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November 7, 2002—In this issue:
- Computer Security: Back to Basics
2. NEWS & VIEWS
- Common Criteria Configuration Guides Available for Win2K
- Give Us Your Feedback and Be Entered to Win a Digital Camera
- The Storage Solutions You've Been Searching for!
- Tip: Windows Support for 48-Bit LBA
- Featured Thread: Unable to Open Email Attachments
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Pull Realtime Data from Legacy Systems
- File and Folder Comparison Tool for Windows
6. CONTACT US
See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(David Chernicoff, News Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you keep getting email that contains the same viruses day after day, you know how tiresome getting rid of the email becomes. Just when the flood of Klez-infected attachments slows to a trickle, email attachments infected with a new virus, such as the Bugbear, show up in your mailbox. After a weeklong flurry of activity, the Bugbear-infected attachments stop, and you're back to a daily trickle of Klez-infected messages—with the occasional Sircam or Yaha.E thrown in for variety. Although I've written about basic computer security in the past, the topic bears revisiting.
I know that most of you who read Windows Client UPDATE are IT professionals, so you might have overlooked a valuable resource that's targeted at home users: "7 Steps to Personal Computing Security." The Web page lists 7 steps that home users should use to secure their computers, but these steps are also extremely helpful for small offices/home offices (SOHOs), small businesses, remote users, and IT pros:
- Assess your risks.
- Use antivirus software.
- Keep software up-to-date.
- Check your security settings.
- Use a firewall.
- Create strong passwords.
- Conduct routine security maintenance.
On the Web site, each step links to a checklist that provides good advice and procedures to follow to keep your computers secure and private. Each checklist is simple and straightforward and contains links to additional information that the average computer user can understand.
If you're an IT pro who's responsible for supporting telecommuters or a mobile sales force, I suggest you give those users a hard copy of these checklists as a step toward minimizing network infections introduced by workstations that aren't under your direct control. I'm even willing to bet that if you sit down and read through all the checklists that the Web site provides, you'll realize that you've left one or two things undone within your own network. This Web site is worth a visit from anyone who uses computers.
To change the subject, I've been receiving email from readers asking about Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE). Because I focus on Windows client computing in this UPDATE, I can't cover that product here, but you can find coverage of XP MCE (a consumer-only product) on Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows and at our consumer-focused Connected Home Online Web site.
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Mark Joseph Edwards, email@example.com)
On October 29, Microsoft announced that Windows 2000 has received the highest security certification level available to an OS. As Paul Thurrott noted in the October 31 edition of Windows Client UPDATE, "The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) awarded Win2K the Common Criteria (CC) certification for the broadest set of real-world scenarios that any OS has achieved, as defined by the Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation (CCITSE)."
Craig Mundie, chief technology officer and senior vice president for advanced strategies and policy at Microsoft, accepted the award Tuesday during the Federal Information Assurance Conference at the University of Maryland, College Park. A spokesperson for Microsoft said, "The CC certification is a globally recognized ISO standard (ISO-IEC 15408) established for evaluating the security of infrastructure technology products. Through a multiyear, multimillion-dollar commitment, the Windows 2000 platform has earned CC certification for Evaluation Assurance Level 4 (EAL4) augmented with ALC FLR 3 (Systematic Flaw Remediation) from the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP). In addition, the evaluation of Windows 2000 goes far beyond that of any other operating system to incorporate a number of real-world deployment scenarios including multimaster directory services, L2TP/IPSec-based virtual private networking, single sign-on, and several other scenarios."
Microsoft also said that it "submitted the Windows 2000 platform to the CC certification evaluation process to ensure that customers would have an independent, standard validation of the security features of the Windows 2000 platform. Achieving CC certification demonstrates a milestone toward Microsoft's commitment to provide customers with a secure platform for Trustworthy Computing."
In conjunction with the announcement, Microsoft released two new guides, the "Windows 2000 Evaluated Configuration User's Guide" (see first URL below) and the "Windows 2000 Evaluated Configuration Administrator's Guide," (see second URL below) that help people configure the OS securely. Microsoft said the User's Guide "provides sufficient guidance for Windows 2000 users to securely use the product in accordance with the requirements stated in the Windows 2000 Common Criteria Security Target (ST)." The document is specifically targeted at nonadministrative Win2K users. The Administrator's Guide explains what administrators need to do to operate Win2K securely within the ST requirements. Both documents include detailed configuration information and screenshots.
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(contributed by David Chernicoff, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last week's Windows Client UPDATE tip about enabling 48-bit Logical Block Addressing (LBA) support on Windows XP brought email from many readers wanting to know whether they can use hard disks larger than 137MB on Windows 2000. The answer is yes; Win2K support for 48-bit LBA is part of Win2K Service Pack 3 (SP3), so you'll need to install the service pack. Then, make sure that you have a 48-bit-compatible BIOS. (If the BIOS setup procedure doesn't mention large-disk support or display an entry for 48-bit LBA, you'll need to check with the vendor to determine whether the BIOS is 48-bit compatible. If you don't have a 48-bit-compatible BIOS, the following registry modification will cause data corruption.) Then, to enable large-disk support for Win2K, you change to the registry just as you do for XP:
- Launch regedt32.
- Open the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\atapi\Parameters registry subkey.
- Create a REG_DWORD value name EnableBigLba and set its value to 1.
- Exit regedit32.
After installing a Windows XP update, a reader lost the ability to open attachments in email. If you can help, join the discussion at the following URL:
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Judy Drennen, email@example.com)
Juice Software introduced Juice 2.5, software that lets business users pull realtime data from sales, marketing, customer, inventory, and other systems into Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. New features in this release include instant data validation, which is useful in auditing applications; development tools for creating custom analytical applications without code; and a rapid security integration kit for Plug and Play (PnP) deployment at customer sites. For pricing information, contact Juice at 866-584-2348.
Scooter Software released Beyond Compare 2.0.1, an advanced file and folder comparison utility for Windows. Beyond Compare helps you visualize and reconcile changes in your text files, keep your folders in sync, and validate copies or backups of your data. The product's major components are a side-by-side folder viewer and side-by-side file viewers. The Windows Explorer-style folder viewer quickly identifies files with differences and handles large directory trees with ease. Folder icons are color-coded to reflect their contents even when closed. Beyond Compare 2.0.1 runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows NT, and Windows 9x and costs $30 for a single-user license or $350 for a 50-user license. Contact Scooter Software at its Web site for more information.
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