Security UPDATE, October 1, 2003


==== This Issue Sponsored By ====

Sybari Software



1. In Focus: Passive Vulnerability Scanning

2. Security Risks - Denial of Service in SpeakFreely for Windows - Denial of Service in wzdftpd FTP Server for Windows - Mondosoft's MondoSearch File-Creation Vulnerability

3. Announcements - Attend Windows & .NET Magazine Connections, Win a Free Vacation - Check Out Our 2 New Web Seminars!

4. Security Roundup - News: Report: Microsoft Monoculture Is a National Security Risk - News: Sophos Acquires ActiveState - News: California Cracks Down Hard on Spammers

5. Instant Poll - Results of Previous Poll: DRM Use - New Instant Poll: Firewall and IDS Use

6. Security Toolkit - Virus Center - FAQ: How Can I Use Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) to Pass a Username and Password to an FTP Site? - Featured Thread: Auditing Software for Windows 2000?

7. Event - The Mobile & Wireless Road Show Is Coming to Tampa and Atlanta!

8. New and Improved - Authenticate Using Steel-Belted Appliance - Secure Your Web Portal - Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt

9. Contact Us See this section for a list of ways to contact us.


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==== 1. In Focus: Passive Vulnerability Scanning ==== by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, [email protected]

Last week, I wrote about Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) and about a couple of reports that evaluate some (but not all) of the more popular IDSs. IDSs are valuable tools for your network, as are firewalls, vulnerability scanners, packet sniffers and analyzers, port scanners, network mapping tools, and so on.

I recently learned about a new tool called a Passive Vulnerability Scanner (PVS). A PVS is a hybrid tool that combines the sniffing capabilities of a packet sniffer and analyzer with the capabilities of an active vulnerability scanner and an IDS.

As you know, a packet analyzer and sniffer promiscuously captures packets from the network so that you can analyze them; an active vulnerability scanner probes systems and devices to detect known vulnerabilities; and an IDS detects possible intrusion attempts as traffic moves over your network. A PVS can do all of those things, with a slight twist in the way it works. But a PVS isn't a replacement for those types of tools--instead, it's complementary.

You place a PVS on the network in a position in which it can monitor the traffic coming from various network segments, just like a network sniffer. The PVS then sniffs the traffic in real time and analyzes it by comparing it with a set of rules, like a vulnerability scanner does. Broken rules trip triggers that alert the PVS administrator to possible security problems on the network.

For example, you might have an environment in which none of the network systems should be running FTP servers and only certain systems should be running Web servers. If anyone from inside or outside your network initiates inbound FTP access to one of your systems, the PVS will alert you. Likewise, if the PVS detects Web traffic to a system that shouldn't be running Web services, the PVS will alert you. These sorts of detections are typical of IDSs, but the PVS can take the analysis further.

When detecting Web traffic in this example, the PVS can analyze the packets to try to determine what type of Web server software is in use. If it's an outdated version of Microsoft IIS or Apache, the PVS will alert the administrator that the system is running a vulnerable software package. The administrator becomes aware of the problem immediately without having to run a periodic vulnerability scan on individual systems to detect problems.

In one more example, someone could place a server in your demilitarized zone (DMZ) without your approval or knowledge. With a PVS in place, you might become aware of that action sooner than you would have otherwise because the PVS monitors traffic and doesn't depend on network device audits or on vulnerability scans or agent software running on individual systems. PVSs are independently deployed, centrally manageable, and scan for problems by looking at network traffic.

I only know of one PVS system available at the moment: Tenable Network Security's NeVO, which runs on the Red Hat Linux and FreeBSD UNIX platforms. Although NeVO doesn't run on Windows platforms, it's compatible with Windows networks. It can detect anomalies on Windows and UNIX networks, and because its logs are generated in a Nessus-style format, you can use any Nessus client, such as the Windows-based Nessus client, to access them. (Nessus is an active vulnerability scanner; for more information, go to .)

You can learn more about NeVO at the first URL below. You'll also find a more detailed explanation of the PVS and NeVO, "Passive Vulnerability Scanning, Introduction to NeVO," in PDF format at the second URL below.

Tenable offers a 30-day demo of the product. If you try a copy on your network, send me an email message to let me know what you think of the PVS concept and how well it works for you in your environment.


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==== 2. Security Risks ==== contributed by Ken Pfeil, [email protected]

Denial of Service in SpeakFreely for Windows Luigi Auriemma discovered that a vulnerability in Speak Freely for Windows can result in a Denial of Service (DoS) condition. Sending multiple spoofed packets (more than 160 packets of 2 bytes or more each) results in the termination of the program, with an error message such as, "Cannot create transmit socket for host (x.x.x.x), error 10055. No buffer space is available." SpeakFreely's developer has been notified. Denial of Service in wzdftpd FTP Server for Windows Moran Zavdi discovered that a vulnerability in wzdftpd FTP server for Windows can result in a Denial of Service (DoS) condition. Sending a CRLF sequence at logon causes an unhandled exception at the server. The wzdftpd developer has released a patch for this vulnerability. Mondosoft's MondoSearch File-Creation Vulnerability Jens H. Christensen discovered that a vulnerability in Mondosoft's MondoSearch can result in the execution of arbitrary code on the vulnerable computer. One of the default installation files, msmsetup.exe, contains a vulnerability that lets malicious users create files with user-specified content on the Web server or anywhere that the executing user (typically IUSR_xxx) has write access. For details about this vulnerability, see the discoverer's Web site. Mondosoft has released a patch for this vulnerability.


