Security UPDATE--Death of the Frog--May 24, 2006

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1. In Focus: Death of the Frog

2. Security News and Features

- Recent Security Vulnerabilities

- Microsoft Swallows Whale Communications

- SSL VPN Use Increasing

- Reaping the Benefits of WPA and PEAP

3. Security Toolkit

- Security Matters Blog


- Security Forum Featured Thread

- Share Your Security Tips

4. New and Improved

- Secure PDAs and Smart Phones


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==== 1. In Focus: Death of the Frog ====

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

Two weeks ago, I wrote about Blue Security's Blue Frog service, an incredibly effective method for fighting spam. For each spam message a Blue Frog user receives, Blue Frog sends one opt-out request to the sender of that spam. The end result is that the spammer receives millions of email messages, which probably overloads their network, but that should be an expected cost of doing spam business--people should have a right to opt out anytime they want to.

Blue Security said that since the inception of Blue Frog, six of the top ten spammers had stopped sending spam to Blue Frog users. However, one spammer took serious offense and launched a Denial of Service (DoS) attack against the company that also affected other networks. All the affected networks recovered.

That's the good news--now here's the bad news: Last week, Blue Security announced that it closed down its Blue Frog service. In a message posted to its Web site, the company said that the reason it ceased operation is that "After recovering from the attack, we determined that once we reactivated the Blue Community, spammers would resume their attacks. We cannot take the responsibility for an ever-escalating cyber war through our continued operations.... We have concluded we should not take Blue Security to the full deployment stage we originally planned to achieve, but we are proud of what we have accomplished thus far as a young startup company."

It's true that Blue Frog might have caused spammers to launch continued attacks that might have serious effects on other networks, and Blue Security did seem to be considering others when making its decision to close down the service. But I don't see this decision as being in the best interest of the Internet community, including Blue Security, because the news gets worse.

After Blue Security decided to discontinue Blue Frog, the spammers attacked again! The second DoS attack rendered Blue Security's site inaccessible even though Blue Security made considerable technological efforts to thwart such attacks.

This second attack was probably meant to send another message.The message I take from it is crystal clear but probably isn't what the attackers intended: Kowtowing to spammers isn't the solution.

While closing up shop might seem like a reasonable choice, it's essentially the equivalent of handing your network over to a bunch of black hat intruders who continually break in. It gives the intruders control they don't deserve to have.

I hope Blue Security changes its mind and brings back Blue Frog. If it doesn't, I hope that somebody else takes up where Blue Security left off, and quickly! Fighting back as a group has proved to be incredibly effective, and I'd hate to see momentum lost.


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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

Microsoft Swallows Whale Communications

In a move designed to expand its security offerings, Microsoft announced a deal to acquire Israel-based Whale Communications. Microsoft thinks Whale's Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN and application firewall technologies will complement its Windows Server and Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server offerings.

SSL VPN Use Increasing

A new study indicates that Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)-based VPNs are growing in popularity and could potentially overtake IPsec VPNs as the secure connectivity solution of choice.

Reaping the Benefits of WPA and PEAP

If you still use Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) technology to secure your wireless networks, be aware that it has serious flaws. The Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) standard and subsequent WPA2 standard overcome these flaws by adding stronger authentication and encryption and should be used whenever possible in preference to WEP. Learn how to use WPA and Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol (PEAP) in this article by John Howie.


==== Resources and Events ====

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Industry expert Mike Otey explains how to design high availability options for your SQL Server 2005 environment. He'll also cover Windows clustering, database mirroring, and online operations. Live Event: Wednesday, May 31, 2006; 12:00 EDT

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Learn all you need to know about code signing technology, including the goals and benefits of code signing, how code signing works, and the underlying cryptographic and security concepts and building blocks.


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

Security Matters Blog: Google Affects Information Security

by Mark Joseph Edwards,

Certainly you've heard of "Google hacking," which is a way of using Google searches to locate potential vulnerabilities. But how else might Google affect information security? Find out more in this blog article.


by John Savill,

Q: How do I enable a quota using the Windows Server 2003 R2 File Server Resource Manager (FSRM)?

Find the answer at

Security Forum Featured Thread: Securing a Server

A forum participant wants to know how to secure his Windows server by using the built-in TCP/IP filtering and Windows Firewall. He also wants to know what other steps he can take. Join the discussion at

Share Your Security Tips and Get $100

Share your security-related tips, comments, or problems and solutions in the Windows IT Security print newsletter's Reader to Reader column. Email your contributions to [email protected] If we print your submission, you'll get $100. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length.


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==== 4. New and Improved ====

by Renee Munshi, [email protected]

Secure PDAs and Smart Phones

Utimaco Safeware has extended its encryption and authentication software, SafeGuard PDA, to work with Windows Mobile 5.0 and with Integrated Information & Communication Systems' (IICS's) certgate Smart Card MMC (Multimedia Card). With SafeGuard PDA 4.10, PDA users can log on to their PDAs by inserting a small smart card into their PDA and entering a PIN. SafeGuard PDA 4.10 also automatically encrypts data on Windows Mobile 2003-based devices at runtime. SafeGuard PDA 4.10 is available for Windows Mobile 2003, Windows Mobile 5.0, Symbian OS, and Palm OS, so companies that use different mobile platforms can now implement one security solution to protect their different PDAs and smart phones. For more information, go to

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