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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Sep 5, 2005 (Vol. 10, #36 - Issue #541)
Disaster Preparedness
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Disaster Preparedness
    • New SunPoll: Microsoft Certs
    • Sunbelt Video
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
    • Microsoft Command-line Tool Checks File Integrity
    • Refresh Your SQL Server Test Beds With Automated Restores
    • Ever Wonder What Files Were Required To Run A Program?
    • Bluetooth, Future and Security Risks
    • Cell Phones Do Not Cause Tumors, Study Finds
    • Windows Server 2003 R2 Now A Release Candidate
    • Does Microsoft Want To Be Your Phone Company?
    • Microsoft Makes WinFS Beta 1 Bits Available
    • New Microsoft Phishing Filter White Paper
    • DR Testing Infrequent At Best
    • Basking In The Glory
  6. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • iHateSpam For Exchange with Maintenance "2 for 1"
  SPONSOR: Is Your Antivirus Not Effective In Detecting Spyware?
If you have found your AV vendor to be less than effective at
detecting and quarantining spyware, you are not the only one. The
leading AV companies now claim they catch spyware but in reality,
their results are not even close to the dedicated stand-alone tools.
You cannot afford to have a false sense of security when your
organization's security and compliance is at stake! eWEEK said this
about Symantec: "Unfortunately, deficiencies with the anti-spyware
cleaning and blocking routines make it difficult to recommend this
solution for companies battling the spyware scourge." 30-day eval
CounterSpy with the best antispyware database in the industry:
Visit Is Your Antivirus Not Effective In Detecting Spyware? for more information.

Disaster Preparedness

Most of you know I have been writing about this on a regular basis in W2Knews for the last 10 years. The gruesome reports coming out of Katrina's wake remind me again that being prepared cannot be overstated. And living myself in the Hurricane corridor makes this again an actual issue. It could be us next time.

Part of being prepared is to know your surroundings. It was known for decades that New Orleans was only protected against Category 3 hurricanes. The city emergency managers were very well aware of the risks and had been unsuccessfully pushing for upgrades to the systems for years. Here is an article in the Houston Chronicle of January 2001 (!) that describes the precarious state of affairs fairly well:

I now understand a little better why New Orleans often was partying like there was no tomorrow. Many people knew that one day there might be no tomorrow. That day arrived August 30, 2005.

So, take a good look at your current environment and assess the business continuity risks correctly. It was not entirely clear the day after Katrina, but the aftermath shows the thorough devastation. See some of the fave links below for pictures. You have probably seen it all on the news, but from an IT perspective, there are three "survival" lessons we can observe here:

1) Being alive on Planet Earth essentially means being permanently in a somewhat dangerous condition. It only takes a few pounds of pressure from a sharp object to penetrate flesh. Unfortunately, there simply are forces beyond our control, hurricanes being a good example but definitely not the only one. Look again at your disaster recovery plan with above points in mind and adjust accordingly, and plan early.

2) If your city is under mandatory evacuation orders, you likely will not have any staff on-site. So be ready (have a plan in place) to shut down systems and have backup media ready to take hundreds of miles to a new safer site. Better yet, have a fail-over site at the ready and replicate your data in real-time.

3) Continuity is a relative concept. How long will your on-site generators run with the fuel you have on hand? There may be no possibility to get new fuel any time soon. There may be other resources you need that you don't even think about but just run out of and now suddenly you are "up the creek". So in your plans, always also state for how long your "Plan B" will be able to 'stay up' before you need to move to "Plan C".

And similar to the recent tsunami, lowlifes set up a bunch of scam websites that solicit money for disaster relief. Don't get caught by these fraudsters. In the fave links is a list of FEMA approved and safe charities.

New SunPoll: Microsoft Certs

Microsoft says it is retooling its certifications. What's your biggest gripe about the current certification program?

  • Not enough credit for "real world" experience
  • It's too easy
  • It's too hard
  • It doesn't translate to higher pay
  • I'm happy with the current system

Vote here: middle column:

Sunbelt Video

Our Pres Alex Eckelberry and our Creative Director Robert Lafollette decided to roam around our offices and give people a quick glimpse of how it looks over here. We've now got 120 people in Sunbelt U.S, with over 50% in R&D, Tech Support, Quality Assurance and Spyware Research. This is not your usual "Corporate PR Puff Piece". No, Alex is having fun horsing around a bit and Robert cut the video which was shot with just a handheld:

Quotes Of The Week: "Thinking is one thing no one has ever been able to tax." -- Charles F. Kettering
"Every man dies. Not every man lives." - Braveheart
"Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible." --St. Francis of Assisi

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


Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without


Microsoft Command-line Tool Checks File Integrity

Microsoft's free command-line tool, File Checksum Integrity Verifier, can create cryptographic hashes or "fingerprints" for files. Learn what else you can do with FCIV in this tip. At SearchWinSystems.com:

Refresh Your SQL Server Test Beds With Automated Restores

Creating an automated task to restore your SQL Server database as needed allows you to easily refresh a development or test environment. Edgewood Solutions' Principal Database Engineer and founder Greg Robidoux offers a list of steps and a sample script to help you automate restores in this tip from SearchSQLServer.com

Ever Wonder What Files Were Required To Run A Program?

Dependency Walker is a utility which will analyze an executable and report the dependencies of that program. It is a support tool that enables you to examine a selected application or component to determine what other components are required for the application to start. The tool lists the dependencies in a tree format.

