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Security UPDATE -- Really Simple Syndication Security -- July

Security UPDATE -- Really Simple Syndication Security -- July
Security UPDATE -- Really Simple Syndication Security -- July

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Protecting Your Company by Managing Your Users' Internet Access 

Testing Your Security Configuration 

1. In Focus: Really Simple Syndication Security

2. Security News and Features
   - Recent Security Vulnerabilities
   - Microsoft Released Update Rollup 1 for Windows 2000 SP4
   - Bluetooth Security Essentials
   - Preventing Data Loss When Using EFS

3. Security Toolkit
   - Security Matters Blog
   - FAQ

4. New and Improved
   - Prevention Is Better than the Cure

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==== 1. In Focus: Really Simple Syndication Security ===   by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

As you probably know by now, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) technology 
is hotter than a firecracker. The technology is slated to explode into 
the world of even more users with the eventual release of the next 
version of Windows (code-named Longhorn). 

A slight wave of concern about security has started to grow with 
Microsoft's announcement that it will build RSS technology into 
Longhorn. Because Windows is so widely used and RSS will be built in, 
people have pointed out that RSS could become intruders' avenue of 
choice for exploiting systems. 

RSS can be used to deliver all kinds of content, and by far the most 
popular content is HTML-based text. However, RSS can be used to deliver 
more than just text. You might be aware that there are ways to include 
file attachments in an RSS feed. As a result, we now have exceptionally 
great technologies such as podcasting, which is a way of delivering 
audio files as RSS-item attachments. Likewise, RSS can be used to 
deliver video, software updates, documents, spreadsheets, and all sorts 
of other files. The possibilities are nearly unlimited. And therein 
resides the concern. 

RSS is a delivery vehicle for content. Some type of helper application 
is required to read, view, listen to, or otherwise handle that content. 
For example, if you have RSS deliver an MP3 audio file, then at some 
point, you'll launch your MP3 player to listen to that file. The same 
goes for HTML, video, documents, and so on. If any of the applications 
used to handle RSS-related data have security vulnerabilities, of 
course intruders will eventually find a way to deliver an exploit. 

Because RSS is so widely used and RSS feeds are typically updated in a 
somewhat automated fashion, the potential is high that someone could 
exploit a large number of systems very quickly. For example, a problem 
in your Web browser or media player software could be exploited by 
delivering specially crafted content. 

Combined attacks could be used too. For example, you might subscribe to 
an RSS feed at a major news site. An intruder might find a way to tweak 
your HOSTS file and DNS cache so that, unknown to you, your RSS 
aggregator or RSS reader goes to some other site instead. The RSS 
aggregator or RSS reader would then pull content from that illegitimate 
site and possibly launch an exploit on your system. All the while, 
you're none the wiser, thinking you've simply pulled the latest news 
articles, which of course would be designed to look exactly like the 
real thing.

The bottom line is that RSS isn't much of a security risk and poses 
few, if any, problems in and of itself. The real risks, so far as I can 
see, are that RSS feeds often interface with other problematic 
software, such as browsers, assorted media-playing software, and word 
processing software. To protect users, those applications need to be 
developed to be as secure as possible. If that isn't accomplished, 
computer users will be less likely to use the great RSS technology we 
now enjoy. 

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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 

Microsoft Released Update Rollup 1 for Windows 2000 SP4
   Microsoft released Update Rollup 1 for Windows 2000 SP4, which 
contains all updates and patches issued as of April 30, 2005. A 
spokesperson for Microsoft said that there will be no Service Pack 5 
for Windows 2000 and that Update Rollup 1 won't be a requirement in 
order to receive support during Windows 2000's extended support phase. 
The company believes that "the Update Rollup will meet customer needs 
more appropriately than a new service pack." 

Bluetooth Security Essentials
   Microsoft introduced comprehensive Bluetooth support for desktops 
and laptops in Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), and for smart phones 
and Pocket PCs in Windows CE. As with its better-known cousin Wi-Fi, 
security questions have arisen about Bluetooth. John Howie takes a look 
at the fundamentals of Bluetooth, including its security features and 
potential risks and walks you through the process of securing your 
Bluetooth implementation. 

Preventing Data Loss When Using EFS
   Many people use the Encrypting File System (EFS) to protect their 
confidential files but later lose that information when they upgrade 
their computer or lose the computer and try to restore from backups. 
Randy Franklin Smith explains how to avoid losing data when using EFS. 

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==== Featured White Paper ===
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technology is a key player in mitigating these threats. In this white 
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how to use them to increase security and decrease legal exposure. 
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==== 3. Security Toolkit ==== 

Security Matters Blog: Any Problems with Win2K Update Rollup 1?
by Mark Joseph Edwards, 

   I've heard a couple of reports of problems regarding the new Update 
Rollup 1 package for Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 (SP4). Have you 
experienced any problems? 

by John Savill, 

Q: How can I use a script to determine password-expiration dates for 
users in a domain or an organizational unit (OU) and send an email 
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Find the answer at 

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==== 4. New and Improved === by Dustin Ewing, 

Prevention Is Better than the Cure
   Symantec has released Symantec Critical System Protection 4.5, an 
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