Archive 44

info     EU attacks anti-spam industry (June 10)

A senior European Union official has berated the anti-spam industry for failure to agree a common strategy. Philippe Gerard said that lack of co-operation was handicapping the fight to hold back the junk mail tsunami.

“We see different initiatives going in all different directions and the effectiveness is maybe not there,” Gerard, an official with the EC’s Information Society directorate, told an anti-spam meeting in London. The BBC reports that Gerard said that spam was affecting consumer confidence.

The comments come at the same time as new stats from email filtering firm MessageLabs, which reckons May 2004 was the worst month for spam on record. Of the 909m inbound emails scanned by the MessageLabs Anti-Spam service, 691.5m were intercepted as spam, equating to a global spam ratio of 3 in every 4 emails (76 per cent).

View full article: EU attacks anti-spam industry

office    MapPoint Streets & Trips Construction Update (June 10)

Download the construction update to keep your maps current in Microsoft MapPoint Streets & Trips. Save the file in the folder where you installed the program files for MapPoint or Streets & Trips. I.e. C:\Program Files\Microsoft MapPoint\Data\

MapPoint 2001 Streets & Trips 2001 Construction Update
MapPoint 2002 Streets & Trips 2002 Construction Update
MapPoint 2003 Streets & Trips 2003 Construction Update
MapPoint 2004 Streets & Trips 2004 Construction Update

howto     Added to Site: Allow Automatic Forwarding/Replying to the Internet (June 8)

In an Exchange environment you might encounter that your automatic forward/reply rules and Out of Office Assistant aren’t working. They probably are working but are forwarded/replying to a message from the Internet. This is disabled as a secure default on the Exchange server. This article explains how Exchange Administrators can change this behaviour.

View: Allow Automatic Forwarding/Replying to the Internet

update     Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2003 Security Update: KB842496 (June 8)

This update addresses a vulnerability in Business Objects Crystal Reports, installed as part of Business Contact Manager installation, which could lead to Information Disclosure and Denial of Service attacks on an affected system.

Download: Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2003 Security Update: KB842496

info     Microsoft Fights Spam at the Source (June 7)

In its continuing fight against unsolicited commercial e-mail, Microsoft plans to filter outgoing messages on its consumer mail services and is busy developing new “proofing” technologies, the software maker’s chief spam fighter says.

The fight is also one against the clock. Microsoft last year set a two-year goal to make spam a problem of the past. There are 19 months left, says Ryan Hamlin, general manager of Microsoft’s Security Technology & Strategy group, speaking at this week’s INBOX, a conference on e-mail in San Jose, California.

More than 14.5 billion spam messages are sent each day, according to Hamlin, who cites figures from antispam vendor Brightmail. Microsoft’s Hotmail Web-based e-mail service receives 2.7 billion spam messages a day, Hamlin says.

As part of its efforts to stop spam, Microsoft in the coming months plans to apply spam filters not only to incoming mail on its Hotmail and MSN services, but also to outbound mail. The filtering will kick in when users send a large number of messages and is intended to help stop abuse of Microsoft’s services by senders of spam, Hamlin says.

He called out to ISPs and other e-mail service providers to do the same. “All of the ISPs and large senders of mail need to be filtering on the outbound side,” he says. “There is a lot of abuse happening. We need to have better outbound filtering to look for people that are abusing our systems.”

View full article: Microsoft Fights Spam at the Source

info     Microsoft’s anti-spam plan ‘hijacked by zombies’ (June 7)

One of Microsoft’s plans to fight the spam epidemic is unlikely to adversely affect spammers or reduce the quantity of spam, according to security experts.

Microsoft’s chairman Bill Gates has been calling for the IT industry to work together and eradicate the spam problem. About six months ago he unveiled an initiative called Penny Black, which was a method for reducing a spammer’s ability to send large volumes of unsolicited emails using Hotmail and MSN accounts. He suggested making the senders’ computer process a complicated mathematical puzzle, which takes approximately 20 seconds, before each message is released. The puzzle’s result is attached to the email’s header, so that a receiving gateway can recognise emails that have been through the process and allow them to pass.

View full article: Microsoft’s anti-spam plan ‘hijacked by zombies’

update     Virus Alert! Harry Potter and the worm of doom (June 3)

A leading antivirus company warned Thursday that the Netsky worm was making a comeback on the coattails of fictional wizard Harry Potter.

British software and services company Sophos reported that infections by the three-month-old “P” variant of Netsky have risen dramatically over the past week, thanks to the worm’s ability to disguise itself as a Harry Potter game or book. The heavily promoted movie “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” opened earlier this week in Britain and premiers Friday in North America.

“Netsky-P targets young computer users by sometimes posing as content connected with the Harry Potter books and movie franchise,” Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said in a statement. “Parents need to educate their children against the threats of viruses, to ensure the popularity of Potter doesn’t cast a nasty spell on their computer systems.”

The original Netsky worm started spreading in February and quickly spawned more flavors than a Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans package.

The P variant has been particularly successful, though, thanks to engineering that disguises the worm’s payload as one of dozens of potentially tempting files, from Harry Potter content to X-rated photos of Britney Spears.

View full article: Harry Potter and the worm of doom

office     Office 2003 Sample: OfficeTalk: Easy Task Reports with Outlook and WordProcessingML (June 3)

This download contains sample files for use with the MSDN OfficeTalk column “Easy Task Reports with Outlook and WordProcessingML.” To view the article, click the link in the Related Resources box.

