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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Feb 14, 2005 (Vol. 10, #7 - Issue #512)
Microsoft Customers Targeted By Phishing
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Reminder: Get W2Knews In Your Whitelist
    • Microsoft Customers Targeted By Phishing
    • HP's CEO Fiorina Ousted By Board
    • New SunPoll: a $25K prize...
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
    • Workstations Survey: First 100 Get A $10 Amazon Cert!
    • Cell Chip Details Surface
    • A Small Wrinkle For Windows Authentication
    • Learning Guide: How To Design A Server Room
    • Exchange Tip: Issues with OWA on Windows XP SP2
    • W2K3 SP1 RC2 Released!
    • Longhorn Beta: Expect It June 2005
    • Should You Start Using 64-Bit Windows?
    • Trojan Targets Microsoft AntiSpyware
    • Microsoft To Acquire Maker Of Antigen
    • iHateSpam for Exchange; New Engine Rocks
    • Half Of Enterprises Not Ready For Disaster Recovery
  6. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Centralized, Enterprise Antispyware Takes Off
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Reminder: Get W2Knews In Your Whitelist

Make sure your copy of W2Knews doesn't get mistakenly blocked by antispam software! Be sure to add [email protected] to your list of allowed senders and contacts.

Microsoft Customers Targeted By Phishing

Tell your users not to fall for the latest scam. This week, some spelling challenged fraudsters were trying to get people to expose their credit card by claiming Microsoft will deny updates to users that have pirated Windows copies. Find out how the scam works by reading Paul Thurrott's story at the following URL:

HP's CEO Fiorina Ousted By Board

So, what's that mean? Good news for admins very likely. A lot of system admins have been complaining about the decline in Compaq hardware quality and it looks like this was caused by both cost cutting and internal "reorganization turmoil". Another thing that suffered was delivery times, reaching up to 6 weeks after PO's were sent. Fiorina being replaced will hopefully get things optimized. In the mean time I think I know one company who are dancing on Carly's grave, or maybe not. Dell might be disappointed she was fired because she was "helping" Dell sales. And don't say I didn't predict this. In the '02 and '03 Crystal Ball issues, I was ahead of the curve but dead right. [grin] Evidence:

New SunPoll: a $25K prize...

Here's the new SunPoll! "For a coming 2005 tradeshow, if you'd have the chance to win an approx. $25,000 value prize, which of these four would you prefer?

  • A Custom Harley Chopper
  • Mini Cooper
  • Subaru WRX
  • A Superfast Japanese Motorcycle

Cast your vote:

Quote Of The Week:
"If God did not exist it would be necessary to invent Him." -- Voltaire.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." -- Benjamin Franklin.

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


Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without


Workstations Survey: First 100 Get A $10 Amazon Cert!

Survey.com is currently conducting a survey among workstation users and purchasers about their experience with workstations from major vendors. If you are workstation user, OR are involved in purchasing/recommending workstations at your company - this is a survey for you!

To thank you for completing the survey, the first 100 qualified respondents will receive a $10 Amazon.com certificate. Survey open to US and UK residents only. Thank you for your participation, we value your input. Click here to take the survey:

Cell Chip Details Surface

This week, technicians of Sony, IBM and Toshiba told more about then the new 'Cell'-chip. It will have nine processors embedded, one 64-bit IBM Power and eight 'synergistic processing units'. It will run faster than 4 GHz. The Power processor has a controlling role. They plan to start production of test chips later this year, and after that they will be used in graphics workstations and the Sony PlayStation. Thanks to the fact there are more processors on the same chip, developers can use more OS-en at the same time and experiment with grid architectures. The Cell runs at 256 gigaflops so is super fast. As a comparison, the slowest machine in the top500 supercomputers runs at 851 gigaflops.

A Small Wrinkle For Windows Authentication

A new program to verify the authenticity of Windows-based desktops should be a snap for most enterprise customers, with one "key" exception. Details on Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage program in this exclusive article from SearchWin2000.com.

Learning Guide: How To Design A Server Room

What are the key elements you need to consider when building a data center or server room? This time-consuming task is broken down for you in a new Learning Guide from SearchWinSystems.com.

Exchange Tip: Issues with OWA on Windows XP SP2

While it solves many OS quirks and security issues, XP SP2 includes some features that can create problems for Outlook Web Access users. Free registration may be required:


W2K3 SP1 RC2 Released!

It's on Redmond's website now, the home page for the Technical Preview Program where you can find links for a technical overview, features and functionality changes, networking features and release notes.

W2K3 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Release Candidate 2 (RC2) enhances security infrastructure by providing new security tools such as Security Configuration Wizard, which secures your server for role based operations, improved defense-in-depth with Data Execution Protection, and a safe and secure first boot scenario with Post-Setup Security Update Wizard.

Note: Beta versions of software, such as SP1 RC2, are intended only for installation in a test environment.

Longhorn Beta: Expect It June 2005

Microsoft is on track to release the first full test version of the next major Windows release by the end of June, a Microsoft executive told CNET News.com on Monday. The company has said publicly that Beta 1 of Longhorn would arrive by the end of 2005, though internally, the company has been aiming for a release by midyear. The final version of Longhorn is slated for the second half of next year.

