Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.1.1

The Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer provides a streamlined method to identify missing security updates and common security misconfigurations. MBSA 2.1.1 is a minor upgrade to add support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

To easily assess the security state of machines in an environment, Microsoft offers the free Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) scan tool. MBSA includes a graphical and command line interface that can perform local or remote scans of Microsoft Windows systems.

MBSA 2.1.1 builds on previous versions by adding support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. As with the previous MBSA 2.1 release, MBSA includes 64-bit installation, security update and vulnerability assessment (VA) checks, improved SQL Server 2005 checks, and support for the latest Windows Update Agent (WUA) and Microsoft Update technologies. More information on the capabilities of MBSA 2.1 and 2.1.1 is available on the MBSA Web site.

MBSA 2.1.1 runs on Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Windows 2000 systems and will scan for missing security updates, rollups and service packs using Microsoft Update technologies. MBSA will also scan for common security misconfigurations (also called Vulnerability Assessment checks) using a known list of less secure settings and configurations for all versions of Windows, Internet Information Server (IIS) 5.0, 6.0 and 6.1, SQL Server 2000 and 2005, Internet Explorer (IE) 5.01 and later, and Office 2000, 2002 and 2003 only.

To assess missing security updates, MBSA will only scan for missing security updates, update rollups and service packs available from Microsoft Update. MBSA will not scan or report missing non-security updates, tools or drivers.
Choose the appropriate download below for English (EN), German (DE), French (FR) and Japanese (JA) for x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) platforms.

Download details Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.1.1 (for IT Professionals)
Source: http://bink.nu/news/microsoft-baseline-security-analyzer-2-1-1.aspx

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Complete Video of Steve Ballmers Keynote at Technet live

Source: http://www.ngn.nl/ngn/STEVEKEYNOTE

On the 8th of October Technet_live was being held in The Hague, this included the Windows 7 introduction in the Netherlands. Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft presented the Keynote. NGN-member Alex Warmerdam filmed the whole keynote with his mobile phone, and got to ask Steve Ballmer a question as well.

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Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 2 Released!

Service Pack 2 for Exchange 2007 has been released today!

This marks an important milestone in the development process for Exchange Server 2007. Our team has provided a couple of blog posts here and here outlining what is available in this service pack release. During this week, we will feature a series of posts to add additional information which will hopefully assist in answering questions you may have on SP2.

As we mentioned previously, there are many important updates to Exchange 2007 in this service pack including:

  • Enhanced Auditing – New Exchange auditing events and audit log repository enable Exchange administrators to more easily audit the activities occurring on their Exchange servers. It allows the right balance of granularity, performance, and easy access to audited events via a dedicated audit log repository. This simplifies the auditing process and makes review of audited events easier by segregating audited events in a dedicated location.
  • Exchange Volume Snapshot Backup Functionality – A new backup plug-in has been added to the product that will enable customers to create Exchange backups when a backup is invoked through the Windows Server 2008 Backup tool. Exchange Server 2007 didn’t have this capability on Windows Server 2008 and additional solutions were required to perform this task.
  • Dynamic Active Directory Schema Update and Validation – The dynamic AD schema update and validation feature allows for future schema updates to be dynamic deployed as well as proactively preventing conflicts whenever a new property is added to the AD schema. Once this capability is deployed it will enable easier management of future schema updates and will prevent support issues when adding properties that don’t exist in the AD schema.
  • Public Folder Quota Management – SP2 enables a consistent way to manage quotas by improving the current PowerShell cmdlets to perform quota management tasks.
  • Centralized Organizational Settings – SP2 introduces new PowerShell option that enable centralized management of many of the Exchange organization settings.
  • Named Properties cmdlets – SP2 enables Exchange administrators to monitor their named property usage per database.
  • New User Interface for Managing Diagnostic Logging- SP2 enables Exchange administrators to easily configure and manage diagnostic logging from within the Exchange Management Console.

As always, we encourage you to use our Exchange Software update forums to post your question so that we can ensure a response.

Links:

1. Download SP2 here.
2. Before installing, read the release notes here.
3. Questions? Ask us here.

Thanks!

The Exchange Customers Experience Team

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Exchange Server 2010 Release Candidate Available For Download!

I am happy to announce that Exchange Server 2010 Release Candidate is feature complete and available for download!

You can download it herehttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd185495.aspx

I want to highlight a couple of interesting new things in the Release Candidate:

Support for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2: The Exchange Server 2010 Release Candidate is now supported on the 64-bit versions of the Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

In place upgrade from Exchange Server 2010 Release Candidate to Exchange Server 2010 RTM: You can start planning and deploying your Exchange Server 2010 test environment today knowing that it will be possible to perform an in place upgrade with the final version expected to be available later this year. You won’t need to reinstall your servers or reconfigure your Exchange settings once you have deployed the Release Candidate. This will save you time while allowing you to start evaluating the latest product capabilities now.