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==== 3. Announcements ==== (from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Attend Windows & .NET Magazine Connections, Win a Free Vacation How secure is your network? Are Windows Server 2003's improved security features worth the migration effort? Want to stop spam? Learn the answers to these questions and more at Windows & .NET Magazine Connections. Register today and receive access to concurrently running Exchange Connections.

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==== 4. Security Roundup ====

News: Report: Microsoft Monoculture Is a National Security Risk A damning report written by security experts and sponsored by Microsoft's competitors concludes that the "monoculture" created by the software giant's dominance is a national security risk. The report was released at a meeting of the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA).

News: Sophos Acquires ActiveState Antivirus software maker Sophos announced that it has acquired ActiveState, a Canadian-based maker of spam-filtering and development tools. Sophos will acquire ActiveState and all of the company's stock for $23 million.

News: California Cracks Down Hard on Spammers California Governor Gray Davis signed legislation that prohibits advertisers from sending unsolicited email and said the law contains no loopholes that can be used to thwart it.


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==== 5. Instant Poll ====

Results of Previous Poll: DRM Use The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Security Administrator Channel nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Is your company using or planning to use Digital Rights Management (DRM)?" Here are the results from the 88 votes. - 2% We have a DRM application in production - 5% We're experimenting with DRM - 18% We see some possible applications for DRM but aren't working with it yet - 75% We aren't interested in DRM

New Instant Poll: Firewall and IDS Use The next Instant Poll question is, "Does your company use firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) to protect the infrastructure?" Go to the Security Administrator Channel home page and submit your vote for - Yes, we use both firewalls and IDSs - No, we only use firewalls - Not sure

==== 6. Security Toolkit ====

Virus Center Panda Software and the Windows & .NET Magazine Network have teamed to bring you the Center for Virus Control. Visit the site often to remain informed about the latest threats to your system security.

FAQ: How Can I Use Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) to Pass a Username and Password to an FTP Site? contributed by John Savill, If you access an FTP site that doesn't allow anonymous access, you must provide a username and password. To access an FTP site anonymously from IE, use the syntax


To pass a username and password, the syntax is


For example, to access the Internet Software Consortium (ISC) FTP site with a username and password, you might type

ftp://john:[email protected]

where "john" is the username and "[email protected]" is the password.

Similarly, to pass just a username, you can use the syntax


Featured Thread: Auditing Software for Windows 2000? (3 messages in this thread) Brycea writes that he has a small network of 25 users with five servers and Windows 2000 Server running Active Directory (AD) in native mode. He has one server available to the outside world that runs Microsoft IIS for FTP and the Web. The FTP server has been on the internal network with openings on the firewall for ports 21 and 80, but Brycea recently upgraded to a firewall that has an optional demilitarized zone (DMZ) port and he'd like to move the FTP server onto a DMZ. He'd like to know the best practices for using a DMZ for an AD network on its own subnet. Lend a hand or read the responses:

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==== 8. New and Improved ==== by Sue Cooper, [email protected]

Authenticate Using Steel-Belted Appliance Network Engines introduced Steel-Belted Radius Enterprise Edition Appliance 2.0 to deploy remote and wireless LAN (WLAN) access control and security on a network. The appliance combines Network Engines' rack-mountable hardware with Funk Software's Steel-Belted Radius Enterprise Edition 4.5 and an embedded, hardened version of Windows 2000 Professional. The appliance now supports two-factor authentication products, which ensures that only authorized users have access to your network. Steel-Belted Radius Enterprise Edition Appliance 2.0 is available from TidalWire, a Network Engines company. For more information, contact TidalWire at 877-638-8277 or [email protected]

Secure Your Web Portal Entrust announced Entrust TruePass 7.0, a Web security solution that delivers bidirectional, end-to-end security for your organization's online information. Users can submit sensitive information as encrypted and digitally signed XML or HTML data, or as secure file attachments. The Web server can return secured real-time updates, approvals, and instructions to the users, eliminating the need for paper-based processes. The application provides centralized, role-based password policies, digital ID management in cross-certified environments, certificate revocation list (CRL) checking on third-party certificates, and diagnostic tools. Contact Entrust at 888-690-2424 or [email protected]

Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt! Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a Windows & .NET Magazine T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to [email protected]


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==== 9. Contact Us ====

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__________________________________________________________ Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

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