries that 'did not get the message'. And oh, Gartner released that PC shipments for 2003 were up 10.9% to 152.6 million units, with Dell No. 1 for the year. Here's some more small, but interesting items:

Are you getting W2Knews but run Windows XP at home? You should subscribe to our sister publication WinXPnews. Good technical info, and already 100 back issues loaded with hints and tips to keep XP up & running. Subscribe here:

Last week's Product of the Week was the new MSNDirect Dick Tracy watch. Like I said, I ordered it from Amazon right away and received it just in time for a quick First Look. It's cool! See Tech Briefing.

Derek Flickinger, a regular contributor to W2Knews saw some of the following projected on big screens while at CES in Vegas and it was AWESOME! You need pretty advanced hardware but the high-def video on Windows Media Center machines is unbelievable. I ran it at home and am impressed. Would normally have it down in Faves, but this is a super-fave link. (Warning, you need powerful hardware.)

Remember that we updated the MS 6.0 Licensing 6.0 report. This thorough report provides you with the latest data you need to make an informed decision about the Licensing 6.0 Program so you have negotiating leverage that may save tens (or even hundreds) of thousands in licensing fees.

RSS feed of the week: ITPapers.com. Good solid info.

Ok, the news has leaked out. We're coming out with a new server monitoring program in the next few months, and we really want your feedback! A few questions will really help us nail down the specifics on this product. This quick web-survey will take less than a minute. Thanks in advance!

Quote of the Day:
"Success has a thousand fathers, while failure is an orphan."
-- Unknown

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

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Trojan Wrapped In Phony XP Service Pack

A new Trojan called Xombe was being circulated Friday morning. The malicious code arrives in an e-mail purporting to be a Windows XP service pack mailed from the Microsoft domain. More at:

Restoring an Active Directory DC on Dissimilar Hardware

We've all been there -- your network is down to a single domain controller and that last Active Directory host system goes down. Now, your only hope to restore the network is to rebuild the domain from backups. Here's the conundrum: The repaired domain controller computers are no longer comprised of the same hardware as before. Here's what to do.

New Microsoft SmartWatch Review

So, yesterday late in the day I received my Dick Tracy Watch just in time to give you a quick review. First thing you need to do is charge it, similar to a cell phone. Then you sign up at MSNDirect (using a 12-digit software key from the watch), specify what location you have, and customized the data in the channels you get. The watch sets its own time by FM radio, and then receives its content the same way. It takes a few hours before you get everything.

The concept is cool, and I actually got all the stuff transmitted during the night. This morning I had local news, weather, sports, and both snippets of International and Business news, plus the closing figures of the three stock indexes in my watch. If you want one, I suggest you go to a retailer and play with models and find one that is comfy. The clasp functions as an antenna, and is a bit hard to handle, and the Dick Tracy rubber wrist strap is tough like a car tire. The biggest weakness is the FM radio signal. It depends very much on the topography if your watch is updated or not. Hills, valleys, building structure and nearby electronics can interfere with the signals that the watch uses to receive info.

Sunbelt is in an old fire station, that also was built as a hurricane shelter early last century. The concrete walls are well over a foot thick, and I have no signal when I'm indoors, Bummer.


Redmond Attacks Linux Directly

I actually like this. MS is taking Linux seriously. This is good news. Competition keeps everybody on their toes with great benefits to the users. Redmond unleashed a new campaign against Linux. Even created a whole site for people to peruse, and they have a multi-million dollar ad campaign going. The site compiles a bunch of data that 'proves' that the Windows platform is cheaper to use and develop applications on than Linux. Check it out. Redmond feels the heat!

64-Bit Public Beta for W2K3 Opteron Released

Redmond launched the first general public beta program for its Windows Server 2003 64-bit operating system designed for Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron chip. More at the Network World site:

January Security Update

In short, the Security Update 816458 (Critical) affects ISA Server, the Update 832759 (Moderate) affects Exchange Server, and Update 832483 (Important) affects Data Access Components. Make sure if any end-users might need this one. For more info you can also check out the Microsoft Security Bulletins Web Site, where you can find all the bulletins organized chronologically.

Changes In WinXP Service Pack 2

I found a good page on the MS website about XP SP2, outlining the changes. Here's a snipped from that page:

"In WinXP SP2, MS is introducing a set of security technologies that will help to improve the ability of XP-based computers to withstand malicious attacks from viruses and worms. These technologies include network protection, memory protection, safer e-mail handling, more secure browsing, and improved computer maintenance.

