Security UPDATE--TCP/IP Changes in Windows Vista and Longhorn--February 15, 2006

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1. In Focus: TCP/IP Changes in Windows Vista and Longhorn

2. Security News and Features

- Recent Security Vulnerabilities

- Intel Invests in European Linux Solution Provider Collax

- Sophos to Sell ActiveState

- Three Products Achieve ICSA Labs Desktop Anti-Spyware Certification

3. Security Toolkit

- Security Matters Blog


- Share Your Security Tips

4. New and Improved

- Monitor Windows Event Logs for Compliance


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==== 1. In Focus: TCP/IP Changes in Windows Vista and Longhorn ====

by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

The upcoming Windows Vista and Longhorn server releases will both use a redesigned TCP/IP stack. The new stack will bring several new features, including routing compartments, a better host model, better support for IP version 6 (IPv6), a new packet-filtering API, and some other changes that don't necessarily affect security (you can read about these changes at the URL at the end of this editorial).

The routing compartments feature is really interesting. It lets each user logon session have its own routing table and will prevent Internet traffic from being routed across a VPN into an intranet. The new host model will help defend against attacks on multihomed systems. So for example, a packet that reaches a network interface must have a destination address that matches the interface's address or the packet will be dropped.

The new packet-filtering API, now known as Windows Filtering Platform (WFP), will help developers more easily filter or change packets before they're processed further along in the OS. This means that tools such as firewalls and antivirus and antispyware products can better control which data enters the system. You can learn more about WFP at the following URL:

Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 both support IPv6; however functionality is somewhat limited because they don't support Internet Key Exchange (IKE) and data encryption. The new TCP/IP stack will fix this problem by introducing a fully functional IPv6 protocol layer, which will be enabled by default.

However, using IPv6 won't be without problems. Microsoft said that an IPv6-enabled system will first request an AAAA record (which is a record for IPv6 addresses). If the query fails, the system will request an A record (a record for IPv4). Some DNS servers won't answer the A record request if the AAAA request fails. If you want to get a head start on building IPv6 functionality, make sure your DNS server will handle the AAAA, A sequence of requests.

Another issue with IPv6 is Network Address Translation (NAT), which might also break connectivity. To get around that problem, Microsoft uses Teredo (also known as Shipworm), which is a method of encapsulating IPv6 inside IPv4 UDP packets. Microsoft first released Teredo support in its Advanced Networking Pack for Windows XP in XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) and later shipped Teredo as part of XP SP2 and Windows 2003 SP1. Teredo will be a standard part of Windows Vista and Longhorn server.

You can read more about the IPv6 enhancements at the first URL below and learn more about other new features of the TCP/IP stack at the second URL below.


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==== 2. Security News and Features ====

Recent Security Vulnerabilities

If you subscribe to this newsletter, you also receive Security Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these discoveries at

Intel Invests in European Linux Solution Provider Collax

Collax announced that Intel Capital has invested in the company, bringing its total Series A funding to $8.4 million. Collax Business Server's management interface offers simplified management functions for security features including firewalls, proxies, VPNs, antivirus, antispam, antiphishing, PKI, and Web content filtering.

Sophos to Sell ActiveState

Security solutions provider Sophos will sell its ActiveState unit to Canadian venture capital firm Pender Financial Group for $2.25 million. Pender Financial intends to acquire ActiveState through a newly incorporated company, which will allow ActiveState to become independent.

Three Products Achieve ICSA Labs Desktop Anti-Spyware Certification

Three products have earned ICSA Labs Desktop Anti-Spyware Certification. ICSA Labs antispyware testing criteria determine whether products can defend systems against spyware, keyloggers, password stealers, dialers, rootkits, and adware. Find out which products earned certification in this article on our Web site.


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==== 3. Security Toolkit ====

Security Matters Blog: Wipe Data from Your Old Media

by Mark Joseph Edwards,

I've covered this issue several times in different ways. Now there's more help: the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued a new guide, "Guidelines for Media Sanitization." Find out more in the blog article.


by John Savill,

Q: How can I clear the cache from Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)?

Find the answer at

Share Your Security Tips and Get $100

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==== 5. New and Improved ====

by Renee Munshi,

Monitor Windows Event Logs for Compliance

TNT Software offers ELM Event Log Monitor (EVM), which provides monitoring, alerting, reporting, and archiving for Windows event logs. TNT says it leveraged specific functionalities of its ELM Enterprise Manager to produce a tool to meet companies' compliance and security challenges. EVM collects Windows events from hundreds of systems and presents the results at a centralized console, triggers real-time alerts, stores the event data in a central database, and generates audit reports. EVM monitors high-level account changes and logon/logoff activity for compliance and security purposes. You can use preconfigured or customized monitoring settings. For more information, go to

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