Mission Critical Windows 2000 (P2)

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Just a few short years ago, no one could have foreseen the huge impact that the personal computer would have on the working lives of so many people. Idling on the desk of millions of office workers around the world is a tireless instrument that extends and facilitates our ability to deliver work. Today, the personal computer and the operating systems that run it are as ubiquitous as the car, with which it shares several powerful characteristics. The modern car comes with a surfeit of features—sleek lines, aggressive low-cut features, and a powerful engine—all intended to tempt the buyer. But,...

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  1. Introduction Just a few short years ago, no one could have foreseen the huge impact that the personal computer would have on the working lives of so many people. Idling on the desk of millions of office workers around the world is a tireless instrument that extends and facilitates our ability to deliver work. Today, the personal computer and the operating systems that run it are as ubiquitous as the car, with which it shares several pow- erful characteristics. The modern car comes with a surfeit of features—sleek lines, aggressive low-cut features, and a powerful engine—all intended to tempt the buyer. But, it is the road that the car travels along that makes it truly productive. Without the road, the modern car would be sleek, beautiful, and useless. Windows 2000 Professional and most other modern personal operating systems are armed with the same sleek lines, powerful engines, and aggressive features as the modern car. To guide operating systems such as Windows 2000 Professional down the road of increased productivity, flexibility, and reliability, a robust and mission-critical server operating system infrastructure is required—an operating system infrastructure like Windows 2000 Server. A significant portion of the design objectives for the Windows 2000 development team was to ensure that Windows 2000 Server was the most efficient, scalable, and reliable Microsoft operating system for the enterprise. Complex decision-making issues that arose during the design of Windows 2000 Server were handled with ruthless efficiency. If a choice arose between compatibility and stability, it was ruled as no competition—stability won every time. That has left us with an oper- xxxi
  2. xxxii Introduction ating system that has gone through one of the most rigorous testing cycles in operating system history. Compound this with the involve- ment of some of the best minds in the computing business, and you have a network operating system that can only be described as a winner. What does Windows 2000 Server signify to information tech- nology professionals? It means an exciting opportunity to learn new skills, provide better services, and enhance productivity (and to use cool-sounding words like ADSI and Kerberos). Windows 2000 Server ushers in a bevy of features that leverage best-of-breed technology sets. This is not technology for technology’s sake, but a technical architecture geared toward providing an infrastructure based on delivery. Even on first appearances, it is obvious that Windows 2000 Server is a vastly complex operating system. With functionality liter- ally bursting from the seams, it creates the dual opportunity for success and failure. The correctly prepared professional who under- stands the nature and complexities of Windows 2000 Server can provide an outstanding infrastructure based on its reliable, exten- sible, and flexible feature set. Those unprepared for managing and working with a product as far-reaching and complex as Windows 2000 Server should prepare for a good deal of confusion and reac- tive problem solving. Windows 2000 Server is the next-generation operating system from Microsoft that not only replaces, but also revolutionizes the network operating system product space that Windows NT 4 Server occupied. With adequate preparation, appreciable benefits can be realized by all information technology professionals, from the Dilbert-style network manager, to the technical developer who sits in a lotus position chanting C++ mantras. But, more importantly, your clients—the users—will be able to reap the rewards that go hand in hand with Windows 2000 Server. Mission-Critical Windows—A Contradiction in Terms? Rightly or wrongly, Microsoft has been soundly chastised on more than one occasion for supplying server-based operating systems that fail ungracefully under pressure. Mention Windows and Mission Critical in the same sentence, and most people are likely to www.syngress.com
