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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Dec 13, 2004 (Vol. 9, #48 - Issue #504)
W2K3 SP1 RC1 with "Hot Patching" Feature!
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
  1. EDITORS CORNER
    • IBM PC's; End Of An Era
    • Get Your Cell Phone On The DoNotCall List... Online!
  2. ADMIN TOOLBOX
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. TECH BRIEFING
    • Dell Recommends CounterSpy. Here's The Proof:
    • Adware Cannibals Feast On Each Other
    • Perform Bulk Changes With ADModify
    • Expert How-tos: Preparing For Enterprise-wide Patch Deployment
    • IM Threat Service Pledges Cooperation
    • Half Off E-Learning Courses Until January
    • Researchers Warn Laptop Users Of Infertility Risk
    • The Top 10 Reasons Why Users Should Not Have...
  4. NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
    • NT Support Extended In The Nick Of Time
    • W2K3 SP1 RC1 with "Hot Patching" Feature!
    • Coming Tuesday: 5 More Patches
    • Microsoft?s Next OS Will Have IPv6 Built In
    • W2K3 Disaster Recovery Best Practices For The MCSE
    • Live In India Or Russia? Windows Will Be Really Cheap
  5. NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
    • Another "Happy Camper" CounterSpy Admin
    • Got Too Many Servers To Manage?
  6. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
  7. PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
    • Sunbelt Remote Admin: SuperFast Remote Control
  SPONSOR: The Complete Patch Management Book ? Yours Free
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  EDITORS CORNER

IBM PC's; End Of An Era

A company from China called "Lenovo" (I'm sure they tried to get across the idea of something like "The New One" with that name, since French "Le Nouveau" means just that...) is going to acquire IBM's PC unit. So, how is that going to pan out? About just as well as HP's take over of Compaq I would think. You don't hear much of it in the outside world, but that merger has not been all that successful. I'm sure that Carly Fiorina would vehemently deny that, but the grapevine says it is really a train wreck. Usually it is very hard to mesh two company cultures. The fact that IBM is bowing out is a sign of the times I guess, as an old timer I recall clearly the early 80's intro, I had just entered the IT business in '79 and was working in an IT service outfit doing member management on a PDP-11 for non-profits. Then out of the blue (pun intended) IBM intro'd their personal computer. Oh Boy, the world got into the rapids and has accelerated ever since. Personally I believe more in organic growth than in takeovers. Sunbelt acquires code now and then, but our own developers then take it and make it an integrated product that we really own inside out. Coming to think of it, in these last 25 years I have never really seen any totally, wildly successful large IT merger. Tell me if I'm wrong and email me with an example! [grin]

Get Your Cell Phone On The DoNotCall List... Online!

Nothing to do with technology (ok, just a little bit) but in a few weeks, cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls. Get your cell number on the National Do Not Call List! It blocks your number for 5 years. I just did it and I like the idea. Go to:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213ED-Do_Not_Call

Short tip:
I use the Task Manager regularly. But have you ever tried CTRL + Shift + ESC? Give it a shot.

Quotes of the Week:
Here are 3 quotes from Steven Wright!
"I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize."
"Borrow money from pessimists -- they don't expect it back."
"I intend to live forever -- so far, so good."

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

  ADMIN TOOLBOX

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

  TECH BRIEFING

Dell Recommends CounterSpy. Here's The Proof:

Their support page has this quote: "Dell has tested and recommends CounterSpy by Sunbelt Software. CounterSpy can identify third-party software that has been downloaded on your system and allows you to choose which applications you want to keep. To obtain a free system scan, download an evaluation copy, or to purchase the CounterSpy software, click the following link." Here is the page with the evidence:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213TB-Dell

Adware Cannibals Feast On Each Other

C|NET news reported that some of the adware outfits are suing each other for deleting software from consumer's machines. Caribbean-based ad company Avenue Media last month accused New York-based DirectRevenue of using competing software to detect and delete Avenue Media's Internet Optimizer program from its customers' computers. According to the Nov. 24 complaint, DirectResponse's software detects Internet Optimizer and then sends a command to "kill" the program, a process that deletes its files from the PC registry and from the computer altogether. Avenue Media said DirectRevenue's tactics have caused it to lose about 1 million customers--about half its installed base-- and as much as $10,000 a day in revenue.

