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Last Updated December 10, 2003

LabMice Link of the Day Archive - April 2003
As we surf the web in our pursuit of additional content for LabMice, we occasionally stumble upon a really cool, humorous, unusual, or very useful link that we think should stand out from the hundreds we add every week. So we developed a small section on our front page to highlight these, and will archive the rest here.
 
This Month:

Upgrading to Windows Server 2003
This is a reprint of Chapter 14 from Active Directory, 2nd Edition (ISBN: 0-596-00466-4), published by O©Reilly & Associates, Inc.. The first version of Active Directory with Windows 2000 was surprisingly stable and robust. Microsoft does not have the best track record for initial releases of products, but they must be commended for Windows 2000 Active Directory in terms of its feature rich-ness and reliability. Before we cover the upgrade process to Windows Server 2003, we©ll first discuss some of the major new features in Windows Server 2003 and some of the functionality differences with Windows 2000. Based on this information, you should be able to prioritize the importance of how quickly you should start migrating. Source: Technet

Rise of the Spam Zombies
Pressed by increasingly effective anti-spam efforts, senders of unsolicited commercial e-mail are resorting to outright criminality in their efforts to conceal the source of their ill-sent missives, using Trojan horses to turn the computers of innocent netizens into secret spam zombies. "This is the newest delivery mechanism," says Margie Arbon, director of operations of anti-spam group MAPS. "I've been looking for it for a year, and in the last couple of months people have actually found Trojans that are doing it... They're carrying their own SMTP engines. Failing that, they install open proxy software."
Source: SecurityFocus.com

Configuring Windows XP IEEE 802.11b Wireless Networks for the Home and Small Business
The utility of wireless networking in the home and small business has obvious benefits. With wireless networking, you do not have to install cabling to connect the separate computers together and portable computers, such as laptops or notebook computers, can roam around the house or small business office and maintain their connection to the network. This article describes how to configure computers running Windows XP to create a wireless network for a home or small business. Source: Microsoft.com

How to control your company's mobile devices
According to IDC, the U.S., Western Europe and Latin America will have 31.3 million mobile workers in 2001, and almost double that number by 2004. This mobility explosion is both the cause and the effect of the growing numbers and power of mobile devices. Why? Because handheld devices, which were little more than glorified calendars just a few years ago, now have the ability to run full-scale corporate applications. In this environment, effectively shepherding mobile devices is essential. Yet many companies fail to plan beyond the next short-term need, purchasing a new management tool every time their mobile devices prove themselves useful in a new way. What is desperately needed, however, is an integrated solution, one that combines systems management functionality and data synchronization into a unified whole. Source: ComputerWorld

Windows Server 2003 Launch
Microsoft officially releases it's latest version of Windows Server today. Although critics derided Windows Server 2003 as a 5.2 release (Windows 2000 being 5.0 and Windows XP, 5.1), Microsoft has made significant improvements to the security, stability and scalability of the new OS. Windows 2003 Server also features Active Directory 2.0 and a much improved IIS 6.0 You can watch the live keynote address at the global launch event for Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Visual Studio© .NET 2003, and Microsoft SQL Server? 2000 (64-bit) in San Francisco on Thursday, April 24. Tune in starting at 10:00 A.M. Pacific Time.

Microsoft Releases Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools
Late yesterday, Microsoft released its free set of resource kit tools for Windows Server 2003. The "Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit" tools include utilities that administrators, developers, and power users can use to manage Active Directory (AD), Group Policy, TCP/IP networks, the registry, security, scalability, and many other aspects of the Windows 2003 OS. The resource kit tools run on Windows XP and any member of the Windows 2003 family of products. The Windows 2003 resource kit download includes more than 125 tools. You can download the Windows 2003 resource kit tools now from the Microsoft Web site. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine

How to Run Legacy Applications Using Windows XP
Installing a new version of the Microsoft© Windows? operating system often poses a problem for the average user when it comes to supporting older applications. Microsoft Windows XP is an exception to this rule. Because of the extensive support for application compatibility within Windows XP, nearly every Windows program available can be run successfully on Windows XP. The first part of this article is intended for an average user who needs to know how to get an old (legacy) application to run correctly on this new operating system. The remainder of the article addresses the needs of an information technology (IT) professional who is responsible for correcting an application compatibility issue for a number of computers. Source: Microsoft.com

Hyper-Threading in Windows Server 2003
While few organizations seem anxious to upgrade to Windows Server 2003, the new Hyper-Threading feature would make the upgrade worthwhile for some organizations. Source: ServerWorld

Use a Honeypot, Go to Prison?
A Department of Justice computer crime specialist warns that under some circumstances deploying honeypots can be more illegal than hacking them.
An increasingly popular technique for detecting would-be intruders, a honeypot is a type of hacker flypaper: a system that sits on an organization's network for no other purpose than to be hacked, in theory diverting attackers away from genuinely valuable targets and putting them in an closely monitored environment where every keystroke can be analyzed. But that monitoring is what federal criminal law calls "interception of communications," said Salgado, a felony that carries up to five years in prison. Source: SecurityFocus.com