  3. Introduction xxxiii choke on their coffee. In the last 10 years, mainframes and several flavors of UNIX have been the first choice for providing mission-crit- ical services, and for very good reasons. The message chanted by hardware and software vendors alike was, “Don’t use Microsoft for anything that just can’t go down”—a statement that most times I would have agreed with. Windows 2000 Server has changed all of that. The Windows 2000 product group represents the largest and most technically advanced body of work undertaken by the most successful software company in the world. It is considered by many to be the single most important milestone in the evolutionary devel- opment of the Windows family. By providing a computing platform that offers stability, high productivity, and compatibility, Microsoft is extending its software presence even further into the server space. The deluge of complaints that Microsoft has received (not to mention the battering suffered at the hands of the press) regarding its server-based operating systems has ensured that the Windows 2000 core services are built around a reliable and scalable architec- ture. Don’t get me wrong, blue screens of death are not a thing of the past, nor have required reboots been relegated to the dust pile of Windows anachronisms. What has changed is the refocus on sta- bility and on user requirements. I am not alone in wanting 99.999% uptime, scalable directory services, and a secure computing platform. Windows NT went some way to addressing all of those concerns, but not nearly far enough. Mission critical means different things to different organizations—to supermarkets, point-of-sale systems are mission critical; to e-busi- nesses, Web farms are mission critical. The common thread that runs through these disparate businesses is the requirement to provide a stable, supporting infrastructure that technologically enables mission-critical business services—a requirement to which Windows 2000 Server provides an almost unbeatable solution. That’s the good news. The bad news is that you need more than a superficial level of understanding of your network operating system, you need to get your hands dirty with the real technical nuts and bolts. This book is aimed at ensuring that your hands never look the same again! www.syngress.com
  4. xxxiv Introduction Who Should Read This Book? If you work with Windows 2000 Server, or are planning to, then this book will be of use to you. It is not meant to be light bedtime reading, but an exploration of the more technical issues of Windows 2000 Server. I recommend that you gain some familiarity with Windows 2000 Server concepts before reading this book (though it is not entirely necessary, since most chapters have introductory material), and that you understand general networking and oper- ating system concepts. Don’t let that scare you though—you don’t need a degree in Quantum Physics, or need to own a personalized pocket protector to derive value from this book. What you do need is a will to get involved with the most exciting development in oper- ating systems in the new millennium. Windows 2000 Server is not a lightweight operating system. As users have become more demanding, there has been an associated increase in the complexity of the supporting technical infrastruc- ture. But even among scary-sounding Windows 2000 Server acronyms like FSMO, SDOU, and LDAP, you will find concepts such as ease of use, security, and decreased support overhead. These are certainly concepts that most people can identify with, and if you do, then you want to understand the contents of this book. How This Book Is Organized When I was initially putting together the outline for this book, I realized that it would be impossible to cover all the technology sets in as great a detail as I would have liked—not unless I was prepared to have a book published that no one was physically able to pick up! As a result, certain features of Windows 2000 Server have received greater coverage than others. Core Windows 2000 Server features like Active Directory, IntelliMirror, network services, and security rightfully receive the lion’s share of the coverage. For relative newcomers to Windows 2000 Server, I recommend that you read the chapters in the order presented in the book. Not all chapters are freestanding, and certain chapters should be grouped together around the core Windows 2000 Server features I have mentioned. For those of you looking for particular technical information, or those who need no introduction to Windows 2000 Server, feel free to page through and use this book as a technical reference. Hopefully, within no time your copy of Mission-Critical www.syngress.com
  5. Introduction xxxv Windows 2000 Server will take on the appearance of a truly useful book—in other words dog-eared and discolored, with a fair amount of pencil work in the margins! Acknowledgments There are a number of people I must thank; some of them provided invaluable help in writing this book, while others taught me many of the things worth knowing in life. Thanks go to Sonia Barrett, for teaching me to laugh, to smile, and to appreciate real music. To Ray Walshaw, for gifting me with confidence and teaching me the courage of my convictions. Martin Walshaw—big brothers just don’t come any better. Costas Kellas, for starting me down the road. The lads from the valley—Uruman Gwuafi, Alex Harris, David Ker, Sean Disney—thanks for teaching me that no mountain is too high—liter- ally. Andrew Williams and Syngress, for being all the things a good publisher should be. D. Lynn White, for a great job of technical editing this back breaker. My last and most important acknowledgment goes to the person who brings the light into my life. Natalie—thank you for helping me climb mountains, write books, sleep late, and most of all for being my wife—this book is yours as much as mine. Just you know why. www.syngress.com
  6. Chapter 1 Introduction to Windows 2000 Server Solutions in this chapter: s What’s New in Windows 2000 Server? s What’s Not New in Windows 2000 Server? s Windows 2000 Challenges 1
