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Last Updated December 10, 2003

LabMice Link of the Day Archive - March 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:

Microsoft's Suite Dreams
Office 2003 has enough new features and improvements to tempt users, despite the cost of an upgrade. The core applications were tweaked, but there's hardly anything there to cause IT managers much concern -- or spark much interest. Outlook, however, got the overhaul it has needed for years. Source: ComputerWorld

Microsoft Helpdesk Use of Remote Assistance in Windows XP Professional
The traditional method of computer support for a help desk©a telephone conversation in which the user tries to describe the problem and the technician tries to explain the solution©is often a difficult process for both the technician and the user. The method that has historically satisfied users most©in-person assistance?costs three times more than phone support. Remote Assistance, a built-in feature of Microsoft© Windows? XP, offers the most efficient solution. Using Remote Assistance, a technician can view and/or control a user's desktop remotely, making it easier for a user to describe a problem and a technician to implement the solution. Source:

Virus Hoaxes and the Real Dangers They Pose
Virus Hoaxes are a fairly common phenomenon. Most email users have received messages warning of malicious viruses threatening to wreak havoc on their computers. Many of these hoaxes are harmless fun. Unfortunately, many pose real dangers. This article will offer a brief overview of virus hoaxes, how users can spot them, and how they can protect themselves against them. Source:

Nmap Your Network
Using Nmap for Windows to scan your network©s ports can help protect your network from intruders and track computers and services. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine

Solving SOHO Networking Problems in Windows XP
Although you can pile many applications on top of a networking infrastructure to help manage it, when you run into networking problems, the best way to diagnose them is to simplify as much as possible. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine

Weigh the Benefits of Windows Migration
How will you decide when and whether to upgrade to Windows Server 2003? Discover the benefits this new version has to offer, and as well as the pitfalls to consider.
Source: .NET Magazine

Watching the Watchers
None of us relishes an audit--outsiders poking around for the holes in my system? When someone says "audit," you probably think of the surprise inspections your company's auditors pull to try to expose IT weaknesses. But what if the auditors fail to do their job correctly? You're still the one feeling the heat after an attacker brings your Web site down or steals your customers' financial information. Don't let this happen to you. And it won't, if you know how. Source: InfoSecurity

IE Cumulative Update Is Messy
Microsoft has released an updated cumulative IE rollup; if you distributed the original February 5 rollup, you might need to apply two additional hotfixes
- one to correct the IE 6.0 authentication problem and one to restore HTML-based Help functionality in the browser.. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine

Remote Desktop Management Solution for Microsoft
One of the many challenges facing Microsoft administrators is how to manage remote systems in a secure manner? In the world of the UNIX the answer is quite simple: using the SSH protocol. Unfortunately, providing secure remote access to MS Windows systems is not as easy. This article will describe the universal method of remote management that can be used to manage almost all versions of MS Windows: from Windows 95 up to XP. Source:

Optimizing Bandwidth at Microsoft
To successfully manage wide area network (WAN) demand and escalating operating costs at Microsoft, the Information Technology Group (ITG) assembled a small, dedicated team, tasked with identifying and implementing ways to improve engineering, operating, and management efficiencies for overall bandwidth consumption. Their goals were to increase network efficiency by 12 percent and reduce costs by nine percent. Through strategies such as the rigorous auditing of existing bandwidth usage, and more accurate forecasting of future bandwidth needs, existing capacity was utilized more efficiently and carrier vendor relationships were maximized. Source:

LapLink says hackers left key clue
While driving to work on Interstate 405 Thursday, Mark Eppley checked his e-mail from his cellphone and saw a message titled "Break-in attempt." Someone had broken into LapLink's computer system and planted enough bugs to disrupt business for days. E-mail had been down briefly and would soon be down again. Key files were missing, and other strange things were happening. LapLink had been hacked, a situation becoming increasingly common among corporations. But LapLink's crisis had an unusual twist. It looked like the hacking came from a computer address at another company: Classmates Online. Source: Seattle Times

How ISA Server Can Be Configured to Help Prevent the W32.Slammer Worm
This document discusses how the Slammer spreads, where links to more details about patching your servers, what ISA Server can do to help prevent Slammer, and where to go for more information.Slammer targets computers running Microsoft SQL Server 2000, and computers running Microsoft Desktop Engine (MSDE) 2000. The worm sends 376 bytes to UDP port 1434, the SQL Server Resolution Service Port. This large number of packets results in a Denial of Service attack. The worm only spreads as an in-memory process: it never writes itself to the hard drive. Source:

