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#  Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Be sure to check out IIS.net, the Web site dedicated to IIS7. There you will find forums, whitepapers, webcasts, HOL virtual labs, walkthroughs, FAQs and more.

Categories: IIS | Longhorn | Newsbites
Tuesday, 23 May 2006 20:41:59 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


Mildly surprising content on my blog: Office 2007 Beta 2 (public) is here! From the moment I saw the new UI at PDC05 I was waiting to get my (dirty) paws on this piece of software. Let's see what working with it is like, because the setup experience was already a positive one. 

Categories: Cool Download | this
Tuesday, 23 May 2006 19:04:43 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


A /. article pointed me to the blog post Reporting Vulnerabilities is for the Brave. Sounds familiar. Been there, done that. A customer had a Web site, and I told them about a problem. They told their vendor. And the vendor went after me - probably because, like most security-unconscious companies they felt threatened in one way or another.

Therefore I wholeheartedly agree with the instructions outlined, plus: lean back, and enjoy when the bad guys whack that company. Yes, this is controversial, but as long as companies don't "get it" that there are people that want to help them when reporting vulnerabilities, it is definitely better to keep your trap shut.

Aside from the cynical advice in the above paragraph, here is something to consider for your company: establish a policy - and publish it! - that you welcome security reports by security researchers (and Joe Average for that matter). This goes a long way to getting the threats mitigated before they are exploited.

Categories: Newsbites | Security | this
Tuesday, 23 May 2006 10:12:41 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


Yesterday after my talk at MS' Big>Days 2006 in Vienna I was asked how to recycle an IIS app pool from within an application / script / code. I knew I had seen it somewhere before, so I promised to post the information in my blog as soon as I had dug it up.

There are actually a few others that have posted that information before, for example on the aspitalia.com blogs - Riciclare un application pool di IIS 6 da codice C#. It does exactly what the post title implies: recycling an application pool with C#. This approach uses ADSI (aka System.DirectoryServices) to do the bidding, and I have the non-ASP.NET bound version here:

using System.DirectoryServices;


public void RecycleAppPool(string machine, string appPoolName)
string path = "IIS://" + machine + "/W3SVC/AppPools/" + appPoolName;

DirectoryEntry w3svc = new DirectoryEntry(path);
w3svc.Invoke("Recycle", null);

So, now the question arises - how do I know the names of the app pools? One way is to enumerate all the existing application pools on a box - the blog post Control the Application Pool shows how to pull it off using WMI.

Finally, I went to the authoritative source, Chris Adams blog. He has a post up titled Recycling Application Pools using WMI in IIS 6.0, so this is along the lines of the previous one. He has samples in VBScript as well as C# online. He also shows a quick way (end of the post) how to find out which app pool is servicing which IIS Web application.

I think this should cover the topic nicely ;-) Also looking forward to how easy recycling app pools will be in IIS7.

Categories: IIS
Tuesday, 23 May 2006 08:20:30 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [1]


#  Sunday, 21 May 2006

The TAM tool is now available as release candidate 1. If you don't know it (already), here is the quick scoop from the download page: Microsoft Threat Analysis & Modeling tool allows non-security subject matter experts to enter already known information including business requirements and application architecture which is then used to produce a feature-rich threat model. Along with automatically identifying threats, the tool can produce valuable security artifacts such as:

  • Data access control matrix
  • Component access control matrix
  • Subject-object matrix
  • Data Flow
  • Call Flow
  • Trust Flow
  • Attack Surface
  • Focused reports

By the way, use this link to search for the video series on threat modeling in the Download Center!

Categories: Cool Download | Security
Sunday, 21 May 2006 12:30:05 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


#  Saturday, 20 May 2006

Today I set up my new laptop with Windows Vista - a "dry run" for Beta 2, because I want to use it as the primary OS on that machine. Part of the drill was getting my UMTS card (a Merlin U630) up and running.

First, I tried it using the standard software that came with the card. Installation went smoothly, however the Connection Manager software is based on an HTA solution, and IE7 most definitely didn't want to cooperate and kept throwing JavaScript errors (Note: I view this as a bug of the Connection Manager software, this is most decidedly not IE's fault). Dialing using this software therefore was out of the question.

