Vol. 11, #5 - Jan 30, 2006 - Issue #561
Recover Lost MS Product Keys With Freeware
- EDITORS CORNER
- Hands Up! Step Away From That PC!
- Microsoft Financial Health: Excellent
- SANS Webcast Feb 1, 2006: The Spyware Threat Today
- New SunPoll: What Do You Want To Win At Tech.Ed?
- Quotes of the Week
- ADMIN TOOLBOX
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- TECH BRIEFING
- IBM Strives For "Superhuman" Speech Tech
- Memory Overload!
- Checklist: 11 Things To Do After A Hack
- From The Mind Of Minasi
- WINDOWS SERVER NEWS
- Microsoft to Bolster Software Assurance
- Redmond Throws Licensing Hissy Fit
- WINDOWS SERVER THIRD PARTY NEWS
- Recover Lost MS Product Keys With Freeware
- SANS Webcast Feb 1, 2006: The Spyware Threat Today
- Harvard and Oxford Launch Anti-Spyware Site
- WServerNews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff.
- WServerNews - PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
- FREE Webcast: Winning the War on the Spyware Battlefield
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Visit Cymphonix to See the Online Product Demo!
Hands Up! Step Away From That PC!
Whoa Nellie! So now the lawyers are forcing in updates???
Dang, managing networks gets more interesting by the day.
WServerNews reader Peter V received this missive from Redmond
last week. And it looks legit as well. I gather some of you have
seen this arrive in your own mailbox. You are legally required
to update Office 2003. If not, you will be tied to your chair
and be forced to watch Bill Gates demos where things go BSOD
until you beg for mercy.
It was recently decided in a court of law that certain portions
of code found in Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003,
Microsoft Office Access 2003, Microsoft Office XP Professional
and Microsoft Access 2002 infringe a third-party patent. As a
result, Microsoft must make available a revised version of
these products with the allegedly infringing code replaced.
As a result of the above ruling, you are required to:
Sincerely, Microsoft Licensing. More at:
- Install Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 2 (Office 2003 SP2)
for all your future deployments of Office Professional Edition
2003 and Office Access 2003,
- Install the Microsoft Office XP Service Pack 3 Patch (Office
XP SP3 Patch) for all your future deployments of Office XP
Professional and Access 2002. [snip]
Microsoft Financial Health: Excellent
Microsoft reported solid quarterly results as their earnings per
share was a penny ahead of the Street despite a $150M shortfall
in revenue due to lower Xbox 360 sales. But the big hit was SQL
2005 and the Server software which topped expectations by more
than $100M. Wall Street analysts see a healthy 2006 and 2007 ahead
as well, based on the product release schedule which includes Vista.
SANS Webcast Feb 1, 2006: The Spyware Threat Today
SANS is happy to bring you the latest in their complimentary
series of Webcasts. Join them on Wednesday, February 01 at 1:00PM
as SANS presents: The Spyware Threat Today -- Featuring: Dave
Shackleford and Greg Kras. You need to register with the SANS
portal to be able to sign in. More data in the third party
section, but start with registering here:
New SunPoll: What Do You Want To Win At Tech.Ed?
We've got some goodies what we'd like you to choose from.
Check out the cool stuff and please vote for them over here:
Quotes of the Week
"Those who want free security get what they pay for...nothing."
-- Dusty Rhodes
"The worst crime against working people is a company which fails
to operate at a profit." -? Samuel Gompers, 1st AFL president
IBM Strives For "Superhuman" Speech Tech
IBM unveiled new speech recognition technology that can comprehend
the nuances of spoken English, translate it on the fly, even create
on-the-fly subtitles for foreign-language television programs, and
a lot of other really cool stuff. PCMag has the details:
Having trouble diagnosing computer memory failure? Browse the
articles, news and tips to find information on how to get the most
out of your computer's memory at the SearchWinSystems site.
Checklist: 11 Things To Do After A Hack
We preach quite a bit on this site about how to prevent security
breaches, and hopefully you take it to heart and play an active
role in hardening your systems. But sometimes even that ounce of
prevention and pound of cure isn't enough to defend against a
predator and the resulting penetration of your protections can
be a mind-boggling experience. Where do you begin? Here's a brief
list of some steps to take "post-hack" to ensure you have the
best chance of determining who did what and how it was done.
First, though... UNPLUG! [grin] At SearchWindowsSecurity.com:
From The Mind Of Minasi
This was an article published by SearchWin2000 in the last few days.