And this is only the stuff you SEE. Different organized cybercrime gangs are doing this kind of stuff to each other and no one sees it happen, except for lost resources... Article here:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213TB-Cybercrime

Perform Bulk Changes With ADModify

Administrators who need to make modifications to multiple users at once using the same values will want to take note of Microsoft's ADModify version 2.0, a free tool that makes modifying Active Directory objects a simple, fast and efficient task. Find out how you can mass-manipulate just about every property within user, group, contact and public folder objects in this tip from SearchWin2000.com. (Free registration required.)
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213TB-ADModify

Expert How-tos: Preparing For Enterprise-wide Patch Deployment

A strong patch management plan is a must for Windows security professionals whose chore it is to keep up with the latest updates and fixes. To get on track, read this tip on best practices from two patch management experts. You'll learn about one approach to an enterprise-wide patching strategy and another strategy for taking advantage of Microsoft's new early notice on patches.
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213TB-Expert_How-To

IM Threat Service Pledges Cooperation

To combat attacks on enterprise networks delivered by rogue instant messages, software companies such as Microsoft, McAfee, AOL and Yahoo have thrown their support behind an IM threat center that promises to work in concert with other security centers.
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213TB-IM_Threat

Half Off E-Learning Courses Until January

Microsoft has discounted a handful of its E-Learning courses, but has stamped a due date on them. The company is offering courses for planning, designing, and managing Windows and Exchange servers for 50 percent off the regular price of $349 until January 15, 2005. Thereafter, courses will be available at regular price. More at:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213TB-E-Learning

Researchers Warn Laptop Users Of Infertility Risk

A combination of the heat generated by a laptop and the position of the thighs needed to balance it leads to higher temperatures that can be dangerous to a man's reproductive health. Ooops! Story at the ComputerWorld site.
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213TB-Infertility

The Top 10 Reasons Why Users Should Not Have...

"The Top 10 Reasons Why Users Should Not Have Local Admin Rights." This was a fun discussion on the NTSYSADMIN list that I thought was useful for all of us:

  1. Allows Malware to really *REALLY* hose the PC if it gets hit
  2. Allows users to mess up their settings royally
  3. Administrative nightmare to manage
  4. Must spend more time ghosting machines because of 10, 9, and 8
  5. Users get rather pissy about the loss of data stemming from 7
  6. Any corporate software and mail policy can be easily broken
  7. They can undermine anything administratively done to their machines
  8. With only minor creativity in phrasing, local admin rights can easily violate Sarbanes-Oxley and other pseudo-security legislation
  9. Users can load any software, even illegal stuff...
  10. Makes corporate security people laugh so hard, they can't effectively do their jobs
  NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

NT Support Extended In The Nick Of Time

MS released a new support policy for NT4 this week! As we all know, NT4 will be at the end of its Extended Support this December 31, couple more weeks and that's it. I have been talking about these support policies for years now, and it really "behooves" you ;-) to be aware of these. They are important.

Redmond now uses as their standard operating procedure the so called "5+5" support lifecycle for enterprise products. Whazzat? It boils down to 5 years of Mainstream Support, (with free security and nonsecurity hotfixes) followed by 5 years of Extended Support. During the "ES" phase, the only thing that is free are the security hotfixes, but you need to pay for other patches. When the 10 years are over, you move into what Redmond calls the Self-Help Online Support phase.

During that time you need to really seriously start thinking about migration. NT 4 has reached this limit now and a lot of people are worried they are left out in the cold. Obviously Redmond really wants everyone to move to W2K3, but they have been pretty good about supporting NT4. They extended one more time, but you have to be prepared to be on your own end of next year!

If you need to get help migrating, MS has a custom support package they are able to sell you, and that has been extended to December 31, 2006. I remember well when NT4 came out, and true to form, this expiration is about 10 years later. What you get with this custom support is new critical security fixes for NT 4.0. Call your MS Rep for more details. For security reasons, I think it is a really good idea to move to W2K3.

