Vol. 11, #11 - Mar 13, 2006 - Issue #567
And ANOTHER Platform To Support? Puhleeeease!
- EDITORS CORNER
- And ANOTHER Platform To Support? Puhleeeease!
- Software Firewalls: Whaddayathink?
- WIRED Article on iBill
- Reminder Downtime Survey Invitation
- Quotes of the Week
- ADMIN TOOLBOX
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- TECH BRIEFING
- After Flap, Symantec Adjusts Browser Bug Count
- Microsoft Gives Test Takers A Second Shot
- The Contemporary Antivirus Industry And Its Problems
- All-in-One Guide: Windows OS Backup
- No Software Assurance? No Software
- Exchange Admin 101: An introduction to DSAccess
- WINDOWS SERVER NEWS
- Time To Read Up On Microsoft's InfoCard Plans
- WINDOWS SERVER THIRD PARTY NEWS
- NetIQ to Ship Change Administration Tool
- Redmond Acquires Migration Tool Called Alohabob
- Researcher Hacks Microsoft Fingerprint Reader
- WServerNews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
- WServerNews - PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
- What's New? Double-Take Data-Protection Product Update
Add McAfee to Kerio WinRoute Firewall for a virus-free network
Isn't it better to block viruses and worms BEFORE they enter
your network? Instead of buying the latest trendy appliance,
check out Kerio WinRoute Firewall. ICSA Labs-certified on
Windows XP, Kerio WinRoute Firewall gives network admins
the ability to scan all email AND web traffic to ensure that
viruses are not embedded in web pages or email. Starting at
just $499 for the 10-user base license. Continues...
And ANOTHER Platform To Support? Puhleeeease!
OK, so cat is out of the bag about the Origami handheld from
Intel and Redmond. A couple of hardware vendors are experimenting
with it, to see if there is a market. That in itself is a red
flag. Microsoft also stated that they are still figuring out
how big this market is going to be. Looking at the specs and
what this thing does, I would strongly recommend you quickly
issue a statement that you looked it over, that it's a device
for consumers, and that IT is not planning to support it for
corporate use. The laptops we have are fine thank you very
Software Firewalls: Whaddayathink?
There has been some discussion on the forums recently about the
"Yes-or-No" of adding an additional software firewall on servers
that are internal (being behind a firewall at the edge). There
are interesting and strong opinions for both. We thought it would
be interesting to get everyone's opinion about this, and see
where you all stand from a "percentage-of-votes" perspective.
But also, if you have feedback about this, write to me via the
option at the end of this section. Thanks in advance!
Here is a new SunPoll we'd like you to vote for: "What is your policy
about deploying a software firewall on your production servers? "
Vote here, middle column at the bottom:
- Yes, we have that additional security layer
- I like the idea of that layer if not too costly
- MBSA is good enough to harden my internal systems
- Umm, not sure if that is a good idea
- No, we rely on the hardware firewall at the edge
WIRED Article on iBill
Wired just posted an article on some outstanding work that Lance
James at Secure Science worked on with regard to porn payment
processor iBill. We collaborated with him later on the project
as well. From the article:
"Seventeen million customers of the online payment service iBill
have had their personal information released onto the internet,
where it's been bought and sold in a black market made up of
fraud artists and spammers, security experts say."
"Secure Science found that data in February 2005, and reported it
to the FBI's Miami field office, the company says. The FBI declined
comment. Last month, Sunbelt Software found an additional list of
slightly over 1 million individual entries labeled Ibill_1m.txt
on a spamming website. That list appeared to date from 2003."
Reminder Downtime Survey Invitation
How much downtime are your peers confronted with? Let's find out
how the different platforms are doing! Yankee Group and Sunbelt
Software invite you to participate in a short survey about your
experience with the reliability of your server OS-en. It's few
multiple choice grids and one essay question in which you will
be asked to give your opinions on the patching process. We know
you're all very busy; the survey will take no more than 3 minutes
at best. We will provide you with a summary of the results in
an upcoming issue of WServerNews. Thanks a bundle for helping out!
Quotes of the Week
"Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself."
-- Richard David Bach
"If the automobile had followed the same development cycle as the
computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles
per gallon, and explode once a year, killing everyone inside."
-- Robert X. Cringely
After Flap, Symantec Adjusts Browser Bug Count
A report issued by Symantec features two different ways of counting
browser bugs: one that finds IE has the most vulnerabilities, and
another that indicates Firefox is the bug leader. Interesting story
at ComputerWorld, if you are into that kind of thing:
Microsoft Gives Test Takers A Second Shot
Microsoft is giving individuals who sign up for its certification
exams two chances to pass the test.
The company said recently that for the second year in a row,
it is offering a second chance to anyone who has scheduled a
certification exam between February 15 and June 30. If someone
fails the exam on the first try and needs to take it again, they
must complete the second test before July 31, said Noury Bernard-
Hasan, the director of certification marketing at Microsoft.
More at SearchWinIT:
The Contemporary Antivirus Industry And Its Problems
Eugene Kaspersky gives his views on the current state of the
antivirus industry, and suggestions for the industry's evolution.
This is a very interesting article I found on the VirusList site:
All-in-One Guide: Windows OS Backup
This new guide is a collection of resources to help you protect
data in Windows servers, desktops and mission-critical apps.