Export Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 task data to XML and use this as a source for reports in Microsoft Office Word 2003. Use Outlook automation in the Microsoft .NET Framework to export task information. Then use XML and XSLT to create documents that display reports of tasks containing their completion percentage, status, and other detail. Then, package the XML/XSLT portion of the solution using an XML expansion pack in Word.

Download: Office 2003 Sample: OfficeTalk: Easy Task Reports with Outlook and WordProcessingML

office     Microsoft Office 2003 Customers Boost Productivity and Business Insight With the Availability of Two New Office Business Intelligence Accelerators  (June 3)

Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of two new Office 2003 Business Intelligence (BI) Accelerators, the Microsoft® Office Business Scorecards Accelerator and the Microsoft Office Excel Add-in for SQL Server (TM) Analysis Services. Designed for and built on the Microsoft Office System and Windows Server System (TM) , the Office BI Accelerators provide customers and partners with increased access to data that is critical to maximizing business performance. Information workers and industry partners can also use the accelerators to assess performance in real time and reshape strategy and redeploy resources as market conditions change, staying one step ahead of their competition. By taking advantage of existing Microsoft technology investments, the accelerators are a cost-effective way for end users and partners to increase their business insight and automate formerly manual business processes, providing greater efficiency, productivity and enhanced decision-making.

“The scorecard project will enable us to manage our business more effectively,” said Bill Bradford, senior vice president of sales and marketing for ON Semiconductor. “The toolset allows for prioritization of key issues and a ‘drive to action,’ so we can allocate resources to achieve our critical goals and objectives faster and with a higher probability of success than ever before.”

Download: Excel 2002/2003 Add-in for SQL Server Analysis Services
Download: Business Scorecards Accelerator

info     Spamhaus assaults ‘Great Wall of Spam’ (June 1)

Anti-spam organisation Spamhaus is opening up operations in China with the launch of a new site,, this week.

For some time China has acted a ‘safe-haven’ for spammers offering so-called bullet-proof hosting – in reality, unscrupulous ISPs who pull the plug on spammers when enough complaints are received by their upstream provider. According to Spamhaus, China currently has three of the world’s most spam-friendly ISPs: PCCW, Chinanet in Chongqing, and Chinanet in Guangdong. Foreign spammers (many from the US) have exploited China’s historically lax attitude to junk mail to offshore spam runs to Chinese ISPs.

View full article: Spamhaus assaults ‘Great Wall of Spam’

office     Exchange guides (June 1)

Exchange Server 2003 Disaster Recovery Operations Guide
This guide explains how to back up and restore the critical data in your Exchange organization.

Exchange Server 2003 High Availability Guide
This guide will help you plan and implement reliable strategies for maintaining a highly available Exchange

Exchange Server 2003 RPC over HTTP Deployment Scenarios
Updated May 2004 to include information for Exchange Server 2003 SP1 release. The SP1 information concerns the new user interface in Exchange System Manager. This guide describes four scenarios for deploying the Windows RPC over HTTP feature in a corporate environment, for both Exchange Server 2003 SP1, and Exchange Server 2003.

Preview: Exchange Server 2003 Disaster Recovery Planning Guide
Exchange Server 2003 Disaster Recovery Planning Guide is an upcoming addition to the Exchange Server 2003 Technical Documentation Library. This is preview content and subject to change.

office     Exchange 2003: Auto Accept Agent (June 1)

A store event sink that automatically processes meeting requests for resource mailboxes. The agent checks the availability of the resource mailbox based on the resource’s schedule (not free/busy), and accepts or declines new or updated meeting requests.

Download: Exchange 2003: Auto Accept Agent

office     Tips and Tricks for Using Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 (June 1)

These Tips and Tricks show how to perform a number of basic tasks in a Microsoft® Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 environment. They can help you learn to use SharePoint Portal Server and will introduce you to the basic features and principles of portal site navigation and customization. This document is intended to be a desktop reference, but it can also form the basis for self-paced or instructor-led training.

Download: Tips and Tricks for Using Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003

addins     MAPILab NNTP for Outlook is out! (May 27)

This one is really nice! Tip: If you have Outlook 2003 as well you can use Search Folders to easily find back your messages in any newsgroup!

This product is a full-function MAPI transport. This means that a news server account works in the same way as an account for Microsoft Exchange Server or a POP3/SMTP account, support remote mail headers and it is managed through common Send/Receive menu.

MAPILab NNTP for Outlook supports all messages formats (plain text, RTF, HTML) and encodings which are supported by Microsoft Outlook. It is fully compatible with (but doesn’t require!) Microsoft Exchange Server and can be used to share newsgroups for coworkers through public folders.

You can download free trial copy and learn more about the product at the product homepage. Trail copy is fully functional during 30-days.

Download: NNTP for Outlook trial
Don’t forget! If you decide to order use “4PM76A8” to get a discount when ordering!

office     Office 2003 Tool: Local Installation Source Tool (May 27)

The Local Installation Source Tool is a wizard to help manage your Local Installation Source (LIS) on computers running Microsoft Office 2003. The LIS Tool allows you to enable or disable LIS, and to move the MsoCache folder to a new volume. This download is intended for use by customers and network administrators with LIS issues who contact Microsoft Product Support Services.

Download: Office 2003 Tool: Local Installation Source Tool