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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Sep 26, 2005 (Vol. 10, #39 - Issue #544)
The Ten Commandments Of A Sysadmin
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • CounterSpy Enterprise Wins Network Computing Magazine Editor's Choice Award!
    • Bill Gates Goes To College
    • Free Opera. Great Move, And No Ads.
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
    • The Ten Commandments Of A Sysadmin:
    • IDC Worldwide: PC Growth Strong in Q4
    • How To Educate Employees About Spyware
    • Firefox: Honeymoon Over?
    • Hacker's-eye View Of SQL Server
    • Locking Down Services On XP Client Workstations
    • Microsoft Reorganizes
    • Redmond Adds 24/7 Support To Software Assurance
    • Microsoft Acquires Alacris
    • Outlook Express Will Be Called Windows Mail
    • iHateSpam for Exchange Now Filters Nearly 100% Of Spam
    • Load Balancing CounterSpy Enterprise
    • InfoWorld: Countering Spyware
    • New Release: Print Manager Plus 6.0
    • New Flavor Of CounterSpy Now Also Runs On Gateways
  6. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • What Every IT Manager Should Know About Exchange Failover and Centralized Backup
  SPONSOR: AntiSpyware: #1 2005 Security App:
~~ The NUMBER 1 Security Application for 2005: AntiSpyware! ~~
A recent Forrester survey showed that a whopping 65% of companies
this year will get an antispyware application, over any other
security tool. And Network Computing concluded that spyware-
focused products were more more effective at eradicating malware
than old antivirus products that had antispyware bolted on as an
afterthought. Read the review in Network Computing that gave
CounterSpy Enterprise the Editor's Choice Award!
Visit AntiSpyware: #1 2005 Security App: for more information.

CounterSpy Enterprise Wins Network Computing Magazine Editor's Choice Award!

This is huge. CounterSpy Enterprise was recognized for its modern interface design, spyware removal abilities and ease of deployment. We're stoked. CSE was evaluated in a comparative real-world review of seven leading enterprise antispyware solutions. CSE earned top marks for its impressive spyware detection and removal, best reporting functionality and all-around excellent performance.

Featured in the September 22, 2005 edition of Network Computing, the review cites CounterSpy Enterprise for its excellent spyware detection and prevention and centralized management console capabilities. In addition, CounterSpy Enterprise scored for its speedy installation and deployment, clean and lightweight feel, and focus on quick, intuitive access to scanning, updates, network monitoring and reports. To download and print the full Network Computing review, here it is in PDF format!

Bill Gates Goes To College

As you know, every year on the Professional Developers Course (PDC), Microsoft shows a spoof with Bill Gates in it. This year they used a cult movie called Napoleon Dynamite for inspiration. If you have not seen the original flick, the spoof does not seem to make much sense. But if you have, the spoof is very funny. Some one had a digital camera, and taped it (illegally) during the PDC. This version first made it on the iFilm site, which has thousands of these 4-5 minute short movies, some of them awesome, and worth it to kill a few minutes while a backup wraps up [grin].

It was yanked from the iFilm site though, after some studio lawyers made noise. You have to search for the sites that still run it before the lawyers get to them. Google "Bill Gates Goes To College". Talking about PDC and video, here are a whole bunch of technical videos made at the PDC, some of these are very interesting too!

Free Opera. Great Move, And No Ads.

This week, Opera Software announced the release of version 8.5 of its web browser, available on Microsoft's Windows, Apple's Mac OSX, Linux, FreeBSD, and Sun Solaris. The latest version is downloadable at no cost and without banner ads. Their revenues are generated via third parties such as Google and eBay and have grown more than the money they make from ads, so they now believe they can gain wider adoption by making their browser freely available for users. In fact, they want to beat Firefox which is the No. 2 player with 8.3% (Redmond's share being 86.3%). Here is the download:

Quote Of The Week:
"The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom." -- Isaac Asimov
"It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power." -- David Brin (both these gents are sci-fi writers by the way)

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


Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without


The Ten Commandments Of A Sysadmin:

I found a really good and fun article on the Caffinated Security site. This is the summary: "As system and network administrators, we play many roles. We are the ones who provide stable and secure environments for electronic business in all of its forms, from email to accounting systems to mission-critical Web applications.

