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Security UPDATE--Search Engines Increase Web Site Security--January 19, 2005

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1. In Focus: Search Engines Increase Web Site Security

2. Security News and Features

- Recent Security Vulnerabilities

- The Scoop on Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool

- AMD Adds Holographic Security Labels to Processors

- Review: Security Explorer 4.8

3. Security Matters Blog

- The Race to Protect Customers

- A Matter of Daze

4. Security Toolkit


- Security Forum Featured Thread

5. New and Improved

- Secure Middleware Repriced and Repackaged


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==== 1. In Focus: Search Engines Increase Web Site Security ====

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

Back in July 2004, I mentioned a whitepaper, "Demystifying Google Hacks," by Debasis Mohanty. The paper outlines several ways in which someone can use a particular search syntax in Google to query for sites that might have known vulnerabilities. The paper is at the first URL below. The Security UPDATE in which I wrote about it is at the second URL below.

For example, Google supports query syntax that uses the commands intitle:, inurl:, allinurl:, filetype:, intext:, and more. Google isn't the only search engine that supports this sort of query syntax. MSN Search, AlltheWeb, Yahoo! Search, and others support a similar syntax to varying degrees.

As you know, the Santy worm, which takes advantage of search engine queries to find vulnerable sites, was released around the Christmas holidays. Recently, someone posted a message to a popular techno-gadget-related blog site stating that he'd found a search query that can locate vulnerable Webcams.

If worm writers and other people are using search engines to find vulnerabilities, you might want to try the same techniques to check your own Web sites for vulnerabilities. Instead of typing or pasting query after query into search engines, you can use scripts to store queries and automate the actual querying and result-gathering process. Another solution is to use a tool specifically designed for the task. Foundstone (now a division of McAfee) recently released a new version of its SiteDigger tool (2.0) that automates the process of using Google to scan for vulnerabilities in a given site.

SiteDigger 2.0 has several added capabilities. Foundstone boasts that it now provides "10 times more results." The tool also has an improved user interface, an expanded Help file, an improved results page, and improvements for signature updates. The company also said that SiteDigger 2.0 produces less false positives, which means it's less prone to alert you to problems that don't really exist. The new tool can also perform raw searches, and as you might expect, it can detect some of the latest vulnerabilities, such as overly exposed Webcams.

SiteDigger requires the Microsoft .NET Framework and also relies on the Google API, so you'll need to obtain the API license key, which is a simple process. More information about how to get the license key can be found at Foundstone's SiteDigger Web page.

I wonder why Foundstone limits SiteDigger to Google queries. I think the tool would be even more useful if the company added support for other major search engines. Nevertheless, it's a useful tool as it stands. Get yourself a copy and check it out.


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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

The Scoop on Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool

Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) is now available and will be updated on the second Tuesday of each month, according to Microsoft. The tool is essentially a consolidation of the company's other malware cleaning tools. The new all-in-one tool is currently designed to remove the Blaster, MyDoom, Sasser, Zindos, Nachi, Gaobot, Doomjuice, and Berbew forms of malware.

AMD Adds Holographic Security Labels to Processors

To help thwart illegitimate copies of its Processor-in-a-Box (PIB) technology, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has added new holographic labels to ensure authenticity.

Review: Security Explorer 4.8

ScriptLogic's Security Explorer 4.8 lets administrators quickly and easily audit and adjust permission attributes for NTFS file systems, registries, and shares on local or remote computers. The program executes quickly and displays exactly what you want: directories, files, and their associated permissions. Read Jeff Fellinge's review on our Web site.


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

by Mark Joseph Edwards,

Check out these recent entries in the Security Matters blog:

The Race to Protect Customers

Ever wonder what goes on inside a company that provides security solutions on "Patch Tuesday"? Learn about the scramble that takes place in order to protect customers before exploits are turned loose on the unsuspecting public.

A Matter of Daze

The day after "Patch Tuesday" can reasonably be called "Exploit Wednesday" because, invariably, someone will learn how to take advantage of the published vulnerabilities and release loads of technical information within 24 hours.

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

FAQ, by John Savill,

Q: I have Zone Labs' ZoneAlarm firewall installed, and it's reporting a problem with Microsoft Application Error Reporting. What's causing this error?

Find the answer at

Security Forum Featured Thread: File-Based Restrictions in Folders

A forum participant writes that his company has a shared folder that contains all the company's official business files, including a lot of multimedia files (such as .mpg and .avi files) that need to be backed up. He wants to know if there is any way to restrict users from putting personal .mpg, .avi, .mp3, and other files into particular folders on his server so that these personal files won't fill his tape backups? Join the discussion at:


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==== 5. New and Improved ====

by Renee Munshi, [email protected]

Secure Middleware Repriced and Repackaged

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