PC Alert
Pointing you to the information
you need to know
Issue 15 - July 1999

Essential Internet

Recommended sites with important new PC information,
helpful resource files and other items of interest.

Zipped Files
One of the nastiest viruses ever is now in wide circulation.  It replies to all your unread email, attaching a file to the reply.  When the recipient clicks on the attachment, it reduces all their .doc, .xls and .ppt files to zero-byte lengths.  And it does it on all mapped network drives too.  Then it starts replying to their unread email in the same way.  If you haven't already updated your scanners to detect this, do so.  Now.

More NT DoS Bugs
Another new NT security bug, this time that could allow a potential denial-of-service attack against a server.  Read all about it, then get the fix, from Microsoft's "we fix all the bugs quickly so that's all right then" site.

Tiramisu Data Recovery
Ontrack is giving away trial copies of its data recovery software.  The company also has a version designed to recover data from damaged NetWare server disks.

Agent-MP3, says its vendor, is a software tool that helps you find MP3 files on the Internet.  Your staff may well be tempted to try it.  We suggest that you warn them not to, because a) you really don't want machines full of dodgy MP3 files, and b) it trashed one of the machines here in the PC Alert office to the extent that the OS and all applications had to be reinstalled.  You have been warned.

Computer Evidence
The admissibility of computer-based evidence in court cases is a very important consideration for anyone thinking of prosecuting someone for computer misuse.  A useful Web site looks at all aspects of computer evidence.

And more NT security problems
Yet another NT Denial of Service problem which is not fixed in SP5.  And a memory leak problem too.  Microsoft has issued  a patch, so that's all right then.

Proxy Server
Looking for a proxy server for a small LAN, to allow modem sharing?  Windows 2000 will have this facility built in.  Until then, if you don't like Wingate, try Mailgate.  We're told that it seems more stable.

And yet more NT security problems
Here's a good one.  A bug in IIS which can apparently allow a hacker to take control of any NT machine on the Internet which isn't firewalled.

Compaq Management Agent
A security problem in CMA could allow a user to read any file on a machine, even though they don't have the requisite privileges.

NTMail Spam Bypass
A bug has been discovered in the NTMail program, which handles mailing lists.  Specify a recipient address of <> and you bypass the system's built in protection against spammers.

Search Engine Submissions
This useful site lets you automatically submit your own site to some 600 search engines.  A quick way to get additional hits on your corporate Web site.

DB2 Beta for Linux
IBM has a beta of DB2 6.1 for Linux and NT, which you can download (or order on CD).

International Survey on Encryption Policy
EPIC (the Electronic Policy Information Centre) has recently published a 130-page survey on the legalities of encryption around the world.  Essential reading for any security person who wishes to ensure that staff in international offices stay within the law when transferring data between sites.

Free Seagate Software
Seagate Software is giving away free 50-user licences of its Business Intelligence suite.

Acrobat Viewer for Java
Adobe is working on a version of its PDF file viewer that runs as a native Java app, thus allowing Web browsers to render PDF files without the need to shell to a separate program.  You can download the latest beta from PDFZone if you want to see how things are progressing.

TrueType Fonts
Here's a useful site with lots of good information on TrueType fonts.  The site is run by a company that can turn your company logo, or even your handwriting, into such a font.

Encrypted, anonymized email for free
HushMail is like HotMail, in that it's a free email service that you use across the Web.  But unlike HotMail, HushMail is encrypted and anonymous.  The site's operators claim that it is impossible for them, or anyone else, to spy on the content of messages or to know the identity of the senders.  Though they would say that, wouldn't they.

Anagram Server
Neat.  Type in a phrase, and Anagram Genius will send you anagrams by email.  A fun way to embarass colleagues or customers.

Database of File Extensions
Got a file with an unknown extension?  Need to know what created it?  This'll help.

