Latest Mydoom variant deletes files (Feb 25)
The latest variant of the Mydoom virus, discovered Friday, is still spreading and actively deleting files from victims’ computers, security researchers warned Wednesday.
The variant, dubbed Mydoom.F, not only tries to perform a distributed denial-of-service attack on the Web sites of Microsoft Corp. and the Recording Industry Association of America, but has a destructive payload that deletes document and picture files, according to researchers at Helsinki’s F-Secure Corp.
While Mydoom.F is not as widespread as previous variants, it is more destructive to users, said Mikko Hyppönen, director of antivirus research at F-Secure. “Mydoom.F gradually goes through your system again and again, deleting files,” Hyppönen said.
The worm targets mostly image and Microsoft document files, with extensions such as .jpg, .doc and .xls. Computer users are advised to update their antivirus software, as most antivirus companies updated their products to address the new variant when it was discovered, Hyppönen said.
If users haven’t updated their antivirus software, they should turn off their systems until they are ready to update so the virus does not continue deleting files on infected computers, he added.
Exchange Server 2003 Release Notes Update (Feb 25)
The release notes list important information you should know prior to deploying and using Exchange Server 2003, including known issues. You should familiarize yourself with all of the known issues listed here prior to installing the software. Known issues are listed based on Exchange component. The following sections are included:
Exchange Server 2003 Security Hardening Guide (Feb 25)
This guide is designed to provide you with essential information about how to harden your Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 environment. In addition to practical, hands-on configuration recommendations, this guide includes strategies for combating spam, viruses, and other external threats to your Exchange 2003 messaging system. While most server administrators can benefit from reading this guide, it is designed to produce maximum benefits for administrators responsible for Exchange messaging, both at the mailbox and architect levels.
Europe may tell Microsoft to split software (Feb 25)
European antitrust regulators are considering a requirement that Microsoft sell two versions of Windows in Europe–one with the music- and video-playing software stripped out–should they find the company to be an abusive monopoly, according to people close to the case.
Regulators may also demand that Microsoft itself propose “within a few months of a ruling” what computer code for Windows it should disclose to make the operating system fully compatible with programs and servers manufactured by rivals, these people said. Servers drive networks of personal computers.
The European Commission is nearing a final ruling in the five-year-old case. Unless a settlement is reached in the next few weeks, the commission will find that Microsoft abused its dominant position in operating software and will propose remedies and a fine of at least $100 million.
The commission has completed an internal review and the proposed ruling against the company, which was written by competition regulators in January, has emerged “almost untouched,” a person close to the case said Tuesday.
Representatives for the commission and Microsoft both declined to comment on possible remedies or on the state of negotiations. A Microsoft representative said the company was still pursuing “an amicable settlement.”
Last August, the European Commission told Microsoft that its practice of bundling Media Player into Windows amounted to an abuse of the operating system’s dominant position because it placed rival music and video players at a disadvantage.
View full article: Europe may tell Microsoft to split software
Uncovered: Trojans as Spam Robots (Feb 25)
c’t has gathered evidence that virus writers are selling the addresses of computers infected with trojans to spammers. The spammers use the infected systems to illegally distribute commercial e-mail messages — without the knowledge of their owners. Furthermore, the network of trojans forms a powerful tool which the distributors of the viruses can use to, for example, launch distributed DoS attacks.
With the help of c’t, a student of computer science has tracked down the authors of a computer virus. The editorial staff were able to establish contact with the virus distributors and buy IP addresses of infected machines. Because one of the virus distributors has been located in Great Britain, c’t has passed on all information to Scotland Yard. By now, individuals in several countries have been arrested.
In this case, a trojan was installed on thousands of computers with the help of the virus “Randex”. This small program contacted its “master” through the chat protocol IRC. From its master it received commands to for example look for CD keys of games, launch SYN Flood attacks from the infected machine or secretly load additional software. This way, the trojan was also able to install a SOCKS proxy server which can be used to relay spam through the infected PCs. The virus also infects local subnets using the Windows Directory Service.
In an interview with c’t, an investigating officer of Scotland Yard commented: “We fear that this is just the beginning. In the case in question, the authors and distributors of the viruses already no longer do their work just for fun or ego. The scene is becoming more professional and has recognised how much money can easily be gained illicitly this way.”
View: Uncovered: Trojans as Spam Robots
Find Real Money in Deployment Projects with Microsoft Office 2003 Editions (Feb 25)
Once your customer has decided to license and deploy an Office 2003 Edition or other software and servers that are part of the Microsoft Office System, you have to identify the key “deployment blockers” that will be factors in determining the feasibility or potential success of your installation.
In October 2003 Microsoft and its technology partners marked many significant milestones with the introduction of the Microsoft® Office System. The Microsoft Office 2003 Editions are its cornerstone, offering innovative features that will encourage businesses to upgrade, including support for developing applications using Microsoft .NET connection software, core XML support, integrated team management and support for Microsoft Windows® SharePoint™ Services technology, and a rights management solution that helps companies protect their information assets. Once your customer has made the decision to license and deploy an Office 2003 Edition or other software and servers that are part of the Microsoft Office System, you have to identify the key “deployment blockers” that will factor into determining the feasibility or potential success of your installation.
Enterprise instant messengers make the grade (Feb 24)
Few things in life are more frustrating than not being able to contact someone you need to talk to right away. If there’s one reason behind the success of IM in business, it’s that you have one more way to get through. Presence indicators show who’s online and who’s not, and just a click on a contact list makes brief exchanges faster and easier than picking up the phone. No wonder IM has spread like wildfire and free IM services from AOL, Yahoo, and MSN have joined the list of technologies that captured users at home and followed them to the office.
