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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Mar 15, 2004 (Vol. 9, #11 - Issue #467)
What Really ARE the Fave System Tools?
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • What Really ARE the Fave System Tools?
    • Webcast: Intro to Sunbelt Network Security Inspector
    • WinXP Reloaded
    • Small But Irritating Office 2003 Gotcha
    • National InfraGard Program Protects IT Infrastructure
    • And Another 10 Amazon "Survey Bucks"
    • Microsoft's Big SUS Plans
    • Know Your (Storage) Limits
    • 25 Windows Security Tips In 25 Minutes
    • Windows Users: "No Bang For Big Bucks!"
    • Redmond Plans Update Release of W2K3
    • Windows XP Reloaded
    • MS May Make It's Software 'Behave'
    • Spam's Tenth Birthday
    • Migration To Exchange 2003 with iHateSpam Server: User Story
    • Can SNSI also work not connected to the Internet?
    • How To Implement Disaster Recovery For Exchange
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Bernie's Books: Deploying Windows Server 2003
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What Really ARE the Fave System Tools?

Well, here is your chance to find out. VOTE NOW in the 2004 W2Knews Target Awards. Thousands of your colleagues are voting too, and after we'll tabulate the results you will know which system admin tools are the actual winners in the marketplace. The W2Knews Editorial team selected 28 categories of tools, with 118 products from 72 different developers. Here are the rules for this Target Awards 2004 Vote, and the page to vote:

Webcast: Intro to Sunbelt Network Security Inspector

SNSI starts to take off fast. You want to get in on the ground floor with this price! Here is when, where, how:

Time: Tue, 16 March 2004, 1:00 PM (EST)
Meeting URL: http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=040315ED-Webcast

Call in at the numbers below and enter code 104764:
800-416-4956 USA
888-633-2105 Canada
302-709-8433 International

WinXP Reloaded

First of all, here is a new fave RSS-feed: You can now get updates and headlines for Microsoft's XP Expert Zone Web. The Expert Zone is a great source for XP Info, with new articles each week on various aspects of XP. To subscribe to the RSS feed, get yourself a free RSS Reader, go to the link below, and click on "Subscribe to the Expert Zone using RSS" in the column on the right side of the page.

The biggest news is that there are going to be two new versions of Windows before Longhorn: both for XP and Server 2003. More about these in the NT/2000 News Section. Let's have a look!

Quote of the Week:
"Let Your Voice Be Heard And VOTE For The 2004 Target Awards"
-- yours truly.

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

Traveling License Sunbelt Network Security Inspector: $1,868.75

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a form like this is a no-brainer. Get all your security guys a
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Visit ATTENTION SECURITY CONSULTANTS for more information.


Small But Irritating Office 2003 Gotcha

If you're going to use Office 2003's Picture Manager, you'll need XP to print. Picture Manager is the replacement for Photo Editor. Here's an excerpt from Office Help: "Note If you don't see the Print command on the File menu, Picture Manager 2003 is installed on a Windows 2000-based computer. Print functionality in Picture Manager 2003 requires the Windows Photo Printing Wizard, which is not included in Windows 2000. You'll need to print using a different image printing program, such as Microsoft Paint."

National InfraGard Program Protects IT Infrastructure

The FBI is active in the National InfraGard Program. Anti-terrorism is definitely being fought on the computer and in our PBX systems. Fraud is happening on both the Internet links as well as on the public telephone circuits. InfraGard is an attempt to exchange information concerning terrorism and other critical security matters. You can join InfraGard too, but note that there is a background check requirement. There is a software war being waged and it is costing western business plenty as we rely so heavily on these two primary communication links to conduct our day to day business. More about this at:

And Another 10 Amazon "Survey Bucks"

We are very interested in your thoughts and opinions on technology. Please participate in this survey on current and future information technology trends. This survey should take about 10 minutes. To thank you for your participation the first 100 qualified, unique survey respondents will receive a $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com! Click here to take the survey. (US only, please)

Microsoft's Big SUS Plans

Expect Redmond to have plenty to say about the patching and management of its products at this week's Microsoft Management Summit 2004. People close to the software maker have already provided some key details. Here's more about it:

Know Your (Storage) Limits

An Exchange environment has its challenges when it comes to capacity planning, but you can devise a solid strategy for long-term data storage. Brien M. Posey describes some dos and don'ts for PST archival in this tip from SearchExchange.com.