"Together, these security technologies will help to make it more difficult to attack XP, even if the latest updates are not applied. These security technologies together are particularly useful in mitigation against worms and viruses.

"This document specifically focuses on the changes between earlier versions of Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 2 and reflects Microsoft's early thinking about Service Pack 2 and its implications for developers. Examples and details are provided for several of the technologies that are experiencing the biggest changes. Future versions of this document will cover all new and changed technologies."

More at Redmond:

Microsoft Virtual PC is ready

It's something similar to VMWare. Here is some MS marketing hype: "Virtual PC is a powerful software virtualization solution that allows you to run multiple PC-based operating systems simultaneously on one workstation, providing a safety net to maintain compatibility with legacy applications while you migrate to a new operating system. It also saves reconfig time, so your support, development, and training staff can work more efficiently." Download home versions for the home, the server version is still in the works, and expected first half of 2004.


Major Upgrade - Version 4 iHateSpam Client Released

Many of you are running the iHateSpam Client in Outlook. We're happy to announce Version 4, with a dramatically improved spam detection engine and support for more platforms. You can upgrade for free if you are under maintenance.

iHateSpam significantly reduces that endless stream of pornography, online casinos, Viagra, and all the other junk e-mail. Super easy to use - just set it up and go! iHateSpam analyzes your e-mail and places suspicious e-mails into a separate folder (in Outlook Express and IncrediMail, they are put in the deleted items folder). iHateSpam can also automatically create a 'Friend's list' by importing email addresses from your Windows address book - any e-mail from someone on your Friends list will get through to you. iHateSpam works with all of these popular e-mail programs: Outlook 2000 and above; Outlook Express 5 and above; Eudora 5.1 and above; and IncrediMail XE/PRO. Plus, if you're running IE 6 in Windows 2000 or XP, you can even filter your Hotmail e-mail - right inside of your browser! Note: AOL and Macintosh systems are not supported. More info at:

Print Manager Plus: Review Shows Short Payback

"The software worked well for me and seems to be relatively easy to configure and use. It's a perfect complement to Windows' built-in printer management features... In larger organizations, though, the software licenses will tend to pay for themselves because organizations using Print Manager Plus will save money each month as excessive printing is gradually reduced." (PS: The Academic price listed in the review is incorrect. The correct price is $596.25.)

Third Party Tools Market Consolidates

The developer of ScriptLogic has acquired tool builder Small Wonders. Scriptlogic now markets and supports all these tools. Some of the most popular are SecureCopy, Security Explorer and ActiveAdministrator. Bought any of these at Sunbelt? You're fine. We still support all of them.


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

  • Need to explain end-users why personal firewalls are crucial?

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=040119FA-Firewalls
  • Run Windows Media Player 9? Here are new skinzzzz.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=040119FA-Media_Player_9
  • Kirk James sent me this funny Exchange 2K3 server error message looking at some stop events in event viewer.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=040119FA-Exchange_2K3_Error
  • Check out DNSStuff's URL deobfuscator for those long funky URL's in spam. It's near the bottom left corner of the page.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=040119FA-DNSStuff
  • TRCLHCA: The Real Canonical List of Humorous Computer Acronyms

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=040119FA-TRCLHCA
  • The Next Internet Killer App: Insults! So meet the InsultMonger. Wonderful ethnic insults in 133 different languages. Warning, not very appropriate for office environments.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=040119FA-InsultMonger
  • Have an eyewitness of someone hacking your network? Create your own composite face with morphase. Pretty cool.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=040119FA-Morphase
  • War footage, Apache helicopter destroys rocket launcher. Uncensored. (5MB mpg)

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=040119FA-Apache
  • ChessBrain is an impressive virtual chess 'supercomputer' that uses the processing power of distributed computing over the Internet.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=040119FA-ChessBrain
  • The Nine Most Famous Hacks

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=040119FA-Famous_Hacks

    BOOK: Anti-Hacker Toolkit

    The publisher sent this one over to me and I like it. The Book News review says it all. It explains how to use 100 plus software tools for auditing systems on a network, auditing a network, and investigating incidents. The authors also overview some of the most common hacking programs used in attacks, and how to detect them on a system. Topics include port scanners, vulnerability scanners, password crackers, and war dialers. Among the specific products described are Netcat, Nessus, Tripwire, John the Ripper, and the Forensic Toolkit. The CD-ROM contains demonstration and open source security tools. Computerworld called it "...an awesome complement to any security professional's reference set. Recommended."