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Archive for February, 2009

Commonly used Network security tools

Posted by Ravi shankar on February 24, 2009


Nmap (“Network Mapper”) is a free open source utility for network exploration or security auditing. It was designed to rapidly scan large networks, although it works fine against single hosts. Nmap uses raw IP packets in novel ways to determine what hosts are available on the network, what services (application name and version) those hosts are offering, what operating systems (and OS versions) they are running, what type of packet filters/firewalls are in use, and dozens of other characteristics. Nmap runs on most types of computers and both console and graphical versions are available. Nmap is free and open source.

Domain Information Groper (DIG) Utility

Dig stands for domain information groper and is included with most standard Linux distributions. Dig can be used to query a DNS server for various records such as IP address lookup for an Domain name, finding email and name servers for a domian, reverse DNS lookups, DNS zone transfers etc. Dig is definitely the swiss knife for a DNS hacker.


Netcat is a featured networking utility which reads and writes data across network connections, using the TCP/IP protocol. It is designed to be a reliable “back-end” tool that can be used directly or easily driven by other programs and scripts. At the same time, it is a feature-rich network debugging and exploration tool, since it can create almost any kind of connection you would need and has several interesting built-in capabilities.

Airdecap-ng – Wireless Lan (In) Security:

Airdecap-ng is a tool for decrypting WEP / WPA / WPA2 capture files. WEP/ WPA/ WPA2 are the different encryption algorithms provided by IEEE 802.11 suite of protocols.

From these encryption algorithms, WEP used RC4 stream cipher provided by RSA security. The small IV (Initialization Vector) lengths, weak IVs, direct use of master key in encryption are some of the main problems with WEP. WPA comes with two flavors, RADIUS and PSK. PSK is vulnerable to dictionary attacks.

Airdecap-ng is very handy tool for verifying the WEP key or WPA pass-phrase which is acquired using one of the WEP or WPA cracking tools. (like aircrack-ng, airsnort etc).  It can be also used to strip the wireless header from the wi-fi captured files.


Ngrep strives to provide most of GNU grep’s common features, applying them to the network layer. ngrep is a pcap-aware tool that will allow you to specify extended regular or hexadecimal expressions to match against data payloads of packets. It currently recognizes TCP, UDP and ICMP across Ethernet, PPP, SLIP, FDDI, Token Ring and null interfaces, and understands bpf filter logic in the same fashion as more common packet sniffing tools, such as tcpdump and snoop.


Wireshark (known as Ethereal until a trademark dispute in Summer 2006) is a fantastic open source network protocol analyzer for Unix and Windows. It allows you to examine data from a live network or from a capture file on disk. You can interactively browse the capture data, delving down into just the level of packet detail you need. Wireshark has several powerful features, including a rich display filter language and the ability to view the reconstructed stream of a TCP session. It also supports hundreds of protocols and media types.


NBTscan is a program for scanning IP networks for NetBIOS name information. It sends a NetBIOS status query to each address in supplied range and lists received information in human readable form. For each responded host it lists IP address, NetBIOS computer name, logged-in user name and MAC address.


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Active Directory Replication

Posted by Ravi shankar on February 24, 2009

In Active Directory, replication ensures that any changes made to a domain controller within a domain are replicated to all the other domain controllers in the domain. Active Directory utilizes multimaster replication to replicate changes in the Active Directory data store to the domain controllers. With multimaster replication, domains are considered peers to one another. With Windows Server 2003, the Knowledge Consistency Checker (KCC) is used to create a replication topology of the forest, to ensure that the changes are replicated efficiently to the domain controllers. A replication topology reflects the physical connections utilized by domain controllers to replicate the Active Directory directory to domain controllers in a site, or in different sites. Intra-site replication occurs when the Active Directory directory is replicated within a site. When replication occurs between sites, it is known inter-site replication. Since the bandwidth between sites are typically slow, information on site link objects is utilized to identify the most favourable link that should be used for moving replication data between sites in Active Directory.

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WAN Optimization:

Posted by Ravi shankar on February 24, 2009

WAN optimization will accelerate a broad range of application accessed by distributed users with the techniques of eliminating the redundant data transmission, stores data in local cache, compression and prioritizing data and streamlining chatty protocols.

Component techniques of WAN optimization:
WAFS: Wide Area File Services, CIFS Proxy, HTTPS Proxy , Media Multicasting, Web Caching and bandwidth management.

