Close Window


A Monthly Newsletter – April 2004

We hope your taxes are done so that you can breathe easier now and take in this month's VanDyke Software News. In case you have a hard time keeping up with the breakneck pace of innovation, here's your chance to get acquainted with Activator, a SecureCRT® feature dating to version 3.0 that you might not be aware of. We report on Secure Shell-related events at Connectathon 2004, and summarize the enticing discussions in our online forums, hoping to lure you into participating or at least lurking. Another news item is an interesting study on the impact of security problems on public companies.


1. Feature – End Desktop and Taskbar Clutter with Activator
2. Activity Report – Online Forum
3. News – Connectathon 2004
4. News – IW Article On The Cost Of Security Breaches
5. New Releases
6. Current Releases

1. Feature – End Desktop and Taskbar Clutter with Activator

Techies everywhere have their favorite SecureCRT and CRT™ features: the Keyboard Editor, scripting, passthrough printing and the ALT+ENTER hotkey (it makes Windows look like a full-screen UNIX terminal window) have each gotten their own raves from happy users. A recent comment about the Activator in the VanDyke Software online forum brought it to mind as a capability that shouldn't be overlooked.

It's possible to miss Activator; it's off by default, since it changes the window behavior of SecureCRT (CRT also includes Activator). The Activator is an option available since version 3.0 that allows minimizing specific sessions or all sessions to the system tray instead of inscrutable buttons on the Windows taskbar. Originally intended to help eliminate unnecessary SecureCRT windows with port forwarding, the Activator is also a general session management tool. The Activator tray menu gives you access to the SecureCRT Connect dialog, even if no SecureCRT windows are in use.

To enable Activator for all sessions, go to the Options menu and select Global Options. Then, on the Options category, check the box labeled "Minimize to Activator in the system tray". To use Activator only for specific sessions, select it on the Options category of the Session Options dialog. Once you enable Activator, whenever an open session is minimized, SecureCRT places an Activator icon in the system tray at the right end of the taskbar area (assuming you haven't moved the standard taskbar location). Right-click on the icon and the menu gives access to several open sessions. If you have too many sessions running to fit on the menu, the Sessions dialog shows all open sessions.

Simple but very handy. Occasionally, we run across someone who uses Activator to keep dozens (really!) of sessions open, usually to monitor different servers and system resources. Whether you run dozens of sessions or just a few, try Activator – it takes the hassle out of managing SecureCRT windows.

Read more about Activator at:

2. Activity Report – Online Forum

The VanDyke Software online forums are really happening. There are over 140 participants voting in polls, requesting features, and debating implementations.

We are conducting a number of polls to find out about your needs and what new features and platforms you want to see in VShell™, SecureCRT, and SecureFX®.

Here are some of the polls you might want to participate in. Your feedback will really make a difference – so cast your vote today!

1. Pick your favorite SecureCRT and SecureFX features. Here is your chance to vote on which requested features you'd like like to see in upcoming releases.

2. What new platforms are you interested in for SecureCRT? Linux and Mac OS X are almost tied for first place, followed by Palm OS, Pocket PC, and UNIX. Which OS would make your life perfect?

3. SecureCRT: Is it time to drop SSH1 support? Thirty-eight percent are saying they've stopped using SSH1. Forty-six percent say they'll still be using SSH1 in 2005. How does SSH1 fit into your IT strategy?

4. Are you using SOCKS? Eighty percent are saying they never use SOCKS. We're trying to find out if there's interest in our client and server products including more integrated SOCKS support. Is this something you need?

5. Position of session tabs in SecureCRT. Should they be on the top, the bottom, or somewhere else?

6. How many sessions do you have in your SecureCRT session database? So far, 40 percent have 10-49. Does this fit with your experience?

7. SecureCRT: Do you use SSH1 and port forwarding?

You don't need to register to read the forums. However, you will need to register to vote in the polls or post to the forum.

