Security UPDATE--A Different Kind of Honeypot Project--May 2, 2007


Email Security for the 21st Century

Roadmap to Email Archiving and Compliance

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IN FOCUS: A Different Kind of Honeypot Project


- Dangerous QuickTime and Java Flaw Affects Windows

- Browser Toolbars Integrate Real-Time Anti-Malware Defenses

- Microsoft Prepares Forefront Client Security for May Release

- Recent Security Vulnerabilities


- Security Matters Blog: Vbootkit Bypasses Vista Code Signing

- FAQ: Get Windows 2003 SP2

- From the Forum: Looking for Password Analyzer

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- Easier Management of Data Encryption Appliances




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=== IN FOCUS: A Different Kind of Honeypot Project


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

Honeypots are excellent tools for preemptive forensic investigation. They let you see what intruders are targeting in your network, monitor their activity, capture their exploits, and more. So when I think of honeypots, that's typically the image that comes to mind. But a new type of honeypot project is aimed squarely at spammers.

Project Honey Pot is a community effort that aims to identify spammers and email address harvesters and put them out of business by eliminating their ability to deliver spam and thus hitting them where it hurts most: in the pocketbook.

The way it works is relatively simple. Web developers insert special code into their Web server platform that communicates with Project Honey Pot servers. The code grabs unique email addresses (tied to the IP address of the Web site visitor) from Project Honey Pot servers that are then inserted into the Web site dynamically. The email addresses of course are spam traps operated by Project Honey Pot. So when robots or people harvest those addresses and mail arrives in those traps, the project can track and identify the spammers.

Project Honey Pot also operates a new blacklist DNS system (called http:BL), similar to those used by email DNS blacklist providers. Web site developers can use Project Honey Pot's API to query the http:BL DNS servers by using a Web site visitor's IP address. The DNS query results reveal whether the visitor is a known harmless search engine robot, a known spammer, or a known email harvester. Code written by the Web developer can then take action based on the visitor's categorization. For example, If the DNS query returns info that says the visitor IP address is that of a spammer, code can prevent the visitor from posting a comment and thus prevent comment spam.

Overall, I think the project is a pretty good idea. Integrating a spam trap into your site isn't incredibly difficult. After you sign up for an account, you can download ready-made code in one of several languages, including Active Server Pages (ASP), PHP, Perl, Python, ColdFusion, and more. You drop the code into your Web site and make a link to it somewhere. If you run Apache, module code is available that you can integrate directly to work with http:BL. You can also donate MX records from your own domains that will be used to create spam traps shared at Project Honey Pot.

So far, the project has identified more than 15,000 email address harvesters and 2.5 million spam servers and currently operates more than 2.2 million spam traps. Last week, the project announced that it has filed a $1 billion lawsuit, the largest antispam suit ever, against spammers for harvesting email addresses and spamming Project Honey Pot members. The suit comes as a result of two years of tracking spammers.

You can read more about the suit at the first URL below (click the days of the week on the left-hand side of the screen to see other recent announcements, including integration information). If you're interested in joining the project, visit the home page at the second URL below, where you'll find a link to register along with links to a FAQ and more.


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Dangerous QuickTime and Java Flaw Affects Windows

At the recent CanSecWest conference, Shane Macaulay and Dino Dai Zovi worked in tandem to successfully break into a MacBook Pro running OS X by using a zero-day exploit. The security flaw is now believed to also affect Windows platforms.

Browser Toolbars Integrate Real-Time Anti-Malware Defenses

Toolbars from Exploit Prevention Labs and Finjan help protect against malicious content in Web sites and search results by scanning Web page content in real time without the use of signature databases.

Microsoft Prepares Forefront Client Security for May Release

Microsoft will ship its long-awaited Forefront Client Security product--a managed security solution for enterprises--in "the next month or so," according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

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

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SECURITY MATTERS BLOG: Vbootkit Bypasses Vista Code Signing

by Mark Joseph Edwards,

As expected, Vista isn't perfect. It's possible to load unsigned code into the kernel. Vbootkit proves it.

FAQ: Get Windows 2003 SP2

by John Savill,

Q: Where can I download Windows Server 2003 SP2?

Find the answer at

FROM THE FORUM: Looking for Password Analyzer

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Easier Management of Data Encryption Appliances

Decru announced the Decru SecureView framework to centralize management of its encryption and key management appliances. The appliances are used to encrypt stored data. The framework provides secure management of up to 1,000 devices from one interface. Features include administrator management, role-based access controls (RBAC), configuration and patch management, rolling upgrades, performance and access monitoring, and centralized graphical and command-line interfaces to enable the automation of operations across groups of appliances. For more information, go to



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