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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Apr 19, 2004 (Vol. 9, #16 - Issue #472)
The April Harvest Of Holes
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Some Observations About The Planet
    • Run The Telecom/Networking Services? 10 Amazon Bucks!
    • Turn Batch Files/Vbs Scripts Into .Exe
    • Exchange Storage Running Out?
    • Windows Management: Assessing The Options
    • Report Card On Microsoft
    • Microsoft Customer Feedback Loop Being Tested
    • The April Harvest Of Holes
    • Stop Paying Through The Nose For High-End Scanners
    • Extending Patch Management to the Mobile Workforce
    • New iHateSpam Case Studies & Competitive Comparison
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Print Manager Plus Now Available Via Dell
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Some Observations About The Planet

Hi All,

OK, some sobering observations I made these last months about the world we live in. Observation One: Very often, in the very same country, "tribes" are fighting with each other. These tribes are sometimes overt political parties, sometimes adversaries in other less visible environments (like hackers and admins) but sometimes armed tribes fighting to the death. Observation Two: Despite the United Nations, this planet is really an "anarchy of nations" often warring with each other as we see all the time in the news. Observation Three: There are about 5 or 6 Major Cultures, often liaised with a religion, and these cultures are "at war" with each other as well. Then there are the terrorists, who are fanatics often supported by one of the three above. The most damage done by terrorists is that they hijack the mass media in democracies, with the media a knowing accomplice. Not a pretty picture.

What can be done about it? You can only change the world by changing one person at a time. There are many shining examples how to do this. For our own organizations, the least we can do is to keep our networks secure, make sure that the bad guys stay out, and don't fall prey to the urge described in this week's quote! [grin]

Sunbelt will be at Booth 717 at the Tech·Ed in San Diego end of May. We're going to give away another T-shirt and we need your input on which one you think is the coolest. Click here to vote in the week's SunPoll! Click here for the vote, rightmost column:

Quote of the Week:
"There comes a time when every man feels the urge to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats." -- H.L. Mencken

UNDO DEPT: 1) The article about NT4 MCSE was a major oops. That item came in via my RSS feed and I simply did not notice the date. It was old. Egg. Face. The works. 2) VSAPI actually stands for Virus Scanning API. It was around way before spam was a big problem. There was a small extension made to the API last year, to accommodate a scoring system for spam.

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

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Run The Telecom/Networking Services? 10 Amazon Bucks!

Do you share at least some management or admin responsibility for your organization's telecom/networking services? If so then please share your opinions with survey.com. This business survey will only take 15 minutes of your time. And in return, the first 100 qualified respondents will receive a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate. This study is applicable for all respondents regardless of geography.

Turn Batch Files/Vbs Scripts Into .Exe

Congratulations to Paul Langton, the SearchWin2000.com March Tip of the Month contest winner. In this winning tip, Paul shares an easy way to use IEXPRESS.EXE, to package a bunch of batch files/ VBS scripts and convert them into .exe. Click here to read this tip:

Exchange Storage Running Out?

You need a plan that goes beyond telling your users to periodically clean out their mailboxes. Check out this tip for some suggestions on how to develop an effective data management regime.

Windows Management: Assessing The Options

What's in store for Windows management? Look for a new MOM, SMS service and feature packs and "lite" versions of both client and server management platforms. Plus the ever-popular and still-free Software Update Services (now WUS). Details in this week's featured topic at SearchWin2000:


Report Card On Microsoft

Now's your chance to grade Microsoft! Take part in SearchWin2000's third annual survey of IT professionals' attitudes about flagship Windows products and customer support issues. Did Redmond finally get trustworthy computing right with the release of Window Server 2003? Are you going to renew your Software Assurance agreement? What's up with the MCSE? Take this ten-minute survey. The editors will tally the results, compare your answers with last year, then publish the findings.

Take the survey:

Read last year's 2003 Microsoft Report Card:

Microsoft Customer Feedback Loop Being Tested

Rich Kaplan, the head of Microsoft's online resources unit says users will soon have a direct link to Redmond's product-development teams. Kaplan told MVPs at a summit last week in Redmond that MS is testing the "tools" with end users and customers might also use the technology to vote on product features. The feedback will go straight to Microsoft staffers working on a particular product team, he said. "Ultimately, there are a lot of different feedback mechanisms," he said. "The tools will let us expand to a broader community.

The April Harvest Of Holes

Redmond's security updates for April 2004 address newly discovered issues in Windows and Outlook Express. If you have any of the listed software installed on your computer, you should visit the Windows Update Web site to install related updates.