However, despite our best efforts, disaster will occasionally strike. In this series, I'll present what I feel are the 10 most important steps a systems administrator can take to ensure that when that dreaded 3a.m. page hits, you're prepared to react quickly, assess the situation, and make everything right again. I call these the Ten Commandments of system administration. Here goes:

  1. Thou shalt make regular and complete backups
  2. Thou shalt establish absolute trust in thy servers
  3. Thou shalt be the first to know when something goes down
  4. Thou shalt keep server logs on everything
  5. Thou shalt document complete and effective policies and procedures
  6. Thou shalt know what cable goes where
  7. Thou shalt use encryption for insecure services
  8. Thou shalt not lose system logs when a server dies
  9. Thou shalt know the openings into your servers
  10. Thou shalt not waste time doing repetitive and mundane tasks


IDC Worldwide: PC Growth Strong in Q4

"We continue to see remarkable growth in the consumer segment and in emerging markets." -- Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. With a long-term growth outlook projected to be stable at 9 per cent, IDC's latest global PC tracker report says the consumer market segment in Europe, Canada, and the rest of the world is the biggest driver; IDC said the commercial PC segment is also strong worldwide.

How To Educate Employees About Spyware

We all know the threats posed by spyware to enterprise networks: user ID and password theft, financial loss, productivity drain, intellectual property theft. Security practitioners have two defenses at their disposal: the human and the technical. While the technology for combating spyware is improving, antivirus vendors have only recently started adding functionality to target it. That means the best defense is the human one - employees and end users. They can help in the battle against spyware through security awareness training and information security policies. The full article is here:

And the following was posted today on SearchSecurity.com from their review in Information Security Magazine. Check out what they say about CounterSpy Enterprise:

Firefox: Honeymoon Over?

I still think you are waaay safer using Firefox over IE, but now, according to security expert George Ou, Firefox has more security vulnerabilities per month than IE. You need to read the whole article to understand what he is talking about and how he comes to his quite interesting conclusion:

Hacker's-eye View Of SQL Server

Hackers can devastate your SQL Server workflow and cripple your company's business. Database consultant and Microsoft SQL Server MVP Hilary Cotter outlines the four primary methods used to hack into SQL Server and offers defenses to prevent security breach. Article at SearchSQLServer.com.

Locking Down Services On XP Client Workstations

Locking down unnecessary services is an excellent way to prevent security holes in Windows client workstations. So says Windows security author Jonathan Hassell in his review of 88 different Windows XP services. He also gives the thumbs up or down on which should be enabled. Over at SearchWindowsSecurity.


Microsoft Reorganizes

This week, Microsoft cut up their org chart and reorganized into three core divisions, each with its own president: Platform Products & Services Division under Kevin Johnson and Jim Allchin. (That is, until Jim retires after Vista is released); a Business Division under Jeff Railes and the Entertainment & Devices Division managed by Robbie Bach. The three units will report to Ballmer.

First time in a long, long time that Microsoft has done this. It was prompted mainly by two things, the need to change how their software is being written, and getting ready for mortal combat with Google, Yahoo, Linux and companies like salesforce.com.

In a prepared statement, CEO Steve Ballmer proclaimed: "These changes are designed to align our business groups in a way that will enhance decision-making and speed of execution." He further commented: "We need to improve agility," That makes sense, with people like Google on their tail who are able to crank out new software at a much faster pace than Redmond.

Well, if agility means that Microsoft can make faster decisions and produce code faster, that would be good. But in reality, I'm not so sure that three big divisions will be able to make decisions faster than the old seven smaller ones, unless this means less internal turf wars.

