Taking Advantage

By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2004-05-27 Print this article Print

The bottom line is it seems like if you have defenses in against the LSASS exploit, youre set against the best todays malwarriors have to throw at you. You can take off early for a supersized Memorial Day weekend (thats an American thing for those of you abroad), or you can take the opportunity to tighten your defenses. If I were a malware author waiting to spring the trap with a new attack, Friday night of Memorial Day weekend would look pretty good to me. Lots of skeleton crews in place.
Make sure theres some way to know if an attack begins when youre vulnerable over the weekend, so at least you can shut things down. Translation: Bring your BlackBerry out to the beach with you.

In the meantime, time to test and install operating-system patches and firmware upgrades youve been putting off. Even the ones you thought you didnt need because you blocked access for the attack at the firewall. Time to check your log files to see if anyones been reconnoitering your network. And you know what? My main servers been up and running for about two months now; Im going to reboot it and scan it. Its almost superstitious, but I bet it runs better, and if there is some nonpersistent threat running, Ill clean it out.

For insights on security coverage around the Web, check out eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog. Time to do one more check through your firewall policies, for old accounts that dont need to be there, for old services related to software that isnt running anymore. Time to scan user areas for unauthorized executables—or to implement policies that prohibit them from running anyway. Oh yeah, and its time to devise a patch management policy with priority toward Internet-facing systems and implement it in patch management software.

Its time to do all of that good stuff you wish you had time for.

Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center at http://security.eweek.com for the latest security news, reviews and analysis.

Be sure to add our eWEEK.com developer and Web services news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page More from Larry Seltzer

Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel