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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Nov 1, 2004 (Vol. 9, #43 - Issue #499)
Enterprise Spyware SunPoll Results
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Enterprise Spyware Sunpoll Results
    • Next Issue: Number 500!
    • TechNet Virtual Lab
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
    • Checklist: Account Options To Limit Systems Access
    • MS Offers Virtualization Tool To Ease OS Migrations
    • Exchange Incentives In The Works, Microsoft Says
    • Win XP SP2 Articles & Discussions
    • Customer Focus: Comparing Windows with Linux and UNIX
    • Microsoft Revises Antispam Standard
    • Redmond Launches Enterprise IM Server
    • RoadMap for Windows Server 2003 Product
    • SNSI Now Scans 5 New Operating Systems
    • Security Earns Top Dollar
  6. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Administrator?s Guide to Desktop Control
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    Enterprise Spyware Sunpoll Results

    Well, you certainly spoke your mind about enterprise spyware. The vast majority (almost 40% of 607 votes) said they were holding out for a product that is truly enterprise-ready. And you are right. I'm sure there will be one in the near future. Oh, and CNET News reports that companies are increasingly very concerned about the growth of spyware on employee's desktops, but very few (less than 10%) are using anti-spyware technology. I suggest you start making noise to get budget for this...

    Next Issue: Number 500!

    The next one will be a milestone. Unbelievable, but I will have written 500 issues since 1996. And it's still fun! We'll have something special to announce that issue. Keep an eye open for it.

    TechNet Virtual Lab

    Ever wanted to test Microsoft's newest software in a sandbox environment? Wouldn't it be great to be able to test new servers immediately, without formatting hard drives or dedicating one or more computers to the project? Now you can, with the TechNet Virtual Lab. This is a really cool sandbox and can be of great help. I'm glad someone on the NTSYSADMIN list mentioned this:

    Quotes of the week:
    As a followup on last week's quote, Greg Skyles sent me this one: "Not in theory / But in practice / Many miracles / Are wrought with axes." ?Bertolt Brecht
    "I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me." -John Cleese.

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


    Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without


    Checklist: Account Options To Limit Systems Access

    An account that grants access to computer systems is a privilege that's not meant for everyone. Nor should employees with accounts have unrestricted access to their systems. Instead, admins should consider native Windows tools like account options to limit system access. Here's how, in a checklist from SearchWindowsSecurity.com (free registration required).

    MS Offers Virtualization Tool To Ease OS Migrations

    Aiming for more traction in the virtual server market, Microsoft has released a free tool aimed at helping users move applications from a physical server to a virtual machine running Microsoft Virtual Server 2005. The toolkit, called the Virtual Server Migration Tool, supports the migration of Windows NT 4.0 Server with Service Pack 6a, Windows 2000 Server Service Pack 4 and Windows Server 2003.

    Exchange Incentives In The Works, Microsoft Says

    As Microsoft marks one year since it released Exchange Server 2003, the company is continuing its efforts to move customers off Exchange Server 5.5, the widely installed platform whose free support expires at the end of the year. In the coming weeks, the software maker is expected to offer more incentives to get people to migrate from Exchange Server 5.5 to Exchange Server 2003, including more technical documentation to help them. The story is here:

    Win XP SP2 Articles & Discussions

    The people from TechRepublic created a handy summary page for XP SP2 content. It's got a whole bunch of goodies on there that are nice to have all together. Here it is:

      NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

    Customer Focus: Comparing Windows with Linux and UNIX

    Steve Ballmer sent an email to selected Microsoft customers. I was not one of the lucky ones, but a friend of mine sent it over to me. Ballmer continued attacking Linux and said it was less secure and more costly to maintain. I have a small section of it here, and if you want to read the whole thing, the link is below. Here goes Steve:

    "In the thousands of meetings that Microsoft employees have with customers around the world every day, many of the same questions consistently surface: Does an open source platform really provide a long-term cost advantage compared with Windows? Which platform offers the most secure computing environment? Given the growing concern among customers about intellectual property indemnification, what's the best way to minimize risk? In moving from an expensive UNIX platform, what's the best alternative in terms of migration?

    "Customers want factual information to help them make the best decisions about these issues. About a year ago, a senior Microsoft team led by General Manager Martin Taylor was created to figure out how we could do a better job helping customers evaluate our products against alternatives such as Linux/open source and proprietary UNIX. This team has worked with a number of top analyst firms that have generated independent, third-party reports on cost of acquisition, total cost of ownership, security and indemnification. Some of the studies were commissioned by Microsoft, while others were initiated and funded by the analysts. In each case, the research methodology, findings and conclusions were the sole domain of the analyst firms. This was essential: we wanted truly independent, factual information.

