[ISN] 2007 Through the Looking Glass

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Wed Jan 03 2007 - 23:32:24 PST

Forwarded from: Security UPDATE <Security_UPDATE (at) list.windowsitpro.com>


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=== CONTENTS ===================================================

IN FOCUS: 2007 Through the Looking Glass

   - Opera Software Teams Up to Provide Anti-Fraud Protection
   - Check Point on Track to Buy NFR Security
   - Antispam Solutions for Business
   - Recent Security Vulnerabilities

   - Security Matters Blog: Need Rainbow Tables?
   - FAQ: Vista's Administrator Account
   - Share Your Security Tips

   - Environmental Monitoring Goes Wireless
   - Wanted: Your Reviews of Products 




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=== IN FOCUS: 2007 Through the Looking Glass =============
   by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

It's 2007 now, so let's take a peek at what the year ahead might hold 
in store for the world in terms of information security. 

First on the list is the most obvious item, Windows Vista. Microsoft 
calls Vista its most secure OS to date. That's probably true given the 
insecurity of previous Windows OSs. But while Vista does seem more 
secure than previous versions of Windows, it hasn't yet become the 
primary target of the blackest of the black hats. But that's about to 

Recently a vulnerability in Windows was discovered that affects Windows 
2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista. The 
vulnerability is located in the Client-Server Runtime Subsystem (CSRSS) 
and lets someone elevate his or her privileges to the level of 

For the most part, the news stories and technical reports I've read 
present this vulnerability as a minor problem, apparently because in 
order to exploit it, a user must already be authenticated to the 
system. So the thinking is that unless someone can be tricked into 
running it, there isn't much risk. But that thinking is shortsighted.

What most of the news stories overlook is the fact that in the business 
world, a significant number of intrusions are perpetrated by people 
inside a company (e.g., users who can readily authenticate to a 
system). Seen in that light, this vulnerability--and any other 
vulnerability that lets someone elevate privileges--is indeed serious. 

We're probably going to see more vulnerabilities of a similar caliber 
(or worse) affecting Vista. I think we'll see a lot of Vista 
vulnerabilities, with most of them discovered via exploits snagged from 
the wilds of the Internet--exploits either in active circulation or for 
sale on sites around the world. Look for this trend to naturally pick 
up momentum in the third and fourth quarters of the year. 

Right along with Vista exploits will be increased exploitation of RSS 
and Atom feeds, along with exploits of multimedia content, particularly 
because Vista includes ample support for these technologies. Web sites 
will be silently cracked, their content will be replaced, and their 
feeds will be hijacked, and site operators won't discover the tampering 
until users complain or until they're publicly embarrassed by the 
media. Similarly, I think we'll also see a significant increase in 
exploits launched via popular sites such as YouTube, MySpace, and 
popular network-enabled games. 

Another important trend will probably be a much stronger push for 
digital identities and various protection mechanisms against identity 
theft. As for the latter issue, user education will probably remain low 
on the list of remedies even though it's the best solution available. 
Watch for many more news stories about huge personal data breaches in 

Identity theft, spam, and malware will of course continue to grow into 
bigger problems than they already are. We probably won't see any 
significant dents made in those problems in 2007. Vendors don't seem to 
be keen on rooting out problems but instead prefer to sell Band-Aids, 
so to speak. Here's one good example: Remember Blue Security? That tiny 
company came up with a fantastic mechanism (called Blue Frog) to fight 
spam, and it was hugely successful! Unfortunately, the company caved in 
to retaliation from spammers, and not one of the most powerful 
companies in the industry has stepped up to take up where Blue Security 
left off. I seriously doubt that any of them will either. There appears 
to be little if any desire to disassemble the engines that drive 
product sales. Sad, but true.

Finally, botnets will become a much bigger problem in 2007, and I 
suspect that the problem will eventually lead to some very serious 
quakes on the Internet. 

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=== SECURITY NEWS AND FEATURES =================================

Opera Software Teams Up to Provide Anti-Fraud Protection
   Opera Software announced the latest release of its popular Web 
browser, Opera 9.1, which includes a new Fraud Protection feature.

Check Point on Track to Buy NFR Security
   Security solution provider Check Point Technologies said it's made a 
deal to buy NFR Security for approximately $20 million. Established in 
1996 by well-known security expert Marcus Ranum, NFR Security provides 
intrusion detection and prevention technologies.   

Antispam Solutions for Business
   Many organizations are looking to replace their first-generation 
spam software solutions either with a spam-filtering appliance or by 
entrusting spam-filtering tasks to a hosted service. This Buyer's Guide 
can help you decide which solution is best for you. 

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 at

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=== GIVE AND TAKE ==============================================

SECURITY MATTERS BLOG: Need Rainbow Tables? 
   by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=453B4:7EB890

Rainbow tables help with the discovery of passwords by speeding up 
testing time. You could compute your own tables, buy precomputed 
tables, or download tables that are made available free to everyone. 
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FAQ: Vista's Administrator Account
   by John Savill, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=453B2:7EB890 

Q: Where is the Administrator account in Windows Vista?

Find the answer at

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=== PRODUCTS ===================================================
   by Renee Munshi, products@private

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