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1. In Focus: Gates Outlines New Security Technologies at RSA
2. Security News and Features
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
- $10,000 Bug Bounty Offered
- 7 Microsoft Security Bulletins for February 2006
- Get Smart: Enterprise Antispyware
3. Security Toolkit
- Security Matters Blog
- Security Forum Featured Thread
- Instant Poll
- Share Your Security Tips
4. New and Improved
- RSA 2006 Product Announcement Roundup
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==== 1. In Focus: Gates Outlines New Security Technologies at RSA ====
by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net
Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates gave the first keynote address at last week's RSA Conference in San Jose, California. Gates outlined four areas that he thinks the industry needs to focus on: a trust ecosystem, better engineering, simplification of security for administrators and end users, and fundamentally secure platforms.
Gates stressed a need to create platforms that are less tedious to build and use. He pointed out that the systems of yesteryear were secure primarily because of their isolated nature. However, the Internet changed that situation for many systems. Better authentication is a key need in this area; Gates said that "\[passwords\] are very quickly becoming the weak link" in terms of security and pointed to phishing attacks as proof. "We need to move to multifactor authentication," he continued and said that support for technology such as smart cards needs to be built down into the system itself.
Howard Ting, of the Microsoft Windows Server products division, helped the audience visualize aspects of Microsoft's trust ecosystem concept. Ting demonstrated the new Certificate Lifecycle Manager (CLM), which entered beta testing last week. CLM simplifies the management of digital certificates and the provisioning of smart cards. The product lets users provision a new card, protect it with a PIN, and download their certificates from Active Directory (AD) to the new card.
Ting also demonstrated a new feature of Windows Vista and Longhorn--Network Access Protection (NAP)--that helps enforce company policies. For example, if a system doesn't have the latest service packs and updates installed, NAP denies that machine network access except for any access required to download and install the required updates. NAP can automatically install updates without the user having to take any particular action. Once the machine is in compliance, it can join the network.
Another key demonstration was Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), which is part of Windows Server 2003 Release 2 (R2). ADFS allows companies to establish trusts to streamline user identification and authentication across those companies. Effectively, ADFS can provide a method of single sign-on (SSO), which greatly simplifies a computer user's experience.
Gates presented Microsoft's new digital InfoCard technology as a way for people to gain more control over authentication processes and access to their private information. In a related demonstration, Microsoft employee Richard Turner showed how user-created InfoCards can be used to store credentials, such as a person's real name, username, and password, and can then be used to streamline logon to Web sites. Turner also showed how an InfoCard could be issued by a third-party vendor and then used in an e-commerce transaction without disclosing private information. In his example, Turner showed Vista contacting the vendor that issued the InfoCard to obtain a token, then sending the token to the e-commerce site instead of sending the user's private information.
In effect, InfoCards issued by third parties are somewhat similar to digital certificates in that one entity vouches for another's identity. But the similarities probably end there. InfoCards are more flexible than certificates because they can store varying types of information and protect user's private information from unnecessary disclosure.
Gates' closed his keynote presentation by suggesting that the industry is only in the beginning stages of building the trust ecosystem. "We've all got a common challenge here and yet an amazing opportunity to let these digital systems be used in the broadest way," he said.
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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
$10,000 Bug Bounty Offered
iDefense announced that it will pay $10,000 to anyone who discovers a bug in a Microsoft product that results in a new Microsoft Security Bulletin with a severity rating of critical. But there's one slight catch: You must report your discovery by March 31, 12 midnight, Eastern Standard Time.
7 Microsoft Security Bulletins for February 2006
Although Microsoft released seven security updates this month, organizations running Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows XP SP2, and Microsoft Office 2003 will be able to avoid loading all but one patch (MS06-005--Vulnerability in Windows Media Player Could Allow Remote Code Execution (911565)), assuming that administrators refrain from dangerous interactive activities on servers. Learn more in this article on our Web site.
Get Smart: Enterprise Antispyware
An increasing threat to business productivity, the prying eyes of spyware can expose crucial information about your enterprise or customers to the outside world. Jeff Fellinge compares three products that expose spyware in the enterprise.
