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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, May 16, 2005 (Vol. 10, #20 - Issue #525)
OK HERE IT IS: Redmond Antivirus On Steroids
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • It's 2005 Target Awards Time!
    • New Xbox 360 Rawks
    • No Privacy On The Net - Or Anywhere Else
    • Hotbar Goes After Sunbelt
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
    • Inside The Secret World Of Spammers
    • Prevention Guide: Rootkits
    • Jeremy Kadlec On SQL Performance Tuning
    • Look Before You Leap Into Consolidation
    • OK HERE IT IS: Redmond Antivirus On Steroids
    • XP SP2 Update Enhances Wi-Fi Security
    • Microsoft Simplifies Volume Licensing Documentation
    • Redmond Unwraps Windows Mobile 5.0
    • iHateSpam Gateway Edition V1.6 Released
    • CounterSpy Enterprise With Real-Time Protection In Beta
    • Employee Web Surfing More Addictive Than Coffee
  6. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Which Feature Would You Like To Add To LanHound?
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It's 2005 Target Awards Time!

Tell your colleagues which tool you like best for the job. The W2Knews 2005 Target Awards are the ultimate shortlist of system admins fave tools. We kept a close eye on the forums, market and new versions last year and these tools are the leading ones in each category. Saves a lot of time to check out this list. While you are there, vote for your faves! Voting closes May 31st.

New Xbox 360 Rawks

Wow, Redmond has thrown some pretty cool hardware at it. A PC with all this stuff in it would run close to 7-800 bucks at a quick guess. It's another "Big Gates Gamble" as I'm sure they are going to lose money on this again and hope to make it up with game software sales. Street price for the Xbox 360 will be somewhere between 300 and 400 bucks. Expect it in stores in time for the 2005 December Holiday Season. Here are some of the highlights I like best:

  • 20-gig, detachable, upgradeable hard drive. The original had only an 8-gig nonremovable hard drive.
  • Three dual-core processors running at 3.2 gigahertz each. The original ran just one 733 megahertz Chip.
  • Half a GIG of RAM! The original: 64MB.
  • Three USB ports. The old Xbox had none and ditto with memory cards, the new one has two ports for 64-meg cards that can be used to save games, so you can be play on a friend's console.
  • Built-in extender for Windows XP Media Center, this is big.
  • Up to four wireless (!) controllers.
  • Sleek design with removable faceplate (like cell phones)
  • Plays DVD's, CD's and supports HighDef. Add a few speakers and you have a basic but very serviceable audio/video system.
Watch out Sony. [grin]. Here's some more at a Fan Site:

No Privacy On The Net - Or Anywhere Else

This was the title of an editorial in last week's WinXPnews, (the sister publication of W2Knews). They showed a site where you can type your name and see what is available about you. I have never seen as many indignant letters to the editor that this should be forbidden. We in the enterprise space are a bit more jaded, but if you live in the USA, you should just for your own education go this site and type your name. It could be revealing in more than one way. Check out the instant background check and drill down a bit. It's chilling.

Hotbar Goes After Sunbelt

Perhaps you are aware of the Blog that our Prez publishes. And maybe you know that companies do not like to be listed as spyware or adware. Well, since we are the "white hats" that keep the "black hats" off your systems with CounterSpy, some of these people send us cease and desist letters and threaten with all they can throw at us. Just so that you know we are defending you, and continue to work hard to have the best antispyware threat database in the industry!

Quotes Of The Week:
"Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better." -- Robert Redford
"Imagination is more important than knowledge, the important thing is to not stop questioning." -- Albert Einstein

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


Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without


Inside The Secret World Of Spammers

Remember the book called 'Inside the Spam Cartel' I raved about a while ago? Meet "Spammer-X" on Tuesday, May 17 at noon EDT, for a live webcast, "Inside the secret world of spammers." The anonymous ex-spammer presents real-world examples and techniques used to send spam, including how e-mail addresses are obtained and how spammers get by content filters. After his presentation, Spammer-X will take questions from our audience in a live Q&A. There will also be a random drawing, giving away a free copy of his book:

Prevention Guide: Rootkits

Rootkits are stealthy tools used by hackers to remotely control Windows systems. If you're attacked by one, chances are you'll never detect it. This collection of six tips from Microsoft security program manager Kurt Dillard explains how rootkits work, how to detect them and how to remove them from Windows systems. Over at the SearchWindowsSecurity.com site:

Jeremy Kadlec On SQL Performance Tuning

Tuning guru Jeremy Kadlec offers pointers for DBAs in search of the magic bullet for optimizing SQL Server performance. Check out Kadlec's tips and expert advice on load testing, OLTP vs. data warehousing and increasing application speed, just to name a few. Then send him your toughest tuning questions at SearchSQLServer.

Look Before You Leap Into Consolidation

What's not to love about server consolidation and virtualization? Experts and data center managers say that while both are attractive options, they're not for everybody. This is an interesting article at SearchWinSystems.com:


OK HERE IT IS: Redmond Antivirus On Steroids

This is the project code named "A1" that I have been mentioning before. They are actually positioning it in a new way: a new übercategory called 'PC help'. It is geared to consumers, called OneCare Live and is set up as a subscription service. What it does? Anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall protection, maintains PCs for optimal performance and backs up key data. Microsoft's general manager of the Technology Care and Safety Group said: "We're designing the service so it will continually update and evolve over time".