W2K3 SP1 RC1 with "Hot Patching" Feature!

And, while talking about Windows 2003 Server, their SP1 went into Release Candidate One status. This is good news. It's brand new and you can get your hot little hands on it by downloading the public beta and throw it in your testbed. Like always, do NOT run this on any production machines. TEST, TEST, TEST.

There are significant security enhancements to W2K3 with this SP1. To deliver on their promise of Trustworthy Computing, key upgrades include a Windows Firewall built into the OS that works around each client and server computer on your network. Other key features include Post-Setup Security Updates (PSSU) and the Security Config Wizard (SCW). "PSSU effectively locks down the computer to stop it being hacked after installation. SP1 includes updates for the IE browser to prevent unintentional downloads of malicious code. To make updates more fluid, MS will offer a Hot Patching feature in Service Pack 1 that allows you to apply updates to drivers, APIs (define) or any non-kernel level component of W2K3 without rebooting ... WOOT!! Hot patching is a technology that has been used for many years in the mini- and mainframe environments and I'm excited to see it finally come back in Windows Server.

SP1 includes stronger defaults and privilege reduction on services such as RPC and DCOM; support in processors from Intel and AMD that prevents malicious code from launching attacks; and support for 64-bit machines. Get SP1 at:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213RN-Get_SP1

And here is the technical overview, definitely an interesting read:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213RN-Overview

Coming Tuesday: 5 More Patches

So here is the "advance notice for everyone". Redmond said the maximum severity rating for the five updates is "important." Some of these patches may require you to bounce the machine though. Hmmmm. Expect them the 14-th, as usual. They are not releasing the specifics on which products will be patched, but several well-known holes have already been reported. Here is the official announcement, and make this link a fave.
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213RN-5_More_Patches

Microsoft?s Next OS Will Have IPv6 Built In

Government Computer News reported on something cool. Redmond is making IPv6 the foundation of its next major OS release. Longhorn, expected to be beta tested next year, with release in 2006, will be fully compatible with IPv6, with the new version of the Internet protocols turned on by default and used as the preferred transport, said Sinead O?Donovan, Microsoft product unit manager for Internet protocols. Users will be able to turn off IPv4 and run Longhorn with IPv6 only. There also will be support for the new protocols across Microsoft?s product line of applications, she said. The story is here:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213RN-IPv6

W2K3 Disaster Recovery Best Practices For The MCSE

I found a really good article on the MCPmag site about how to organize your disaster recovery. It's not too long, it's got all the critical elements, some short checklists and a bunch of successful actions that will help you prepare for the time the $#!+ hits the fan. It starts out like this:

"As most disaster recovery experts will tell you, when it comes to disaster, it's not a matter of if but when the disaster will strike. If you plan ahead and minimize your risks, not only will you sleep better at night, you'll also be able to recover from a disaster that might otherwise have a significant impact on your organization and career. Although most major organizations have some kind of disaster recovery plan, it's amazing how many small- to medium-sized companies don't have such plans in place. It's hard to justify not having a disaster recovery plan, regardless of the size of your organization."

Read this, add Double-Take, apply what he writes, and you have a serious amount of job security:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213RN-Disaster_Recovery

Live In India Or Russia? Windows Will Be Really Cheap

It's not available in North America, but Windows XP Starter Edition will soon launch in India, Russia and several other countries. Redmond said that in early 2005 it will start shipping a low-cost version of WinXP to three Asian countries and Russia. Looks like they are focusing on fast-growth markets as the home market is slowing down. You will be able to get "Windows XP Starter Edition" in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Russia. Apparently the pilot project they started in Thailand was successful.

"WinXP Starter" is stripped down WinXP with a special first-time help system, limited with local language options, and you can only get it pre-installed on new PCs. (yeah, until it gets lifted off and downloadable via P2P networks...)

  THIRD PARTY NEWS

Another "Happy Camper" CounterSpy Admin

"I work at a help desk for a state government agency, and over the last year I have put in a lot of research on spyware, and how it affects our workstation and network performances. I have a dedicated workstation that I install the spyware I collect around in my travels, so I can study how it works, what it does, and how to get rid of it after it has been installed. Along with that research, I have experimented with a variety of "Anti-Spyware" software, and so far I have been pretty impressed with CounterSpy.

