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Last Updated December 10, 2003

LabMice Link of the Day Archive - May 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:

Just how dangerous are PDAs?
Users, analysts and even security companies agree that the threat of PDA viruses is low right now. But this may be the time when companies should start looking at how they will manage when PDA viruses do, inevitably, start to appear. Source: IDG.net

Threats and Countermeasures Guide
The purpose of this guide is to provide a reference to many of the security settings available in the current versions of the Microsoft© Windows? operating systems. This is a companion guide for The Windows Server 2003 Security Guide, and the Windows XP Security Guide. The chapters of this guide are split up to reflect the major sections that appear in the group policy editing user interface. Each chapter begins with a brief explanation of what will be covered, followed by a list of subsection headers, each one of these corresponds to a setting or group of settings. Each of these, in turn, has a brief explanation of what the countermeasure does. The information provided within this guide should help you and your organization decide which specific countermeasures need to be put in place and how to prioritize that list. Source: Microsoft Technet

Locking up the Office
Office XP is a big product, one that requires close scrutiny to properly lock down. In this article, Roberta Bragg discusses security for Microsoft Office XP and shows you how to protect data in Office XP-created files. In addition, the article considers the possibility that Office XP might be an attack vector or that users may inadvertently use some Office XP feature and put their system and/or data, or the security and availability of the network, at risk. Source: MCP Magazine

Conducting a Security Audit: An Introductory Overview
This article will offer a brief overview of security audits: what they are, why they are important, and how they are conducted. Source: SecurityFocus.com

The human firewall
Giving out sensitive data to people without first authenticating their identity and access privileges is one of the most common and worst mistakes employees can make. Allowing a stranger inside an organization without authorization is yet another example of a broken link in the human firewall chain. Source: NetworkWorldFusion

Fortifying Your Security Arsenal
Penetration testing is valuable for reality-checking your security procedures. But finding the right company to perform a penetration test isn't easy, and you have to work closely with the individual or company that performs the testing. Source: Network Magazine

Passive Network Traffic Analysis: Understanding a Network Through Passive Monitoring
This article will offer a brief overview of passive network monitoring, which can offer a thorough understanding of the network's topology: what services are available, what operating systems are in use, and what vulnerabilities may be exposed on the network. Source: SecurityFocus

Cashing In: Make Your Certification Pay Off
You invested your time and money to certify your IT skill set. You were proactive in seeking training and now you have accomplished your goal, proving you are a knowledgeable and skilled IT worker. Friends, family members and co-workers congratulated you on passing that exam. You are feeling confident, perhaps even relieved. Now you are ready to reap the rewards of your hard work. Source: CertMag

Malware Myths and Misinformation, Part 1
This article is the first of a three-part series looking at some of the myths and misconceptions that undermine anti-virus protection. The fallacies we address here tend to begin with the words "I'm safe from viruses because..." Source: SecurityInfo.com

The Bugs Stop Here
Don't blame Microsoft. Don't blame the hackers. Blame yourself for insecure software. Better yet, stop blaming and start moving toward operational excellence. Source:CIO.com

Active Directory Services in Windows Server 2003
No matter if you're still "stuck" in Windows NT4.0 domains, fully deployed with Windows 2000 Active Directory (AD) or in a Windows 2000 deployment phase, this Windows Server 2003 probably has all you dream about. Windows Server 2003 Active Directory is much easier to deploy, and has features that increase flexibility during and after deployment. With reduced replication demands and easy integration into applications, you can today enable more applications to use the directory in more scenarios. In addition, Security comes into play at top priority in this release. And the biggest news - there's no requirement to re-design your Windows 2000 deployment to gain any of the advantages that it has to offer. Source: Microsoft Technet

Brain Dumps, Study Guides and Certifications
There is an awful lot of talk about how illegal brain dumps are©how they devalue the certification, how they lessen the respect for those who have spent the time working and studying for the actual certification. The idea is that someone could buy a series of questions from one of more than 250 ©vendors,? which claim to have the ?actual? test questions, and for a small fee could pass the exam on the first try. How in the world can the certification industry actually survive this onslaught of ©paper? certified technicians? Source: Certification Magazine

Finding Work in Tough Times
Times are still tough for many IT professionals, and that means certain adaptation strategies are emerging. Evolving your skills can help you survive and thrive. Source: Certification Magazine