CERT Warns of Windows Shares Vulnerability
Enterprise IT needs to get tough on remote users to make sure broadband connections are secure, a new bulletin from the CERT/CC shows. The security researchers at CERT are finding an increase in reports of Windows 2000 and Windows XP system compromises due to poorly protected file shares. Attackers are exploiting weak or missing passwords on Administrator accounts on Server Message Block (SMB) file shares. Source: ENT Online

Microsoft Active Directory Management Pack Guide
Microsoft© Operations Manager (MOM) 2000 Active Directory Management Pack (ADMP) Service Pack 1 (SP1) provides a monitoring and management system for the Active Directory© directory service that is integrated with MOM. ADMP can help you to improve the availability, performance, and security of Active Directory implementation. With ADMP, MOM provides central monitoring and automatic problem resolution for large networks, continuously monitoring Active Directory components. Source:

Wireless LAN Analyzers: The Ultimate Hacking Tools?
Protocol analyzers are usually regarded as testing and planning tools: You don't plug one in unless you actually have a network, or at least some cable, and often not until something goes wrong. Even if you have no intention of investing in Wi-Fi, knowing what's passing through your airwaves can still be useful. In addition to full-featured hardware and software analyzers, several vendors are pitching simpler, cheaper versions as security tools. These are designed to detect and track down rogue access points-WLAN base stations set up by employees without the IT department's knowledge. Source: NetworkMagazine

Cryptographic Filesystems: Design and Implementation
Cryptographic filesystems have recently come to the forefront of security. This article will discuss some of the background and technology of cryptographic filesystems and will then cover some example implementations of these filesystems including Microsoft's Encrypting File System for Windows 2000, the Linux CryptoAPI, and the Secure File System. Source:

Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server Feature Pack 1 
A set of features and documentation that provides enhanced security and ease of use for e-mail server, Web server and Microsoft© Exchange Outlook? Web Access (OWA) server deployments. E-mail server security is enhanced by the improved ability to filter out unwanted e-mail messages. Remote Outlook users can now securely access Exchange Server mail over untrusted networks without a VPN. Improved authentication and protection from evolving types of Internet attacks enable ISA Server to better protect Web and OWA server computers. New wizards make configuration easier and answer commonly asked questions.  In addition to the on-line help installed with ISA Server Feature Pack 1, documents included in this package provide detailed information on configuring new scenarios made possible by the feature pack. Download ISA Server Feature Pack 1 Source:

Select the right cable for optimal KVM performance
All cables are not created equal © the right cable will play a pivotal role in getting the highest quality video from your KVM switch. Source: ServerWorld

Windows Root Kits a Stealthy Threat
Hackers are using vastly more sophisticated techniques to secretly control the machines they've cracked, and experts say it's just the beginning. Also known as "kernel mode Trojans," root kits are far more sophisticated than the usual batch of Windows backdoor programs that irk network administrators today. In contrast, a root kit hooks itself into the operating system's Application Program Interface (API), where it intercepts the system calls that other programs use to perform basic functions, like accessing files on the computer's hard drive. The root kit is the man-in-the-middle, squatting between the operating system and the programs that rely on it, deciding what those programs can see and do. Source:

Net Hacker Tool du Jour: Google
Hackers often use underground software to gain access to private information on the Net or private computer networks. But the newest trick up their sleeves is a tool all Web users are familiar with. "Google, properly leveraged, has more intrusion potential than any hacking tool," said hacker Adrian Lamo, who recently sounded the alarm. Source: Wired

Aspects of data integrity: Taking a wide-angle look at why disk drives fail
Why does a disk drive fail and what recent changes in the industry have made the drive©s environment such a critical and growing consideration? Source: ServerWorld

Program Hides Secret Messages in Executables
Netizens with extreme privacy needs got a new tool for their cyber utility belts recently with the release of an application that lets users hide secret messages in virtually any executable computer program, without changing the program's size or affecting its operation. The tool is called "Hydan," an old English word for the act of hiding something, and it's part of a research project by Columbia University computer science masters student Rakan El-Khalil, who showed off the program to a small group of open-source programmers and hackers gathered at the second annual CodeCon conference in San Francisco on Sunday
. Source:

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