Redmond Adds 24/7 Support To Software Assurance

Of the benefits recently added to Microsoft's beleaguered licensing maintenance program, the one most likely to appeal to most enterprises is around-the-clock problem resolution support. Microsoft added the 24/7 phone support for critical outages for all products last week, as well as a handful of other benefits in its regular efforts to make Software Assurance palatable to the broadest range of customers.

"This is the most significant of the additions because it's for unlimited Web support for all Microsoft server products," said Alvin Park, an analyst at Gartner Inc., a Stamford, Conn., consulting firm. "I think this will be what generates people to look at SA more than any of the other benefits." More about this at searchwin2000:

Microsoft Acquires Alacris

For companies that make public key encryption and smart cards part of their security strategy, Microsoft's acquisition of Alacris Inc., and the subsequent integration of this technology into Windows, could potentially cut time and expenses out of otherwise costly projects. Microsoft acquired the identity and certificate management software vendor earlier this week for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition choice of Ottawa, Canada-based Alacris is logical given that Alacris' software is already tailored to work with Windows, experts said. More at:

Outlook Express Will Be Called Windows Mail

As part of Channel9's journey around Windows Vista teams, they wondered what was being done to Outlook Express. Well, for Windows Vista it's been renamed to Windows Mail. And that's not all. Video length: 00:46:54.


iHateSpam for Exchange Now Filters Nearly 100% Of Spam

iHateSpam for Exchange Won The 2005 WindowsITPro Reader's Choice Award. And for good reason:

iHateSpam for Exchange leverages dual spam detection engines, allowing you to specify iHateSpam's heuristic engine, Cloudmark's signature engine, or both. These field-tested, powerful spam detection engines routinely catch nearly 100% of spam, without requiring extensive configuration and management. The heuristic spam engine features built-in content filters that use several methods: heuristics, keyword filters and internal lists of known spammer email addresses and domains.

The signature spam engine uses highly sophisticated signatures that uniquely identify email. Using advanced algorithms iHateSpam analyzes the genetic makeup of email messages and each email is evaluated until the determination that an email is spam can be made with confidence. For ultimate flexibility, iHateSpam has protective measures to reduce the chance of email being incorrectly quarantined.

End-users always get email from people in their Contacts folder. Also, they can review spam that has been caught and can even create their own personal whitelists and blacklists. Using a proprietary custom forms technology, developed exclusively by Sunbelt, end-users running Outlook can create and manage these lists easily.

Lastly, as the admin, you can fine-tune the aggressiveness of the spam engine. spam protection in place in mere minutes. Or you can create separate policy templates for different groups or individuals. And you don't have to set up and maintain lists of blocked IP addresses and constantly create all sorts of custom rules. Test it out on your Exchange Server for 30 days.

Best of all, if you get it now, you will be grandfathered into Sunbelt Messaging Ninja that we expect before the end of the year: Spam, AV, Attachment Filtering and a plug-in architecture that allows for all kinds of other cool things to be added:

Load Balancing CounterSpy Enterprise

Sunbelt Software recently released Counterspy Enterprise 1.5.265. It includes features that were built into the Update Service to allow Agents that do not exist in the agent catalogue to receive Agent software and threat database updates. We added these new features to:

  • balance the load placed on the Update Service in large agent deployment scenarios (2500+), and
  • alleviate bandwidth issues with Agents on remote sites attempting to download their Agent software and threat database updates from a single Counterspy Enterprise server.

This white paper is for System Admins who are currently using CounterSpy Enterprise. Here is the PDF:

Download your 30 day eval of CounterSpy Enterprise:

InfoWorld: Countering Spyware

InfoWorld has done a major shoot-out between a lot of spyware and combo antivirus/spyware products. CounterSpy Enterprise made it into the review and came out with an 8.5 out of 10 in the Top 2 of stand-alone antispyware point solutions, sharing the lead with Webroot's 8.8. InfoWorld started out like this:

"Spyware outbreaks are escalating from a frustrating productivity problem to an outright security issue. "All it takes is one careless user who decides to satisfy his MP3 addiction by downloading a free file-swapping program poisoned with malware.

