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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, May 24, 2004 (Vol. 9, #21 - Issue #477)
MS Licensing Expanded for Disaster Recovery
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • And Here Are The W2Knews 2004 Target Award Winners!
    • Redux: My Microsoft Rant
    • Come See Me At Tech.Ed?
    • MS Licensing Expanded for Disaster Recovery
    • RBL's Shutting Down Kennedy Space Center
    • Microsoft Maps The Future Of Windows
    • The 2004 Microsoft Report Card
    • 20 Tips On Securing Outlook In 20 Minutes
    • Use Crash Dumps To Troubleshoot Hardware/OS Issues
    • iHateSpam Server in a 25,000 User Environment
    • Why Microsoft?s WUS Is Not Enough
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Low Budget Intrusion Detection System: ServerVision
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And Here Are The W2Knews 2004 Target Award Winners!

No, we're not going to repeat everything that's already on our special W2Knews Target Awards 2004 page. You can see the winners all here. Make sure you keep this link somewhere in your faves, as this is your ultimate shortlist for your best of breed tools for NT, W2K and W2K3. There are some surprise winners!

Redux: My Microsoft Rant

First of all, thanks for the many, many responses I received. The gist of practically all of them was: "What did you expect?" One subscriber put it this way: "If you sup with the Devil, you need a long spoon". At any rate, the dynamics of the anti-spam industry are changing; watch for a major consolidation process this year. On our side, we are firmly committed to iHateSpam for Exchange, and are, in fact, working to expand it into a total "email security" solution, which will have anti-virus, content auditing, content filtering and disclaimers in a much more flexible and granular way than E2K3 can do it natively.

Come See Me At Tech.Ed?

Sunbelt will have a booth close to the entrance: #717. I'll be at Tech.Ed on Tue and Wed, and will be around the booth a lot. Come say hi and get a cool 'hack my network and die' t-shirt!? We're showing the new Network Security Inspector that now scans by machine and IP address, multi-platform and licensed per admin. Note: this ultra-low intro price will not last forever.

Quote Of The Week:
We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible. -- Another one from George Santayana

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

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MS Licensing Expanded for Disaster Recovery

I found a good white paper on the MS-site that outlines the requirements for contingency planning and provides technical solutions that can be integrated into a contingency plan for an e-business service. The technical solutions should be used to implement risk reduction and efficient service recovery. The technologies discussed focus on a W2K infrastructure that is providing a commercial Internet service. You can also use it for your own (non-e-business) site. Link to white paper below.

In addition to that, Redmond said this week that some volume licensing customers will soon be able to store their software at no charge on an additional server used solely in the event of a disaster. From June 1, if you have Software Assurance, you will be able to make a duplicate copy for each server software product you license. BUT... the code must be stored on a "cold" server; It has to be turned off until a disaster occurs except for maintenance. Here is the white paper:

RBL's Shutting Down Kennedy Space Center

Spam Blockers Continue To Cause DOS At Kennedy Space Center.

Three times this year all of the e-mail from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) was blocked by our county's largest broadband ISP (RoadRunner). They have done so because of a large quantity of mail coming from a single user or because one or more of the following third party spam blocking lists has falsely labeled KSC's main mail server as a source of spam. The blockers the ISP uses are MAPS Realtime Blackhole List, MAPS Relay Spam Stopper, MAPS Dialup User List, MAPS Open Proxy Stopper List and the Spamhaus Block List.

The administrators are FURIOUS at these self-appointed guardians of the Internet and claim these RBLs have caused more aggravation and more Denial-Of-Service than spam ever has. Now, they have caused a denial of service at a major government installation. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people worldwide that depend on KSC e-mail system for everything from education to scientific research to national security. How many other ISP's are blocking KSC? Their email admins are tired having to put up with a "cure" that is far worse than the disease, and they are not the only ones. When will these RBLs be sued and shut down?