Need to copy audio files from an audio CD?  Ever wondered why you can't simply treat the CD as a standard removable disk, and use COPY and DIR to copy and examine the .WAV files on it?  With AudioFS you can.

Intrusion Detection
This site has a lot of useful information on intrusion detection systems.

Kane Security Analyst and Kane Security Monitor, for NT, tell you what's wrong with the security setup on your servers and will also alert you when suspicious activity takes place.  There are new versions now available, and you can download demo copies from the Web site.

Undelete for NT
Got a user who's deleted a file under NT and wants it back?  Not got a copy of Norton to hand?  Download a free utility from this site that will do the job.

Fed up with the awful Registry Editor supplied with Windows?  Check out an enhanced version.

Tech Support Tales of Woe
So you think you've got it bad?

See what people are searching for
Want some inspiration for new products?  If you know what people are looking for, you'll be more able to supply them.  And this site lets you find out what people are searching for on the Web.  It's not all sex and MP3.  Mostly, but not all.

NT RAS Problem
And another NT security problem. Well, it's been a while.  Here's a fix for a problem caused by NT caching a user's password even if the Save Password box is not ticked.

Essential Reading

Our pick of the best of the world’s IT press articles this month.

Head-to-head comparative reviews
6 digital cameras Internet Advisor, July  www.futurenet.com
4 450 MHz PCs Computer Shopper, June computershopper.com
Shareware backup utilities Computer Shopper, June computershopper.com
10 Managed PCs PC Mag, 22nd June www.pcmag.com
7 Internet servers PC Mag, 22nd June www.pcmag.com
4 LCD projectors PC Mag, 22nd June www.pcmag.com
3 Inkjet printers PC Computing, July www.pccomputing.com

50 Most Incredibly Useful Sites
Yahoo Internet Life magazine has its annual roundup of useful sites this month (July issue), and looks at top Web sites covering personal finance, reference, business, searching, travel, medical, shopping etc.  A useful read, for any business or personal Web user.

In the June issue of Microsoft Internet Developer, a good look at advanced e-commerce development including software to predict shoppers' purchasing plans in order to offer potential impulse buys.  Also, analysing and debugging e-commerce applications and other online sites using Visual Studio Analyser.

Redesign Battles
In the July issue of Internet Magazine, a fascinating case study involving attempts by 3 Web design consultancies to redesign a corporate Web site.

Internet Telephony Protocols Compared
In Dr Dobb's Journal, July 1999, a major article comparing Internet telephony protocols such as H.323 and SIP.  Useful reading if you're investigating Voice over IP comms for corporate use.  Also in the same magazine, how to use the Microsoft speech SDK to voice-enable a Windows application.

June's issue of Computer Shopper has an interesting comparison of Intel's Pentium III and AMD's K6-III.

More top Web sites
In July's PC Computing, 100 best Internet sites.  Covers money trading, bookshops, shopping, travel and more.  Also, undocumented tricks for using Excite, Yahoo, Lycos and Altavista in order to make searching faster and more powerful.

Windows 2000 Lies
Also in July's PC Computing, a look at the lies currently being told about what Windows 2000 can and can't do.

Hot NT Products
Windows NT magazine has a summer special out, containing 100 pages of hot NT products.  Whatever you're looking to buy, if it's for NT it's well worth checking out this guide.

Subnet Design
In the June issue of NT Systems, a  good article on subnetting and segmenting a network.  If you've always wondered about those subnet mask things, this is the place to find out what it all means.  Also, a look at network analysis tools.  Plus, how NT authentication works.

LAN Switching, and Legacy Apps
In the June edition of SysAdmin, the magazine for Unix system administrators, a look at LAN switching.  Also, Web-enabling of legacy applications.

Clustering and Reviews
In June's Linux Journal, a review of WordPerfect 8 for Linux.  Plus news of a company that's implementing clustering with Linux boxes.

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This compilation copyright International Technology Publishing Pty Ltd 1999.