    "At the same time, our worldwide sales organization is going even deeper with customers to understand their needs and create a feedback loop with our product development teams that enables us to deliver integrated solutions that support real-world customer scenarios, and comprehensively address issues such as manageability, ease of use and reliability.

    "I'm writing to you and other business decision makers and IT professionals today to share some of the data around these key issues - and to provide examples of customers who opted to go with the Windows platform rather than Linux or UNIX, and how that's playing out for them in the real world."

    There is more of this letter. It's interesting to see his viewpoint and how he sells it. You do not have to agree. [grin]

    Microsoft Revises Antispam Standard

    Microsoft officials said they have revised their Sender ID protocol to work better with an existing standard and that they have narrowed their patent application to make sure it doesn't cover other proposals. Sender ID is going to be implemented in a lot of places. It will stem some of the flow. But guess who are the people that are using this a lot? Right. Spammers. ComputerWorld has the full story so here is the link:

    Redmond Launches Enterprise IM Server

    Redmond has announced the RTM of Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005. Live Communications Server 2005 software enables you to deliver enterprise IM and presence awareness to remote business partners, customers, co-workers and suppliers. Live Communications Server 2005 Standard Edition builds on this foundation by extending these services beyond the firewall: two or more outfits can share IM and presence awareness in real time. Users also can share presence information and IM with suppliers and customers using MSN, AOL and Yahoo public IM networks.

    End users now can connect when they are outside the corporate network, whether working from home or on the road, or visiting customers or partners. Access is provided in a more secure and authenticated manner through the use of standard firewall ports, without the need to establish a virtual private network. You can run up to 15,000 active IM users per server. This increases 30-45% in capacity over the previous version. The software has will be available December 1st.

    RoadMap for Windows Server 2003 Product

    Redmond created a page on their site with a Q&A regarding the new stuff we can expect in Windows Server 2003 in the coming year. Bob Kelly, a general manager in the Windows Server Group, recently met with the MS PressPass gang to share insights about the upcoming releases to the Windows Server Product Roadmap, market adoption for Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft's ongoing efforts to ensure greater security and productivity for customers throughout their deployments.

    But there is something else I'd like to make Redmond aware of: Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 is becoming a bit long in the tooth, the network install version I downloaded is dated July 2003. Patching after a system build is a real chore these days. Hey guys, W2K SP5 is way overdue.... !

    So here is the 2003 roadmap:


    SNSI Now Scans 5 New Operating Systems

    SNSI now recognizes 5 new operating systems: Windows Embedded XP, Cisco IOS, Cisco CATOS, Cisco VPN, and Cisco PIX Firewall. The added operating systems allow you to more accurately identify Cisco equipment on your network. New vulnerability updates for the latest update include:

    5 new Windows checks, bringing the total Windows checks to 2293
    W2289 - Windows Shell Function Vulnerability - W2K, XP, W2K3
    W2290 - WebDAV Enabled
    W2291 - JPEG Processing (GDI+) Vulnerability - Windows Journal Viewer
    W2292 - .NET Framework Latest Service Pack Missing
    W2293 - ASP.NET Canonicalization Vulnerability

    7 new Linux checks, bringing the total to 618
    L612 - Libtiff integer overflow & crash vulnerability - FC2, RH
    L613 - "Kernel - iptables crash/ ""sacf"" instruction - Suse"
    L614 - MySQL - Multiple vulnerabilities - RH
    L615 - GAIM - MSN protocol handler - RH
    L616 - Squid ParseException Connection close error - MDK
    L617 - CVS Undocumented Flag Information Disclosure - MDK
    L618 - XPDF integer overflow bugs - FC2, MDK10, RH

    1 new Solaris check, bringing the total to 247
    2 new HPUX checks, bringing the total to 97

    In addition, there were improvements in the vulnerability checks for Windows, Linux, Solaris and HP-UX.

    SNSI uses the latest Mitre Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) list of computer incidents. It also contains the latest SANS/FBI top 20 vulnerability list. SNSI also uses the latest CERT, CIAC Microsoft and FedCIRC (Department of Homeland Security) advisories. Get your 30-day full-function eval here:

    Security Earns Top Dollar

    IT workers in the security field received some of the highest pay raises last year. Like I announced in an issue two years back, being security savvy is really paying off. You should definitely start getting trained in this area. ComputerWorld just did a survey, and the numbers are pretty impressive. Just read the article and you'll see what I mean:


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


    Administrator?s Guide to Desktop Control

    Take control of the desktops you manage. While you may not enjoy enforcing desktop policies, you know that neglecting desktop control can lead to major headaches. Instead of recovering corrupted data, reconfiguring computers, and cleaning up memory-sucking downloads after the fact, learn to maintain order, enforce policies, and avoid many viruses, worms, and security breaches before they strike. Save 20%. MSRP: $89.00 Your price: $71.20 (your discount will be given at checkout).