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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, May 30, 2005 (Vol. 10, #22 - Issue #527)
MalWars: Revenge Of The Botnets
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Welcome To The Memorial Weekend Issue
    • LAST CALL: Vote For The 2005 Target Awards
    • SunPoll W2K3 SP1 Results & Was Bill Gates Right?
    • Which Are The Most Popular Sunbelt Forums?
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
    • Ransomware Hits Internet Users
    • Antispyware Bills Make It Through House
    • "24" TV Show Pitches Security With Cisco Product
    • WSUS Is Not for Wussies!
    • MalWars: Revenge Of The Botnets
    • What OS Running On The New Xbox 360?
    • DOD Antispyware Contract
  6. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • The Ultimate Job Security Tool: Double-Take
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Welcome To The Memorial Weekend Issue

Hi Guys! For all of you in the U.S., I hope you enjoy this long weekend. Sunbelt is preparing hard for our largest trade show of the year: Microsoft Tech.Ed. We were informed by Microsoft that it has sold out completely. It's gonna be very useful I'm sure. Sunbelt's booth #109 is going to be real fun too. If you go, make sure you drop by and get your name scanned in for the CounterSpy Chopper Sweepstake. It's almost worth it to go for a short vacation to Orlando and visit just the trade show!

Talking about vacation, during Tech.Ed I have to travel to Europe so unfortunately I cannot see you at the show. Bummer! But I'm sure you'd like to see that custom chopper much more than me! [grin] Anyway, for the following two issues I have recruited two guest editors. Next issue will be a sample of CounterSpyNews we send to everyone who buys the consumer version, and the one after that is dedicated to ISA Server. I'll be back mid June!

LAST CALL: Vote For The 2005 Target Awards

Show 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, so there is very little time left.

SunPoll W2K3 SP1 Results & Was Bill Gates Right?

Here are the results of the last SunPoll. The question was: "If you've deployed W2K3 SP1, have you had any applications break because of that SP1 install?" The results were:

  • Yes 31%
  • No 50%
  • Not sure 16%
Which means that you have to TEST, TEST, TEST before deploying.

And here is the new SunPoll: "A year ago, Bill Gates predicted that the spam problem would be under control by 2006. Do you think progress is being made in the fight against spam?"

  • Yes. I see a big difference.
  • Yes, but it's only incremental progress.
  • No. Things are as bad as ever.
  • No, but you get used to dealing with it.
  • Not sure.

You can vote here, front page, middle column

Which Are The Most Popular Sunbelt Forums?

We host almost 20 forums, but there are two that are very, very popular: The NTSYADMIN list and the EXCHANGE list. They are both high volume lists and have been used for over 5 years as a fast, reliable peer-to-peer support groups. If you decide to subscribe (at no cost of course), lurk for a while and then ask your question. Remember, the rules are ON TOPIC, NO NOISE and FRIENDLY. Subscribe here:

Quote Of The Week:
"It's so much easier to suggest solutions when you don't know too much about the problem." - Malcolm Forbes.
"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." - John Wayne.

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


Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without


Ransomware Hits Internet Users

An article from the Associated Press was first picked up by (of all sites) the India Times in their Infotech section. Here is the story: "WASHINGTON - Computer users already anxious about viruses and identity theft have new reason to worry: Hackers have found a way to lock up the electronic documents on your computer and then demand cash over the Internet to get them back.

Security researchers at San Diego-based Websense Inc uncovered the unusual extortion plot when a corporate customer they would not identify fell victim to the infection, which encrypted files that included documents, photographs and spreadsheets." The criminal wanted $200 bucks for the unlock key. The story is at:

Antispyware Bills Make It Through House

This week the House passed two bills aimed at stopping spyware / adware and unauthorized use of computers. H.R. 29 makes it 'unlawful for any person who is not the owner or authorized user of a protected computer to engage in deceptive acts or practices'. H.R. 744 (I-SPY Act) prohibits accessing a protected system via code copied on to the system to, among other things, disseminate personal information. Both bills sailed through the house and are expected to be passed by the Senate. Here is the website of the clerk of the 'House of Reps' where you can see how everyone voted. Kinda interesting!

