MY PROFILE | PRIVACY 
Vol. 16, #27 - July 11, 2011 - Issue #836

Is The Operating System Dead?

  1. Editor's Corner    
    • Is The Operating System Dead?
    • Redmond Retires Office XP, Vista SP1
  2. Admin Toolbox
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without:
  3. Webinars & Seminars
    • Malware Unmasked Webinar, July 20   
    • BriForum 2011: Register today - 7/19-21
    • Free Desktop Virtualization Seminar
    • Security 560: Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking
  4. Tech Briefing
    • A Surefire Bet For IT Job Security
    • Get Used To It: Malware Is Everywhere You Go
    • Zombie Apps Return From The Grave!
    • A Futures Market for Computer Security
  5. Windows Server News
    • Why IPv6 Deployments Aren't Secure
    • Virtual Desktop Storage Basics: Overcoming Limitations And Bottlenecks
    • Why The Cloud Of Today Isn?t The Cloud Of Tomorrow
    • How Virtualization Performance Monitoring Increases ROI
    • Five Ways To Increase Your Server Consolidation Ratio
  6. Third Party News
    • VIPRE Beta Release Announcement
    • REDUX: OUCH - This Rootkit Requires A Wipe & Rebuild
    • What's So Cool About SIP?
  7. WServerNews FAVE Links
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff.
  8. WServerNews - Product of the Week
    • myPassword ? Securing your business, one password at a time 

myPassword ? Securing your business, one password at a time

Verify connectivity for remote users, recognize users on shared PCs, minimize logon delays and most important, enforce password policy compliance. Can your self-service password reset solution do all this? Namescape?s ProfileValidator periodically checks each user?s Active Directory profile to determine if data is missing or needs to be updated, and can be configured to either require or suggest that profile updates be completed.  Use the ProfileValidator with either rDirectory or myPassword and let us help you devise your Active Directory protection strategy. Evaluate today.

 

Editor's Corner

Is The Operating System Dead?

I was intrigued by this title, so I dug into the article, which I found was not quite what I expected. It was -this- eye opener that caught me though. Wow - The PC is no longer the primary device for accessing the  Internet! Read on:

"One of the problems dismaying information assurance professionals today is the avalanche move towards mobile devices taking over computing for most users. A recent study predicts "U.S. mobile handset data traffic will grow from 8 petabytes per month this year [2010] to 327 petabytes per month in 2015." That would translate to an annual compound growth of about 110% per year.

"The PC is no longer the primary device for accessing the Internet. The ratio of mobile devices to PCs used for daily computing is no longer even 1-to-1. The days of telling employees that they will connect only to corporate-issued Internet devices are soon to be over as well. With more than a billion mobile devices estimated to be in use before the end of 2013, our users will be doing business with several mobile devices."

The problem is that mobile users often get stuck on older versions, with known vulnerabilities. A hypothetical example would be 10 different mobile device manufacturers, with 20 models each, and every model has its own version mobile OS with up to five version numbers, and have access on any mobile network. Quick math shows 10,000 variations of hardware and software. You simply cannot control that.

Do yourself a favor and read the article:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310126411406

And then tell me what YOU think would be the best solution? Email me with your feedback: [email protected]

Redmond Retires Office XP, Vista SP1

Redmond will retire 2001's Office XP and Vista's first Service Pack according to published plan. Both Office XP and Vista SP1 will exit all support July 12, 2011. That's the last date you will get security updates for this by now more or less antique code.

Reminder, Redmond supports its business products for 10 year cycles, with the first five years in what they calls "mainstream support," and the second five years in "extended support." The difference? In extended support, non-security fixes are paid for. Redmond -does- patch security holes throughout the entire 10-year cycle.

If you use Vista, can continue to receive security updates by upgrading to SP2, which Microsoft released May 2009. You could continue to run all the 'out-of-support' code, there isn't any "kill switch". But this is obviously not recommended. The security holes will surely bite you in the butt sooner or later. Office 2003 will be security-patched until April 2014. Office 2007 and Office 2010 will get patches until April 2017 and October 2020.

Quotes of the Week

"Only those that risk going too far find out how far they can go" - unknown

"Money is in some respects life's fire: it is a very excellent servant, but a terrible master." -- P.T. Barnum

Warm regards, and thank you for being a WServerNews subscriber. No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced. Please tell your friends about us. They can subscribe here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1307096257843

Stu Sjouwerman
email me: [email protected]

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

Simplify your life with mPowerTools - new GPO reporting tools - 100+ reports - tackle AD chores in bulk - no scripting AND NO third party databases!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310376850517

Subscribe to the latest hot e-zine: CyberheistNews: 'Arming you with the facts'. Gets you ammo twice a month to defend your network against cybercrime:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310126550171

