Security UPDATE, October 15, 2003


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

Protocom Development Systems

Exchange & Outlook Administrator


1. In Focus: Upcoming Security Improvements from Microsoft

2. Announcements - Microsoft IT Forum 2003, November 11-14, Copenhagen, Denmark - COMDEX Las Vegas 2003

3. Security News and Features - Recent Security Vulnerabilities - News: NetScreen Technologies Acquires Neoteris - News: Check Point Introduces VPN Appliances - Feature: The Hidden Threat of SNMP

4. Instant Poll - Results of Previous Poll: Protecting the Infrastructure - New Instant Poll: OS Use

5. Security Toolkit - Virus Center - Virus Alert: Istbar.H - FAQ: How can I automate registry settings across my entire domain? - Featured Thread: Port Filtering on Windows NT Server 4.0

6. Event - "Plan, Migrate, Manage: Shifting Seamlessly from NT4 to Windows 2003"

7. New and Improved - Protection Against Identity Theft - Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt

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


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==== 1. In Focus: Upcoming Security Improvements from Microsoft ==== by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, [email protected]

In a speech at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2003 last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer outlined some actions Microsoft will take in the company's continuing effort to better secure Windows platforms. Ballmer accurately pointed out that many people are dissatisfied with the company's patching tools and patch rollout process. Microsoft will now issue patches on a monthly basis instead of irregularly, with the exception of critical patches, which the company will release as soon as possible. Microsoft is also working on consolidating its patches at a central location on its Web site so that users don't have to search numerous places for patches for different software packages.

Microsoft will also release a new version of Software Update Services (SUS) in the near future. Ballmer didn't say what new features SUS 2.0 would provide, but he did say it would be released sometime in the first half of 2004. If you haven't tried SUS, be sure to check it out. The current version--SUS Server 1.0 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)--can pull down patches and service packs and roll them out to systems on your network.

In addition, Ballmer said that the company will develop some new features for Windows XP systems that won't be available for Windows 2000 platforms. The company will try to develop technology that inspects mobile systems for possible infections picked up on another network (such as a wireless or dial-up connection) before letting them connect to the local network.

Microsoft also plans to improve its Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) technology and will expand administrators' ability to centrally manage ICF. Regarding Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), the company will provide better control over ActiveX controls and provide some sort of sandbox for scripts to help prevent them from gaining too much access to the local system. In addition, Microsoft is working on ways to better protect memory from buffer-overrun problems.

Ballmer said Microsoft will release these improvements as part of XP SP2. The service pack will be released to the public sometime in the first part of 2004.

If you run Win2K platforms and wonder how long Microsoft will continue to support them, the answer is the middle of next year. The company will support Win2K SP2 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 SP6a systems until June 2004.

If you're interested in reading Ballmer's entire speech, you can find it at the Microsoft PressPass Web site.


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==== 2. Announcements ==== (from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Microsoft IT Forum 2003, November 11-14, Copenhagen, Denmark Explore best practices for managing your systems and strengthening your security, gain effective guidance for planning and implementing rollouts of a host of Microsoft products and technologies, including Exchange Server 2003, Windows Server 2003, and others in the Windows Server System. Save 300 EUROS, register today.

COMDEX Las Vegas 2003 With more hackers and security threats emerging on a daily basis, secure networked computing has never been more important. At COMDEX Las Vegas 2003, you'll find everything your business needs to attain ironclad security for your business from deploying wireless LANs to secure access with SSL VPNs. Take charge this November 16-20 in Las Vegas at COMDEX.;6362172;8488939;b?


==== Sponsor: Virus Update from Panda Software ==== Check for the latest anti-virus information and tools, including weekly virus reports, virus forecasts, and virus prevention tips, at Panda Software's Center for Virus Control. Viruses routinely infect "fully protected" networks. Is total protection possible? Find answers in the free guide HOW TO KEEP YOUR COMPANY 100% VIRUS FREE from Panda Software. Learn how viruses enter networks, what they do, and the most effective weapons to combat them. Protect your network effectively and permanently - download today!


==== 3. 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

News: NetScreen Technologies Acquires Neoteris NetScreen Technologies announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Neoteris, makers of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN and application security gateway appliances. NetScreen will pay approximately $245 million in stock and $20 million in cash at the closing and up to another $30 million in cash when the company achieves revenue milestones.

News: Check Point Introduces VPN Appliances Check Point Software Technologies announced the release of its new appliance-based VPN-1 Edge solution. The new line of appliances provides VPN and firewall features along with centralized management. VPN-1 Edge is based on the company's VPN-1 NG software.

Feature: The Hidden Threat of SNMP If you have an Internet-connected network, you're taking calculated risks. You're dealing with the potential for attacks and exploits on your Web server, and you have a separate set of considerations for your mail server. In addition, another vulnerability that you might not be aware of is probably lurking in your network. Most networks have SNMP running on some devices, often unnecessarily and sometimes without the knowledge of system personnel. Learn about this threat in Tony Howlett's article on our Web site.


==== Hot Release: FaxBack ==== Tackling the FCC's New FAX Regulations (Technical Whitepaper) Ready or not, the FCC's regulations regarding FAX are here. Think they don't affect you -- think again. If you are sending anything via FAX these regulations impact your organization. Register for a whitepaper: --> Designed to be a guide for companies needing to adapt their fax communications to ensure FCC compliance, the whitepaper provides an overview to the July 2003 FCC rules and discusses tools to help companies fax responsibly.


==== 4. Instant Poll ====

Results of Previous Poll: Protecting the Infrastructure The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's Security Administrator Channel nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Does your company use firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) to protect the infrastructure?" Here are the results from the 226 votes. - 41% Yes, we use both firewalls and IDSs - 57% No, we only use firewalls - 2% Not sure

New Instant Poll: OS Use The next Instant Poll question is, "What is your company's primary OS?" Go to the Security Administrator Channel home page and submit your vote for - Windows Server 2003 - Windows XP Professional - Windows 2000 Server or Professional - Windows NT Server or Workstation - Windows 9x or Me

==== 5. 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.

Virus Alert: Istbar.H Istbar.H is a Trojan horse that installs several spyware programs and dialers without the user's permission and displays advertisements from adult sites. It also adds a toolbar to the Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) browser. For complete details on Istbar.H, see Panda Software's report:

FAQ: How can I automate registry settings across my entire domain? contributed by Randy Franklin Smith, [email protected]

You can automate registry settings that aren't already part of a group policy by creating a new administrative template in the Default Domain Policy Group Policy Object (GPO). For step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish this task, see Randy Franklin Smith's complete answer to this question.

Featured Thread: Port Filtering on Windows NT Server 4.0 (Four messages in this thread) A user writes that he has enabled port filtering on a Windows NT Server 4.0 system. He permits access to certain TCP ports (80, 110, 137, 138, 139, 2028, 20, 21, 25) and certain UDP ports (53, 137, 138, 2028). With these ports enabled, he can't browse the Internet and his antivirus software can't connect to obtain virus definition updates. If he removes the port filtering settings, his system works as it should. He wants to know why the port filtering, as he has defined it, doesn't work the way he wants it to. Lend a hand or read the responses:

==== 6. Event ====

"Plan, Migrate, Manage: Shifting Seamlessly from NT4 to Windows 2003" Your Active Directory environment can make or break your entire Windows NT 4.0 to Windows Server 2003 migration project. This free Web seminar features best practices for migration planning and administration, tips and tricks for ensuring Exchange Server and Active Directory health, and guidance for managing your directory for maximum availability and performance during migration and beyond. Register now!

==== 7. New and Improved ==== by Jason Bovberg, [email protected]

Protection Against Identity Theft MeterNet announced BankALARM, a security software and update service that helps you protect your personal identity online by providing real-time network monitoring, program filtering, spyware detection, and port control. BankALARM lets you establish a Client Intruder Detection System for a PC with optional lock-down and cloaking. BankALARM protects in the background from an easy-to-read control panel with click-on, click-off navigation. Available by annual subscription, BankALARM costs $49 per computer. For purchase information, contact MeterNet on the Web.

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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==== 8. Contact Us ====

About the newsletter -- [email protected] About technical questions -- About product news -- [email protected] About your subscription -- [email protected] About sponsoring Security UPDATE -- [email protected]

This email newsletter is brought to you by Security Administrator, the print newsletter with independent, impartial advice for IT administrators securing Windows and related technologies. Subscribe today.

__________________________________________________________ Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

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