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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Jan 3, 2005 (Vol. 10, #1 - Issue #506)
2005 Crystal Ball Issue And New Year's Wishes
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
  1. EDITORS CORNER
    • 2005 Crystal Ball Issue & New Year's Wishes
    • And What Happened To That Big Spyware Announcement?
  2. ADMIN TOOLBOX
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. TECH BRIEFING
    • And here Are The 2005 Predictions
  4. NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
    • Redmond Scraps Exchange Edge Services
  5. NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
    • What?s New in SNSI 1.6? (it's in Beta Now)
    • Updates To CounterSpy Threat Database / WebCast
  6. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
  7. PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
    • Finally Got AD Rolled Out? AD Security Now A Problem?
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  EDITORS CORNER

2005 Crystal Ball Issue & New Year's Wishes

It's that time again, I pulled out the asbestos suit that the moths have been unsuccessfully trying to eat for 12 months. Most mags are looking back at the year and do a recap. Personally, I'm much more interested in the future! But to begin with, here is my wish for your 2005: A world without war, crime and insanity, where people can flourish, prosper and reach greater heights in a Real World Peace.

First though, here comes the hurt. How did I do with the predictions of last year? Not too bad after all, I got 8 out of 10, but I have to admit that most of them were pretty safe bets. Where did I screw up? Windows 2003 did not get InfoWorld's OS of the year, it went to Apple with its Panther OS. On Networking, nobody got sued for using their neighbor's wireless LAN, or not for as far as I have seen. Oh, and my electronic book on flexible sheets has still not arrived! [grin]. You'll find the new predictions for 2005 in the Tech Briefing.

And What Happened To That Big Spyware Announcement?

It was made, but you have likely missed it. Here is the background. You all know me by now. I'm pretty much a straight shooter. I like to now and then give a positive spin to things, but I'm not afraid to show the ugly truth either. I always like to level with you, as I believe that truth is the best policy in the long run.

So, what happened with that big announcement? We had been working like mad to get CounterSpy Enterprise out the door before the end of the year. And what happened the day after we put it out there? Microsoft announced they acquired our business partner, Giant Software. For a moment we sat there stunned, and then realized this could be great news. But we did need some time to wrap our wits around this new situation. That?s why I sent you the email saying that a "big spyware announcement was coming out". Then the next week, I announced the new CounterSpy Enterprise in a separate Stu's News, and I'll give that link at the end of this article. I think that when you get to look at CounterSpy Enterprise, you are going to like what you see. Of course, it?s 1.0, and it?s evolving. In a couple of months, we?ll be adding real time protection, and more features.

Now, despite some noise that the press made, the upshot on the fact MS acquired Giant, is that Sunbelt will get spyware updates for both our CounterSpy (consumer) and CounterSpy Enterprise from Microsoft. Yes, you read that right. Redmond will provide us with new spyware definitions! I'm fairly confident in saying that our new Enterprise version will have the best spyware database BAR NONE. How about that for some good news?

OK, now you're asking yourself "is MS going to give spyware away for free"? That?s largely a matter of speculation at this point. There will be a desktop antispyware beta out soon, and it has been reported that MS will come out with a combined antivirus and antispam product (code name is "A1") late in 2005. This is expected to be a for-pay product (can you imagine what legal action the AV-industry would take if MS were to give AV away for free? Right). But the important thing is, whatever happens, systems are at risk right now and need spyware protection. Here is the CounterSpy & Microsoft story in all its details in the latest Stu's News:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=050103ED-Stus_News

This is my Fave New Year's Quote:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." --Mark Twain

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

  ADMIN TOOLBOX

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

  TECH BRIEFING

And here Are The 2005 Predictions

IT MARKET IN GENERAL / MICROSOFT: As in 2004, MS is going to barrel along just fine. They were slapped on the wrist in Europe and will now start selling a version of Windows without Media Player over there, while appealing. It will not make any difference for sales or stock prices. 2004 turned out to be "the year of mergers" Look at a continued frenzied merger activity well into 2005 driven by a market forces. The IT budgets in 2005 will continue to climb at just single digit rates and focus on security. Think "more of 2004". Management will continue to keep costs down.

