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=== CONTENTS ==================================================
IN FOCUS: Two More Portable Anonymous Web Browsers
NEWS AND FEATURES
- Two IE Vulnerabilities Allow Unwanted Code Execution
- EMC Forms New Security Division
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
GIVE AND TAKE
- Security Matters Blog: New Tool: WindowsZones
- FAQ: Join Vista to a Domain
- Microsoft Learning Paths for Security: Identity and Access
- KNOW YOUR IT SECURITY Contest
- Keep an Eye on Your Files
- Wanted: Your Reviews of Products
RESOURCES AND EVENTS
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=== IN FOCUS: Two More Portable Anonymous Web Browsers ======== by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net
A few weeks ago after I wrote about Browzar (see the article at the URL
below), a few people wrote to criticize the tool. That's to be
expected, and I do respect their opinions even though they differ from
mine. Since then, I've been looking around for other browsers that can
help protect privacy above and beyond the typical browser features of
being able to manually clear history and cache data. So far I've found
two tools that fit the bill.
The first tool, PortableApps.com's Mozilla Firefox - Portable Edition
(at the URL below) is based on Mozilla Foundation's Firefox code but
was independently developed by John T. Haller. First released in June
2004, Firefox Portable seems to be kept up to date, including the
addition of any necessary security fixes soon after vulnerabilities are
Firefox Portable is designed specifically to be copied onto portable
media. You can install it on a small USB flash drive (or CD-ROM) and
use it on nearly any PC that doesn't have its USB ports or CD-ROM drive
locked down. Like regular Firefox, the portable version lets you
install extensions and themes, but unlike Firefox, Firefox Portable
helps prevent storage of usage information. Your download history is
deleted when you shut the browser down cleanly (but not, for example,
when you terminate the FirefoxPortable.exe process manually), URL
history and form data storage are disabled by default, and no disk
cache is used by default. However, you can configure Firefox Portable
to write such data to the portable media (if the media is writeable)
and use cache if you like.
I tested Firefox Portable, and it works just fine. The self-extracting
executable dumps all the required files into one directory tree that
you select. The installed size is about 16.5MB. Note that Firefox
Portable won't run if another instance of Firefox is already running.
The second tool I found is Torpark (at the URL below). Developed by
Hacktivismo, which "[operates] under the aegis of the [infamous] Cult
of the Dead Cow (cDc)," Torpark is relatively new and based on the
Firefox Portable code. It includes a very interesting added benefit in
that it uses the The Onion Router (Tor) network.
In case you aren't aware of it, Tor (at the URL below) is software that
builds a network of relatively anonymous servers by chaining them
together automatically to encrypt and route traffic to and from its
destination. At its core, a Tor client acts as a Sockets (Socks) proxy.
According to the developers, "Torpark comes pre-configured, requires no
installation, can run off a USB memory stick, and leaves no tracks
behind in the browser or computer." Sounds pretty good, right? There is
however one drawback: Tor can be very slow at times. Tor volunteer
server operators can regulate how much bandwidth they devote to their
Tor server, and it seems that many Tor server operators allocate only a
small amount. But if you really need anonymous Web surfing ability,
some lag time is probably worth it.
I tested Torpark and it's really easy to use. The installation process
is the same as for Portable Firefox except that Torpark also installs
the Tor client. The installed size is about 27MB. The custom Web
interface includes all the regular Firefox controls along with two
additional buttons: one to enable or disable use of the Tor network (so
you can use Torpark without Tor to just browse without encryption) and
another to flush the Tor circuit. The latter feature causes Tor to
chain together a new set of Tor servers to use as your path out to the
Internet. Flushing the circuit doesn't always result in a faster
circuit, but at times it might, so the feature is helpful.
I'll also point out for the Browzar detractors that neither Firefox
Portable nor Torpark include any spyware or adware. Both let you
customize the search tool just like Firefox does.
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=== SECURITY NEWS AND FEATURES ================================
Two IE Vulnerabilities Allow Unwanted Code Execution
Two new vulnerabilities were recently discovered in Microsoft
Internet Explorer (IE). One allows intruders to install shell code and
take subsequent actions, including installing malware.
The other, located in the DirectAnimation ActiveX control, also lets
unwanted code be run on an affected system.
EMC Forms New Security Division
EMC has completed the acquisition of RSA Security and has acquired
Network Intelligence. EMC will form a new security division based on
the RSA brand. Former chief executive officer at RSA, Art Coviello,
will lead the division as president and will serve as an executive vice
president at EMC. Network Intelligence will become a business unit of
the new division.
Other 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
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=== GIVE AND TAKE =============================================
SECURITY MATTERS BLOG: New Tool: WindowsZones
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=39EFA:7EB890
WindowsZones is a new tool that claims to be able to protect
Internet applications against zero-day exploits and to move those
applications between security zones on the fly.
FAQ: Join Vista to a Domain
by John Savill, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=39EF5:7EB890
Q: How do I join my Windows Vista machine to a domain?
Find the answer at
MICROSOFT LEARNING PATHS FOR SECURITY: Identity and Access Management
Use the resources listed on the Microsoft Learning Paths Web page to
get in-depth information about identity and access management. Find out
how to provide a secure environment for managing user identities,
authentication methods, and access rights across an organization's
internal and external users.
KNOW YOUR IT SECURITY Contest
Sponsored by Microsoft Learning Paths for Security
Share your security-related tips, comments, or solutions in 500 words
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Submit your entry between now and December 13. We'll select the 13 best
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we'll publish the winning entries in the Windows IT Security
newsletter. Email your contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prizes are courtesy of Microsoft Learning Paths for Security:
=== PRODUCTS ================================================== by Renee Munshi, email@example.com
Keep an Eye on Your Files
IS Decisions announces FileAudit 3.0, which lets you track accesses
of and changes to Windows files. New features in FileAudit 3.0 include
a redesigned GUI, which you can use from the FileAudit console or from
Windows Explorer; the ability to display access history in printable
reports that you can schedule to run automatically, the ability to
schedule archiving of access events occurring on one or more systems to
a database; and the ability to filter events (e.g., by type, user,
timeframe). Pricing starts at $125 per audited system. For more
information, go to
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=== RESOURCES AND EVENTS ====================================== For more security-related resources, visit
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Whether you're an outsourced-IT provider, part of an in-house IT
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we analyze a typical troubleshooting process, address the problems
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troubleshooting can address these challenges. View this free Web
Mark Joseph Edwards discusses emerging spyware threats, including
rootkits, keyloggers, and distribution methods. On-demand Web seminar
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