Note, the MS Windows Update web site has been experiencing slow response times right after the recent critical security updates. A browser request eventually was able to get through and in some cases it is possible to successfully download and install updates over a broadband connection. The current sluggish performance of Windows Update is a particular challenge for Windows users ondial-up Internet connections, as the Windows XP download is 3 megabytes. Dynamically updating performance charts for Windows Update are available at NetCraft over here:

Microsoft is not the only one having security problems though, just read this story about a bunch of Linux and Solaris machines that have been compromised at the Stanford University Campus:


Stop Paying Through The Nose For High-End Scanners

As you saw in the NT/2000 section, Redmond announced a bunch of newly discovered vulnerabilities. The Sunbelt SNSI-team urges you to download SNSI and scan and patch your machines today. Did you know that SNSI added 24 new Windows checks, bringing the total Windows checks to 2153! Included are new MS vulnerability checks for:

W2132    Low - Information Store Service and Outlook 2003
W2133    Low - Exchange Server 5.5 OWA CDO Vulnerability
W2134    High - LSASS Message Length Vulnerability - W2K, XP, W2K3
W2135    Low - LDAP Message Vulnerability - W2K
W2136    High - PCT Message Input Vulnerability
W2137    Medium - Winlogon Data Read Vulnerability
W2138    High - Metafile Vulnerability
W2139    High - Help & Support Center Data Input Vulnerability
W2140    Medium - Utility Manager Application Vulnerability
W2141    Medium - Windows Management Vulnerability - XP
W2142    Medium - Local Descriptor Table Vulnerability - NT 4.0, W2K
W2143    Medium - H.323 Buffer Overrun Vulnerability - W2K, XP, W2K3
W1465    High - Apache Chunk Handling Vulnerability - Windows
W1833    Medium - PHP Outdated
W1834    Medium - Apache Outdated
W1931    Medium - OpenSSL Outdated
W1932    Medium - mod_ssl Outdated
W1933    Medium - FileMaker Outdated
W1960    Medium - Netscape Enterprise Server Outdated
W1961    Medium - Oracle 9i Outdated
W1962    Medium - Lotus Domino Outdated
W2130    Low - Apache-SSL Client Certificate Forging Vulnerability
W2131    Low - SaveNow Adware Detected
W2144    Medium - Virtual DOS Machine Vulnerability - NT 4.0, W2K
W2145    High - Negotiate SSP Vulnerability - W2K, XP, W2K3
W2146    Medium - SSL Message Input Vulnerability - W2K, XP, W2K3
W2147    High - ASN.1 Double Free Vulnerability
W2148    High - RPC Runtime Library Vulnerability - W2K, XP, W2K3
W2149    Medium - RPCSS Service Message Input Vulnerability - W2K
W2150    Low - COM Internet Service Vulnerability - NT 4.0, W2K
W2151    Low - Object Identity Vulnerability
W2152    High - MHTML URL Processing Vulnerability
W2153    Medium - Jet Database Engine Vulnerability

SNSI existing users will get these above vulnerabilities automatically when they open up SNSI. SNSI is really the exception to "you get what you pay for". This is a military strength scanner, with regular critical updates at a price that is simply unbelievable. Get your copy now:

Extending Patch Management to the Mobile Workforce

"IT staffs must secure laptop, portable devices, given their widespread use."

Patching systems is complicated enough with the myriad of hotfixes deployed regularly by software manufacturers. System Admins must also take into account that a greater number of their employees are accessing their networks with portable devices outside of the office environment. Gartner estimates that so-called "hot-spot" users - employees who access IT systems in airports, hotels and convention centers - will rise to 30 million; a three-fold increase from 2003.

Leading vendors are responding. The makers of UpdateEXPERT, for instance, announced in April the latest version of its patch management solution with expanded support for laptops. With such a solution, IT managers can now patch "unconnected machines," such as laptops and machines that are turned off, in accordance with their organization?s policy level automatically when the devices make a network connection.

UpdateEXPERT also includes the ability for the system admin to create a central repository to streamline their patch inventory controls. Other settings that add additional flexibility to this process, including accommodating for slower speed connectivity for field force personnel connecting to their corporate IT systems from remote locations, aid in expediting the patch implementation process across all devices and locations.

Patch management solution vendors always try to keep ahead of the technology curve to help system admins maintain the highest levels of total system threat remediation in accordance with their established corporate policies. It's no longer a "nice to have". Admins will increasingly have to rely on solutions that perform mission-critical functions of extending the network security environment to mobile devices. 30-day eval here:

New iHateSpam Case Studies & Competitive Comparison

Two new case studies have been posted that show how colleagues have implemented the best-selling anti-spam tool for Exchange. Have a look at how Southern Commerce Bank and the National Kitchen & Bath Association did it! Listen to this quote: "The initial configuration of iHateSpam Server was ?a breeze?." -Roger Wright, Systems Administrator for Southern Commerce.

Get 30 spam free days here and download the eval:

And if you are interested to see how iHateSpam for Exchange Server compares to the competition, here is a new PDF with most of the major players in a grid:


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


Print Manager Plus Now Available Via Dell

The best-selling tool to control printer supplies is now available via Dell. You'd be SURPRISED how much money is spent on paper and toner. Want to charge all money that back by department? Here is the tool to do it, and at a very good price to boot: