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[ISN] Security UPDATE -- More Flexible Security Control in IIS 7.0 -- October 5, 2005


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1. In Focus: More Flexible Security Control in IIS 7.0

2. Security News and Features
   - Recent Security Vulnerabilities
   - Latest Office Updates Improve Outlook Security
   - Symantec to Acquire WholeSecurity

3. Security Toolkit
   - Security Matters Blog
   - FAQ
   - Security Forum Featured Thread

4. New and Improved
   - A Security Partner


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==== 1. In Focus: More Flexible Security Control in IIS 7.0
   by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

At the recent Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC 2005), 
IIS Program Manager Chris Adams talked about upcoming features of IIS 
7.0, some of which are security related. 

IIS 7.0 is built on the IIS 6.0 platform, which is far more secure than 
previous versions of IIS. Adams said that IIS developers learned over 
time, particularly because of worms such as Code Red and Nimda, how to 
improve the Web server's security. Adams said that no security 
vulnerabilities have been discovered in what he calls the "IIS critical 
core" since the release of IIS 6.0. Therefore IIS 6.0 serves as a good 
base to build on. 

IIS 7.0 brings new security features such as delegation of authority, 
which is a significant improvement. This means that people can perform 
delegated tasks without having administrator-level authority. So for 
example, in the course of developing a new Web page, a Web developer 
might want to use a new file extension type. Traditionally, an 
administrator would need to add that type to the server. But the new 
delegation features let an administrator delegate that authority to the 
developer. This capability will improve security administration and 
increase productivity.

If you've spent a lot of time developing secure applications that run 
on IIS 6.0, you won't have to spend much time moving them to IIS 7.0. 
Adams said Microsoft has made sure that IIS 7.0 will support "legacy 

Unlike Windows XP, which includes IIS 5.1, and Windows Server 2003, 
which includes IIS 6.0, Windows Vista and Longhorn Server will ship 
with IIS 7.0. The different IIS versions on XP and Windows 2003 posed 
some developmental and security problems; Microsoft is aiming to avoid 
those problems in the new Windows client and server OSs.

With previous versions of IIS, developers typically used Internet 
Server API (ISAPI) and Common Gateway Interface (CGI) to develop custom 
functionality. But IIS 7.0 will be more modular, which brings at least 
two benefits: Administrators will be able to deploy IIS 7.0 with only 
the modules that they require, and developers will be able to replace 
functionality that they might not like. For example, if you want to use 
an authentication method other than connecting to the SAM database, you 
can write a replacement for IIS 7.0's authentication module. The 
ability to replace this module means that developers can not only 
create their own means of authenticating users but developers can also 
more easily integrate support for other OSs such as Linux, BSD, and Mac 
OS X. 

IIS 7.0 also has a new UI that exposes more of the central 
configuration (metabase) properties, possibly including some security 
properties. In previous versions, administrators had to modify some 
aspects of the metabase by using command-line tools or by manually 
editing configuration files with Notepad or the Microsoft MetaEdit 

That's a brief summary of what you can expect. Development tools and 
additional information for IIS 7.0 should be available on Microsoft 
Developer Network (MSDN) by the end of the year. In addition, Paul 
Thurrott will provide a more extensive review of IIS 7.0 on our Web 
site sometime in the near future. 


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==== 2. Security News and Features ====

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

Latest Office Updates Improve Outlook Security
   Microsoft released Office 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) and junk email 
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Symantec to Acquire WholeSecurity
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privately held WholeSecurity. The deal is scheduled to close in 
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antiphishing technology. 


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==== 3. Security Toolkit ==== 

Security Matters Blog: Synopsis of MS Security Bulletin Creation
   by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=15607:4FB69

   Ever wonder what goes on during the creation of a Microsoft security 
bulletin? Read this blog article to get a synopsis.

   by John Savill, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=15606:4FB69 

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Security Forum Featured Thread: Too Many Security Log Entries
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