Frustrated with gullible end-users causing malware infections? Find out who the culprits are in 10 minutes. Do the Free Phishing Security Test on your users!:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310126568515

Webinars & Seminars

Malware Unmasked Webinar, July 20

Targeted attacks are moving away from purpose-built platforms (Zeus, SpyEye, Bugat) to general tools (Sunspot) that can be tailored to target specific industries or organizations. Learn how to detect these threats and why they could be a significant concern to your organization. Sign up for the July 20 webinar at:

BriForum 2011: Register today  - 7/19-21

The most advanced, technical, hands-on desktop virtualization event is returning to Chicago this July 19-21. Independent industry experts, led by Brian Madden, share the latest tips and strategies around desktop virtualization, VDI, application virtualization, and Remote Desktop Services. In addition, technical staff from the top solution providers in the space will be in attendance so you can ask all your questions and try out these technologies. Don?t miss out on this unique opportunity to interact with hundreds of your peers from across the globe as well to share best practices and lessons learned.

Register today and save!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310126657015

Free Desktop Virtualization Seminar

Coming to 12 other cities throughout the remainder of the year, independent expert and desktop virtualization guru Brian Madden will update you on where the desktop virtualization market is in 2011, focusing on what?s real and what?s not. Spend just a few hours out of the office to take advantage of a live Q&A, peer networking opportunities and tons of valuable information.

Register today!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310126675718

Security 560: Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

SANS announced Community SANS Atlanta, where we will teach Security 560: Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking, in their signature boot-camp style, Sept 12-17, 2011. The course culminates with a full day Capture The Flag group exercise. For complete event details:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310126748406

Tech Briefing

A Surefire Bet For IT Job Security

"Become your company's ERP guru and you will find yourself in demand-really. Want the hottest IT job in town? I sure wish I knew what it is or, even better, what it's going to be. Here's what it won't be, if that's of any use to you: heads-down coding. If what you like to do is write code without having to deal with anyone or anything other than the system specs, you'll either find work with a software developer or you probably won't find work at all.

"Meanwhile, here's an opportunity that might not be a hot job but is a safe bet: Become a guru in one of the remaining ERP suites: SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft (who would have expected it to survive Oracle?), or NetSuite. Yes, guru -- you can either make one of these packages sing, dance, and play the tuba, or you're just another schlemiel." More at Infoworld:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310126852062

Get Used To It: Malware Is Everywhere You Go

The malware problem is getting worse. According to the Ponemon Institute's 2011 State of Endpoint Risk study, 43 percent of the 782 U.S.-based IT and IT security professionals surveyed reported a "dramatic uptick" in malware in 2010. Fully 98 percent of the organizations surveyed by Ponemon experienced a virus or malware-based network intrusion, and 35 percent said they had experienced 50 malware attempts within a span of just one month, or more than one intrusion per day. Dang. More:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310126911406

Zombie Apps Return From The Grave!

I had to laugh out loud when I started reading this article by Paul Venezia, as it's -so- true. "You thought they were gone and forgotten. But after years in purgatory, some applications simply refuse to die. The email from the finance department seemed innocuous enough. The subject line simply said "The Program," with just a few lines of text in the body of the message about an application I had never encountered before.

Little did I know those words were the opening credits for a horror movie. You see, "The Program" was a decade-old, custom-developed tool that hadn't been used in many years but was suddenly back on the radar. And it was horribly broken -- a zombie. The server it resided on had been converted into a VM at first, then upgraded from Windows NT to Windows Server 2003 at some point. The application was "written" in FrontPage, and the FrontPage framework on that server currently resembled raw hamburger. And it looked like it had company; there were companion scripts written in VB that would take the output of this Web form and do other things to it, but nobody could recall the original output format or what those scripts actually did. YOWZER! Read more about zombie apps that haunt every IT shop and shudder:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310127019656

A Futures Market for Computer Security

Brian Krebs just sent a blog post that is quite interesting. Information security researchers from academia, industry, and the U.S. intelligence community are collaborating to build a pilot "prediction market" capable of anticipating major information security events before they occur.

A prediction market is similar to a regular stock exchange, except the "stocks" are simple statements that the exchange's members are encouraged to evaluate:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310127080171

Windows Server News

Why IPv6 Deployments Aren't Secure

Aside from the security properties of the IPv6 protocol suite itself, there are a number of factors - technical and non-technical - that greatly influence the security of emerging IPv6 deployments. This article identifies those factors, discusses the effect they may have on the security of enterprise IPv6 deployments, and suggests possible actions to mitigate their security implications.