"A backdoor application and keylogger install themselves, and next thing you know, your company's Web sites have been compromised and are acting as a file-sharing FTP site, and your domain regis- trations have been changed to an offshore company". Here is the whole article:

New Release: Print Manager Plus 6.0

Software Shelf announced the release of Print Manager Plus V 6.0 for total accounting and cost control of all printing across an enterprise of any size and kind. Version 6.0 is a major upgrade to its award winning Print Manager Plus software for business, academic and government organizations. Version 6.0 is the first Microsoft verified and logo certified software to support Hewlett-Packard(r) Multifunctional printers' (MFP) walk-up copying or printing. It supports all printer brands, printers and plotters of any size and operating systems.

Organizations have reported Print Manager Plus cuts their cost of printing by up to 75%. Industry studies have shown that it is not unusual for the cost of printing to reach the equivalent of 40% of a company's labor costs or three percent of gross revenues.

This new version is a major step in Software Shelf(r) development of product feature improvement to meet the needs and wants of its customers at a license cost far below anything the market has seen. The New and Improved points of Print Manager Plus 6.0 include hundreds of new features to meet every need for reporting, billing, security and authentication, and others to bring about with ease and simplicity total cost control and accounting of printing that meets the needs of the small office as much as the multinational enterprise with hundreds or thousands of users or clients.

Installation is on the Windows print server. It is fully integrated with MS Access installation wizard, as well as the MSDE installation wizard or SQL installation wizard at the option of the admin. An overview of the new Print Manager Plus 6.0 includes versions for every market including:

  • Print Manager Plus Standard Small Business Ed. 6.0 MSRP: $199.00
  • Print Manager Plus Standard 6.0 MSRP: $795.00
  • Print Manager Plus with Client Billing and Authentication SOHO Edition 6.0 MSRP: $99.00
  • Print Manager Plus with Client Billing and Authentication Small Business Edition 6.0 MSRP: $495.00
  • Print Manager Plus with Client Billing and Authentication 6.0 MSRP: $1,295.00
  • Print Manager Plus Traveling Consultant Edition 6.0 MSRP: $745.00

For more information or to download a fully functional evaluation:

New Flavor Of CounterSpy Now Also Runs On Gateways

We've developed a version of CounterSpy that can be put into gateway appliances. Our first deal is with a company called Cymphonix. They make a quite advanced appliance - it blocks spyware and a lot more, such as shaping bandwidth (meaning, you can give different users and applications different restrictions and/or priorities on bandwidth). Check this appliance out at:


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


What Every IT Manager Should Know About Exchange Failover and Centralized Backup

What if your key application server went down today? Component failure, power outages, operator errors, viruses and natural disasters can all influence a system's availability. Sunbelt and NSI Software would like to invite you to informative seminars in Cleveland and Detroit. In these seminars, we will discuss strategies for implementing high availability, remote availability and centralized backup solutions.

You will get to see a demonstration of an Exchange failover as well as learn how to begin to develop a tactical plan that you can use to meet high availability and disaster recovery objectives based on the needs of your business. All attendees will be registered for a chance to win an Apple iPod. Further information on Double-Take:


Cleveland registration:
Wednesday, Oct. 5th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm (Breakfast included)
Location: Microsoft Corporation
Park Center III
6050 Oak Tree Blvd, 3rd Floor
Independence, OH 44131

Detroit registration:
Wednesday, Oct. 19th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm (Breakfast included)
Location: Microsoft Corporation
1000 Town Center Dr.
Southfield Town Center, Suite 1930
Southfield, MI 48075