Co-existence with Exchange Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2003: If your current test environment is Exchange Server 2007 or Exchange Server 2003, Exchange Server 2010 Release Candidate is able co-exist with either of the two versions. This will enable you/your company to start planning your upgrade, test critical scenarios and experience the benefits of the latest version of the product. For Exchange Server 2007 co-existence, Service Pack 2 (SP2) is required, and will be available later this month.

Exchange Web Services Managed API (EwsAPI) – Looking to develop or migrate your current Exchange applications? See the new improvements to the interface for developing client applications that use Exchange Web Services. Download the API from here.

Management Pack for Exchange Server 2010 (SCOM MP) - The Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 management pack is designed for monitoring Exchange Server 2010 events, collecting Exchange component-specific performance counters in one central location, and for raising alerts for operator intervention as necessary. You will need System Center Operations Manager 2007 SP1 or System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 to run and monitor Exchange Server 2010 with this management pack.

Exchange Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer – This tool enables you to test client connectivity and inbound email scenarios beforehand. Access this tool from here.

Microsoft Exchange Server JetStress Tool for Exchange Server 2010 – This tool helps administrators verify the performance and stability of the disk subsystem before putting Exchange Server in a production environment.

Microsoft Exchange Load Generator (LoadGen) for Exchange Server 2010 – This is a simulation tool to measure the impact of MAPI, OWA, IMAP, POP and SMTP clients on Exchange servers and it has been optimized for the newest version of the product.

For customers who tried downloading earlier, but were unable to, know that this has been resolved. You can download the Exchange Server 2010 Release Candidate from here.

Technical content on the Exchange Server 2010 Release Candidate can be found here.

Exchange Server 2010 Release Candidate video can be viewed here.

For additional technical details, please visit What’s new in Exchange 2010 on TechNet.

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Exchange 2010 RC1 download this week!

From http://bink.nu/news/exchange-2010-rc1-download-this-week.aspx

logo-header-e2010

Sources tell me that Microsoft will release Exchange 2010 Release Candidate 1 for public download this week!

So get your labs ready with Windows 2008 R2 to start testing out the next generation of the world’s most popular e-mail servers.

Exchange 2010 will help organizations reduce costs, protect communications and delight e-mail users with capabilities to do the following:

Lower costs with more flexible deployment and management options. Exchange 2010 provides organizations with the same enterprise-grade capabilities whether deployed on-premises or as a service from Microsoft or partners — or as a mix of both. Further, for customers deploying the server, the new release simplifies the way organizations provide always-on communications and disaster recovery, meaning administrators spend less time managing their e-mail system. Exchange 2010 further improves performance running on lower-cost direct-attached storage, enabling organizations to dramatically reduce storage costs by up to 85 percent without sacrificing performance or reliability.

Protect information and meet compliance requirements with the new e-mail archive. As e-mail volume grows, companies must address increasing compliance, legal and e-discovery concerns, but today, according to Osterman Research, only 28 percent of organizations currently archive their e-mail content (Osterman Research, 2008). Exchange 2010 introduces an integrated e-mail archive. The new solution makes it easier to store and query e-mail across the organization using the Exchange software that organizations already know and use.

Improve user productivity with the ultimate inbox experience. Basex Inc. recently estimated that the average number of corporate e-mail messages received per person per day is expected to reach more than 93 by 2010. In addition, businesses lose $650 billion annually in productivity due to unnecessary interruptions including those from e-mail (Basex, 2008). Exchange 2010, together with Microsoft Outlook 2010, will give people more control over their communications with features such as these:

-MailTips. Warn users before they commit an e-mail faux pas such as sending mail to large distribution groups, to recipients who are out of the office or to recipients outside the organization, helping protect against information leaks and reduce unnecessary e-mail messages.

-Voice Mail Preview. See text previews of voice mail directly in Outlook.

-Ignore Conversation. This e-mail “mute button” allows people to remove themselves from an irrelevant e-mail string, reducing unwanted e-mail and runaway reply-all threads.

-Conversation View. Combine related e-mail messages in a single conversation to reduce inbox clutter.

-Call Answering Rules. Create customized “Press 1 for …” call-routing menus with Exchange voice mail.

-Consistent Experience. Use Outlook on the PC, a mobile phone or a browser for the same experience with enhancements in Outlook Mobile and Outlook Web Access.

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Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 2 available in Q3 2009

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 is the industry’s leading server for e-mail, calendaring and unified messaging. Exchange Server 2007 is the foundation for a dynamic and holistic unified communications experience, and has been designed to meet the challenges and address the messaging needs of today’s businesses. Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) enables customers to increase their operational efficiency and it sets the foundation for the transition to Exchange Server 2010, which is expected to be available in the second half of 2009. A public beta of Exchange Server 2010 is available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/2010 .