  7. 2 Chapter 1 • Introduction to Windows 2000 Server Introduction Significant changes in the way that computers are used in the workplace have heralded an increased focus on issues such as security, manage- ability, scalability, and reliability. The use of information technology has ushered in an era characterized by high availability, high productivity, and increased support levels. Unfortunately, the burden of responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the IT professional to ensure that the infras- tructure meets the requirements of the modern demanding user. It is no great secret, or surprise, that legacy technologies are beginning to creak under the strain of ever-increasing user requirements, stability initiatives, and management drives to lower the cost of ownership. A new technology set was needed to provide services that existing operating sys- tems could not. Microsoft itself was guilty of a lack of technical delivery with glaring omissions in the Windows NT 4 technical strategy that included the lack of a perceived stable mission-critical server platform and the absence of a cohesive infrastructure to manage configuration changes. With a vision of providing an operating system for the future, Microsoft began development on its most ambitious project to date: Windows 2000. The aims of the design team, though simple in theory, proved to be much more difficult to achieve in reality. They had to provide scalable answers to the deficiencies in Windows NT 4, and satisfy design objectives that included: s Increasing reliability, availability, and scalability s Reducing costs through simplified management s Providing a powerful and robust Internet and application server Much has been said about the complexity and size of this new brain- child. The modern-day software malady of ever-increasing size and com- plexity has certainly directly affected Windows 2000 Server, but not necessarily in the manner that many people perceive. There is no doubting that Windows 2000 Server is a mammoth exercise in coding complexity. Can a software project so large and intricate escape its unwieldy foundation to provide a truly stable computing platform? I can cite a classic modern example in defense of Windows 2000: its older sib- ling, Windows NT 4. Comparatively speaking, Windows NT 4 included a ver- itable minefield of code and feature changes over the ground-breaking Windows 3.x. The new operating system was to support memory protection, preemptive multitasking, and a limited directory service in a time when DOS and Windows 3.1 ruled the roost. Is the difference between Windows 2000 and Windows NT so substantial that we cannot draw confidence from the benefits gained during the migration from the veritable Windows 3.1 to the (then) cutting-edge 32-bit Windows NT platform? www.syngress.com
  8. Introduction to Windows 2000 Server • Chapter 1 3 Whether you plan to deploy it or are already using it, a lasting first impression of Windows 2000 Server is the vast array of integrated function- ality. Casual inspection reveals a hauntingly familiar interface—is it just Windows NT 4 with a slick version of the Windows 98 GUI? Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. By probing a little deeper it soon becomes apparent that Windows 2000 Server combines an evolutionary upgrade path with a revolutionary feature set. This chapter touches on the powerful features of Windows 2000 Server, and its effect on the organization and Administrators. Windows 2000 Server presents a radical change from its predecessor, and knowledge of its myriad of features is required to leverage its true power. What’s New in Windows 2000 Server? When confronted by the sea of features and changes that accompany Windows 2000 Server, it is easy to understand the need to address some of the new features in detail, while touching on others in no more than a cur- sory fashion. Microsoft supplies a “feature highlight” that includes almost 80 major features—enough to make the eyes water! Microsoft, to its credit, has learned that it is not possible to satisfy the diverse set of server requirements with a “one package fits all” strategy. To allow Windows 2000 Server to scale from the small business right into the multinational corporate server farm, it has been divided into a family of server operating systems (Table 1.1). Each of the various flavors supports the much-touted Active Directory, which is probably the most critical element of the Windows 2000 Server family. Active Directory simplifies management, extends interoperability with applications and devices, and improves security. The entry-level and most commonly used edition is Windows 2000 Server Standard Edition. The nomenclature for Windows 2000 Advanced Server hearkens back to the early days of Windows NT, when the name Advanced Server made its debut. Aside from its nostalgic name, Advanced Server maps most closely to Windows NT Server Enterprise Edition. It con- tains all the features and benefits of Windows 2000 Standard Edition, but includes support for larger deployments. The inclusion of support for net- work load balancing, clustering, and a more scalable memory and CPU architecture makes Advanced Server an excellent candidate for large SQL Server databases, for high-end Web servers, and for meeting the demands of high-end, critical file and application services. Windows 2000 DataCenter is Microsoft’s top-of-the-line model. In addi- tion to having all the features of the Standard Edition and Advanced Server, DataCenter supports more processors and larger amounts of memory. Windows 2000 DataCenter Server is ideal for extremely large-scale www.syngress.com