==== Resources and Events ====
Learn from Paul Robichaux about what to test, how to test, and what results to expect with your disaster recovery plan in this free Essential Guide
Get the tools, tips, and training that you need to avoid a messaging meltdown when an outage strikes. View the FREE web seminar today!
Efficiently replicate file changes across WANS without worrying about your remote server backups using the improved Distributed File System in WSS R2. Live Event: March 14, 12:00 P.M. EST
Use clustering technology to protect your company against network outages, power loss and natural disasters. Live Event: February 28, 12:00 P.M. EST
Learn to gather evidence of compliance across multiple systems and link the data to regulatory and framework control objectives. Live Web Seminar: March 1, 12:00 P.M. EST
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==== 3. Security Toolkit ====
Security Matters Blog: Honeyd 1.5
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://www.windowsitpro.com/securitymatters
A new version of the Honeyd honeypot software is available. According to the Honeyd Web site, Honeyd 1.5 (released February 11) includes a security fix and some new features, including an improved statistics collector, improved subsystems support, and subsystems that emulate open proxies and open mail relays.
by John Savill, http://www.windowsitpro.com/windowsnt20002003faq
Q: How can I clear the cache from Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)?
Find the answer at http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/49292
Security Forum Featured Thread: Unable to Access Database in SQL Server 2000
A forum participant writes that when he tried to log in through SQL Query Analyzer by using Windows authentication, the following message appeared:
Unable to connect to server (server name) Server : ODBC: Msg 0, Level 16,State 1
\[Microsoft\] \[ODBC SQL Server Driver\] Timeout expired
If you have an idea about why this might have occurred or what to do about it, join the discussion at
New Instant Poll
What most excites you about MBSA 2.0?
- Its Microsoft Update functionality
- Its new catalog file for updates
- Its more intuitive UI
- I'm not excited about MBSA 2.0
Go to the Security Hot Topic and submit your vote
Share Your Security Tips and Get $100
Share your security-related tips, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If we print your submission, you'll get $100. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length.
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==== 4. New and Improved ====
by Mark Joseph Edwards, email@example.com
RSA 2006 Product Announcement Roundup
Many vendors announce new products, product features, and partnerships during the annual RSA Conference, which took place last week in San Jose, California. Here are some highlights:
Axalto announced support for Windows 2000 Service Pack (SP) 4, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 with its Cryptoflex .NET smart card; the support is included in Microsoft's Base Smart Card Cryptographic Service Provider, available via Microsoft Windows Update or Microsoft's Download Center.
RSA Security will release a new SecurID token based on Aladdin Knowledge Systems' eToken USB technology. The USB device will store digital certificates and passwords.
Liquid Machines announced that Liquid Machines Document Control 6.0 for RMS will enhance Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) with new capabilities that cover operations such as cut, copy, paste, drag and drop, and merge, without removing rights management protection; RMS protection will follow the data to its destination.
Configuresoft demonstrated new Executive Compliance Dashboards and other features of its Enterprise Configuration Manager 4.8. The dashboards help enforce regulatory mandates and industry standards, such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and Microsoft security and hardening guides.
Trusted Computing Group (TCG), released TCG Trusted Software Stack 1.2, which is a specification to enable the development of applications for systems that use the Trusted Platform Module 1.2.
ZoneLabs (a Check Point Software Technologies company) announced a preview beta of its upcoming 64-bit Windows firewall; the product is due to be officially released in the spring.
Citrix Systems announced the release of Citrix NetScaler Application Firewall Standard Edition, a new version based on the technology of Teros, which Citrix acquired 3 months ago. The new version is designed for midsized enterprises and business units within large companies.
Postini released its Encryption Manager, a suite of managed security services that can encrypt and secure email message content and connections between email servers.
Altiris announced that its SecurityExpressions solution now supports PCI DSS to help companies that process, transmit, or store credit card data ensure compliance with the PCI DSS requirements.
PassMark Security and VASCO Data Security International announced a partnership that brings together both companies' authentication solutions into one solution for online banking.
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