Customer Benefits
Key new features of Exchange Server 2007 SP2 unveiled today include:

  • Enhanced Auditing – New Exchange auditing events and audit log repository enable Exchange administrators to more easily audit the activities occurring on their Exchange servers. It allows the right balance of granularity, performance, and easy access to audited events via a dedicated audit log repository. This simplifies the auditing process and makes review of audited events easier by segregating audited events in a dedicated location.
  • Exchange Volume Snapshot Backup Functionality - A new backup plug-in has been added to the product that will enable customers to create Exchange backups when a backup is invoked through the Windows Server 2008 Backup tool. Exchange Server 2007 didn’t have this capability on Windows Server 2008 and additional solutions were required to perform this task.
  • Dynamic Active Directory Schema Update and Validation – The dynamic AD schema update and validation feature allows for future schema updates to be dynamic deployed as well as proactively preventing conflicts whenever a new property is added to the AD schema. Once this capability is deployed it will enable easier management of future schema updates and will prevent support issues when adding properties that don’t exist in the AD schema.
  • Public Folder Quota Management – SP2 enables a consistent way to manage quotas by improving the current PowerShell cmdlets to perform quota management tasks.
  • Centralized Organizational Settings – SP2 introduces new PowerShell option that enable centralized management of many of the Exchange organization settings.
  • Named Properties cmdlets – SP2 enables Exchange administrators to monitor their named property usage per database.
  • New User Interface for Managing Diagnostic Logging – SP2 enables Exchange administrators to easily configure and manage diagnostic logging from within the Exchange Management Console.

Pricing and Availability

SP2 is available at no additional cost to customers that have purchased Exchange Server 2007. SP2 is slated for release in the third quarter of 2009. More information on Exchange Server 2007 SP2 will be available on the Exchange Server Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange on the release date.

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Goodbye PST files! Archive E-mail to GMAIL

Source: http://www.buit.org/2009/02/10/e-mail-archive-in-the-cloud-goodbye-pst-files/

We email each other a lot nowadays. I spend a significant amount of time behind my Outlook client everyday. Reading and writing emails. I especially like all the “FYI” (For Your Interest) mails. Usually they are very interesting but there is no direct action required. So, you need to save this email for awhile. Your inbox grows rapidly this way and online email providers understand this. They give you a 7 Gb mailbox or more!

But your company IT department is less generous. You’ve got a 100Mb mailbox within your organisation. This means you’ll have to clean your mailbox every week at least and because you want to save a lot of mail you create your first offline archive, a PST file. A PST file will always result in loss of data. During every migration or system failure someone forgets to backup it’s PST files and has lost all his communication of the past years.

Until your IT department wakes up and puts the whole mail service in the cloud, you can use a good alternative. Put your whole email archive within a Gmail mailbox!

Some simple steps:

1. Open a new Gmail account
2. Within Gmail, go to Settings, Forwarding and POP/IMAP and enable IMAP
3. Configure your emailclient to connect with the Gmail mailbox (http://mail.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?topic=12913 )
4. Drag and drop all the folders and mail items from your mail archive (PST file) to the Gmail mailbox (this took me a while)
5. Remove the Offline Archive and your done!

Capture2 Capture1

From now on drag all the emails you want to keep to the Gmail mailbox and it’s always available. You can even search your archive from an internet café, simply by going to gmail.com and logging in with your credentials.

The mail items within Outlook are also offline available and Windows Vista or 7 automatically indexes them!

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Exchange 2007 Anti Spam ability

Exchange 2007 has continued to improve upon its Anti Spam features with each version of the product. In this article I want to focus on installing and configuring the antispam agent on a hub transport server.

By default the agents are not installed on the hub role since this server is intended to be a down stream server behind an Exchange Edge Server. Throughout the article you will see that some features can be manged via EMC and a number of features must be managed via EMS.

Installing Anti Spam Agents
By default the Anti Spam agents are not installed on the hub servers ***these must be installed on each hub that you want to utilze the agents ****

Open EMC
Organizational Configuration
Select the Hub Transport Server

As you can see there is no reference to the anti spam agents

Lets go ahead and install the Agents"

1. Open EMS
2. you can change to the directory or input the path to the powershell script (I chose to change to the directory) Change to C:\progroam files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Scripts (assuming install directory is default)
3. ./install-AntiSpamAgents.ps1

After the agents are installed the Transport Service needs to be restarted

Lets go back to EMC–Organizational Configuration — Hub Transport

We now have an Anti Spam Tab with a number of items to configure

CONFIGURATION:
Now that we have installed our Anti Spam Agents lets take a look at what we can configure. Some configuration can only be done from EMS and some can be done from both EMS and EMC.
Content Filtering
IP Allow List
IP Allow List Providers
IP Block List
IP Block List Providers
Recpient Filtering
Sender Filtering
Sender ID
Sender Reputation
Continue reading

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