For every component selected, Dependency Walker lists the programming functions of each primary and secondary module. Typically, the system modules have .exe, .dll, .ocx, and .sys file name extensions. Dependency Walker can also help you identify problems related to missing or corrupt modules, circular dependency errors, and mismatched module types. It's part of the WinXP Reskit:

Bluetooth, Future and Security Risks

Summary: If you are interested in learning how Bluetooth technology will be used in the future and what kind of security risks it may present, this interview is for you.

Bluetooth technology is beginning to be used to a measurable extent, particularly in Europe. A recent article that I read described how Bluetooth was being used in automobiles to provide hands-free operation of cell phones in the automobile. The article went on to describe how hackers can break-into the Bluetooth network inside your car.

This, and other, security risks are not merely hypothetical. They have been demonstrated by members of trifintie.org, and the person interviewed is the founder of trifinite.org. He lives, and works, in Germany. Length: This Slide Show presentation is covered in about 32 minutes. To see the program visit this site and click Herfurt's interview August 29th.

Cell Phones Do Not Cause Tumors, Study Finds

Using a mobile phone for 10 years does not significantly increase the risk of developing a tumor, according to a new study from the U.K.'s Institute of Cancer Research. Story at InfoWorld:


Windows Server 2003 R2 Now A Release Candidate

"Release Candidate ZERO" is a near-final form of the server OS R2 release, which will stand as an interim version of Windows Server until Longhorn ships in 2007. It is built on W2K3 SP1 and adds 64-bit chip support, Active Directory Federation Services, new storage management and centralized file replication. What it does not have is stuff like digital right management and Network Access Protection that Redmond pulled earlier this year. Expect this major upgrade by the end of the year.

Does Microsoft Want To Be Your Phone Company?

This week, Microsoft announced the acquisition of privately held Teleo, a provider of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology. Teleo's technology was designed to enable users to make PC-to-PC, cell phone, and land line calls. Through the acquisition, Redmond plans to combine Teleo's technology and expertise with its existing VoIP investments to further develop the product and service offerings of MSN. Outfits like Yahoo!, Google and AOL have moved aggressively to bolster their own VoIP technologies as well. Looks like Redmond is playing catch up with the leaders on the Net.

Microsoft Makes WinFS Beta 1 Bits Available

The WinFS rumors were true: Microsoft has posted for download by its Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers a first beta of its next-generation WinFS file system. Get the story from Mary Jo Foley of Microsoft Watch.

New Microsoft Phishing Filter White Paper

Microsoft this week unveiled two new MSN Search Toolbar Add-ins, enabling people to customize their toolbar to their specific interests and providing a smarter searching and browsing experience. There is a white paper about the Anti-Phishing filter that makes sense to check out. They describe it as follows on their site:

"The focus of this white paper is to describe the basic workings of a new capability, the Microsoft Phishing Filter, that will be included in the upcoming release of Internet Explorer 7. The Microsoft Phishing Filter will not only help provide consumers with a dynamic system of warning and protection against potential phishing attacks, but - more important - it will also benefit legitimate ISPs and Web commerce site developers that want to try to ensure that their brands are not being 'spoofed' to propagate scams and that their legitimate outreach to customers is not confusing or misinterpreted by filtering software." Here is the link:


DR Testing Infrequent At Best

Double-Take was highlighted in Storage Magazine. The title of the article is "DR testing infrequent at best". It appears online and in the August 2005 print edition of Storage Magazine. It focuses on Double-Take customer Bill Costello of Banner & Witcoff, who provides an ideal account of DR testing with Double-Take.

The number of IT shops that have disaster recovery (DR) plans is on the rise. According a recent survey of Storage readers, 83% have some sort of DR plan. However, the number of IT shops that have tested their DR plan recently is less reassuring. Thirty percent of respondents with a plan either haven't tested it in at least a year or--worse yet--have never tested it. To read more:

Basking In The Glory

You probably saw this in the Stu's News this week. (A very infrequent news issue that I send only when something really big hits for Sunbelt Software) But in case it got filtered out, here is the big news. Every year, WinITPro has their Readers' Choice Awards. Call 'em the 'Oscars for Windows Software' and you're close...

In twelve broad categories, Windows professionals all over the USA and Canada voted for the products they simply like the best. This year, six of our products got an unprecedented eight(!) Readers' Choice Awards in the following categories:

Overall: Best Software - iHateSpam for Exchange(tm)
Rookie of the Year - CounterSpy Enterprise(tm)
Best Spyware Blocker - CounterSpy Enterprise
Best Antispam/Server - iHateSpam for Exchange
Best Antispam/Client - iHateSpam(tm)
Best Vulnerability Scanner - Sunbelt Network Security Inspector(tm)
Best Network Analyzer - LanHound(tm)
Best Monitoring and Alerting Software - ServerVision(tm)

More than 1,700 readers chose the best among more than 750 products and services. I'd like to personally thank you for voting for us, and we're honored to have won in so many categories.


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


iHateSpam For Exchange with Maintenance "2 for 1"

The new IHATESPAM for Exchange V1.7 is being very well received. Its efficiency is close to 100% with low false positives. Sunbelt wants to give all customers the opportunity to get this award- winning tool during the third quarter of 2005 with 2 years worth of maintenance, but only pay ONE year! That also will make you eligible for the awesome NINJA product which is the successor of IHATESPAM for Exchange. Talk to your Reseller or Rep, and make sure your purchase order is received before midnight Sept 30, 2005