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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
4. New and Improved
- Prevention Is Better than the Cure
==== Sponsor: Protecting Your Company by Managing Your Users' Internet Access === Companies pay plenty of attention to hardening their servers and
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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
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
==== Sponsor: Testing Your Security Configuration === Over a decade ago the Department of Defense (DoD) released a
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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
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
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.
==== Resources and Events ===
Recover Your Active Directory
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Are Your Prepared to Answer Your CEO for Money Lost When Your Systems
In this free Web seminar, you'll get the tools you need to ensure
your systems aren't going down. You'll discover the various categories
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failover, or in extreme cases, that perform a nondisruptive, automatic
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SQL Server 2005 Features for Developers
SQL Server 2005 offers great features for every role: DBAs, Business
Intelligence (BI) analysts, and developers. In this free Web seminar,
you'll discover the numerous features and productivity enhancements
over SQL Server 2000, including Common Table Expressions (CTEs), DDL
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Back By Popular Demand--SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in a City Near You
Get the facts about migrating to SQL Server 2005. SQL Server experts
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Your expert opinion makes a difference--tell us what you think about
industry conferences and events. Your feedback is very valuable to us.
Take this short survey today!
==== Featured White Paper ===
Is Your Network at Risk of a Trojan Attack?
Uncontrolled Internet access from within an organization can
represent a significant legal and security risk. Internet filtering
technology is a key player in mitigating these threats. In this white
paper, learn the various methods available for Internet filtering and
how to use them to increase security and decrease legal exposure.
Download this free white paper now!
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==== 3. Security Toolkit ====
Security Matters Blog: Any Problems with Win2K Update Rollup 1?
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=DD5E:4FB69
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, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=DD5C:4FB69
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
message to accounts whose passwords expire soon?
Find the answer at
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==== 4. New and Improved === by Dustin Ewing, firstname.lastname@example.org
Prevention Is Better than the Cure
Symantec has released Symantec Critical System Protection 4.5, an
intrusion-prevention solution for desktops and servers running Windows,
UNIX, and Linux OSs. Symantec Critical System Protection enforces
behavior-based security policies that defend and proactively protect
applications on client and server platforms. The software is designed
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Buffer overflow and memory-based attack protection provide an added
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we'll send you a T-shirt if we write about the product in a future
Windows IT Pro What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with
information about how the product has helped you.
Editor's note: Share Your Security Discoveries and Get $100
Share your security-related discoveries, comments, or problems and
solutions in the Windows IT Security print newsletter's Reader to
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==== Sponsored Link ===
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