Managing Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration
This white paper provides information about managing Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration so that users and administrators can access trusted resources and Web sites on a corporate intranet and on the Internet. Examples include how to use Group Policy, scripts, answer files, and more. Source: Microsoft.com

Google Ultimate Interface
If Google is your favorite search engine, but you can't remember all of the syntax required for an advanced Google search, check out this a cool site! The Google Ultimate Interface lets you add more parameters for Google searches, including date ranges, file types, language, and country. For more tips on getting the most out of Google, check out this article by PCWorld

Using Software Restriction Policies to Protect Against Unauthorized Software
Software restriction policies are a new feature in Microsoft© Windows? XP and Windows Server 2003. This important feature provides administrators with a policy-driven mechanism for identifying software programs running on computers in a domain, and controls the ability of those programs to execute. Software restriction policies can improve system integrity and manageability©which ultimately lowers the cost of owning a computer. Source: Microsoft.com

Resolving Application Compatibility Issues with QFixApp and CompatAdmin
Once application testing has revealed possible compatibility issues between an application and Microsoft© Windows? XP, a resolution must be found to enable the application to run as expected. QFixApp helps you to identify specific compatibility fixes that will help Windows XP to fully support the application. These compatibility fixes can be gathered into compatibility layers and distributed with the CompatAdmin tool. Source:
Microsoft.com

Changes in Windows Update
Windows 2000's Device Manager and Add Printer Wizard can update drivers automatically, which is handy when you want to take advantage of the newer features on network or video cards or when you install a new, high-speed color printer or scanner. But you might not know that Microsoft changed how Windows Update (http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/default.htm) identifies and downloads driver updates. If you ask Windows Update to update your drivers today, the site will download and install only drivers released on or before November 15, 2002, even if newer drivers are available. To obtain the most current version, meaning all drivers released after November 15, 2002, you must first download and install the new version of the Windows Update Code Download Manager. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine

What You Need to Know About SQL Server Yukon
The next version of Microsoft SQL Server, code-named Yukon, is set for a mid-2003 beta 1 test and an early 2004 release. Microsoft considers this release to be as crucial to the company's plans as Windows Server 2003, saying that Yukon will be a database server upgrade and also a platform on which Microsoft will base future versions of Active Directory (AD), Microsoft Exchange Server, the Windows file system, and other products. Microsoft says that Yukon is all about programmability, enterprise database enhancements, and business intelligence. Here's what you need to know about Yukon. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine

Red Flags: Should You Say No to a Project?
Industry leaders and technology companies are working together to create a connected lifestyle in the home that goes far beyond simple high-speed Internet connection and surround sound. Consumers are already able to link their computer, audio and video to other home systems, such as security, lighting and environmental controls, and the advances in home technology integration are exploding with leaps and bounds. However, many of these integrated technologies are expensive and require many skill sets to implement. Source: Certification Magazine

Will a fatal bug kill NT?
A few weeks ago, Microsoft released Security Bulletin MS03-010 (Flaw in RPC Endpoint Mapper Could Allow Denial of Service Attacks) concerning a flaw that might lead not just to Denial of Service (DoS) attacks but to a "denial of existence" ultimatum for Windows NT 4.0. At first glance, the bulletin is just another in a series of security-related bugs that Microsoft has identified, however Microsoft released patches for Windows XP and Windows 2000 (presumably Windows Server 2003 doesn't have the problem)--but not for NT 4.0. The article states that NT 4.0 contains the vulnerability but goes on to say, "The architectural limitations of Windows NT 4.0 do not support the changes that would be required to remove this vulnerability." Is it really possible that the flaw can't be fixed in NT 4.0, or is is this just an awfully convenient way to nudge customers still using NT 4.0 into upgrading to Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003? Source: Windows & .NET Magazine

Windows Server 2003 Security Guide
The Windows Server 2003 Security Guide focuses on providing a set of easy to understand guidance, tools, and templates to help secure Windows Server 2003 in many environments. While the product is extremely secure from the default installation, there are a number of security options that can be further configured based on specific requirements. This guidance not only provides recommendations, but also the background information on the risk that the setting is used to mitigate as well as the impact to an environment when the option is configured. Source: Microsoft.com


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