3. News – Connectathon 2004

It was a successful year at Connectathon 2004. VanDyke Software, Sun Microsystems, F-Secure, and SSH Communications were all present at this industry work fest, held February 19-26 in San Jose, California. Connectathon is a rare opportunity for software developers to sit in the same room together and test interoperability of their software, in this case, of Secure Shell implementations.

The Secure Shell participants would all probably agree that this year at Connectathon was the "Year of GSSAPI". Everyone made good progress testing their implementations of the latest draft of "GSSAPI Authentication and Key Exchange for Secure Shell". To read the draft go to:

Also, the time we spent face to face with the other vendors helped us exercise aspects of our implementation of the "Secure Shell Authentication Agent Protocol". As a result, we were able to find and fix several bugs in our SSH agent support. Our SSH agent now interoperates better with other vendors.

The consensus was that Connectathon 2004 was a productive event, and we all left hoping to see testing for Secure Shell increased at Connectathon next year.

4. News – IW Article On The Cost Of Security Breaches

Who hasn't struggled to decide where to focus infosecurity resources? Some help arrives from a different quarter in a recent study on the impact of security breaches, reported by Martin Loeb of Information Week in his article "Cybercrimes' True Price". SANS NewsBites commented that this could be a "landmark study" in raising business awareness of the problem. The results could be useful if you need executive support to increase safeguards of your confidential data.

The study looked at the impact of computer security breaches on public company stock prices. Stock value was viewed as reflecting both direct and indirect costs to a business. Loeb, who participated in the University of Maryland study, writes that they found that "most cybercrimes didn't have a significant effect on the market value of those companies". However, those involving confidentiality of data affected stock valuations by an average of over five percent. "If there is a perception that a business can't safeguard its confidential data, it can send investors running for the exits". The study implies that insuring confidentiality should be a top priority.

To read the complete article visit the Information Week web site:

We learned about this article from the weekly SANS NewsBites e-mail. To subscribe to SANS NewsBites, go to:

5. New Releases

Maintenance updates of official releases were made in April 2004 to VShell 2.2.6, SecureCRT 4.1.4, SecureFX 2.2.4, CRT 4.1.4, and AbsoluteFTP® 2.2.4.

The beta 4 release for VShell 2.3 is now available introducing SFTP virtual directories, download triggers, and the vsftp client, an interactive SFTP command-line utility for secure file transfers.

You can download new and previous releases at:

5. Current Releases

The following lists the latest official product releases:

SecureCRT 4.1.4
SecureFX 2.2.4
Entunnel 1.1.1
CRT 4.1.4
AbsoluteFTP 2.2.4
VShell 2.2.6 Server for Windows
VShell 2.2.6 Server for UNIX
    Red Hat Linux 7.x
    Red Hat Linux 8.x
    Red Hat Linux 9.x
    Red Hat Enterprise v2.1/v3
    Solaris 8
    FreeBSD 4.8
    HP-UX 11
    Mac OS X 10.2
    AIX 4.3/5.2

To download any of our current releases, go to:

All VanDyke Software products may be downloaded and evaluated at no cost for 30 days. Licenses include one year of free upgrades and unlimited access to our expert technical support.

Pass it along! If you find this monthly newsletter helpful and informative, forward it to co-workers or friends, or tell them where to sign up.

Subscription Information

The above e-mail is intended for people who have opted to receive VanDyke Software News from VanDyke Software. If you prefer not to receive e-mail like this from us, or if you have received this e-mail in error, you can unsubscribe or change your e-mail address at:

Mailing Address

  VanDyke Software, Inc.
  4848 Tramway Ridge Drive, NE
  Suite 101
  Albuquerque, NM 87111 USA


VanDyke Software, AbsoluteFTP, CRT, Entunnel, SecureCRT, SecureFX, and VShell are trademarks or registered trademarks of VanDyke Software, Inc.

All other products and services mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Close Window