OPERATING SYSTEMS: I'm predicting the first actual usable beta of Longhorn arriving late 2005. It's going to have greatly improved security; built-in Web services; and a brand-new graphics subsystem. Forget about WinFS, the new file system, that's going to be '06 or '07. Linux will continue to go great guns and gobble up all legacy Unix. IDC claims the market revenue for desktops, servers, and packaged software running on Linux will top $35 billion by 2008. Forget about desktop Linux in 2005 though. Do not be surprised when WinXP Service Pack 3(!) will be announced late 2005. And during 2005, IE's marketshare will drop to under 80%, and mainly be replaced by Mozilla's firefox browser (I like it, it is fast and a lot more secure!)

NT: Time To Say Goodbye! Highly recommended to upgrade 'ye olde NT Servers'. But my prediction is there will still be over a million NT-servers running by the end of 2005, much to Redmond's chagrin. But the real reason for upgrading will be a specific attack written for NT-only using a vulnerability that MS never patched.

HARDWARE: (any hardware) Hybrid vehicles are going to be HUGE in 2005. -- Wireless piggybacking and piggyhacking are going to happen all the time. -- Apple will be coming out with a $600 machine that will become as big a hit as the iPod is now. -- Disconnected PDA's will become passe -- VOIP will be mainstream technology and you probably will deploy it in 2005 (wireless VOIP will remain in its infancy) -- Internet 2 will be deployed in a few cities this year and everyone is stunned with the response times -- TV technology is going to be skyrocketing with all kinds of High-Definition devices and Home Theater sales will jump 20-30% -- Micropayment infrastructure will make its debut in 2005 in at least one significant area and grow from there. -- BillG will announce the XBOX 2 at the CES show in January -- With faster network speeds, video phones will start to become finally real.

OPEN SOURCE: All the smoke that SCO was blowing has died down, and I expect that SCO will perish with it. But now patent infringement lawsuits will stick up their ugly heads and be much harder to subdue. Despite that, open source products will continue to proliferate.

NETWORKING: Will go wireless even more than 2004. This is the year your management will allow you to play with wireless in pilot projects and serious 'production-site' evaluations. Look at Wi-MAX to be making inroads and taking over Wi-Fi in some early adopter markets. Old-fashioned wired networks will grow both faster and larger in 2005. You'll be able to get your hands on much cheaper 10 Gigabit Ethernet products, and this type of equipment will start to spread to the outer edge.

SECURITY: All eyes are on Redmond. They are expected to roll out new tools, and continue to fortify their existing products. Expect a MS subscription-based combined antivirus/antispyware desktop tool late 2005. Networking and Storage companies will more and more integrate security features in their products. "Point solution" product shops will be scooped up by bigger fish. FUD will drive security policies, expect USB flash drives and iPods forbidden in some workplaces. Your organization will increasingly turn to proactive "defense-in-depth", business needs require it.

SPAM: Both the ratio for spam and viruses rose in 2004. During the last 12 months, emails infected with a virus was 1 in 16, compared to 2003 when it was just 1 in 33. The biggest 2004 virus was the MyDoom one in January. Looking at email for the full year 2004, the average number identified as spam was 73 percent. As a comparison, in 2003, the average was 40 percent. It sounds crazy but if this trend continues it will be over 90% in 2005 exceeding everyone's worst fears. It might take a different turn though. Spammers might throw their resources into Phishing instead. This by the way breaks all records, and is one of these hockey stick graphs and will create the largest IT scandal in 2005.

SPYWARE: OK, I admit I'm biased. So, keeping in mind that it's me saying this, antispyware tools are going to skyrocket in '05. Basically, everyone is going to need one of these tools. Well over 50% of sites will have an antispyware solution in place by the end of 2005.

"WILD-ASS GUESSES": A megavirus zombiefies 50% of unprotected broadband home PCs which in turn attack major sites for days using DoS. -- Steve Jobs retires from Apple and buys the New York Yankees -- President Bush will sign a law that home PC's have to be protected against malware -- The U.S. Government will introduce a biometrics-based ID-card in the fight against terrorists, and the fur will fly -- The FEDs will increase the interest rates back to 4-5%, the housing market bubble will finally burst, and the economy in general will have to wean itself off cheap money. -- The fourth Homeland Security Division's Cyber Czar in four years will call it quits in disgust, following Clark, Schmidt and Yoran.