"There will be a beta 1 of Longhorn...happening in the first half of this year," John Montgomery, a director in Microsoft's developer division, said during an interview at VSLive, a conference devoted to the company's Visual Studio .Net toolkit. The release will be primarily aimed at developers, Montgomery said. "I do, however, expect that you will find IT departments starting to look at it, kick the tires, figure out what's in it and what's not in it." Read the story at c|net's news.com:

Should You Start Using 64-Bit Windows?

As with any computer technology decision, the focus should be placed first and foremost on the application an enterprise intends to run. If an application is a high-priority, mission-critical one that must be operational 100% of the time -- such as a run-the-business transaction-processing application -- then that app dictates what the 64-bit computing is all about placing a lot more data in memory than 32-bit systems can handle. So, the starting point in deciding whether to deploy 64-bit Windows should be to examine the characteristics of that primary application. There is a good story on this at SearchWinSystems:

Trojan Targets Microsoft AntiSpyware

A new electronic attack tries to disable Redmond's AntiSpyware Beta (MSAS) and install malware. The nasty is called Troj/BankAsh-A and its goal is to steal passwords and get online banking access.

After the Trojan gets installed, it attempts to disable MSAS, stop the MSAS notifications and delete all the files in the folder named C:\Program Files\Microsoft AntiSpyware.

A Redmond spokesperson said "Microsoft will continue to work with law enforcement and the industry to help protect customers from these types of threats." This Trojan will not affect CounterSpy as that sits in another directory.


Microsoft To Acquire Maker Of Antigen

This week Redmond announced they were planning to buy Sybari. No wonder, it's a good product. In their marketing Sybari focused mainly on enterprise and large business with their original strength being protection of mail servers against viruses and later spam. Microsoft intends to use the acquisition to provide its corporate customers with technology to protect themselves against malicious software. System Admins that use the Antigen product, initially took a "wait-and-see" approach.

This is Microsoft's second "antivirus" acquisition since they first purchased GeCAD Software Srl from Romania, in June 2003. It also nicely coincides with the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco where BillG is expected to announce plans for a subscription-based consumer antivirus product. Personally I expect it to be a combined AV plus antispyware offer.

Sybari uses other companies' antivirus engines for protection, they do not use their own. Smart, why reinvent the wheel? This is good for Microsoft too, as they promised to avoid domination of the AV software market and play fair with other AV outfits. Redmond will add their own AV engine to the Antigen product and allow other engines to be added too. Mike Nash, corporate vice president in charge of Microsoft's Security Business and technology Unit, said that internally, Microsoft has already been using the GeCAD engine, now referred to as the "Microsoft antivirus engine," with the Sybari technology.

Enrique Salem, senior vice president of network and gateway security at Symantec said: "Sybari has OEM'd a lot of third-party technologies and integrated different anti-virus scanners and antispam technologies through one common module". His position is that large companies with heterogeneous networks do not want to buy one security solution for one server and another for another. "They run different operating systems, Solaris, Linux, Windows and they need security at all those points... and they need their desktops protected, their SMTP e-mail server, they need an end-to-end security solution."

iHateSpam for Exchange; New Engine Rocks

Here is one of the first bits of feedback we received on the new spam engine we plugged in V1.6:

"Thanks! The new Cloudmark engine is certainly a very different animal, and it's hard to believe that it does such a good job. As I watch (and participate occasionally) in the list server and what all the other admins have to say, we're gaining confidence in this version very quickly." Test or upgrade here:

Half Of Enterprises Not Ready For Disaster Recovery

New York-based Deloitte & Touche surveyed a bunch of corporate and IT managers recently. Only half(!) said their companies had rolled out business continuity and disaster recovery plans. Wow. Meaning 50% of you are not well prepared. This is a job security issue.

Some of the conclusions out of the survey were that many outfits have no higher-ups that champion redundancy, often there "is no budget" for contingencies like the building on fire, and sometimes they are just overwhelmed by just the idea alone! And then there is the famous ostrich-policy: "won't happen on my watch".

What you need (to create) in your organization is a champion who is willing to fight for the project, and have some "budget power". You will be happy you did, and you will be the hero of the day/ Here is a way to learn more about this. Sunbelt Software and NSI Software Present "Data Availability Solutions" with Double-Take.

In today's diverse environments, you face a wide variety of data protection and availability issues. These range from protecting key applications like e-mail and databases to protecting branch office data. NSI Software and Sunbelt Software invite you to attend this Webinar that will focus on leveraging replication technology to solve real-world business problems.

March 8th, 11AM - 12 PM (EST) Register Today!


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


Centralized, Enterprise Antispyware Takes Off

For the enterprise, retooled consumer anti-spyware products won't cut it. Meet CounterSpy Enterprise: the ONLY antispyware product that gets threat database updates from THREE sources: our own spyware research team, YOU via Sunbelt's ThreatNet? and from Microsoft. CounterSpy is a policy-based anti-spyware tool built from the ground up for enterprise deployment and easy centralized management. It supports AD and has a strong Centralized Admin Console with many different ways to deploy agents. Now running in more than 400 production sites!