It's more than worth it since we all like and admire Mark's expertise
and quick, dry wit! Here goes:
"There are few in the Windows IT industry who have yet to experience
the wisdom and wit of popular author and expert Mark Minasi. Minasi
has numerous books and magazine articles to his credit, and he is
well known for his columns and appearances in radio and television.
Minasi took some time to share his musings about Microsoft with
SearchWin2000.com. Among his enjoyable observations? There could
be PCs with chrome or fins in our future. You don't get it? Read on.
Q: What's your assessment of how Microsoft is doing overall, pros,
Mark Minasi: Microsoft's biggest problem is that it's not a high-tech
company anymore. It's like the automobile industry. Look at the changes
from Windows 3.0 to 3.1. There was a lot of stuff. Also from 3.1 to
Windows 95. Big changes. Major changes in Windows 2000. [The difference
between] the typical PC you would buy in 1981 versus 1991? Night and
day: In 1991 you might have a 386 or a 486, maybe 16 mgs of RAM, maybe
a network card. But how much has it changed in the last 14 years?
In the automobile industry, in 1926, headlights were a big deal. Since
the 1950s, things haven't changed so much. Maybe they would add fins
or chrome. So I don't know. Maybe look for laptops with fins.
Does this mean you can't make money? Heck no. But [Microsoft] isn't
doing it because they're changing the technology.
Q: So if you could be the one setting goals for Microsoft in 2006,
what would the goals be?
Minasi: Let's step back and look at the technology. What does the
average person need a computer for? E-mail? The Web? How can Windows
be reengineered so that the Sony rootkit is impossible? The one feature
that Microsoft has [yet] to add is reliability. And reliability gives
us the side effect of security.
And how can it be more reliable and safer? We keep our credit cards
on computers. Our documents are on computers. I don't know if any
software company has earned our trust and that's sad because we've
had computers for 60 years now.
Microsoft has to think about a world where PCs are only one way to get
to [information]. A lot of people that interact with technology have
their whole Internet experience on a cell phone. I have friends who have
grown up on IM who can deal with the pain and suffering of the phone pad.
Maybe this means the next 100 million Americans who pop up are just going
to buy a phone or Palm Pilot? [Microsoft people] are smart people and
I'm sure they are thinking about how long we will have computers the
way we do now.
Q: Are you excited about Vista or Longhorn Server, based on what you've
seen and heard thus far?
Minasi: No. Let's talk first about [Windows Server 2003] R2. That was a
press release and a paint job. I am stunned that they would put this out.
And Vista, that boils down to Microsoft saying in 2006 that you can take
a PC and make it just as nice as a Mac in 2001. I know it's a line that
I've used before, but I am right.
Whoever said to Microsoft: 'I've got lots of CPU sitting around. Can
you waste it with some glitter?'
You assume that CPUs will get faster, so we can waste CPUs. But Intel
said last year that Pentiums are maxing out. They are going to make
better use of the cycles they have. You won't see a 20 terabyte drive
in your laptop unless there is a technology change. When Microsoft
shows you the beta it's slow, and by the time they ship [the software],
the new hardware will be there.
But here's the world's premium chip company saying that this is it.
We are wed to the Intel platform, but we are also wed to the Intel
opcodes. If a new technology, whatever it is, can do Intel opcodes,
then groovy. But it's a long time between when something is talked
about and when it becomes an actual product.
Q: What is the real value of software services? Is this something for
the enterprise or is it really just an option for the individual user?
Minasi: It doesn't make sense to me. Microsoft, like any other
software company, has always wanted to make software not something
you own but something you rent. But they are basically there. You
can't buy new Windows 2000. If you do, you would be crazy with the
bugs and security issues. So you buy Windows 2003. They just want
to have a subscription service.
Written by Margie Semilof, Senior
News Writer, with grateful acknowledgement, copyright TechTarget,
||WINDOWS SERVER NEWS
Microsoft to Bolster Software Assurance
Microsoft is planning several major changes to beef up features
of Software Assurance, the company's maintenance and upgrade
program that has been criticized for its expense and slow follow-
up with new products.
The program, started in 2002, streamlined what was often a complex
and expensive licensing routine for Microsoft products. Licensees
who purchased Software Assurance had the right to upgrade their
programs for no cost when new versions were released, in addition
to receiving training and support. But the value was increasingly
questioned as Microsoft delayed the release of certain key
products such as its Windows Vista OS and SQL Server 2005.