Microsoft Maps The Future Of Windows

Microsoft recently released a five-year road map for its Windows Server that contains licensing and support requirements experts say are another tactic to pressure corporations to accept the software giant's controversial licensing program. The story is on the Network World site and has a good grid you should check out. Here is the story:

If you need ammo to negotiate the best MS-licensing deal you can get, here is a $149 report that may save you mucho dollars in Redmond's fees:

The 2004 Microsoft Report Card

For the third consecutive year, SeachWin2000.com has polled Windows professionals for their opinions on a number of Microsoft products and services. Read what your peers had to say this year on Windows security, certification, customer relations, Exchange, Linux, Software Assurance and more at their site, scroll down on this page to see if Microsoft scores any A's:

20 Tips On Securing Outlook In 20 Minutes

Find out 20 ways to secure Outlook in this SearchExchange.com exclusive, excerpted from Paul Robichaux's new book Secure Messaging with Microsoft Exchange 2003. Topics covered include Outlook security features, customizing Security Update and information rights management. (Free registration required.)

Use Crash Dumps To Troubleshoot Hardware/OS Issues

When W2K and XP encounter a serious system problem, the result is what has become known as the "Blue Screen of Death" or BSOD -- a screen of white text on a blue background that provides information about why the system crashed. Microsoft introduced a special function into the PS/2 keyboard mouse driver that allows the user to manually initiate a BSOD / dump action. Here is the article! (Free registration required.)


iHateSpam Server in a 25,000 User Environment

Here is an end-user sending us his experience: "Just wanted to let you know build 1.5.198 is working great. Users are falling in love with it all over again. We are migrating to Exchange 2003 this week as well and I notice much better performance of iHateSpam on 2003 than I did on 2000. Kudos to you and your team of exceptional developers! Thank you."
-- Pete Kretche
Network Systems Admin, University of Wisconsin Green Bay

And here is another one: "After only one week of use I couldn't be more pleased with iHateSpam. The reports show that nearly 70% of the e-mail we receive is spam, and iHateSpam is catching well over 90% of it with very few false positives. And this is right out of the box (well almost, I did tweak the quarantine score level down a bit!!) I can't wait to see how well it does after I've had a chance to add some blacklists, whitelists, and custom filters. I think it's paid for itself already."
-- Tom Erickson
Lundquist, Killeen, Potvin & Bender, Inc

Get the latest iHateSpam for Exchange build here:

Why Microsoft?s WUS Is Not Enough

I asked the developer of UpdateEXPERT if the announced patch management solution of Microsoft would cause problems for them. They said no, as limited support, testing, and validation questions still remain. Here is their answer:

"Microsoft?s recent launch of Windows Update Service (WUS), formerly SUS 2.0, along with other initiatives convinced many IT managers that that the software giant finally provided a viable freeware patch management solution. While the new service offers hope for improvement, history shows relying solely on the developer of the software to police their own applications usually results in security lapses.

"For one, WUS will initially provide patching support only for Service Pack 3 and later versions of W2K Server, W2K3 and XP Pro. Microsoft?s bundling of several hotfixes into one bulletin could also mean that the company leaves known vulnerabilities untouched for longer periods of time. Furthermore, releasing multiple patches simultaneously draws into question the adequacy of testing and validation each hotfix receives.

"Third-party patch management solutions, like UpdateEXPERT, will continue to play a viable role. IT staffs remain constrained by budget, so adoption of W2K3 and other systems will not happen as quickly as Redmond believes. Furthermore, the independent patch testing and validation independent applications like UpdateEXPERT provide will help ensure systems are at their highest security postures.

"So while applauding Microsoft?s intent and effort thus far, patch management still remains the responsibility of the IT manager. Utilizing multiple support engines not only can offer piece of mind, but critical validation of total system threat prevention and remediation. New product offerings aside, IT departments must still employ the right tools at the right time for the right need - patch management included". Check out UpdateEXPERT here:


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


Low Budget Intrusion Detection System: ServerVision

Many internal hacking attempts are password related. How would you know some one is trying to break in? ServerVision will monitor your security events logs and alert you when this happens. ServerVision is the secret of admins that always seem to have their systems up and running: an Early Warning System that makes you aware of problems before downtime hits hard and heavy. The new ServerVision has both a MMC Snap-in and a web GUI: easy to set up, easy to run, and easy to afford. Be at home in the weekends and able to sleep at night. Your 30-day eval here: