[ISN] Death of the Frog
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Thu May 25 03:41:15 EDT 2006
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1. In Focus: Death of the Frog
2. Security News and Features
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
- Microsoft Swallows Whale Communications
- SSL VPN Use Increasing
- Reaping the Benefits of WPA and PEAP
3. Security Toolkit
- Security Matters Blog
- Security Forum Featured Thread
- Share Your Security Tips
4. New and Improved
- Secure PDAs and Smart Phones
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==== 1. In Focus: Death of the Frog ====
by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net
Two weeks ago, I wrote about Blue Security's Blue Frog service, an
incredibly effective method for fighting spam. For each spam message a
Blue Frog user receives, Blue Frog sends one opt-out request to the
sender of that spam. The end result is that the spammer receives
millions of email messages, which probably overloads their network, but
that should be an expected cost of doing spam business--people should
have a right to opt out anytime they want to.
Blue Security said that since the inception of Blue Frog, six of the
top ten spammers had stopped sending spam to Blue Frog users. However,
one spammer took serious offense and launched a Denial of Service (DoS)
attack against the company that also affected other networks. All the
affected networks recovered.
That's the good news--now here's the bad news: Last week, Blue Security
announced that it closed down its Blue Frog service. In a message
posted to its Web site, the company said that the reason it ceased
operation is that "After recovering from the attack, we determined that
once we reactivated the Blue Community, spammers would resume their
attacks. We cannot take the responsibility for an ever-escalating cyber
war through our continued operations.... We have concluded we should
not take Blue Security to the full deployment stage we originally
planned to achieve, but we are proud of what we have accomplished thus
far as a young startup company."
It's true that Blue Frog might have caused spammers to launch continued
attacks that might have serious effects on other networks, and Blue
Security did seem to be considering others when making its decision to
close down the service. But I don't see this decision as being in the
best interest of the Internet community, including Blue Security,
because the news gets worse.
After Blue Security decided to discontinue Blue Frog, the spammers
attacked again! The second DoS attack rendered Blue Security's site
inaccessible even though Blue Security made considerable technological
efforts to thwart such attacks.
This second attack was probably meant to send another message.The
message I take from it is crystal clear but probably isn't what the
attackers intended: Kowtowing to spammers isn't the solution.
While closing up shop might seem like a reasonable choice, it's
essentially the equivalent of handing your network over to a bunch of
black hat intruders who continually break in. It gives the intruders
control they don't deserve to have.
I hope Blue Security changes its mind and brings back Blue Frog. If it
doesn't, I hope that somebody else takes up where Blue Security left
off, and quickly! Fighting back as a group has proved to be incredibly
effective, and I'd hate to see momentum lost.
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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
Microsoft Swallows Whale Communications
In a move designed to expand its security offerings, Microsoft
announced a deal to acquire Israel-based Whale Communications.
Microsoft thinks Whale's Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN and application
firewall technologies will complement its Windows Server and Internet
Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server offerings.
SSL VPN Use Increasing
A new study indicates that Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)-based VPNs are
growing in popularity and could potentially overtake IPsec VPNs as the
secure connectivity solution of choice.
Reaping the Benefits of WPA and PEAP
If you still use Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) technology to secure
your wireless networks, be aware that it has serious flaws. The Wi-Fi
Protected Access (WPA) standard and subsequent WPA2 standard overcome
these flaws by adding stronger authentication and encryption and should
be used whenever possible in preference to WEP. Learn how to use WPA
and Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol (PEAP) in this article
by John Howie.
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==== 3. Security Toolkit ====
Security Matters Blog: Google Affects Information Security
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=2BDBB:4FB69
Certainly you've heard of "Google hacking," which is a way of using
Google searches to locate potential vulnerabilities. But how else might
Google affect information security? Find out more in this blog article.
by John Savill, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=2BDBA:4FB69
Q: How do I enable a quota using the Windows Server 2003 R2 File Server
Resource Manager (FSRM)?
Find the answer at http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=2BDB8:4FB69
Security Forum Featured Thread: Securing a Server
A forum participant wants to know how to secure his Windows server
by using the built-in TCP/IP filtering and Windows Firewall. He also
wants to know what other steps he can take. Join the discussion at
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==== 4. New and Improved ====
by Renee Munshi, products at windowsitpro.com
Secure PDAs and Smart Phones
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