[ISN] Security UPDATE--Honeywall CD-ROM;
Internet Storm Center--August 4, 2004
isn at c4i.org
Thu Aug 5 06:09:31 EDT 2004
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1. In Focus: Honeywall CD-ROM and Internet Storm Center
2. Special Report: Black Hat USA 2004 Briefings
3. Security News and Features
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
- News: New MyDoom Worm Variant Affects Search Engines Too
- News: Microsoft Promises IE Patch for Download.Ject Soon
- Feature: A First Look at Windows Firewall
4. Security Matters Blog
- MyDoom Strikes Again
- Windows Server 2003 Security Guide
5. Security Toolkit
6. New and Improved
- HTTP-Based Patch Distribution
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==== 1. In Focus: Honeywall CD-ROM and Internet Storm Center ====
by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity dot net
In the May 19 edition of this newsletter, I discussed the new
Honeywall CD-ROM available from the Honeynet Project. The Honeywall
CD-ROM is based on a trimmed-down version of Linux and is configurable
both before and after boot-up. You can add items you might need or
make configuration changes to suit your environment. For example, you
could add Secure Shell (SSH) keys, set your IP address preferences,
and so on, then burn a CD-ROM so that when you boot to the CD-ROM,
your system is configured and ready for use.
You can download a copy of the CD-ROM image (at the URL below, about
50MB in size,) from the Honeynet Project Web site. On July 20, the
Honeynet Project announced a subscription program that serves as a way
for you to support the project and gain some added value at the same
time. For an annual contribution of $150 for corporations or $75 for
individuals, the project mails in March and September a copy of the
most recent Honeywall CD-ROM; another CD-ROM containing updated
whitepapers, tools, and documentation; and a print newsletter that
contains "all the new work that has occurred in the past six months."
The subscription sounds like a great way to give something back to the
project in exchange for its hard work in providing great tools and
information to help you with your security endeavors.
Using a honeypot or network of honeypots can be helpful in learning
how and why intruders attempt to penetrate your network. One of this
month's SANS Institute Webcasts might address the use of honeypots. On
August 11, Johannes Ullrich will present "Internet Storm Center:
Threat Update," which "discusses recent threats observed by the
Internet Storm Center, and discusses new software vulnerabilities or
system exposures that were disclosed over the past month." The Webcast
might help you more readily detect various activities trapped by your
honeypots or by your other Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs).
SANS Internet Storm Center helps track new threats, gathers
information about those threats, and presents its findings to the
public at the related Web site. Readers often contribute information
that can help provide loads of useful details about the latest threats
that might otherwise be harder to obtain, and sometimes you find links
to other sites that have even more detailed information. If you
haven't visited the Internet Storm Center Web site, you might consider
doing so to help better understand the current trends in network
http://www.incidents.org or http://isc.sans.org
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==== 2. Special Report: Black Hat USA 2004 Briefings ====
by Mark Burnett
Black Hat, a computer security conference and training company, held
the 8th annual Black Hat Briefings last week in Las Vegas. The
conference included presentations by nearly 50 speakers from a variety
of backgrounds. Among the key topics were electronic voting, privacy
on the Internet, Google hacking techniques, and zero-day exploits.
"We spent more time picking speakers this year," said Jeff Moss, CEO
of Black Hat. "We received a record number of submissions and the
quality was remarkable." According to Moss, the focus of the talks has
shifted to address new and upcoming security threats: "A couple years
ago, the interest was in detecting [known] attacks. The new interest
is how you defend against unknown attacks." Moss added that the
speakers are "turning their focus to the more difficult problems."