25 Windows Security Tips In 25 Minutes

SearchWin2000.com chose these 25 quick tips to help you simplify the job of securing your Windows enterprise. Some are old; some are new. Some are from your peers in the trenches; many from leading industry experts. On your mark, get set, go!


Windows Users: "No Bang For Big Bucks!"

Paid big bucks for Redmond's Software Maintenance? Don't see a lot of return? Looks like you are not the only one. Or are you? MS is really having trouble here, as MANY of the customers are thinking twice about renewing software maintenance contracts that will expire by July.

End users are in an optimum position to renegotiate their contract, as MS's balance sheet is exposed due to decline in deferred maintenance. Scott Matthews, CTO for Digitech Systems in Greenwood Village, Colo. spent $30,000 in June 2002 on a software maintenance contract for SQL Server under Microsoft's new annuity licensing program called Software Assurance. The program was introduced two years ago to reduce Microsoft's tangle of software maintenance offerings to a single plan. He's "not amused" with the results up to now. There is a good story on Network World's website if you are interested:

And if you want an extensive report about MS Maintenance options and how you can save mega budget dollars, get yourself this report for a lousy 149 bucks: The MS 6.0 Licensing Report. It's got one of these Sunbelt "no-good-money-back" guarantees.

Redmond Plans Update Release of W2K3

Yup, it was bound to happen. Another update! They are planning to bundle a set of add-on components they had been putting out separately since last April. Stuff like Windows SharePoint Services for example, but they have not decided yet exactly what they will throw in the new version.

Other modules that might make it in the new version include Digital Rights Management services, Automated Deployment Services, Real-time communications services, the Group Policy Management Console, iSCSI support and Virtual Server technology.

It will definitely be before the next planned release of the Windows server technology (current code name LongHorn), but later than the first Service Pack for W2K3, which will further improve security-related feature of the OS. They cannot say yet how it will be released, Service Pack, Update Pack or another form like "Windows 98 Second Edition".

Windows XP Reloaded

MS plans to release significant enhancements to Windows XP after SP2 and before Longhorn as part of a project known as Windows XP Reloaded.

"There are no current plans to do a new version of Windows or a [Windows XP] Second Edition, but we're looking at all of our options," said Greg Sullivan, lead product manager for Windows client, confirming that that Windows XP Reloaded is the working name for the project. "There's an effort under way to look at all work being done on Windows and how we add value and bring that to market. We're discussing all the options. We're trying to get SP2 in the can."

SP2 will integrate all the new security features and fixes in the upcoming service pack, plus new multimedia features. What "reloaded" essentially will look like is XP with SP2, include Windows Media Player 10, and likely more modules.

Now, the skeptic in me thinks that this possibly may be just a marketing campaign, like Windows 98 Second Edition. For OEM's it would be new Gold disks, but for consumers it might be a download. I'm sure we'll see more detail about XP Reloaded after XP SP2 ships.

MS May Make It's Software 'Behave'

Security is still headache Numero Uno for Redmond. They talked about another way to block bad guys last week. The new stuff is called "behavior blocking". Could be something good. It's a technique for protecting applications and operating systems from worms and other attacks by recognizing when computers aren't acting like themselves. Think of it as complementing signature-based anti-virus tools.

BillG outlined it as follows:
"You can really think of this as taking the notion of secure-by-default to the next level," said Gates, who along with other MS executives has been talking tough about security for the past two years under an initiative called Trustworthy Computing. "The system will truly know what actions are allowed for operating-system components and the applications that are running."

