Gates Highlights Security, Spam in Comdex Keynote

Bill Gates opened Comdex reiterating Microsoft’s security messages and showing publicly for the first time several new security and spam-blocking technologies.

(Las Vegas) Bill Gates opened Comdex with his annual keynote, reiterating some of Microsoft’s messages from recent events and showing publicly for the first time several new security and spam-blocking technologies.

After a quick demonstration of the just-released Systems Management Server 2003’s patching capabilities, Zachary Goot, technical product manager in the Microsoft Security Products Group, gave the first public demonstration of Internet Security & Acceleration Server 2004, Microsoft’s upcoming new release of its firewall and proxy server software.

“This technology augments firewalls that are deployed today, traditional firewalls, by adding application layer security,” Goot said. Showing a new feature called Network Templates, Goot demonstrated how an administrator can drop the firewall activities into a specific place in the network through the use of a wizard. ISA Server automatically detects the internal network IP settings and allows the admin to define the default firewall policies. The wizard generates the rules, which the admin can customize for a specific environment with a context-sensitive drag and drop toolbox that appears at the right side of the screen.

A new feature called HTTP Filter takes advantage of application layer security to detect certain types of traffic – such as a particular type of file download – and stop it while still allowing Web browsing to happen. The filtering blocks activities by evaluating the user-agent header of an HTTP request to identify specific signatures designated by the admin. Goot said the technology could also be used to block Nimda, Code Red and their successors, by identifying their signatures.

[The rest of this article is available on, at—Editor.]

About the Author

Dian L. Schaffhauser is a freelance writer based in Northern California.


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