In This Chapter
Port scanning Windows systems
Gleaning Windows information without logging in
Windows 7 security pros and cons
Exploiting Windows vulnerabilities
Minimizing Windows security risks
Microsoft Windows (with such versions as Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows 7) is the most widely used operating system (OS) in the world. It's also the most widely abused. Is this because Microsoft doesn't care as much about security as other OS vendors? The short answer is no. Sure, numerous security flaws were overlooked — especially in the Windows NT days — but Microsoft products are so pervasive throughout today's networks, Microsoft is the easiest vendor to pick on; therefore Microsoft products often end up in the bad guys' crosshairs. The one positive about hackers is that they're driving the requirement for better security!
Many of the security flaws in the headlines aren't new. They're variants of vulnerabilities that have been around for a long time in UNIX and Linux, such as the remote procedure call (RPC) vulnerabilities that the Blaster worm exploited. You've heard the saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." That applies here, too. Most Windows attacks are preventable if the patches are properly applied. Thus, poor security management is often the real reason Windows attacks are successful, yet Microsoft takes the blame and must carry the burden.
In addition to the password attacks I cover in Chapter 7, many other ...