Description of WAN Optimization Techniques:

Compression:        Relies on data pattern that can be represented more efficiently.
Caching/Proxy:        Relies on the human behavior, accessing the same data over and over.
Protocol Spoofing:    BUndles multiple request from chatty application into one.
Traffic Shaping:    Control data usage based on spotting specific pattern in the data and allowing and disallowing specific traffic.
Equalizing:        Makes assumption on what needs immediate priority based on data usage.
Connection Limits:    Prevents access gridlock in router and access points due to denial of serviceor peer to peer.
Simple Rate Limits:    Prevents one user from getting more than a fixed amount of data.

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What is Microsoft Office SharePoint Server?

Posted by Ravi shankar on February 15, 2009

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is a new server program that is part of the 2007 Microsoft Office system. Your organization can use Office SharePoint Server 2007 to facilitate collaboration, provide content management features, implement business processes, and supply access to information that is essential to organizational goals and processes.

You can quickly create SharePoint sites that support specific content publishing, content management, records management, or business intelligence needs. You can also conduct effective searches for people, documents, and data, participate in forms-driven business processes, and access and analyze large amounts of business data.

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Cisco Application Networking to Microsoft SharePoint

Posted by Ravi shankar on February 15, 2009

Cisco Application Networking for Microsoft SharePoint Solutions combines the Cisco ACE and WAAS products with the Microsoft SharePoint architecture to provide optimized availability, performance, security, and cost of ownership.


Microsoft SharePoint Application Availability:

* Cross Data center load balancing: Efficiently routes the end user and web request to the best available data center
* Server Load Balancing: Efficiently routes the request to the best available server
* Application health monitoring: Continuously monitors application and database availability
* Network platform health monitoring: Helps ensure continuity of business operations through mirroring of end-user transaction states across pairs of network devices

Microsoft SharePoint Application Performance:

* Cisco ACE and WAAS application optimization services for high performance:

WAN optimization: Provides intelligent caching, compression, and protocol optimization. This brings in faster download, faster site navigation and reduce bandwidth utilization

* Server offloading: Specialized hardware that offers greater processing efficiency for application optimization services thus frees up application server processing up-to 70%

Microsoft SharePoint Application Security

Cisco ACE application optimization services for optimized data security:

* SSL termination: Efficiently encrypts and decrypts SSL-enabled traffic, which facilitates the use of intrusion detection and prevention solutions before traffic reaches the servers, reduces server CPU usage, and centralizes certificate management

* End-user access control: Provides access control lists (ACLs) to protect client-to-server traffic from worms and intruders that attack vulnerable open server ports not used by the application

* XML firewall: Examines SOA Web services requests for compliance to schemas and protects against identity, message-format, and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks

Microsoft SharePoint Ownership Cost

Cisco Application Networking for Microsoft SharePoint Solutions reduces application capital and operational costs through:

* Server cost reduction: Offloading of application optimization services

* Networking cost reduction: Virtualization of application optimization services supplies such services for multiple Microsoft SharePoint solutions as well as other enterprise applications

* Operating cost reduction: Application optimization services reduce operating costs

Microsoft SharePoint with Cisco ACE:

Microsoft server 2003 provides software based server load balancing and SSL Termination.  Cisco ACE can offer high performance to these application optimization services along with the application health monitoring, end user access control and TCP connection management.

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Cisco Application Networking

Posted by Ravi shankar on February 15, 2009

Cisco Services for Application Networking Services (ANS) help you prepare for a service-oriented architecture, build an end-to-end application delivery network, and protect and optimize your Cisco ANS solution. These services can help you create and maintain an ANS solution that accelerates, secures and increases the availability of your business critical applications.

Featured Products

Cisco ANS enables the application delivery network in both the data center and the branch office. These products help customers take advantage of consolidated network, server, and storage capabilities without sacrificing performance or functionality. By virtualizing these components, Cisco can help customers roll out applications faster and even host applications locally in the branch.

Cisco Application Control Engine (ACE):

This next-generation load-balancing and application-delivery solution increases availability, performance, and protection of essential business applications.

Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WASS):

Accelerate the delivery of centralized applications to branch offices and remote users while providing application hosting for such applications as Windows Server 2008.

Cisco ACNS for Digital Media:

Deploy video applications to your branch offices.

Application Networking Solution:

Cisco and Microsoft:

For network optimization of Microsoft applications and platforms, Cisco solutions provide:

* Faster downloads and site navigation
* Less bandwidth and server processing
* Greater security and availability

For branch optimization, Windows Server on WAAS, a joint Cisco and Microsoft program, reduces the cost and complexity of supporting branch office IT operations by integrating local Windows services on the Cisco WAN optimization platform.

