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Dispelling myths about XP security

Well-known security author and expert Roberta Bragg answers user questions about XP security in this follow-up to her Feb. 14 webcast "XP Security Issues: Myth and Reality." If you missed the live event, be sure to tune into the audio transcript. You can download her presentation from this Best Web Link subcategory.

SearchWin2000: What about the SNMP alarm. How do I protect XP from that?
SNMP is not installed on Windows XP by default. If you must run SNMP on Windows XP, there is now a patch. SearchWin2000: I've heard there is a problem with Telnet. Does this affect XP?
The recent problem has to do with the Telnet server in Windows 2000. This does not affect XP. SearchWin2000: What is the most damaging hole left in WinXP?
I guess if there is a hole left in XP (and no one can ever be sure that there is no hole left in any program), we won't know which is the most damaging . I assume though, that you meant of the currently announced, I'd have to say UPnP, but there is a patch for this, so its not a hole left to plug.

Related links:
Minding XP
Webcast: Implementing a secure ISA 2000 Server SearchWin2000: I downloaded a virus in an MP3 file. It locks up the system (100% kernel processing)whenever the file is accessed, right-clicked or even when I try to remove, delete, pcwipe it, or delete the folder containing it. What can I do?
Are you sure it's a virus? Information from states there are no MP3 viruses. Without knowing your exact error message, it's a little hard for me to guess what is going on. One possibility is that the file is still open. Open files are locked and cannot be deleted. Can you delete the running process using the task window and then delete the file? SearchWin2000: I cannot make a folder offline. Can you help?
Are you using Windows XP Professional? Windows XP Home edition does not support offline folders. A good article on offline folders can be found here. SearchWin2000: After I install anti-virus software, I can no longer see the drives on the machine when I am using the remote desktop. What's up with that?
Some anti-virus vendors' products caused this problem in Windows XP. It is my understanding that those issues have been resolved. If you are still experiencing this problem, check with your anti-virus vendor for an update to their product. SearchWin2000: Do you recommend Domain Users being members of Power Users or just Users?
The Domain Users group is automatically made a member of the Users group on systems that are joined in the domain. This is where it belongs. If some users require the elevated privileges granted to Power Users, then a group should be created to grant them this privilege -- but only on the machine they need it on. SearchWin2000: I can't remotely connect to my home machine over the Internet. I have a DSL connection.
There have been some reports of ISP's blocking the port needed for remote assistance (access to the remote desktop). I do not know if this is true or not. Other issues may have to do with any firewall you have in place at home. You must assure that the port 3389 is open as this is the port used for remote assistance. Some people reporting problems with their ISP modified XP's port use for remote assistance and were then successful. You can read how to do this, and about another remote assistance connection issue in the following Q articles (Q304304, Q306759, Q307711).

For information on the aspects of managing remote assistance at the corporate level (and some good info on firewall configuration check out this link. SearchWin2000:Does XP use Kerberos?
If XP is joined in a Windows 2000 domain, then yes, it will use Kerberos as the network authentication protocol. SearchWin2000: I want to access information on the university's domain and I am using XP home edition. How can I log onto the domain?
XP home edition cannot be a domain member, therefore you cannot use it to logon to the domain. SearchWin2000: Is it possible to extract the remote desktop component from XP and install it on a Windows 2000 PC?
On Windows 2000 you use Terminal Services, administrative mode. You can use the Windows XP remote desktop client to access Terminal Services. SearchWin2000: You talked about the hundreds of new settings for controlling XP. When I open up Local Security Policy I don't see them. I'm in a workgroup. How do I access them?
The Local Security Policy only contains settings that are part of the security policy. You need to access the administration files or adm folders. To do so, at the Run button type 'gpedit.msc' (without the quotes) and hit enter. This opens up the local group policy for this machine and exposes the user and computer adm configuration files. SearchWin2000: I created a file on XP but I cannot manage the permission on this file. Why?
Are you using the NTFS file system? Is the ownership of the file set to creator or administrator? File permissions cannot be set on FAT or FAT32. Only an administrator, the owner, or someone given the permission setting function can change files permissions. Prior to XP, the creator of a file was its owner, and thus could set permissions. But in XP, the owner of a file can be set to administrator not creator. SearchWin2000: How do I use synchronization for backing up my folder?
I'm assuming you are asking how to use offline folders. This is an excellent way to store another copy of your work on another machine, but it is no substitute for doing data backups. The easiest way to set this up is to share the folder you wish to use in this manner and then configure caching. More information can be found in the Q article 307853. SearchWin2000: I have two questions. First, WinXP backup, ASR does not always ask for an ASR floppy disk to be created each time I run it. Secondly when I attempted to use an ASR floppy on an almost identical system, I got a message stating that stated that the HDD of the new PC was not the same size even though they are identical.
When you run ASR, are you inadvertently selecting some drive other than floppy disk as the place to store the backup file? This is easy to do, especially if you have recently made a backup to disk. Is there already a floppy in the drive?

An ASR disk is meant to be used with the same computer it was generated from. I'm assuming that this error message ended the process. If you do need to build a new machine, there are some steps you can take.

To restore XP to a different computer requires several additional steps. This article details the process.

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