12 November 1998

Question & Answer Sessions

Web-based DNS management tools? Preferably free?

There's a few perl things, but they're not scalable. (Not good for ISP use.) Steve Yorick may have something, or write in-house. Troy may have seen something, but he can't recall the name. It would be nice if it was bulletproof enough for clients to edit. If you know of anything, contact Ivars (

NT versus unix as a platform for running a firewall?

NT isn't really up to the challenge. It'll take twice the horsepower to do what a unix box will do. Also, you can't strip an NT box down enough to have a safe system, versus running a unix box with a minimum of services.

NT will crash more often than a unix box.

NT is easy to set up, but it's ease of use is bought at the expense of reliability and robostness.

CORBA: is it a 300-ton solution in search of a problem? What good is it, really?

It is, at least, a concensus standard. There's little experience among those sitting in the room. It's worth looking at further, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

What sort of interconnectivity are web sites with multiple servers using? Do they share a DB or have separate DB's, what physical connection, etc.?

Heavy processors (e.g. SGI Origin 2000's, Sequent's ) for the really heavy traffic sites. 100 megabit switch connecting the boxes.

netstat equivalent for WinNT?

There _should_ be a netstat.exe on the box. MKS toolkit may have something. Check the SDK's on for a better version.

Kick-ass server case needed. Got sources? (It's for a RAID box.) How about really nice desktop cases?

See what and see what sort of cases they're tracking.

Diamond(?) has a wireless connectivity kit (LanStar?); has anyone heard anything about it? Is there non-DOS support for it?

Someone said it works great if you have high visibility and under 100 ft. Could be fun to play with. Steve Yorick has played with a few similar widgets and likes the BreezeComm offering. Troy will post more as he learns more.

Reconciling firewalls and dial-in use; how common is it to put the dial-in outside the firewall?

No one here has set up a system like this. Callback modems are a possibility, but not always practical (e.g. travelling staff at a hotel). Use a challenge-response system instead. Think about using OPIE.

Any good tools for RADIUS accounting? Something under $10,000?

Pay the money for a good commercial package. Or try the one Ivars is using.


SANS '98 -- Scott Vowels talks about this year's conference.

Intrusion Detection was the hot topic this year.

Attendees were less friendly than you'd expect at a computer conference. Almost like they were suspicious of everyone that talked to them.

Some of the presentations tended to be a little over the heads of the people attending them, but much of it was interesting.

Lots of statistics being quoted, but no one wants to talk able where they're getting their statistics from.

Common complaint: it's hard to get management to take this seriously until there's a significant intrusion.

Discussion followed on personal experiences with intrusions. Session highjacking is an interesting attack that's hard to defend against (strong encryption is about it). ssh is your friend. Strong, end-to-end encryption.

Rumor & Innuendo (No names, please)

Microsoft Networking: who's computer do you want to visit today?

Uwin is an interesting offering for "unix on top of Windows."

NT5 will not support the Alpha, officially. But many of the developers are using Alpha's and are required to make sure their code compiles cleanly on the Alpha.

Arbor Brewing Co. goes to a very limited menu at 22:00.

[ Return to the SEMiSLUG minutes page ]