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A Monthly Newsletter – August 2008

Here we are, back from the summer break, full of good news. We hope your family reunion, tropical vacation, road trip, or comic book convention was everything you wanted it to be. While you were at the beach, our programmers delivered the official version 3.5 of the VShell® server and wrapped up the 6.1 official releases of the SecureCRT® and SecureFX® clients, as well as the VanDyke ClientPack. So, it's time for you to try out the latest features. We'll try to help get you started with an overview of the new VShell FTPS module. Speaking of helping out, our Customer Support Group is developing a great resource called "Scripting Essentials". The first installment this month covers the basics of creating scripts, step by step. Call it our gift to your productivity.


1. VShell 3.5 Server: Double Your File Transfer Pleasure
2. SecureCRT 6.1, SecureFX 6.1 Clients Now In Official Release
3. Overview Of FTPS/FTP Over SSL In VShell 3.5 Server
4. Scripting Essentials: Creating Scripts
5. Dubin Updates "The Little Black Book Of Computer Security"
6. New and Current Releases

Online Resources

VShell 3.5 Server: Double Your File Transfer Pleasure

The VShell 3.5 server, now in official release, doubles your options for secure file transfer with FTP over SSL (FTPS). Along with the new protocol, we augmented the log file with W3C format support, added a VShell-specific user database, and gave you more fine-grained control with a RunAs option and session kills using "who". Also the server Control Panel interface has been updated to smooth your configuration path.

FTP over SSL is delivered in three new editions with an add-on module to secure FTP with SSL/TLS-based encryption. The FTPS module honors existing VShell settings for Virtual Roots, Access Control Lists, Connection Filters, Triggers, Deny Host, Logging, and User Database. You'll find much more on FTPS in the overview below.

Several logging enhancements are included in this release of VShell. First, a new W3C extended log file format allows the use of third party log tools to quickly determine critical VShell activity. Next, log messages can now be sent to remote syslog or syslog-ng servers. Finally, all VShell log messages can now optionally be sent to the Windows Event Log.

Network administrators can now configure VShell-specific users through the new User Database page on the Control Panel. These users are separate from Windows System accounts. For further control, admins can also use the "who" command-line utility to disconnect active sessions. The "who" utility reports on both VShell SSH2 and VShell FTPS connections.

With the new RunAs option, users connecting to VShell can remotely execute commands as a different user. The admin controls who can remotely execute a command as a different user, which commands they can execute, and as which user the commands are executed.

You can download the VShell 3.5 server here.

For more information on the version 3.5, please visit the VShell product page.

2. SecureCRT 6.1, SecureFX 6.1 Clients Now In Official Release

The official releases of the new SecureCRT 6.1 and SecureFX 6.1 applications are now available. Both clients share a new search feature that locates sessions in the Connect dialog. You can search on a session name, hostname, folder name, or keyword. Beyond that, SecureCRT refines tab-based session management with new commands to disconnect and reconnect tabs. Automation refinements abound, whether to run remote commands when you connect a new session, to simplify keyboard-interactive authentication, or to improve application control and error handling in ActiveX scripting. New example scripts are included in this release to help you get started.

With SecureFX 6.1, you can save, recall, and modify multiple synchronization configurations just like sessions. The SFXCL utility exploits the synchronization enhancements to allow automating file synchronization. New context menu items support easy navigation to frequently used folders: back, forward, parent, home, root, and current local Explorer folder.

Visit our website to try the latest SecureCRT 6.1 and SecureFX 6.1 releases.

For more information on the SecureCRT 6.1 and SecureFX 6.1 releases, visit the product pages.

3. Overview Of FTPS/FTP Over SSL In VShell 3.5 Server

Beginning with the new version 3.5, the VShell server is available in three new editions that add FTP over SSL to the choice of secure file transfer protocols. To explain these and other topics, we have published an in-depth look at how VShell with FTPS operates. The new FTPS module employs many existing VShell server configuration settings, with other settings that are particular to VShell with FTPS. Two key steps for the FTPS version are choosing implicit and explicit listening addresses, and defining the certificate used by the server.

To read the FTPS overview, visit the online support section.

Download and evaluate the new FTPS capability today.

4. Scripting Essentials: Creating Scripts

The Scripting Corner has been a popular section through many issues. However, we have always known that it took an advanced user to write scripts. Thus we are excited to preview the first installment of a series of articles on scripting that will enable less experienced users to benefit from scripts. "Creating Scripts" starts by explaining programming basics such as headers, subroutines, and functions, then shows how to use the Script Recorder to produce a basic script. After that, you move on to modifying recorded scripts and extending existing sample scripts. The latest version of SecureCRT 6.1 also provides new example scripts that you can refer to as you read the tutorial.

We invite you to review this tutorial, put it to use, then tell us what works for you and what you would like us to add.

Send your feedback to with the subject heading "Scripting Essentials".

Read the complete "Scripting Essentials: Creating Scripts" on the VanDyke Software website.

5. Dubin Updates "The Little Black Book Of Computer Security"

"The Little Black Book Of Computer Security" has appeared in a second edition, as reviewed in M. E. Kabay's June 2008 Network World piece. He reports that the revised edition has grown to over two hundred pages with three new chapters: compliance and auditing, awareness training, and encryption simply explained.

Author Joe Dubin makes recommendations on internet security threats, securing mobile and wireless devices, identity theft, and Web 2.0 issues. The book also includes fresh links to important security resources.

The "The Little Black Book Of Computer Security" is published by 29th Street Press.

Read the Network World review here.

6. New And Current Releases

VShell 3.5 official delivers three new editions that protect your FTP transfers with FTP over SSL. Also new are a Control Panel makeover, additional logging enhancements including W3C extended log file format, an internal user database, and a new remote exec RunAs capability.

SecureCRT 6.1, now in official release, extends your ability to customize your workflow and automate routine tasks with new search, session management, and scripting capabilities. You can search from the Connect dialog, disconnect and reconnect all tabbed sessions, and launch a remote command or application when you connect to a session. Scripting enhancements include support for accessing session options, accessing the clipboard, and sending special keys. Additional logon options allow you to save usernames and passwords with keyboard-interactive authentication and to enter Secure Shell logon credentials in the terminal window, making it easier to script logon operations.

The SecureFX 6.1 official version provides faster, simpler ways to keep your sites synchronized, with a synchronize database and the ability to use active sessions for synchronize operations. SecureFX also has session search and saving keyboard-interactive authentication data. New context menu items let you quickly navigate back, forward, to the parent, home, and root folders, as well as the current local Explorer folder.

Here is a list of the latest official product releases:

  SecureCRT 6.1
  SecureFX 6.1
  CRT 6.1
  VanDyke ClientPack 6.1
  VShell 3.5 Server for Windows
  VShell 3.5 Server for UNIX
     Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0
     Solaris 10 (SPARC)
     Solaris 8 (SPARC)
     FreeBSD 6.1 (Intel x86)
     HP-UX 11
     Mac OS X 10.2
     AIX 5.3

All VanDyke Software products may be downloaded and evaluated free for 30 days. Licenses include one year of free upgrades and access to our expert technical support. Licenses for three years of upgrades and support are also available.

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

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