Cisco and IBM:

Cisco and IBM are empowering businesses with the tools and technologies to optimize application availability, performance, and security and to reduce application ownership costs.

The alliance between Cisco and IBM delivers a shared strategy of integrated solutions, technologies, and products to help customers achieve productivity, IT improvement, and business-resilience objectives. IBM and Cisco alliance solutions are built on open standards, enabling communication across systems for faster deployment of applications in the areas of wireless, security, file management and storage, and WAN optimization

Cisco and VMware:

Get the tools and technologies to:

* Optimize and virtualizes application availability, performance, and security
* Reduce application ownership costs

The alliance between Cisco and VMware delivers a shared strategy of integrated solutions, services, and products to help you maximize assets through virtualization.

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Microsoft SharePoint with Cisco ACE

Posted by Ravi shankar on February 15, 2009

Due to large scale end user, the Microsoft needs solution for server load balancing. Microsoft Server 2003 software provides with server load balancing and SSL termination.
However Cisco ACE can offer higher performance for these two applications along with end user access control, server health monitoring and TCP connection management.

Virtualization within Cisco ACE allows the single active-active pair of Cisco ACE product to serve multiple Microsoft SharePoint application as well as other Microsoft and non-Microsoft enterprise application. Additional virtual context can be used along with the Cisco ACE deployed in the data center to accommodate new Microsoft SharePoint application without need to order and configure additional equipment.

Cisco ACE virtualized context can be combined with Cisco ACE Role Based Access control (RBAC), which constrains the commands and action for unique application, database, security and system management administration. Cisco ACE comes repacked with number of predefined roles, others can be customized.

Cisco ACE provides server load balancing session for SharePoint through the source IP methodology. Cisco ACE can decrypt the SSL traffic for intrusion detection and prevention and then can encrypt traffic to the server.

When Cisco ACE is combined with the SharePoint, significant server processing reduction was found.

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Microsoft SharePoint with Cisco WASS

Posted by Ravi shankar on February 15, 2009

When a service is requested by the remote user, the transaction is travelled over the wan and introduces network delay that slows end user performance. When the network delay is because of overburdened bandwidth, distance of user to server, or a high number of steps to complete a transaction, end user performance and bandwidth utilization improvement can be achieved by the Cisco WASS technologies such as Data redundancy elimination (DRE), TCP flow optimization (TFO) and compression.

Cisco WASS is combined with Microsoft SharePoint gives significant round-trip time (RTT) and bandwidth reduction.

Data center Application optimization services:

From User to Server:

Application Services are Data center and server load balancing, Server Health monitoring, SSL decryption, TCP congestion consolidation, Security access control

From server to user:

Application services are Caching, Compression, Protocol Optimization, SSL encryption

Posted in Cisco, Microsoft, SharePoint | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Cisco WASS software 4.0 optimizations for Microsoft SharePoint

Posted by Ravi shankar on February 15, 2009

Cisco WASS 4.0 is application acceleration and WAN optimization product that provides compliance with the packet network functions through transparency and network integration.

These tools are necessary to consolidate costly remote-office infrastructure and improve the performance of application and services that run over WAN.

Solution includes array of technologies and features:

* Compression:         To minimize the amount of bandwidth consumed on the link during the transfer

* Data Suppression:    Suppression of transmission of data that has been previously seen

* Flow Optimization:    Mitigation of the performance and efficiency limitation of commonly used transport protocol such as TCP through the use of WAN optimized transport protocol

* Application Proxy:    Transparent and non-transparent proxy that understands application messaging so that unnecessary messages are suppressed handled locally, bundled, predicted, and forwarded to originating server. It is used to overcome the application latency.

* Application caching:    local repository for application specific information, serve validated content when requested by an authorized user.

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Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server SPS2003

Posted by Ravi shankar on February 15, 2009

Microsoft SharePoint is available either as Windows SharePoint Services, which facilities creation of team-oriented collaboration sites, or Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server which servers a secure enterprise portal site.

SharePoint Portal Server 2003 integrates information from various systems into one secure solution through single sign-on and enterprise application integration capabilities. It provides deployment and management tools and facilitate end-to-end collaboration through data aggregation, organization, searching.
SharePoint portal server is built on Windows SharePoint Services. SharePoint Portal Server 2003 extends the capabilities of Windows SharePoint services by providing tools for SharePoint sites and allowing teams to publish information to entire organization.

SharePoint provides the document work spaces sites and Meeting workspace sites.

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