[ISN] Security UPDATE--A Long Way from Junk-Free Inboxes--May 26,
isn at c4i.org
Fri May 28 08:46:37 EDT 2004
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Exchange & Outlook Administrator
Implementing Client Security on Windows 2000/XP
1. In Focus: A Long Way from Junk-Free Inboxes
2. Security News and Features
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
- News: Yahoo Publishes IETF Draft for DomainKeys
- News: 20 Tips on Securing Outlook in 20 Minutes
- News: Microsoft Identity and Access Management Series
- News: Shavlik Technologies Partners with NetIQ and ENDFORCE
3. Security Toolkit
- Featured Thread
4. New and Improved
- Enterprise-Class Firewall for the Small Business
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==== 1. In Focus: A Long Way from Junk-Free Inboxes ====
by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity dot net
In the March 3, 2004, edition of Security Update, I briefly explained
three proposed technologies--Sender Policy Framework (SPF),
DomainKeys, and Caller ID for E-Mail--that might help curb the amount
of junk mail influx most of us receive each day. You can read the
article at the following URL:
Recently Yahoo!, developer of the DomainKeys technology, submitted a
draft to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that outlines the
basics of the technology. As you'll learn when you read the draft,
which is linked in the related news story, "Yahoo Publishes IETF Draft
For DomainKeys," in this edition of the newsletter, Yahoo! still has
plenty of work to do on DomainKeys.
The developers of SPF technology have also submitted a draft proposal
to the IETF (see the first URL below), and Microsoft has also
submitted a draft proposal for Caller ID for E-Mail. You can learn
more about SPF and Caller ID at the second, third, and fourth URLs
In essence, DomainKeys technology works by digitally signing email
messages, then attempting to verify digital signatures by
communicating with the domain that allegedly sent the email message.
SPF and Caller ID try to verify the alleged sending domain of a given
email message, but they don't use digital signatures. At the time of
this writing, both SPF and Caller ID try to verify that the mail
headers of a given message haven't been forged (as is the case with a
lot of junk mail) by checking particular DNS records (specially
formatted TXT records) against records written into mail headers.
Although all three technologies provide reasonable ways to verify an
email message's origin, they all contain problems that determined
spammers could exploit. Thus none of the technologies is an end-all
solution for junk mail. However, using all three technologies together
might improve the ability to curb unwanted email.
As was pointed out on the IETF Anti-Spam Research Group (ARGS) mailing
list, even with all three of the proposed technologies in place,
domain operators can further reduce junk mail by adding other
technologies--such as those that ban senders, domains, and sets of IP
addresses--commonly referred to as blacklisting. But even combining
all these technologies won't completely eliminate junk mail.
So far, the only solutions I've seen that can eliminate nearly all
unwanted email are the types that use some sort of challenge and
response system. For example, some solutions require a sender to visit
a Web page the first time he or she sends an email to a certain user.
At the Web page, the sender might have to type in a keyword shown on
the screen or perform some other type of response. Other solutions
might use email to deliver and process the challenge and response.
These solutions are minor inconveniences for most people, but they
often present major problems for sightless individuals.
Even though many thousands of networks and software vendors, including
AOL, Earthlink, Google, Symantec, and Brightmail, have already
integrated SPF and thousands of others are undoubtedly slated to begin
using DomainKeys or Caller ID or both, many people will continue to
receive more junk mail than they care to tolerate. And because even a
combined set of the current and proposed solutions won't satisfy every
network's needs, we'll likely see more solutions become available.
Incidentally, Symantec recently purchased Brightmail for approximately
$370 million. Brightmail provides solutions that guard against spam,
spoofed email, viruses, and more. Given Brightmail's extensive client
base of major corporations, including AT&T, Microsoft, Cisco Systems,
Lucent Technologies, Motorola, and eBay, the deal will permit Symantec
to provide an even more rounded solution for email processing. You can
read about the acquisition at Brightmail's Web site.
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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
News: Yahoo Publishes IETF Draft for DomainKeys
Yahoo submitted a draft of its proposed junk mail solution,
DomainKeys, to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The
proposal outlines the concepts and some of the technical
specifications that could be implemented on mail servers to help
verify the identity of the actual domain used to send email messages.
Yahoo anticipates that such identification will help pinpoint people
who send unwanted or illegal email solicitations.
News: 20 Tips on Securing Outlook in 20 Minutes
Windows & .NET Magazine author Paul Robichaux wrote a book, "Secure
Messaging with Exchange Server 2003," which is published by Microsoft
Press. An excerpt chapter from the book, "20 Tips on Securing Outlook
in 20 Minutes," is now available online to help people secure their
News: Microsoft Identity and Access Management Series
Microsoft published a new article series, "Identity and Access
Management," which helps explain how digital identity can be
implemented and used to access network resources.
News: Shavlik Technologies Partners with NetIQ and ENDFORCE
Shavlik Technologies announced it has entered into partnering
agreements with NetIQ and ENDFORCE. The two companies will incorporate
Shavlik's HFNetChkPRO patch-management software into their respective
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==== 4. Security Toolkit ====
FAQ: What's the Account Lockout Status Tool?
by John Savill, http://www.winnetmag.com/windowsnt20002003faq
A. The Account Lockout Status tool (lockoutstatus.exe) displays
lockout information for a specified user by querying every contactable
domain controller (DC) in the user's domain. You can download the
Account Lockout Status tool at
To use the tool, you must be running Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3)
or later. To install lockoutstatus.exe, perform the following steps:
1. Download the Account Lockout Status tool, then execute the
downloaded lockoutstatus.msi file.
2. Click Next to start the installation wizard.
3. Check "I accept the terms in the license agreement" and click
4. Click Install Now.
5. After installation is complete, click Finish.
By default, the tool is installed in the C:\program files\windows
resource kits\tools folder. Double-click lockoutstatus.exe. From the
tool's File menu, click Select Target and enter the user whose status
you want to check. You'll see a window, like the one in the figure at
Figure, which displays the user's lockout information.
You can also check a user's lockout information at the command line.
To do so, enter the follow command where the suffix after -u is the
lockoutstatus -u:administrator at savilltech.com
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