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Security UPDATE -- Spyware Detection and Classification --

Security UPDATE -- Spyware Detection and Classification --
Security UPDATE -- Spyware Detection and Classification --

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Map, Scan and Audit Your Network for Security Compliance 

Using Security Compliance Software to Improve Business Efficiency and 
Reduce Costs 

1. In Focus: Spyware Detection and Classification

2. Security News and Features
   - Recent Security Vulnerabilities
   - VeriSign Buys iDEFENSE
   - Firefox 1.0.5 Fixes a Dozen Security Problems
   - IIS Application Isolation

3. Instant Poll

4. Security Toolkit
   - Security Matters Blog
   - FAQ
   - Security Forum Featured Thread

5. New and Improved
   - PC Protection

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==== 1. In Focus: Spyware Detection and Classification ===   by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

You've probably heard by now that Microsoft is, or was, interested in 
making a deal to acquire Claria--a company known for its personal-
information-tracking software. Formerly known as Gator, Claria is for 
the most part considered to be a propagator (no pun intended) of 
spyware that's bundled with many popular software packages such as the 
Kazaa peer-to-peer file-sharing application. 

Last I heard, Microsoft scrapped its plans to acquire the company, 
although I'm not sure if that's true. Nevertheless, Microsoft caught 
some additional heat last week because it downgraded the severity 
rating of Claria's software in Windows AntiSpyware. The severity rating 
of similar software from other companies, such as WhenU and 180solutions, 
was reported to have also been downgraded. 

In an open letter published at its Web site (see the URL below), Microsoft 
said it made no exceptions for Claria and that the company "decided that 
adjustments should be made to the classification of Claria software in 
order to be fair and consistent with how Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) 
handles similar software from other vendors." 

The letter goes on to say that "Today, anti-spyware vendors use different 
approaches, definitions, and types of criteria for identifying and 
categorizing spyware and other potentially unwanted software. This 
has limited the industry's ability to have a broad, coordinated impact in 
addressing the problem. That is a key reason Microsoft is a founding member 
of the Anti-Spyware Coalition, a group of technology companies and anti-
spyware companies working alongside public interest groups to address key 
spyware issues."

The Anti-Spyware Coalition (first URL below) was actually convened by the 
Center for Democracy and Technology earlier this year. Microsoft was one 
of over a dozen entities that took part in the initial meeting. The 
coalition recently published the first draft of its "Anti-Spyware 
Coalition Definitions and Supporting Documents" (second URL below), 
which is now open for a 30-day public comment period. 

The definitions outline a number of different types of spyware and 
describe the underlying technology and why it might or might not be 
useful. Microsoft and numerous other companies undoubtedly use these 
definitions as part of their guidelines for classifying software in 
their respective antispyware solutions. So reading the documents might 
help you get a better understanding of what spyware is from the 
perspective of various vendors. 

Another interesting part of the documents is the outline for vendor 
dispute and false positive resolution. I'd guess that Claria and other 
vendors have used that, or a similar process, to have Microsoft review 
its software more closely, resulting in changes in software's severity 
rating in Windows AntiSpyware. 

If you're interested in learning more and helping shape the way 
coalition members handle spyware detection and classification, be sure
to read the first draft and send any comments you might have to the 
coalition before the end of the public comment period, August 12. After 
that time, the coalition will work to publish a final release sometime 
in the fall. 

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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 

VeriSign Buys iDEFENSE
   VeriSign announced that it acquired security research firm iDEFENSE 
for $40 million in cash. iDEFENSE provides security-related information to 
companies around the world. 

Firefox 1.0.5 Fixes a Dozen Security Problems
   Mozilla Foundation released Firefox 1.0.5, which fixes a dozen security 
problems and improves stability. While Firefox 1.0.5 does represent an 
improvement over previous versions, it has some known issues, so be sure to 
read about those for any caveats that might apply to your particular 

IIS Application Isolation
   From time to time, you're probably called on to deploy a Web application 
that traffics sensitive information. That application might also reside 
on an IIS server that hosts other applications. What questions and 
considerations do you think about as you devise your plan for implementing 
the highest degree of application isolation you can manage? Brett Hill 
helps you think things through in this article on our Web site. 

==== Resources and Events ===
Sort Through Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, and More Legislation Quicker and 
   In this free Web seminar, get the tips you've been looking for to save 
time and money in achieving IT security and regulatory compliance. 
Find out how you can simplify these manually intensive, compliance-related 
tasks that reduce IT efficiency. Turn these mandates into automated and 
cost-effective solutions. Register now! 

Recover Your Active Directory
   Get answers to all your Active Directory recovery questions here! 
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discover how to use native recovery tools and methods, how to implement a 
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or in extreme cases, that perform a non-disruptive, automatic switchover 
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Antispam product not working?
   Many email administrators are experiencing increased frustration 
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Influencers 2005:  Thriving In The Face Of Regulation: How to Accommodate 
the New Corporate Governance Regime and Achieve Optimum Financial 
   Join Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the SEC, Arnold Hanish, and Scott 
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==== 3. Instant Poll ===
Results of Previous Poll: Does your network firewall provide stateful 
application-layer inspection in addition to the traditional stateful 
packet inspection?
   The voting has closed in this Windows IT Pro Security Hot Topic 
nonscientific Instant Poll. Here are the results from the 10 votes.
   - 50% Yes
   - 50% No

New Instant Poll: Do you regularly scan your external network IP 
addresses for open ports on your network and compare the results 
against a known good baseline?
   Go to the Security Hot Topic and submit your vote for 
   - Yes, I regularly scan my network and compare against a baseline.
   - Yes, I periodically scan but merely review the results.
   - No, I don't scan, but I think I should.
   - No, I don't think scanning is useful. 

==== Featured White Paper ===
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==== 4. Security Toolkit ==== 

Security Matters Blog: Endian Firewall--Check It Out
by Mark Joseph Edwards, 

Endian Firewall easily turns a computer into a firewall appliance. The
open-source project is based on IPCop, sports a Web-based configuration, 
and has OpenVPN built in for quick setup of a VPN. 

by John Savill, 

Q: How can I determine whether a Dfs root is a standalone root or a fault-
tolerant root stored in Active Directory (AD)?

Find the answer at 

Security Forum Featured Thread: Changing a Password Without Logging In
   A forum participant wants to know whether there is a way for users to 
change their passwords themselves without logging on to the domain. Join 
the discussion at 

==== Announcements ===   (from Windows IT Pro and its partners)

Check Out the New Windows IT Security Newsletter!
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==== 5. New and Improved === by Renee Munshi, 

PC Protection
   Privacyware offers the Total Endpoint Protection Suite, which 
combines the company's Privatefirewall 4.0 and SafeEnd's USB Port 
Protector in a package that's currently priced at $39.99 per seat 
(with a 50-seat minimum). Privatefirewall is a firewall and 
Intrusion Detection System (IDS). You can select from versions of 
Privatefirewall that add Computer Associates' eTrust PestPatrol 
Anti-Spyware software only or that add both CA's PestPatrol and 
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   Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving 
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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 to 

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 
Reader column. Email your contributions (500 words or less) to If we print your submission, you'll 
get $100. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length.

==== Sponsored Links ===
Argent versus MOM 2005
   Experts Pick the Best Windows Monitoring Solution 

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