Security UPDATE--Nmap Hackers Pick Top 100 Security Tools--July 5, 2006

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1. In Focus: Nmap Hackers Pick Top 100 Security Tools

2. Security News and Features
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
- Windows Genuine Advantage Now at a Disadvantage
- Microsoft Response to Exploit Riles Metasploit Developer
- SharePoint Antivirus Solutions

3. Security Toolkit
- Security Matters Blog
- FAQ
- Security Forum Featured Thread
- Share Your Security Tips

4. New and Improved
- Encryption for SOHO

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==== 1. In Focus: Nmap Hackers Pick Top 100 Security Tools ====
by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

You've most likely heard of Nmap, the network-mapping tool developed by "Fyodor." Nmap is widely used and is a standard tool in countless security administrators' toolkits. Fyodor operates a mailing list, nmap-hackers, for general announcements, patches, and light discussion regarding Nmap.

In 2000 and 2003, Fyodor surveyed the members of the mailing list to find out which security tools were their favorites. The 2000 survey resulted in a list of the top 50 most popular security tools. The 2003 survey resulted in an expanded list of the top 75 most popular security tools. Both lists have been great resources, especially since people could often discover new tools that they weren't previously aware of.

It's been three years since the last survey, and in that time lots of new security tools have come into existence, while other security tools have been updated (in some cases several times) with new features and functionality. This year, Fyodor conducted a new survey, and 3243 people responded. This latest survey resulted in an even longer list: the top 100 most popular security tools.

Although the list contains tools for several platforms, including Windows, Linux, BSD, Solaris, and Mac OS X, it's easy to figure out which tools work on which platforms because each tool description includes platform-specific icons. There are also icons that let you know whether a tool is free, whether it has a command-line interface or GUI, and whether source code is available.

Another feature of the list shows you whether the tool has risen or dropped in popularity compared with the 2003 survey results. Surprisingly, the top four tools on the current list remain unchanged in their popularity rank. Those top four tools are Nessus, Wireshark (formerly Ethereal), Snort, and Netcat. Metasploit Framework (released after the 2003 survey) is new to the list and is ranked the fifth most popular tool. Incidentally, you can read a semi-related news story, "Microsoft Response to Exploit Riles Metasploit Developer," on our Web site at the URL below.
http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/53885

An interesting trend revealed by 2006 survey results is that wireless security is far more important to security administrators than it was three years ago, evidenced by the fact that the wireless sniffer Kismet rose from the 17th most popular tool in 2003 to 7th most popular tool in 2006. Aircrack, originally released in mid-2004, now ranks as the 21st most popular security tool in the list. Aircrack helps crack Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) encryption, which, as you probably know, are typically used to help secure communication on WiFi networks.

Another interesting trend is that two great password-cracking tools, John the Ripper and Cain and Abel, broke into the top 10 as the 9th and 10th most popular tools respectively. John the Ripper was previously ranked #11 in 2003 and Cain and Abel was ranked #23, so the latter made quite a jump in popularity.

So that's a brief rundown of a few of the tools and trends from the list. You can of course glean even more information about security tool trends by reviewing the complete list, and you can learn about more tools that are new to the list, such as BackTrack, P0f, WebScarab, WebInspect, Core Impact, Canvas, and others. Check out the full survey results at http://sectools.org.

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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
http://www.windowsitpro.com/departments/departmentid/752/752.html

Windows Genuine Advantage Now at a Disadvantage
Microsoft's anti-piracy tool, Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), was recently found to be regularly contacting Microsoft without informing the user that such contact was taking place. Microsoft recently modified the latest version of WGA to only contact the company's servers once every two weeks. Nevertheless, a third-party has stepped in to prevent WGA from regularly contacting Microsoft's servers.
http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/53884

Microsoft Response to Exploit Riles Metasploit Developer
A recently released exploit that takes advantage of problems in RRAS has drawn the relative ire of Microsoft and the obligatory rebuttal of a well-known security researcher.
http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/53885

SharePoint Antivirus Solutions
Interest in SharePoint is heating up. Online SharePoint discussion groups such as those at Windows IT Pro's sister site MSD2D.com are flourishing, evidence that more and more IT pros are either working with Windows SharePoint Services or Microsoft Office Share-Point Portal Server 2003 or are investigating them. The downside of a collaboration technology like SharePoint is that it exposes an organization to security threats such as viruses. Fortunately, SharePoint-specific antivirus solutions are available and our buyer's guide can help you choose the best solution for you needs.
http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/50312

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Learn the commonalities across multiple compliance regulations and standards to optimize your environment and save time and money. http://www.windowsitpro.com/go/whitepapers/symantec/compliance?code=SECHot0705

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

Security Matters Blog: Voylent Encrypts Cell Phone Calls
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://www.windowsitpro.com/securitymatters


The recently released Zfone beta encrypts voice-over-IP calls. Now you can encrypt cell phone calls too with the Voylent beta.
http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/50665

FAQ
(by John Savill, http://www.windowsitpro.com/windowsnt20002003faq)

Q: Is there a tool I can use to delete user profiles?

Find the answer at http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/53863

Security Forum Featured Thread

Security and Permission consideration
(One message in this thread)
A forum participant writes that he has a group of people (other than the Server Administrator) who are responsible for applications on various servers. Those people have been given the local administrator passwords for various servers so they can log on remotely to perform certain tasks. However, those people sometimes take actions on a server that go beyond their assigned tasks. Therefore he doesn't want those people to have full administrator privileges on the servers and wonders whether creating local accounts in the Power Users group would give them enough rights to perform their administrative tasks? Join the discussion at http/forums.windowsitpro.com/web/forum/messageview.aspx?catid=42&threadid=48178&enterthread=y

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==== 4. New and Improved ====
by Renee Munshi, [email protected]

Encryption for SOHO
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