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NEWS YOU CAN USE FROM VANDYKE SOFTWARE®

A Monthly Newsletter – September 2004

So here we are, back after Labor Day, all rested from our fabulous summer vacations, our fading tans glowing in the pale light of the server room monitors. So, all you techno-surfers, it's time to buckle down and rejoin the world of security. Let's start at the top – our biggest news is that significant software upgrades are on the way, and our feature gives you a sneak preview. We'll also speak to the industry's other big story and answer the question "Will Windows XP SP2 break my apps?" Of course, since some of you might be trying to get actual work done, there is a tip for SecureCRT® users on working with the MetaPass digital key manager.

Keep an eye on this newsletter for the latest information throughout the fall.

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Contents
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1. Up Periscope – A Stealth Look At Upcoming Products
2. XP SP2 And VanDyke Product Compatibility
3. Tip – Using The MetaPass USB Password Vault With SecureCRT
4. New Discussion Forums – How Do You Use VanDyke Software?
5. New Releases
6. Current Releases

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1. Feature – Up Periscope – A Stealth Look At Upcoming Products
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The last year hasn't exactly been all quiet on the product front at VanDyke Software, with SecureCRT and CRT™ 4.1, SecureFX® and AbsoluteFTP® 2.2, as well as VShell™ 2.3. But that's not the same kind of excitement we get from a dot-oh release. For those of you who have been lurking since SecureCRT 4.0 came out, big things are definitely on the horizon.

The SecureCRT and SecureFX clients will have major upgrades in beta release later this year. Hallmarks of the 2004 innovation cycle are more productive window management and better client integration, alongside core technology improvements like IPv6 support and a new key exchange algorithm.

Users of both SecureCRT and SecureFX will find everyday use and maintenance easier through common options configuration and single logon capability. Alongside this, one session definition can be shared by SecureCRT and SecureFX for shell and SFTP access.

The most frequently requested feature for SecureCRT has been the ability to run multiple sessions in a single window. Tabbed sessions places all running session windows within one SecureCRT window so you can click on any tab to switch back and forth between sessions. For SecureFX, you will be able to run multiple instances, play sounds to signal connection status and transfer operation, and install to and run from a USB drive.

SecureCRT will also add the ability to create an SFTP session in a new tab. That means if you already have a shell session running on an SSH2 server, you can quickly invoke an SFTP window with no reauthentication. You can use as many tabs as you'd like, and since SecureCRT doesn't create an additional connection, it doesn't impact your concurrent connections quota.

For the expanded upgrade story with screenshots of some of these new features, visit the VanDyke Software web site:

    http://www.vandyke.com/support/tips/upgrade_preview.html

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2. XP SP2 and VanDyke Product Compatibility
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There is hardly a bigger story in software or security this year than the recently released Service Pack 2 upgrade to Microsoft Windows XP. Its coming is hardly a surprise, since rampant security holes have been well documented. SP2 was even described in one article as a "necessary evil" and its security advances as a "Pyrrhic victory." Sounds painful, doesn't it?

Still, most of us will install SP2 and benefit from its many changes including the new firewall – which is turned on by default. And we will wonder whether SP2 creates any issues for our favorite applications like SecureCRT.

The good news is that unless you use port forwarding or remote forwarding, SecureCRT and SecureFX are not likely to be affected by installing SP2. If you forward or tunnel TCP/IP ports like e-mail, an administrator will have to allow SecureCRT traffic through the Windows firewall.

If you are a network administrator with VShell, you will have to add it to the Windows Firewall exceptions. Windows will prompt to do this when an administrator account logs on. If a non-administrative user logs on, this prompt won't happen, so VShell traffic would not be able to get through the firewall until the admin explicitly permits it. This can be done manually if not through the Windows administrator prompt.

Those with further questions about getting specific Secure Shell operations to work through the Windows firewall are invited to contact VanDyke Software Support.

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3. Tip – Using The MetaPass USB Password Vault With SecureCRT
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Short, easily-remembered passwords are easily overcome by dictionary and other brute force attacks. Long passwords using a mixture of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters are far more difficult to break but are just as difficult to remember. MetaPass, a small USB token, uses "One-Click Login™" and provides credential management secured by 448-bit encryption. If you have wanted to use some kind of password management tool but found them cumbersome, MetaPass may be for you.

For instructions on using MetaPass to launch a SecureCRT session with a single click, see this month's tip:

    http://www.vandyke.com/support/tips/metapass.html

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4. New Discussion Forums – How Do You Use VanDyke Software?
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Have you ever wanted to be able to specify a batch file for VSH and VSFTP to automate a connection? Although the ability to specify a batch file is not currently part of VSH or VSFTP, a visit to the VanDyke scripting forum will show you a sample script that gives you an idea of what can be done with VSH and VSFTP when used in a script.

You can find this and other tips and ideas in the new VanDyke discussion forums. Share your know-how, ask a question, or join a discussion today at:

    http://forums.vandyke.com/index.php?

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5. New Releases
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Maintenance updates of official releases were made in late August and early September to SecureCRT 4.1.8, CRT 4.1.8, SecureFX 2.2.7, AbsoluteFTP 2.2.7 and VShell 2.3.2.

You can download new and previous releases at:

  http://www.vandyke.com/download/latestreleases.html

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6. Current Releases
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The following lists the latest official product releases:

The following lists the latest official product releases:
  SecureCRT 4.1.8
  SecureFX 2.2.7
  Entunnel™ 1.1.2
  CRT 4.1.8
  AbsoluteFTP 2.2.7
  VShell 2.3.2 Server for Windows
  VShell 2.3.2 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:

  http://www.vandyke.com/download/latestreleases.html

All VanDyke Software products may be downloaded and evaluated free 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.

     http://www.vandyke.com/support/newsletter.html


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


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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.

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