Click the link below for the test results of four enterprise IM products, looking at the business-critical elements you should consider.
Microsoft Will Extend E-Mail Protection With Exchange Edge Services (Feb 24)
Today in his keynote address at the RSA Conference 2004, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced that the company will deliver Microsoft® Exchange Edge Services, an enhancement to the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) relay implementation in Exchange Server, part of the Windows Server System (TM) . With Exchange Edge Services, Microsoft will provide a new set of capabilities aimed at enabling customers to better protect their e-mail system from junk e-mail and viruses as well as improve the efficiency of handling and routing Internet e-mail traffic.
“The viability of the e-mail system as we know it is threatened by the constant deluge of information — both wanted and unwanted — that companies receive daily and hourly. We are striving to provide customers with the means to meet this challenge head on and preserve the integrity and productivity of their organization,” said Paul Flessner, senior vice president of the Server Platform Division at Microsoft. “Exchange Edge Services will be a comprehensive way for customers to better protect their Exchange e-mail infrastructure and improve the efficiency of the handling of the tremendous amounts of incoming and outgoing e-mail traffic.”
Exchange Edge Services will perform three major functions critical to overall e-mail protection, security and hygiene. As an SMTP relay, it will serve as an e-mail gatekeeper, for enhanced security and reliability when relaying e-mail to and from the Internet. It also will provide a variety of methods, built on the foundation already laid in Exchange Server 2003, to help block junk e-mail, and an extensibility infrastructure that industry partners can use to build and run anti-spam and anti-virus solutions. In addition, it will apply basic routing server rules, from relaying and address rewriting to format conversion, and provide the basic engine to allow an administrator to build custom rules.
View full Press Release: Microsoft Will Extend E-Mail Protection With Exchange Edge Services
View: Exchange Edge Services Overview
Office 2003 Smart Tag: Date and Phone Number XML Smart Tags (Feb 24)
The Date and Phone Number smart tags recognize most date and phone number formats in Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft Excel 2003, and Microsoft PowerPoint 2003.
Office 2003 Update: Enterprise release of Office 2003 Setup.exe (Feb 24)
This download is a replacement of the Office 2003 setup.exe file for administrators who plan to deploy Office 2003 with Local Installation Source enabled.
EntSetup.exe supports two new properties: ENFORCECACHE and CACHEONLY. When ENFORCECACHE is set, it blocks the install from occurring if Local Installation Source fails and also disables the Local Installation Source from being removed by the users. When CACHEONLY is set, it creates only the Local Installation Source and does not perform an install at this time. The installation can occur at a later time.
InfoPath 2003 Toolkit for Visual Studio .NET (Feb 24)
The InfoPath™ 2003 Toolkit for Visual Studio® .NET is designed for developers who are interested in creating form templates in InfoPath 2003 using Visual Studio .NET 2003.
The InfoPath 2003 Toolkit for Visual Studio .NET provides integration features and documentation that enable you to use Visual Studio .NET to create, debug, and build InfoPath projects that use Visual C# or Visual Basic .NET managed code. The integration features provided by the toolkit allow you to use a combination of InfoPath for form design and Visual Studio .NET for writing and debugging form code. Using the toolkit, you can create new InfoPath form templates or add managed code to existing templates.
Newest Enhancements to Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003 Now Available for Preview (Feb 23)
Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a special preview of updates that will be added to Microsoft® Office InfoPath (TM) 2003, the information-gathering and management program, as part of the Office 2003 service pack scheduled for release in June. In addition to the improvements Microsoft is delivering to make InfoPath 2003 more secure and reliable, the service pack also will contain feature enhancements that organizations can choose to deploy to aid developers and end users in capitalizing on the InfoPath platform. By downloading the InfoPath 2003 Service Pack 1 Preview, form designers can begin incorporating the forthcoming enhancements into their InfoPath 2003 solutions, enabling them to make updated solutions available when the Microsoft Office System service pack is released.
View full Press Release: Newest Enhancements to Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003 Now Available for Preview
Download: InfoPath 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP-1) Preview
Updated: Search From the Address Bar (Feb 23)
I updated the article on how you can easily search from the address bar. I added http://filext.com to the quick list. Now when you type for example “ext pst” in the Internet Explorer address bar you’ll search on FILExt.com which programs all have the pst-file extension.
E-mail tries out a sense of smell (Feb 20)
I would say; Can’t wait for it. Finally pay-back time to all those users who just open everything. We need a virus that really stinks up the place for some weeks; that’ll teach them
You could soon be able to spice up your e-mails with your favourite perfume.
UK net provider Telewest Broadband is testing a system to let people to send aromatic e-mails over the internet.
It has developed a kind of hi-tech air freshener that plugs into a PC and sprays a smell linked to the message.
Telewest say it could be used by supermarkets to tempt people with the smell of fresh bread or by holiday companies seeking to stir up images of sun-kissed beaches.
“This could bring an extra whiff of realism to the internet,” said Chad Raube, director of internet services at Telewest Broadband.
“We are always looking at ways to enhance the broadband internet experience of the future and this time we are sure consumers will come up smelling of roses.”
Microsoft: No MS Office for Linux (Feb 20)
The rumors just won’t die: Someone, somewhere is working on porting Microsoft Office to Linux. This week’s version making the rounds online: IBM Corp. is extending its Linux commitment with a Linux version of the productivity suite.
On Thursday, however, Microsoft Corp. poured cold water on the reports. “Microsoft has no plans to work with IBM on porting Microsoft Office to Linux,” a Microsoft spokeswoman told eWEEK.com. As for porting Office to Linux in general, she said, “It’s not happening.”
View full article: Microsoft: No MS Office for Linux