Oh, and to show you that sometimes I'm really right, years before the ugly scene comes out of the woodwork, check this out. May 9, 2002 I predicted class action lawsuits because of ethics problems at Big Pharma outfits. Well, you have seen the news these last few months! Now, finally the Food and Drug Administration will become more cautious about approving drugs, it is high time! Here's the evidence:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=050103TB-Issue_368

  NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

Redmond Scraps Exchange Edge Services

Paul Thurrott has a good article on his WindowsITPro site. It goes into great detail what the changes are: It starts like this and I'll get you a link to the full article at the end:

"Microsoft issued a bit of good news, bad news last week when it revealed that its previously expected Microsoft Exchange Server Edge Services product wouldn't ship in 2005 as planned. Instead, Microsoft will roll the features from Exchange Edge Services into the next service pack for Exchange Server 2003 and into the next major version of Exchange, code-named Kodiak.

"So what was Exchange Edge Services (sometimes referred to as Exchange Server Edge Services)? Originally a set of technologies designed for email protection, enhanced security, and junk email management, Exchange Edge Services would have expanded the roles that an Exchange server could perform." Read more at:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=050103RN-Exchange_Edge

  THIRD PARTY NEWS

What?s New in SNSI 1.6? (it's in Beta Now)

SNSI continues to sell well. Dozens are going out the door in the Sunbelt Security Pack at the moment. Here are the new features being beta'd as we speak:

Reports

  • Users can export reports to many different formats
  • All reports were re-formatted
  • New Executive Summary report
  • Report Category grouping in tree was changed
  • Reports now display in separate app ? "report view" shows an example jpeg of the report.
Wizards
  • Consolidated authentication options for domains and IP into same page
  • Allow user to provide credentials on the Auth page without requiring Windows authentication
  • Will not show non-applicable columns in machine discovery (ping/auth) page
  • Added Group Scan wizard
  • Update scheduling - Options in settings pane for automatic update checks now functional
Miscellaneous features
  • Add short description column to scan results
  • Animations in status bar show when scan is in progress or machines are being added to group
  • Evaluation days now shown in help about
More information and a 30-day eval for V1.5 at:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=050103TP-SNSI

Updates To CounterSpy Threat Database / WebCast

In Version 52 of the threat database, these are the changes:

Added Definitions:

  • Absolute Key Logger v2.1.271
  • Desktop Scout 3.0
  • el Espia
  • Email Spy Pro v4.5
  • Aldo's Macro Recorder 4.1
Updated Definition:
  • Gator
Fixed False Positives:
  • BizDefender 2
  • BlackCore v2.1
CounterSpy Enterprise provides a cost-effective technological solution to today's spyware problem that is easy to use but sophisticated enough to address the needs of the largest enterprise. Join us to learn how CounterSpy Enterprise can help protect your organization from spyware!

When: Tuesday, January 4, 2004 1:00 PM (EST)
Call in at the numbers below and enter code 104764:
800-416-4956 USA
888-633-2105 Canada
302-709-8433 International
Meeting URL:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=050103TP-Webcast_Direct

Alternate Attend Instructions:
Go to:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=050103TP-Webcast_Alt
Your Name: (enter your name)
Meeting ID: 4TCK96
Meeting Password: 337NH6

  FAVE LINKS

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

  PRODUCT OF THE WEEK

Finally Got AD Rolled Out? AD Security Now A Problem?

DIRECTORY INSPECTOR gives you comprehensive Directory Reporting, Analysis and Insight on AD Security.

You have AD rolled out. And now you are stuck with having to keep it secure and pass the audits. Moreover, you may have other directories to manage as well. Need to audit, analyze and report on AD (or all of these disparate environments) and lack the tool to do it? Do not have the utility that enables the auditor or the network- and system admin to audit and analyze directory data in a uniform, homogeneous manner? Check out Directory Inspector:

http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=050103PW-Directory_Inspector