So I went out on the Internet to search for a solution. At first, I tried dialing manually using AT commands, but it turned out that initializing a Merlin card isn't exactly easy-peasy. So I decided that a thorough forum search was in order. Thankfully, that search turned up a great piece of software (onlinekosten.de Community to the rescue).

What I found is MWConn (looks like that this time the international audience is out of luck, at least at the time of this writing as the software is German only). It does support the Novatel card, allows for dialing (make sure you check the default connection that is generated, at least my provider is using a different dial-in number), gives feedback on UL / DL traffic you generate, plus signal quality information. Way cool & saved my day!

Categories: Cool Download | Longhorn | this
Saturday, 20 May 2006 16:17:07 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [2]


#  Wednesday, 17 May 2006

Tracking down the URL for the Webcast Detecting and Debugging Common Application Issues Using the Windows Application Verifier really turned into a scavenger hunt today... if you don't know what AppVerifier is, download it here, and read more here.

Categories: Security | Team System
Wednesday, 17 May 2006 21:07:47 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


#  Thursday, 11 May 2006

On Tuesday I was presenting a Windows Vista security session, which included UAC (user account control) and respective demos. One part was showing UAC data redirection, and for this blog post I will stick with the registry side of things.

Why this redirection in the first place? Well, old legacy applications do tend to assume that you are running as admin on your box. Thus, those apps simply store "stuff" in the HKLM hive of the registry, instead of HKCU. To allow such misguided apps to run on Vista smoothly, UAC automagically redirects write operations from the actual HKLM location to a VirtualStore branch of the current user's profile.

Let's look at an example of a classic no-no:

  RegistryKey MyTest = Registry.LocalMachine.OpenSubKey("Software\\Microsoft\\Microsoft SDKs\\.NETFramework\\v2.0", true);
  MyTest.SetValue("InstallationFolder", ContentsText.Text, RegistryValueKind.String);
  ResultsLabel.Text = "Successfully written to registry!";
catch (Exception ex)
  ResultsLabel.Text = "Unable to write to registry: " + ex.Message;

On XP, being non-admin, you would end up in the catch block. Not so on Vista. With Vista, this will work out ok, and the data will be stored like this:

Nice indeed. Or is it actually nice? Let's look at the code for reading the value again:

  RegistryKey MyTest = Registry.LocalMachine.OpenSubKey("Software\\Microsoft\\Microsoft SDKs\\.NETFramework\\v2.0", true);
  ContentsText.Text = MyTest.GetValue("InstallationFolder") as string;
  ResultsLabel.Text = "Successfully read from registry!";
catch (Exception ex)
  ResultsLabel.Text = "Unable to read from registry: " + ex.Message;

So what's your guess where the value will come from - the original HKLM location or the redirected HKCU VirtualStore location? Right, the VirtualStore is the winner.

Now, I intentionally picked an existing value in the registry to "overwrite". Imagine somebody writing a "fuzzer" to go over every single value in HKLM and write back gibberish for every value it finds. The original application will now too see this gibberish instead of the original good values.

Time will tell whether virtualizing based on user and not application will create more havoc than do good. Because thanks to UAC malware needs no extra rights to botch up your registry...

Update Yes, sure, you can turn off this virtualization. Check out the blog entry User Account Control Windows Vista Policies.

Categories: Longhorn | Security
Thursday, 11 May 2006 14:42:03 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


#  Friday, 05 May 2006

Next week, I am doing the first in a series of security on-site briefings for Microsoft Austria. Mario has blogged about our TTT event in two entries Security Technical Briefings - Train-The-Trainer... a looong evening (Part 1) and Security Technical Briefings - Part 2. Thanks to the workshop character, no two briefings will be alike.

Friday, 05 May 2006 08:41:52 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


#  Thursday, 04 May 2006

The process of threat modeling is built on a simple principle: To build a feasibly secure system, one must understand all the threats in that system. The challenge, however, is in making threat modeling more accessible to non-specialists. Microsoft has developed a process through which minimal input can produce a feature-rich threat model that identifies a wide range of critical information including contextual threats, trust boundaries, fracture points, attack surfaces, and direct and transitive access control. This podcast describes and demonstrates this threat modeling process, outlines its benefits, and shows how threat modeling fits into the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle.

Download & Listen

Categories: Security
Thursday, 04 May 2006 10:28:20 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


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