"I will have to do more research of this product to see if it is something that we would want to implement in our agency. Perhaps you could give me a figure on licensing for approximately 600 seats?" -- Jess Jackson, IT Support Technician.

Spyware is the new number one enemy for IT. It has reached epidemic proportions. Spyware is one of the most insidious security threats and productivity killers today. For the enterprise, common antispyware can?t cut it. Meet CounterSpy Enterprise: Antispyware that lives up to its name. CounterSpy Enterprise is a scalable, policy-based, second-generation antispyware tool built from the ground up for enterprise deployment and easy centralized management. In Beta Now. Fill out this form to get a quote (tell us how many workstations) There is a 20% pre-order discount, it will ship before Dec 31, 04!
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213TP-CounterSpy

Got Too Many Servers To Manage?

If you spend too much time documenting and configuring your infrastructure take a look at Ecora Software?s Enterprise Auditor. It can save weeks -- even months -- of your time documenting your systems? changes and configurations.

Your peers use it today to help manage a wide range of projects such Sarbanes-Oxley, other regulatory requirements, security audits, disaster recovery planning, and documentation. Enterprise Auditor?s cross-platform data repository collects critical configuration data from: Microsoft Windows, Active Directory, SQL, Oracle, IIS, Exchange, Citrix, Domino, Oracle, Linux, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, and Cisco ? without installing agents! Total configuration management.

Enterprise Auditor includes hundreds of out-of-the-box reports. And, a customizable interface lets you create reports on only the data you want. Simplify your time by scheduling reports on a recurring basis. Use the reports to find out where changes were made, test your internal controls, duplicate configurations, and rebuild infrastructures.

Ecora offers a free trail of Enterprise Auditor and their support organization is top shelf ? you actually speak with a live person when you call in. Use the product with your data and see why Enterprise Auditor was labeled "One Sweet Information Suite." To find our more about Enterprise Auditor and get a free trial, visit:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213TP-Enterprise_Auditor

  FAVE LINKS

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

  • Pretty wild: In sworn affidavit, programmer says he developed a vote-rigging prototype for Florida congressman; Congressman's office silent.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213FA-Vote-Rigging
  • A powerpoint file with some amazing "chalk-art".

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213FA-Chalk-Art
  • Men Only ! The new Pirelli calendar is a must-see. [grin]

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213FA-Calendar
  • And here is your "Techno Nocturnal Christmas Blues Poem." Have fun!

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213FA-Poem
  • The History of Linux. Anyone wanting to know its background, here:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213FA-Linux
  • M-LAW announces the winners of the seventh annual WACKY WARNING LABEL contest

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213FA-Label_Contest
  • I want some of these balloons for MY car too !!!

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213FA-Balloons
  • Check out this table football video... Dang we're talking "skeelz" (video)

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213FA-Table_Football
  • Here's some pretty good flying ! (video)

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213FA-Flying
  • I have a new hobby. It takes me to greater heights. I wish.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213FA-Greater_Heights
  • Remember the British revoking the U.S. Independence? Here is a US answer. got a few good chuckles out of it, but not as funny as the original...

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213FA-Part_2
  • Need a good codename for an IT operation? Don't settle for boring names like "Verity Upgrade." Try "Infinite Justice" on for size and impress your coworkers with a name more fitting to your Herculean task. The new code name generator at the Network World site is fun:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213FA-Code_Name_Generator
  • InfoWorld listed the Top 20 IT mistakes to avoid. A good read!

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213FA-IT_Mistakes
      PRODUCT OF THE WEEK

    Sunbelt Remote Admin: SuperFast Remote Control

    Sunbelt Radmin is a superfast, award winning remote control program. You can take over one or more remote systems, and even daisy chain them! The truly crucial features are all there: superfast remote control, file transfer, NT security, telnet and multi-language support. The price is ridiculously low. It has everything you need, and nothing you don't. A user called it a "pcAnywhere killer"! Just the kind of neat tool to use some of that year-end budget. Check it out here:

    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=041213PW-RAdmin