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Sonicwall Packs a Punch...

Okay, I never thought I would be posting this...Let me first say, I LOVE my ASA5505 - without a doubt, one of the coolest little boxes Cisco ever produced.

...but then I saw this little Sonicwall TZ 100, which pretty much does everything the ASA5505 does at a third of the price...and toss in SPAM, content filtering, and unlimited connections? ...uhhh... ASA5505 still looks cooler. AND it's heavier...

Cisco Secure ACS Vulnerability

Cisco has released a Security Advisory regarding a vulnerability that exists in some versions of their Secure ACS software. The vulnerability allows a remote, unauthenticated user to change the password of any user account without knowing the previous password. This doesn't apply to certain accounts such as "off box" authenticated accounts like LDAP or RADIUS. Also, it doesn't affect ACS system admin accounts; only user accounts are affected. However, the risk of someone taking control of an account with level 15 access to a Cisco device warrants fixing this right away.

Affected versions are Cisco Secure ACS version 5.1 with patch 3, 4, or 5 (not patch 6), or Cisco Secure ACS version 5.2 with no patches or patches 1 and 2 (not patch 3).  If you are still running version 4.x, you aren't vulnerable to this attack.

Infoblox offering a Free DNS Book

Want to learn more about DNS? Then pick up this free book from Infoblox while their supplies last. 

DNS on Windows Server 2003 was authored by Matt Larson, Cricket Liu, and Robbie Allen and covers just about everything you need to know to manage DNS on a Windows 2003 server. Granted, most organizations have already retired their 2003 servers for 2008 or another platform, but the content is still fairly relevant and there are chapters that are focused on the technology rather than the operating system specific implementation tasks.

So, what do you have to do to get the book?

Check Point Mobile Access for iPhones, iPads

Are your end users requesting that their iPhones have access to corporate email? Does the guy down the hall keep bugging you to let him VPN in with his Android phone? Did you just get an iPad for your birthday and you are secretly working on a way to use it at work instead of lugging around a laptop? If so, then you aren't alone. Companies around the world are facing a massive trend of end users wanting to bring their own gear to work and access corporate data (i.e. email, internal websites, network shares).  What is an IT implementor to do?

ASA5510 to ASA5505 Easy VPN Server / Client Configuration Sample

A recent configuration of mine...thought I would save the template for
future use. Useful if the ASA5505 has a dynamic IP where you can't build
a typical site-to-site VPN.

Which Cisco Switch to Use...

The latest Cisco Catalyst Switch Guide (Winter 2011) was just posted. Handy to see model numbers / feature sets.

Internet Explorer 9 is here

Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 9. I know this news probably doesn't give most people feelings of intense excitement, but the fact remains IE is still a fairly popular browser. The initial highlights and usage look promising, but only time will tell how much people adopt it. 

Some of the new features include:

  • Pinned Sites -  integration with the Windows 7 taskbar to allow users to pin a website to their taskbar for one click access.
  • Web Standards - HTML5, CSS3, and a lot more.

There is also a new website dedicated to the browser not hosted at -

CCNP ROUTE Practice Questions

If you are looking for some questions to test your knowledge before diving into the CCNP Route exam, Cisco has provided several on their learning network. They clearly identify the questions as not coming from the test bank and that they are only there to help you gauge your readiness. However I for one like to practice as much as possible prior to taking an exam. 

You'll need to login with a CCO account in order to access them. Here's the link to the practice questions: Cisco Learning Network CCNP Route Exam Practice Questions.

CCIE Sample Questions

Ever wonder if you have what it takes to pass the CCIE R&S Written Exam? Well, if you are looking into taking the exam, you have most likely visited Cisco's site dedicated to the cert. However, it's easy to overlook a freebie Cisco gives to potential CCIE exam takers - Free Practice Questions.

There are only a handful of them to give you an idea for the level of difficulty you may encounter on the written exam, but every little bit helps. Here's the link for all who are interested: CCIE Routing and Switching Sample Questions

Console Cable for your iPad and iPhone

It's finally here and may just be that last bit of justification you need to buy an iPad 2. Redpark has released a serial console cable that is Apple certified and will work on Apple IOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad. The console cable sells for $69.00 USD and is available via Redpark's online shopping cart site

Once you get the cable, what good is it to you without a terminal application? Well, if you don't want to jailbreak your device and load a terminal program that way, there is an app called Get Console available in the app store. Their How It Works page is very informative, they even have the following YouTube video to demonstrate how it works:

Cisco Live Twitter Chat with Jeremy

Surprise, surprise! I just found out yesterday that the Cisco Live group has scheduled me for a Twitter chat. Apparently, this has been posted for months...but the notification to me fell through the cracks. I'm such a social networking's this darn-fangled tweeting thing work anyhow?!?

Anyhow, if you'd like to come hang out and chat for an hour, feel free!

Data Loss Prevention on a Budget

Not every company has excess resources to invest in bleeding edge technology for the latest security trends. Companies make hard decisions on whether to spend money on equipment or staff to increase revenues. Supporting their network infrastructure is often a decision made in hindsight.  

Well, for all you network engineers out there working for companies operating on thin margins, here's some info for you. The guys over at ISC have posted an interesting write-up on Data Loss Prevention (DLP) on a shoestring budget. 

CBTNuggets - Cisco TSHOOT…Why So Long?

So here’s the scoop… After taking the Cisco TSHOOT exam a couple months ago, I went to the drawing board to create the CBTNuggets TSHOOT series. I was having quite a bit of trouble trying to figure out how to “teach” someone to troubleshoot since it’s a skill you primarily gain from experience. As I was thinking through it, the word “apprenticeship” came to my mind – if somehow I could get people into my head as I work through troubleshooting problems.

The Intel Thunderbolt Interface

Intel Thunderbolt

Intel has released a new interface connection type for PCs and Macs called Thunderbolt. This new connection is actually a new name for the Light Peak technology Intel released a couple years ago. Thunderbolt has some very shiny specifications, if I do say so myself:

  • Dual-channel 10Gbps support per port (yes, that's both directions)
  • Daisy chained devices
  • Power over cable for bus-powered devices (similar to our trusty USB)
  • Compatible with existing DisplayPort devices (way cool)

What exactly is this dual-channel, 10Gbps technology capable of? According to Intel, you can: 

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by Dr. Radut