IPv6, the new version of the Internet Protocol, is expected to coexist with and eventually replace its long-lived predecessor, IPv4. IPv6 will provide more address space to enable the growth of the Internet. There are a number of factors that make the IPv6 protocol suite interesting from a security standpoint, and that will likely have an effect on the security of emerging IPv6 deployments. Let's examine each of them in turn.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310127173171

Virtual Desktop Storage Basics: Overcoming Limitations And Bottlenecks

Virtual desktops may make management easier, but proper planning is needed to reduce storage bottlenecks, ensure performance and accommodate growth. Storage subsystems can ease VDI deployments, whose costs can balloon if you don't follow best practices for supervision. This expert tip will help you understand the storage limitations of desktop virtualization and how to overcome bottlenecks:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310127230578

Why The Cloud Of Today Isn?t The Cloud Of Tomorrow

Because cloud has so much room to grow, it can be foolish to predict its future based on the proliferation and success of today's cloud projects. Gain insight into some key long-term cloud trends in the exclusive article:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310127293656

How Virtualization Performance Monitoring Increases ROI

Everyone knows about server consolidation?s ROI benefits, but virtualization performance monitoring can also deliver more bang for the buck. Learn how to increase virtualization?s return on investment (ROI) while reducing its total cost of ownership in this popular tip:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310127378546

Five Ways To Increase Your Server Consolidation Ratio

There are several ways to increase your server consolidation ratio. Some require new hardware of software, but others you can do on the cheap. Gain insight into five different strategies in this featured article:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310127430062

Third Party News

VIPRE Beta Release Announcement

VIPRE Enterprise / VIPRE Enterprise Premium Agent - 4.0.4205 (Beta)

We are very pleased to announce the release of VIPRE Enterprise and VIPRE Enterprise Premium agent software version 4.0.4205 (Beta).

This beta release contains a number of bug fixes and enhancements designed to improve the overall function, performance, and stability of the agent software. Enhancements and Bug Fixes:

  • Improved the performance of Active Protection.
  • Improved the agent definitions update process by making additional checks on the integrity of the threat definitions files.
  • Improved reliability of Email Protection components with Outlook 2003/2007. Under certain conditions the Outlook plug-in could crash.
  • Changes were made to the Outlook plug-in to reliably perform its Email Protection functions under these conditions.
  • Fixed a problem in which an additional blank message was placed in the outbox of Outlook 2000 under certain conditions.
  • The Firewall status displayed in the System Tray was inaccurate under certain rare conditions. The System Tray now displays the Firewall status correctly.
  • Enabled the Agent Diagnostic Tool to correctly display special German characters. The Agent Diagnostic Tool is used by VIPRE Support for troubleshooting certain classes of problems.
  • The Agent Diagnostic Tool now accepts the correct response characters in the German and Italian language editions.

How to Obtain this Update

Instructions on how to obtain this beta can be accessed via http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310127618843 in the "Release Statement" forum.

NOTE: You must create a login in order to view any messages in this forum.

Thank you for choosing GFI Software.

REDUX: OUCH - This Rootkit Requires A Wipe & Rebuild

The article about Windows users have to reinstall their OS, or do a total system recovery, is lacking an important caveat. Many users can remove this MBR problem by using their recovery CD to write a clean MBR to their disc. This had been reported in other stories about this issue.

What's So Cool About SIP?

I have been reading a few books about VoIP recently, as I am getting interested in how VoIP can be hacked. And wouldn't you know it, VoIP has its own batch of vulnerabilities. So when I saw this article, I got interested. Network World has a short, concise, understandable summary that I think you should check out. It starts like this:

"Even though Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) has been around for several years, we've seen the intensity of interest pick up drastically over the past several months. And the reason is pretty darn simple. In the history of telephony, SIP represents only the third fundamental change in how information is controlled for automated switching within the network. (We'll ignore the "zeroth" generation was not automated and the caller interacted with a live operator who would connect circuits.)

The first generation, of course, was designed for automated switching of analog calls. Calls were controlled by mechanical switches, and each individual analog circuit was physically connected. If you're unfamiliar with the story of how two undertakers and an uncooperative operator led to the basic development of these switches, check out the story of Almon Strowger.

The second generation was the introduction of electronic switches. And hand-in-hand the capabilities for customers to have a trunk with multiple conversations between the customer premises and the "telephone company" came along. Prior to electronic signaling, each individual analog circuit had to go directly to a central office, leading to miles and miles of copper for a corporation. For the rest, click here: http://www.wservernews.com/go/1310127792953

WServerNews FAVE Links

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

WServerNews - Product of the Week

myPassword ? Securing your business, one password at a time

Verify connectivity for remote users, recognize users on shared PCs, minimize logon delays and most important, enforce password policy compliance. Can your self-service password reset solution do all this? Namescape?s ProfileValidator periodically checks each user?s Active Directory profile to determine if data is missing or needs to be updated, and can be configured to either require or suggest that profile updates be completed.  Use the ProfileValidator with either rDirectory or myPassword and let us help you devise your Active Directory protection strategy. Evaluate today.