Following the tried and true Microsoft tradition ('eat your own dogfood') it's going into beta among its own employees this week and will offer a public beta later this year. No data yet on the price for this. I'm expecting it will be competitive to Norton, meaning the initial price would be 60-80 bucks and 50% of that per year. This new subscription service will put Redmond in direct competition with security software giants Symantec, McAfee and Computer Associates. A deafening silence from MS regarding an enterprise version though.

Recent surveys show that two thirds of consumers are not running any basic anti-virus or anti-spyware protection. In the mean time, spyware and online fraud continue to increase. From my perspective, a large part of why OneCare was created is to deter defections to Linux or Apple. Here is the Redmond beta announcement and a link to nominate yourself:

XP SP2 Update Enhances Wi-Fi Security

This week, Redmond released an update at no cost for XP SP2. It brings support for Wi-Fi Protected Access 2. The acronym is WPA2 and it is the highest level of standards-based wireless security currently available. Anyone using wireless should look into this to thwart hacking attempts. Download is here:

Microsoft Simplifies Volume Licensing Documentation

In an effort to reduce the pain users face in combing through Licensing 6.0 documentation, Microsoft this week previewed a change coming in July to its massive Product Use Rights document. Scott Bekker at ENTMag has the story:

Redmond Unwraps Windows Mobile 5.0

Microsoft unveiled Windows Mobile 5.0, a new version of its operating system for mobile devices that it says is more reliable, offers improved hardware support and new productivity and entertainment features. Not too many people have understood this yet, but it's a direct attack on the iPod as this version supports hard disks. Cell phones will soon have iPod features built-in from day one. There is way more about it at the MS site, we simply do not have space for it all here:


iHateSpam Gateway Edition V1.6 Released

Sunbelt has released iHateSpam for Exchange 1.6 Gateway Edition. This update brings "GE" to the same level as Server Edition. The change includes using the Cloudmark Engine for spam detection. The major difference between version 1.5 and 1.6 is the move to the Cloudmark engine. This new engine has been evaluated thoroughly, and about 80% have found it to be better for their environments while 20% have found that they prefer the older engine's results. For those people we have good news. The next release will have both engines and you can choose if you want either one or both at the same time.

Other Exchange related news is that in a few weeks we will go into beta with our brand new V2.0 of iHateSpam for Exchange, which will be given a different name as it does way more than just filter spam. Sunbelt's Messaging Ninja will be antispam, antivirus, and has a plugin architecture that will allows modules for disclaimers, content filtering ( in-, out- AND internal !) and a host of other things. We'll invite you when we need beta testers. Here is the link for the most recent V1.6 version:

CounterSpy Enterprise With Real-Time Protection In Beta

Many of you have said you'd deploy CounterSpy Enterprise in a heartbeat if it would only have the real-time protection that the consumer version already had. Well we have good news. The new CSE V1.5 beta that was released last week has real-time protection and the beta test is humming along quite nicely.

As you all know by now, an Internet connected PC can be infected with spyware in minutes. And how many workstations do you have in your network? Right. Spyware is a productivity killer. It costs you time, compromises security, and has employees sitting on their hands during repair but what is worse, spyware infections slow a PC down long before you start getting complaints.

  • Spyware is a drag on your systems and network: it creates both instability and slows workstation performance.
  • Spyware might expose corporate privileged data and/or customer records.
The new CounterSpy Enterprise V1.5 will help you
  • Manage anti-spyware from one central location
  • Detect and delete spyware both real-time and in scheduled scans
  • Protect user workstations, preventing downtime
  • Prevent "illegal" network utilization
  • Prevent unnecessary helpdesk calls
Both Windows IT Pro and eWEEK called CounterSpy Enterprise their Editor's Choice. And that was even when it did not have active protection! If you want to test the beta, ask your reseller or rep how to get one. Want a look at the current version? Check:

Employee Web Surfing More Addictive Than Coffee

Harris Interactive is a large survey company that recently did some work for Websense, one of the large players in the internet filtering industry. I thought the results were revealing and show that you need something in place to prevent trouble. Companies like Websense, St. Bernard's Prism, and SurfControl come to mind for solutions that would prevent some of this abuse. And there is a lot!

  • 93% of all respondents said they spend at least some time "Net-surfing" at work. This is up from 86 per cent in 2004.
  • 50% of employees surveyed who access the Internet at work do so for both work and personal tasks. Among those employees surveyed who use the Web during the workday for personal reasons, the most popular non work-related Web sites accessed are news (81%), personal e-mail (61%), online banking (58%), travel (56%) and shopping (52%).
Listening to or watching streaming media (18%) and using instant messaging (16%) are still the most popular computer-based apps used at work at least once a week by those employees surveyed with internet access at work. Playing games at work has gone down. Only 6% said they play computer games at work, down from 14% in 2004. But 23% of men surveyed who access the Internet at work said they had visited a porn site on company time, while only 12% of their female counterparts had done so.

You need a thoroughly planned and implemented layered defense to protect your networks. Each website visited is a potential hazard. A device at the edge is a good idea to stop some of it, but you also need to scan for spyware at the workstation level.


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


Which Feature Would You Like To Add To LanHound?

Many of you have downloaded our award winning "sniffer" LanHound in the past. We're doing a survey for the new version that is being planned now. Could you please tell us which features you'd like to see? This is a web-based, one minute survey. Thanks in advance! If you want to refresh your memory, here is the product page with all the specs:

And here is the link to the survey. As you know, Sunbelt tools are "by admins, for admins" so let us know what you'd like and we'll build if for you!