Web Server Administrator Support Resources

In this issue, I'd like to spend some time on a topic that is near and dear to all Web server administrators—support resources. Numerous resources are available both online and offline. Of course, I'm assuming that you've already subscribed to IIS Administrator, our monthly print newsletter.

I realize that Microsoft's Knowledge Base is free, but if you don't already have access to TechNet, go get it. The search engine in TechNet is much better than the one in Knowledge Base. If you divide the cost of TechNet by your hourly salary, you can justify its cost after only one or two major problems.

If you belong to a Microsoft Solution Provider, check out Tech Flashes. To access Tech Flashes, click Tech Support on the Microsoft Certified Solution Provider (MCSP) home page. The biggest benefit of Tech Flashes is that you can find out which Knowledge Base articles have been modified or added in the past 2 weeks. I use this resource extensively to scan for solutions to nagging or persistent problems that I've been unable to solve. Sometimes, you'll notice a workaround or a patch on this site. Unfortunately, the Tech Flashes for Internet security products come every 2 weeks (some flashes come weekly).

Here are some other Web sites and email lists that are necessary for keeping up with security:

  • Mark Joseph Edwards's Windows 2000 (Win2K) and Windows NT 4.0 security site. Mark has an Active Desktop item that lets you get the latest in security news regularly.
  • Attrition.org. This site focuses on and is popular in the hacker community. Freshly defaced Web sites often cite attrition.org by name. You can subscribe to the site’s email list to receive notification when new defacements take place. The site also keeps a mirror of defaced Web sites from which you can browse. It even includes which OS was involved.
  • Microsoft Security Bulletins. These bulletins can help you avoid becoming the next site on Attrition's list. They provide the latest information about securing Microsoft products. You can subscribe to this list and look at past bulletins.
  • Windows 2000 Magazine Security UPDATE. In this weekly email newsletter, Mark Joseph Edwards provides commentary about hot Win2K/NT security issues and announces the latest security breaches and their fixes.

I'm sure there are other great sites: I've only shared some of my favorites with you. If you have a favorite, let me hear from you.

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