In March, Microsoft will offer several enhancements to make
customers feel they are getting more value from their SA package,
said Amanda Abel, head of licensing and software asset management
for Microsoft U.K. Full story at NetworkWorld:
Redmond Throws Licensing Hissy Fit
Well well well, who wouda' thought it would ever happen. Microsoft
finally announced it would throw the Windows source in their licensing
program that was set up to meet the 2004 European Commission order to
create a level playing field and restore competition. No extra cost.
Of course they are afraid they are going to have to pay 2Mil a day
for not complying with Europe demands. With this broad stroke, they
want to once and for all make it clear that they will "document" their
code so other vendors can interface. Of course they warned it cannot
be copied, it's for research purposes only.
||WINDOWS SERVER THIRD PARTY NEWS
Recover Lost MS Product Keys With Freeware
Nir Sofer has done it again! This time a freeware tool aptly named
ProduKey. When you fire it up, it shows you the names of all the
products it can find keys for, including the product ID#, the
actual product key and more goodies. If you double-click on one
of the highlighted entries, ProduKey shows detailed data and you
can stick that on the clipboard. This is a must-have for any
system admin's rescue kit!
SANS Webcast Feb 1, 2006: The Spyware Threat Today
SANS is happy to bring you the latest in our complimentary series
of Webcasts. Join us on Wednesday, February 01 at 1:00 PM as
The Spyware Threat Today -- Featuring: Dave Shackleford and Greg Kras.
Spyware is quickly becoming one of the most pervasive threats to
organizations of all types. The majority of infections occur through
basic Web browsing, and existing security controls are often not
configured to detect spyware or prevent it from spreading. In addition
to this, spyware can cause organizations to lose sensitive information,
resulting in a number of compliance-related issues, as well. There
are a number of steps that security staff can take to adopt a
defense-in-depth strategy addressing spyware at both the system
and network levels. This presentation will discuss the state of
spyware today, how it infects systems, and network- and host-level
methods of detection and prevention.
- The Spyware Threat Today / Dave Shackleford
Spyware has become the new headache for IT. Systems become rapidly
infected and system admins are often forced to physically go to
the end-user and manually run spyware removal tools to get rid of
these data threats. CounterSpy Enterprise is a policy-based,
antispyware solution that provides a scalable, centrally managed
solution that is capable of detecting and removing a broad range
of adware, malware and other spyware from corporate networks. This
brief overview will show how system admins can effectively manage
spyware within their organizations using CounterSpy Enterprise.
- Managing Spyware with CounterSpy Enterprise / Greg Kras
Dave Shackleford, Senior Security Architect: Dave Shackleford is
the Manager of Solution Engineering for Vigilar in Atlanta, providing
information security consulting services to business and government
clients. Dave has been involved in security for close to 10 years,
holding a number of technical and managerial positions. Dave is also
the co-author of "Hands-On Information Security" from Thomson
Greg Kras, VP of Product Management: In 1998, Greg Kras joined
Sunbelt Software. As the VP of Product Management, Greg plays an
integral role in establishing the technical direction of the
product development organization as well as managing corporate
MIS functions including customer service and technical support.
His expertise in the areas of large-scale network design,
implementation and maintenance includes extensive experience with
Windows NT4/2000/2003 servers, enterprise applications such as
MS Exchange, MS SQL and TCP/IP based networking. Register here:
Harvard and Oxford Launch Anti-Spyware Site
StopBadware.org is a "Neighborhood Watch" campaign aimed at fighting
badware (Badware is malicious software that tracks your moves online
and feeds that information back to shady marketing groups so that
they can ambush you with targeted ads). Their objective is to provide
reliable, objective information about downloadable applications in
order to help consumers to make better choices about what they download
on to their computers. They aim to become a central clearinghouse
for research on badware and those who spread it, and to become a
focal point for developing collaborative, community-minded approaches
to stopping badware. This initiative is being put forth by Harvard
Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Oxford
University's Oxford Internet Institute are leading this initiative
with the support of several prominent tech companies, including
Google, Lenovo, and Sun Microsystems. Sunbelt's Eric Howes part of
the Working Group too. Consumer Reports WebWatch is serving as an
unpaid special advisor. Check them out at:
||WServerNews - PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
FREE Webcast: Winning the War on the Spyware Battlefield
Join renowned spyware researcher Eric Howes along with Sunbelt
Software's President Alex Eckelberry, for an engaging discussion
on the scope of the spyware problem. Learn why antivirus solutions
are not winning the battle against spyware & how you can better
protect your organization from spyware threats.
TIME: February 7, 2006 at 1PM ET. Register Today!