He described how it could help prevent the spread of worms that take advantage of unpatched vulnerabilities in MS apps. "For example, the Blaster worm caused the RPC service to open a back door and download some malicious code on the machine. In this case, behavior blocking would recognize that this behavior is out of the ordinary for the RPC service and block it," he said.

No idea yet when this will see the light. MS acquired this technology by snarfing up Pelican Security last year. You may perhaps see this in server code at the earliest by year end 2004.


Spam's Tenth Birthday

Ten years ago today this week, spam was born. March 5th 1994, a message was posted to some Usenet newsgroups by a law firm called Canter and Siegel, advertising their services for the U.S. Green Card lottery. At the time that move and its follow-ups provoked an outrage among Netizens.

The following wave of Usenet spam pretty much destroyed the usefulness of newsgroups. Next were individual email addresses. As soon as the critical list-size was attained for email spamming to be economically worthwhile, commercial spam factories started off in a big way and never looked back.

The latest spam generation has become increasingly destructive. They allow DDos attacks, and make zombies out of home user's PC's. Last month, worldwide, spam was 62% of all email. A lot of it is now random words, trying to get past the more and more sophisticated filters. The CAN-SPAM act isn't really very effective...(yet) Recently a bunch of big ISP decided to sue spammers. It's my opinion this is a legal whack-a-mole game. It will come back. I was on MarketWatch Radio last Thursday, and you can hear my opinion about anti spam solutions. Obviously it's a technology problem, and needs a technology solution. Anti-spam technology combined with legal enforcement may just make a significant enough dent in this wave of annoying, irritating and destructive [email protected]

Migration To Exchange 2003 with iHateSpam Server: User Story

"Well we finally did it, we migrated to Exchange Server 2003. What an incredible difference this is. I loved Exchange 5.5, but wow! When we migrated we took the leap with iHateSpam Server and after a couple of weeks testing we are impressed. So much so we're going to go ahead and buy it, we're actually already rolling it out!"
-- Christopher G. Tellez, MCSE
Information Technology Manager

The new version 1.5 really has users extremely happy. Runs out of the box on E2000 and 2003. The 1.5 version for E5.5 and Gateway will be released very soon. Get your 30 spam-free days here:

Can SNSI also work not connected to the Internet?

SNSI works with TCP/IP. It recognizes machine names and NT domain names. SNSI can analyze a machine over the Internet if the domain is recognized and you have Administrative privileges. SNSI will scan multiple domains using multiple credentials. In general, if you can see a machine through Network Neighborhood, you can assess that machine with SNSI.

SNSI will also run on a machine that does not have Internet connectivity (a black box). When you click on 'updates' it will show you a URL that you can go to and download the update from another machine and then get it to your black box machine via a CD, e-mail, etc. It can scan one machine immediately with a full vulnerability database and on the download page you can request a 30-day FULL Eval key. Test the new Sunbelt Vulnerability Scanner here:

How To Implement Disaster Recovery For Exchange

"I am sorry but the mail system is down. Can you call back later?" Not something you want to have to say too often, from a job security point of view. Email has gone from being "nice to have" to being the application that is mission critical from the Boardroom on down. The question was asked just a few days ago on the Exchange List. "How do I ensure that my Exchange environment is always protected?"

There is a new whitepaper on how to do that with Double-Take. This document will cover the following topics:

  • How to protect Exchange data
  • How to achieve disaster preparedness
  • How to ensure Exchange availability
  • Without existing Exchange clusters
  • With existing Exchange clusters
  • How to quantify Exchange outage vulnerability
  • Other considerations for Exchange
  • Why use Double-Take
You can get this whitepaper at the Double-Take resource page, it's the 5th one down marked: "NEW! Double-Take Solutions for Microsoft Exchange". Nothing to fill out, get it here:

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


Bernie's Books: Deploying Windows Server 2003

For the experienced network engineer tasked with a large-scale Windows Server 2003 migration, "Windows Server 2003: Best Practices for Enterprise Deployments" by Nelson and Danielle Ruest is a must, says Bernie Klinder, founder of the popular Labmice.net web site. Bernie reviews the book for SearchWin2000.com.