"24" TV Show Pitches Security With Cisco Product

Really funny article by an InfoWorld columnist about Cisco being pushed in the "24" show. He starts like: "I usually try to suspend disbelief when watching a TV series such as 24. My nephew is a big fan, so if I miss it -- which I often do -- I call him up, tell him I didn't see it, and then attempt to guess what happened." Cisco products were pushed in this show, but it was pretty hokey. The columnist rips em to pieces. ;-)


WSUS Is Not for Wussies!

Join IT veteran Doug Toombs and learn why the IT community is excited about WSUS. You'll learn all about how rapid deployment of patching on an enterprise-class scale is possible and available to you today! You'll want to start implementing this right away. Register now for this free chat and challenge Doug with your questions and concerns. Over at the WindowsIT Pro Site

MalWars: Revenge Of The Botnets

Rene Millman from SC Magazine got some interesting data about Phishers that unleash their zombie armies: "Botnets aren't new, but now cyber gangs are creating hordes of zombies for elaborate phishing attacks. According to the Honeynet Project, organized crime gangs rely on zombie computers to mask their maleficent activities. The botnet PCs can be used essentially as servers, setting up fake Web sites and sending e-mails to push visitors to the phishing sites. Botnets are also used to redirect surfers to phishing sites and to generate phishing and spam e-mails. One of the more frightening revelations here is that researchers have seen botnets storing pre-built archives of phishing Web sites to target major online sites. At the end of the article she gives a link to the report, entitled "Know Your Enemy: Phishing," at the honeynet.org site.

Directly related to that, the scope of bank data theft grew to 676,000 customers. The largest U.S. banking security breach in history is worse than thought, and police have uncovered how bank employees allegedly involved in the crime ring stole customer data. ComputerWorld has more about this:

What OS Running On The New Xbox 360?

As you all know, the original Xbox ran a stripped down version of W2K. But it could be hacked and run Linux instead. Looks like the new 360 has some protection against that. It runs the next iteration of an even more modified version of W2K that you just as well might call the Xbox 360 OS. Here is a fun story about it at the Windows ForDevices site:


DOD Antispyware Contract

The story was actually broken by eWEEK on May 17th. Their reporter Paul F. Roberts had an interesting angle on the DOD requirement: "Upstart antispyware vendors breaking the hold of the established antivirus giants."

He started out like this: "The U.S. Department of Defense is soliciting bids for a massive anti-spyware software contract that will protect systems across the military. The deal could be a major opportunity for anti-spyware startups to score a victory against established anti-virus vendors.

"The solicitation from the DISA (Defense Information Systems Agency) is for an automated spyware detection, eradication and protection technology, referred to as SDEP.

"Estimates on the size of the contract vary from a few hundred thousand seats to between 4 million and 8 million military systems, if the SDEP technology is adopted throughout the entire DOD and used on computers at the homes of servicemen and women.

"The military is looking for an enterprise-wide solution that covers the U.S. Department of Defense, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserves. The solicitation is being handled as part of I-Assure, a $1.5 billion contract to provide professional information technology security services to the Department of Defense. "

The full article talks about DOD security compliance and what a product needs to live up to, to even make a chance. Interesting reading! It could be months before a winner is announced though. Full story at the eWEEK site:


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


The Ultimate Job Security Tool: Double-Take

For those admins wanting their file servers to be available again within minutes of a crisis, Double-Take is the most popular tool. Double-Take has over 50,000 licenses in production, including 12,000 on Exchange, 10,000 licenses on SQL, and nearly 10 years of protecting Windows servers since 1996. This makes Double-Take the undisputed leader in protecting Microsoft environments for high-availability and disaster recovery in-one: 30-day eval at: