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Security UPDATE--Safer Mobile Surfing--February 9, 2005

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An Evaluation of the Total Cost of Ownership of Email Security Solutions


1. In Focus: Safer Mobile Surfing

2. Security News and Features

- Recent Security Vulnerabilities

- February the 13th: Microsoft Issues Massive Number of Security Fixes

- Microsoft to Purchase Sybari Software

- Weakness in Windows XP SP2 Overflow Protection

- SOHO Firewall Appliances

3. Security Matters Blog

- Stop Users from Bypassing Group Policy

- Two More Months to Opt Out of Windows XP SP2

4. Instant Poll

5. Security Toolkit


- Security Forum Featured Thread

6. New and Improved

- Spam Firewall for Large Organizations


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==== 1. In Focus: Safer Mobile Surfing ====

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

I'm sure you read lots of different security-related blogs and Web sites. There are a bunch of them out there, and the number seems to keep right on growing. I've got dozens of them in my RSS reader, and I often find new ones that I want to read now and then.

One interesting blog that I found some time ago is called Secureme. Not only is it informative, but the writing style is subtly humorous at times too. When I look at the "avatars" of the blog writers at the site, I'm not quite sure what's missing: a flashy mirrored disco ball and colored lights, or Santa's workshop. When you go to the blog, you'll see what I mean.

An interesting recent post at the blog ("No SSH server, no problem!" January 13) covered two tools, The Onion Router (TOR) and Privoxy, both of which can be used in a variety of situations, such as using them together to better protect your Internet communications when you're on the road. For example, if you're using a hotel's in-house network or a public wireless network, you could use TOR and Privoxy to help protect your network traffic.

TOR is a routing technology that encrypts and routes your Internet traffic through a number of TOR servers before the traffic reaches its destination. Privoxy is a proxy server that helps protect your Internet privacy by removing or obscuring various content, such as your DNS queries, browser type, OS type, and more. You can configure Privoxy to communicate with TOR so that all your Web traffic is routed through the TOR network.

I tried the two tools, and they seem to work all right. Setting up a TOR client is incredibly simple. Just install it, run it, and make sure there are open ports on your firewall to pass traffic. That's it! Privoxy is equally simple, except that to make it work with TOR, you'll need to add one line to the Privoxy configuration, which is explained in the TOR documentation. You can learn more about TOR and Privoxy and download copies at their respective Web sites.

Until next time, have a great week.


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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

February the 13th: Microsoft Issues Massive Number of Security Fixes

Yesterday, Microsoft issued a massive number of security bulletins and fixes as part of its regularly scheduled monthly security update release. The company released 12 security bulletins for various products, including several Windows versions, Exchange Server, Office XP, Windows Media Player, MSN Messenger, and SharePoint. Eight of the bulletins are rated as "critical," the company's most serious rating.

Microsoft to Purchase Sybari Software

Microsoft announced yesterday that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sybari Software, a New York-based company that develops antivirus, antispam, and content-filtering technologies. The acquisition will include all of Sybari's staff and technologies.

Weakness in Windows XP SP2 Overflow Protection

Security company Positive Technologies released a white paper that explains what it considers to be weaknesses in the heap overflow protection and data execution protection in Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). The two technologies are designed to help prevent intruders from taking advantage of unchecked buffers to launch malicious code within the OS.

SOHO Firewall Appliances

Even if you have a home office or work for a small company, you still need to protect your valuable data and network. Firewalls have become a de facto standard for all organizations--large and small--as a frontline perimeter-based defense against attackers who want to steal your information, hijack your resources, and otherwise vandalize your network. Jeff Fellinge looks at several solutions in this Buyer's Guide.


==== Resources and Events ====

InfoSec World 2005, April 4-6, 2005, Orlando, FL

InfoSec World 2005 is where connections are made. Expand your knowledge with the hottest topics and get real-world strategies and tested techniques for meeting your toughest information security challenges. With a full spectrum of events, InfoSec World offers an array of stimulating programs, presentations, activities, networking opportunities and more!

Ensure Successful Token Authentication

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Windows Connections Conference Spring 2005

Mark your calendar for Windows Connections Spring 2005, April 17-20, 2005, at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. Sessions jam-packed with tips and techniques you need to know to ensure success in today's enterprise deployments. Get the complete brochure online or call 203-268-3204 or 800-505-1201 for more information.;13381178;8214395;l?

Configuring Blade Servers for Your Application Needs

Blade servers pack a lot of function into a small space, conserve power and are flexible. In this free Web seminar, industry guru David Chernicoff details the best use of 1P, 2P and 4P configurations using single and multiple enclosures; integrating with NAS and SAN and managing the entire enterprise from a single console. Register now and take advantage of blade servers' power and flexibility.


==== 3. Security Matters Blog ====

by Mark Joseph Edwards,

Check out these recent entries in the Security Matters blog:

Stop Users from Bypassing Group Policy

I read a really interesting thread on the Focus on Microsoft mailing list. A list member said his users found a way to bypass Group Policy so that they could install unauthorized software on their machines. The users entered their logon credentials, then as soon as they were authenticated to the domain, they unplugged the network cable so that Group Policy Objects (GPOs) weren't downloaded to their machines. However, there are ways to foil this strategy.

Two More Months to Opt Out of Windows XP SP2

According to Microsoft's TechNet Flash newsletter, "the mechanism to temporarily disable delivery of Windows XP SP2 is available only for a period of 240 days (8 months) from August 16, 2004. At the end of this period (after April 12, 2005), Windows XP SP2 will be delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems."

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

Results of Previous Poll:

Is comment spam a problem on your company's blogs or Web forums?

The voting has closed in this Windows IT Pro Security Hot Topic nonscientific Instant Poll. Here are the results from the 13 votes:

- 23% Yes it was, but we solved it by requiring registration

- 0% Yes, but we'll implement the new "rel" tag format to stop it

- 0% Yes, but we don't plan to do anything about it

- 77% No

New Instant Poll:

If your company uses Windows XP, do you use XP SP2?

Go to the Security Hot Topic and submit your vote for

- Yes

- No, but we intend to

- No, and we don't intend to

==== 5. Security Toolkit ====


by John Savill,

Q: How can I view a list of all applications on my computer that start at boot-up?

Find the answer at

Security Forum Featured Thread: ISAPI Extension Access to DCOM Application Server

Nicola has an Internet Server API (ISAPI) DLL that connects to a Distributed COM (DCOM) application server. The setup includes a Microsoft IIS server configured with integrated security and anonymous access disabled, a domain group to collect all the domain users that should be able to use the procedures in the DLL, and DCOM configured with an administrator account and launch/access permissions for the domain group. The setup works if the domain group is included in the local Administrators group, but Nicola doesn't want to put the domain group in the local Administrators group and wonders if there's some other configuration that will work. Join the discussion at


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==== 6. New and Improved ====

by Renee Munshi, [email protected]

Spam Firewall for Large Organizations

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Editor's note: Share Your Security Discoveries and Get $100

Share your security-related discoveries, comments, or problems and solutions in the Security Administrator print newsletter's Reader to Reader column. Email your contributions (500 words or less) to [email protected]. If we print your submission, you'll get $100. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length.


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