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September 27, 2004

Issue No. 66

Table of Contents

Highlights and Features

Grokker at Stanford
CourseWork-Fall 2004
File-Sharing-Consequences
File-Sharing Myths
File-Sharing Resources
IT Open House October 28
Tech Help for Faculty
Essential SU Software
Desktop Computer Security
Security Self-Help Tool
Wireless Access-SU Visitors
SULAIR Home Page Update
SU Course Support Web Site copy

Library Resources

SULAIR Image Collections
SKIL Tutorial Enhanced
Scholars Workshops for Fall
Social Science Data
Literary Studies Database
New Lane Library Web Site
Firing Line TV Program
ArcGIS 9 Available
SSRC Past Events Online
BIOSIS Changes
HighWire Press-New Journals
EuroNews Web Site

Computing News

Accessible Web Pages
AFS Disk Quota Increased
Online Lecture Assessment
Teaching with Technology
Resources for SU Webmasters
ATS Program-New Projects
ATL Project Showcase
Spam Deletion Tool
ITSS Training Services
Training Registration
HelpSU Streamlined
New Webmail Is Here
Printing in Sweet Hall
Sweet Hall Consulting
Mac OS X Migration
PeopleSoft System Upgraded
Bookstore Computer Store
Courselets for SU Community
Sundial Calendar Changes
TeamSpace in Meyer Library
Meyer Classrooms
Meyer Tech Desk Update
Technology Help on Web

Security Self-Help Tool 2.1 For PCs Released

After last summer's plague of computer viruses on Windows computers, an ITSS team quickly put together a Security Self-Help tool that users could run on their PCs to determine whether recommended settings were in place to reduce vulnerability to known methods of attack. Over the past year, the ITSS Desktop Team, working with the Security team, other ITSS staff, and campus representatives, developed a new version of the tool. Version 2.1 runs more tests and, even better, can make the recommended changes and repairs with the click of a "Fix" button.

The Security Self-Help Tool is very easy to use. Usually, only a few minutes are needed to download the tool, run the tests, and fix any problems that are found. A separate test tries to guess the passwords of accounts on the PC using a list of about 3500 common passwords and password formulas. This simulates hacker attacks that try to crack accounts using easy-to-guess passwords.

Version 2.1 of the Security Self-Help Tool, for use on Windows 2000 and XP systems, is now available from the Essential Stanford Software page:

http://www.stanford.edu/dept/itss/ess/pc/pc.html

ITSS recommends that all Windows 2000 and XP users download and use this program. It's a great learning tool for determining what vulnerabilities your desktop or laptop machine might have, and of course, it's a great tool for cleaning them up. The older version of the tool is still available on ITSS' Essential Stanford Software web site (see URL above) for older versions of Windows, but it is no longer being updated (e.g., it looks for Norton Antivirus 8, not Symantec Antivirus 9). Nonetheless, it can still provide useful information. Versions for other operating systems are being considered for the future.