Chapter one begins with tips and tactics for pain-free backup
of your OS data and system state information. Stay tuned for
future chapters on SQL Server, Exchange and Active Directory
at the SearchWinSystems site:
No Software Assurance? No Software
Last September, Microsoft said that Vista Enterprise would be
available to only those shops that have Software Assurance.
The company wasn't kidding. The story is at SearchWinIT.com:
Exchange Admin 101: An introduction to DSAccess
DSAccess is an API used by Exchange components to query Active
Directory and acquire configuration and recipient information.
This tip provides an overview of how DSAccess works. At the
||WINDOWS SERVER NEWS
Time To Read Up On Microsoft's InfoCard Plans
If you check out Microsoft's site, they introduce InfoCard with
some blurb that is hard to understand. But it's a very interesting
technology. Here is how they position it themselves:
"InfoCard" is the code name for a WinFX component that provides
the consistent user experience required by the identity metasystem.
It is specifically hardened against tampering and spoofing to
protect the end user's digital identities and maintain end-user
Sounds like just more techie PR-gobbledygook. But wait. There
is something worthwhile here. This might make the user safer
on the Internet. (after MS repairs all the potential buffer
overflows that is...) InfoCard as I see it, is best understood
as MS-Passport version 2.0, but now more open and user-friendly.
It's a way for users to remain in control of their identity data,
while sharing it only when and where necessary without the need
to remember multiple usernames and passwords.
So from my perspective they need to find another name for it,
as InfoCard immediately conjures up pictures of creditcard-sized
access cards, but that is wrong. InfoCard will be important,
especially for your end-users. You may need to incorporate it
in your overall network management, and your users may also
run this on their home machines. I'm sure you can immediately
see the repercussions regarding education, training, support
and helpdesk related issues. You should visit the InfoCard site
and learn as much as you can and what it can -and what it can't-
do. Here is the link, and remember to check out the Channel 9
video that explains the concept.
||WINDOWS SERVER THIRD PARTY NEWS
NetIQ to Ship Change Administration Tool
NetIQ will ship a new Windows-based tool next week aimed at
simplifying user change administration. Change Administrator 1.0
provides a more granular level of user rights assignment than
Active Directory alone, according to statements by San Jose,
Calif.-based NetIQ. "Domain administration of groups on servers
has become problematic [keeping track of] who does what and what
they have access to," says Jim McGrath, NetIQ's senior director
for product management.
The package helps manage complexity by enabling a "super admin" to
create "proxy" accounts for lower-level administrators that enable
them to perform specific tasks. Rather than assigning expanded
privileges to the administrators' own native accounts, the proxies
provide the necessary permissions. Read more at ENTmag:
Redmond Acquires Migration Tool Called Alohabob
Migrating PC data from an old machine to a new one is fraught with
pitfalls, angles, bear traps and other various and sundry things
that can and will go wrong, especially for (but not limited to)
Apparently Redmond has come to that same conclusion and instead of
beefing up the built-in migration utility in Windows, has bought
Apptimum Inc, a small Florida outfit that develops the Alohabob PC
Relocator. "Bob" transfers applications and data from one machine
to another, and is ideal for moving your stuff from an old to a
Redmond commented that the code would be a good combo with the
transfer capability in Vista. Customers will be able to download
a Microsoft version of Alohabob separately.
Researcher Hacks Microsoft Fingerprint Reader
Bink.nu reports: "Never mind worrying about hackers stealing your
password. A security researcher with the Finnish military has shown
how they could steal your fingerprint, by taking advantage of an
omission in Microsoft's Fingerprint Reader, a PC authentication
device that Microsoft has been shipping since September 2004.
"Although the Fingerprint Reader can prevent unauthorized people
from logging on to your PC, Microsoft has not promoted it as a
security device, but rather as convenient tool for home users who
want a fast way to log on to Web sites without having to remember
user names and passwords. In fact, the Microsoft.com Web site warns
that the Fingerprint Reader should not be used to protect sensitive
"Hoping to understand why Microsoft had included the caveat about
sensitive data, a researcher with the Finnish military, Mikko
Kiviharju, took a close look at the product. In a paper presented
at the Black Hat Europe conference last week, he reported that
because the fingerprint image taken by the scanner is not encrypted,
it could be stolen by hackers and used to inappropriately log in
to a computer.
"Because the fingerprint image is transferred unencrypted from the
Fingerprint Reader to the PC, it could be stolen using a variety
of hardware and software technologies, called "sniffers," that
monitor such traffic, said Kiviharju, a researcher with the
Finnish Defense Forces. "The fingerprint that can be sniffed is
pretty good quality," he said.
The fingerprint image could either be used to break into a PC or
simply be stolen by attackers, a violation of the user's privacy.
Kiviharju's report can be found here:
||WServerNews - PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
What's New? Double-Take Data-Protection Product Update
Recently, NSI has delivered several service packs that add new
features and enhance the world-class Double-Take data protection
solutions. It now has:
Test it for 30 days:
- Flexible Bandwidth Scheduling (FBS) With FBS, you can schedule
bandwidth usage levels that vary at different times of the day or
week - therefore reducing any effect on production resources.
- Server Groups to better organize and manage your replication
environment. Server groups allow you to quickly organize, access,
and monitor particular servers for efficiency and improved process
- Application Manager Suite. Got Apps? We recently launched the
first module within the Double-Take Application Manager Suite -
the Exchange Failover Toolkit (EFT). EFT is an exciting new tech
that provides automated Double-Take setup and configuration to
protect critical Exchange environments.