Security UPDATE--Security Writers Web Site--July 21, 2004


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1. In Focus: Security Writers Web Site

2. Security News and Features

- Recent Security Vulnerabilities

- Feature: SUS Implementation Tips

3. Security Toolkit


- Featured Thread

4. New and Improved

- Antivirus Activity Analysis


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==== 1. In Focus: Security Writers Web Site ====

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

I think you'll agree that either being a security administrator or managing security administrators requires that you continually add new information to your base of knowledge. Lots of resources are available for you to use to gather more information. Some of the resources are well-known and others are either relatively new or remain a bit obscure for whatever reasons. This week, I want to share with you a resource that you might not be aware of but that's worth checking into.

Information Security Writers (Infosec Writers) is a Web site at which you can find numerous technical papers and essays, all of which of course pertain to information security. The site was originally launched in 2000 as the Security Writers Guild. Since that time, the site has obviously changed names, and the content has grown.

The site hosts a library of technical papers written by various contributors who want to share their knowledge with the community at large. Categories in the Web site's Text Library include Email Security; Exploitation/Vulnerability; Firewall & Perimeter Protection; Forensics; General Security Concepts & Misc.; Honeypots; Information Assurance; Intrusion Detection; Malware/Malicious Code; Network Devices, Protocols & Traffic; Organizational Security; Security Tools; and Wireless Security.

For some examples of the types of papers that you might find at the site, check the Latest Articles section of the Infosec Writers home page. Some recently published papers are "Securing Mac OS X" by Stephen de Vries, "Shadow Software Attack" by Angelo Rosiello, "The Increasing Risks of Internet Computing" by Greg Greer, "Information Systems Misuse--Threats & Countermeasures" by Vijay Gawde, and "Non Conventional Virus Attack" by Raul Alvarez.

Another item of interest that you can find at the site is "Hitchhiker's World," which is a Web-based magazine. As far as I can determine, the magazine isn't published at any particular interval, however the next version is due to be released July 27. You might want to read some or all of the previous editions; if you find the content useful, you can mark your calendar to read the upcoming edition.

If you know of other security-related Web sites that others might not be aware of and you want to share their names with the readers of this newsletter, please send me an email and let me know about them.


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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

Feature: SUS Implementation Tips

As you know, Microsoft Software Update Services (SUS) lets you download (for free) all crucial updates to a Windows 2000 or later server, then distribute them to your network's Windows servers and workstations. SUS gives you a way to automate patch management and eliminates the need to manually download and install critical updates on individual workstations. In this article, Alan Sugano offers some tips for SUS implementation.


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==== 4. Security Toolkit ====

FAQ: What Causes the Error I Receive in the Event Log When I Attempt to Replicate the ForestDNSZones Directory Partition?

by John Savill,

A. The ForestDNSZones directory partition is replicated among all domain controllers (DCs) in a forest that have the DNS service installed. When you replicate ForestDNSZones, you might see an error message that's similar to one posted with this FAQ at the URL below.

This type of error can occur when you have several sites that don't have site links between them or when site-link bridging is disabled (and no site-link bridge has been manually created) and when a site that has DCs running DNS is connected to a site that has DCs that don't run DNS. The ForestDNSZones partition, which replicates only between DCs that have DNS installed, can't replicate to the DCs that don't have DNS installed. Consider a scenario in which sites A and C have DCs that run DNS and are connected to site B, which has a DC that doesn't run DNS. The error appears on DCs in sites A and C if site-link bridging is disabled and no site-link bridge was manually created between them.

To solve this problem, you must either create a site-link bridge between sites A and C, or if sites A and C aren't connected because of routing restrictions, install DNS on a DC at site B. Using either method allows replication through the DC at site B. You don't need to configure any zones on the DC; merely having DNS installed is enough to add the DC to the ForestDNSZones partition's replication set.

Featured Thread: Web Site Access to Internal Databases

(Three messages in this thread)

Gary writes that he has a Web server on a demilitarized zone (DMZ) that accesses an internal SQL database through Active Server Pages (ASP). He wants to know the best way to let some of his customers access certain parts of the database while not allowing public access. He wonders if he should set up local accounts on the Web server and use Windows authentication. Lend a hand or read the responses.


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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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