One underlying issue addressed in many of the talks is the decreasing
amount of time between the announcement of a vulnerability and the
deployment of code to exploit it. "Time to attack has gotten so
small," said Moss. "It used to be a two-week process that has shifted
to one day." According to Stephen Toulouse, a Microsoft security
product manager, "The biggest challenge we are dealing with now is
people releasing attack code. We're seeing the time to attack
Dr. Rebecca Mercuri and Bev Harris presented research and analysis on
electronic voting and the possible manipulation of it. Mercuri and
Harris spoke about the October 2003 California governor recall
election, providing an analysis that dispelled erroneous assertions
about the benefits of electronic voting and raised questions about the
accuracy of election systems. Black Hat also announced the launch of
"The Mezonic Agenda: Hacking the Presidency Contest," hosted by
Syngress Publishing. Conference attendees received a copy of a CD-ROM
that contains a game with the object of hacking and ultimately
controlling the outcome of a mock US presidential election.
Contestants must use their hacking skills to make themselves the
winning candidate of the simulated election.
Other speakers presented sessions on the topics of Zero-Day Code,
Phishing for Organized Crime, First Global Cyber-War, Secure Wireless
Network Deployment, Customer Data Protection, and new Web application
attacks. Speakers included Halvar Flake, Black Hat's resident reverse
engineer, and Greg Hogland, author of "Exploiting Software."
Black Hat holds five conferences annually in North America, Europe,
and Asia. For information about upcoming Briefings, visit
==== 3. 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
News: New MyDoom Worm Variant Affects Search Engines Too
A new MyDoom worm variant, MyDoom.M at mm, was discovered on July 26.
Computers affected by the worm are used to perform queries on various
search engines to harvest email addresses. According to reports, a
significant number of computers were affected by the worm and caused
some strain on popular search engines, including Lycos, AltaVista,
Yahoo!, and Google.
News: Microsoft Promises IE Patch for Download.Ject Soon
Microsoft will finally issue a critical security patch for its
infamously buggy Internet Explorer (IE) Web browser this week
(possibly by the time you read this newsletter), out of sync with the
company's planned monthly security fixes. The patch will fix the flaw
that led to last month's Download.Ject malware attack and will be
applicable to IE 6.0, IE 5.5, and IE 5.01. The patch follows an
unprecedented configuration change update that the company released to
partially fix the Download.Ject problem; security experts quickly
denounced the change as ineffective.
Feature: A First Look at Windows Firewall
Paula Sharick notes that after plowing through more than 200 pages
of documentation about the extensive changes in Windows XP Service
Pack 2 (SP2), she wasn't optimistic about testing the XP SP2 beta.
With the introduction of a real firewall; security controls for
Distributed COM (DCOM), remote procedure call (RPC), and WWW
Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) operations; secure
wireless networking; the ability to kill pop-ups; and hands-on
management of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) plug-ins, SP2 has more
in common with a new OS than a service pack with bug fixes. The
upgrade also changes the open-access paradigm to a limited- or
no-access orientation, which in theory can wreak havoc with network
connectivity and server-based operations. Read the rest of Paula's
first look at XP SP2 Windows Firewall on our Web site.
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==== 4. Security Matters Blog ====
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://www.winnetmag.com/securitymatters
Check out these recent entries in the Security Matters blog:
MyDoom Strikes Again
If you're looking for more details about the latest MyDoom worm
variant, MyDoom.M at mm, you can find some interesting analysis,
including links to analysis from several antivirus vendors, in the
Handler's Diary for July 26 at the SANS Internet Storm Center Web
Windows Server 2003 Security Guide
The default installation of Windows Server 2003 is much more secure
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==== 5. Security Toolkit ====
FAQ: Why Can't I Update the Active Directory (AD) Schema for Microsoft
Systems Management Server (SMS)?
by John Savill, http://www.winnetmag.com/windowsnt20002003faq
A. I recently had this problem too--I had a lab environment in which I
repeatedly tried--and failed--to update the schema for SMS by running
the extadsch.exe command. After I ran the command, the log file
contained a lot of failure messages. After much investigation, I
discovered the reason for the failed schema update: I had many domain
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replication errors by forcing a replication, the schema update worked
perfectly. You can review the log's failure messages and the
subsequent success messages in the FAQ on our Web site.
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by Jason Bovberg, products at winnetmag.com
HTTP-Based Patch Distribution
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