Voicemail Hackers Phone It In
Think your phone is private? Think again. Hackers have devised a way to break into voicemail systems by exploiting SBC's simple default passwords and AT&T's automated operator services. They're making thousands of dollars' worth of phone calls on their victims' dime. Source: Wired

Avoiding Wi-Fi surprises
Enterprise firms won't invest in 802.11g  products before the standard is ratified this summer. But small offices/home offices and consumers are buying products by the bucket load. Most vendors say prestandard gear will require only a firmware upgrade to interoperate with products built using the final specification. But there's no way to know for sure until the standard is ratified and interoperability is tested. Until then, here's what you need to know to make smart buying decisions today. Source: NetworkWorldFusion

Windows Terminal Services in Windows Server 2003: A Preview
With the impending release of Windows Server 2003 on April 24, Microsoft is making a slew of changes to the various editions of the server operation system, as well as changes to Windows Terminal Services in terms of offerings and licensing. Marcin Policht details the changes and how they'll affect you. Source:
ServerWatch

Migration Path
Upgrading to Win2003 is clear-cut, but not easy--nor should it be. Microsoft wants enterprises to think about how they're deploying the operating system for efficiency, effectiveness and security. Win2K users will find the migration process relatively clear-cut, while Windows NT 4.0 users will have more to consider and more difficulties transitioning to an Active Directory environment. In both cases, planning and preparation are vitally important. Source: Information Security Magazine

What Windows Server 2003 Will Mean for IT
This month's release of Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 will be welcome news for some enterprise players, such as in-house application developers and perhaps some Internet service providers. For others, it will be like walking the plank: They may not want to go forward, but they will be unable to go back -- or even maintain the status quo. Source:
OSopinion.com

Steganography Revealed
Steganography is a means of protecting the confidentiality of data by "hiding" it within a larger file of data. This technique can be used for both legitimate and illegitimate purposes. This article will offer a brief introductory discussion of steganography: what it is, how it can be used, and the implications it can have for security. Source: SecurityFocus.com

Unwrapping Win2003
Microsoft promised Windows Server 2003 would be "secure by design, secure by default and secure in deployment." The editors at Information Security Magazine took the wrapper off this new OS to see if it lives up to expectations. Source: InformationSecurity Magazine

The Reality of Perception
A new poll finds that seventy-seven percent of security professionals believe Microsoft products are insecure. But a closer look at the survey tells a far more interesting story. Source: SecurityFocus

Microsoft warns of bogus e-mail security alerts
From time to time malicious individuals circulate e-mails that purport to be a Microsoft Security Bulletin or Patch. Some of the emails direct the reader to download an executable file from a web site- while others include an executable file which contains a virus. Customers who receive such an email should delete it, and under no circumstances should they download or run the executable. Some of the emails claim to be a security patch for Windows or Internet Explorer, others are more generic. Source: Microsoft.com

Step-by-Step Guide for Setting Up VPN-based Remote Access in a Test Lab
This white paper describes how to configure secure remote access virtual private network (VPN) connections using the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) and the Layer Two Tunneling Protocol with Internet Protocol security (L2TP/IPSec) in a test lab using five computers. Of the five computers, one is a VPN client, one is a VPN server, one is a domain controller, certification authority (CA), and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS) server, one is a Web and file server, and one is an Internet Authentication Service (IAS) server that is acting as a Remote Authentication Dial-in User Service (RADIUS) server. Source:
Microsoft.com

The Disappear.Net Campaign
Can Microsoft successfully stamp out the .Net brand while it embeds the bits in all of its products? It seems it's gonna try. After trying for three years to explain what ".Net" is, Microsoft seems to be throwing in the towel. Redmond's latest plan seems to be to faze out the .Net brand, while embedding the .Net bits into the next versions of all of the company's core products. Even though Microsoft has spent gobs of money, time and effort explaining its .Net strategy, axing the .Net brand just might not be a bad idea. After all, Microsoft has had nothing but trouble explaining .Net, starting from the time the technology was known code-named "Next Generation Windows Services."  (What was Windows.Net? Or Office.Net?) Source:MicrosoftWatch

Windows 2000 Computer Startup Scripts
Windows 2000's Group Policy Object (GPO) computer startup scripts let you perform a world of tasks on client computers that logon scripts and centralized server scripts can't undertake. Logon scripts run under the authority of the logged-on user account, which limits the types of tasks that these scripts can perform. Scripts launched from a central administrative server or workstation can run in a service-account context and thus have more powerful rights, but they must run against an entire domain or a static list of computer names. Source: Microsoft TechNet


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