  9. 4 Chapter 1 • Introduction to Windows 2000 Server Table 1.1 Windows 2000 Server Family Description Features Windows Designed to be a s During upgrade four-way SMP 2000 powerful support. Fresh install supports Server multipurpose server. two-way SMP. Ideal for workgroup s Supports 4GB of memory. and departmental s Active Directory. servers. s Kerberos security. s Enhanced Internet and Web services. Windows Designed for s All Windows 2000 Server features. 2000 intensive enterprise s Up to eight-way SMP support. Advanced applications. Provides s Supports up to 8GB of memory. Server further availability s 32-node network load balancing. and scalability s Two-node clustering. enhancements. Windows Designed for massive s All Windows 2000 Advanced 2000 enterprise solutions Server features. DataCenter providing maximum s Up to 32-way SMP support. levels of scalability s Supports up to 64GB of memory. and availability. s Four-node clustering. deployments with the most demanding needs, such as high-end clustering, data warehousing, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). As usual, Microsoft has published a minimum hardware specification for the Windows 2000 Server family (Table 1.2)—and also, as usual, you can totally disregard them. I would be sorely taxed to think of anything as mind-numbingly boring as watching Windows 2000 Server run on a Pentium 133MHz. So this said, the recommendations should be read care- Table 1.2 Minimum Hardware Requirements for Windows 2000 Microsoft published minimum requirements for Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server s 133MHz or higher Pentium-compatible CPU s 256MB RAM (128MB minimum supported) s 2GB hard disk with a minimum of 1GB free hard disk space www.syngress.com
  10. Introduction to Windows 2000 Server • Chapter 1 5 fully, and then thrown away. Hardware specifications are very much dependant on the type and volume of usage, but to provide a decent level of performance for the base operating system (but without leaving too much room for applications), I would recommend at a minimum a Pentium II 500MHz, 256MB of RAM, and a 100MB network interface card (NIC). The same rule that applies to luck also applies to RAM in the context of Windows 2000 Server: There is no such thing as too much of it! The Key to Unlocking Your Network: Active Directory The success or failure of a Windows 2000-enabled network will, in the majority of cases, hinge on the implementation of Microsoft’s directory ser- vice, Active Directory. It is a fundamental change that affects the Windows operating system and Windows networking from top to bottom, and pro- vides a structure for other applications to integrate more tightly into your Windows network than ever before. “What exactly is a directory service?” you ask. A directory is a place to store interesting (and sometimes not-so-interesting) information (Figure 1.1). A directory service includes both the entire directory and the method of storing it on the network so that it is available to any client or server. Figure 1.1 Directory service structure. Address Hostname www.syngress.com
  11. 6 Chapter 1 • Introduction to Windows 2000 Server The type of information that is stored in a directory falls into three basic categories: Resources Resources are the items attached to the network and made available to users. A resource can be a server’s hard drive, an IP address, an application, a fax modem, a scanner, a printer, or any “thing” that can be used by a client workstation. Services A service is a function on the network that makes resources shareable. Most services are simply network applications. These two cate- gories are typically related. For most services, there is an analogous resource, and for most resources, there is an analogous service. Sometimes, however, a resource or a service stands alone. Accounts The final category in a directory is an account. An account is usually a logon ID and associated password used for access to the network. It is used to grant the right to use a service or a resource. Now that we know what a directory service is, we now need to find out how the Active Directory fits into the picture. Active Directory offers a nearly ideal set of directory characteristics so that a single directory and logon is available to all users. It also allows administration to be centralized or distributed according to requirements. The directory and its inherent security can be extended and scaled from small to large enterprises. Simply put, the Active Directory allows your users to find the resources they need on the network, while simultaneously facilitating administration, flexibility, and scalability. Why Should I Use the Active Directory? At first, it can be difficult to see the need for a directory service when, on first inspection, your current infrastructure suffices. This is abetted by the fact that many IT professionals live by the tried and tested maxim “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Active Directory should only be implemented if it meets well- defined business requirements, and if it satisfies carefully thought-out tech- nical considerations. Once it is implemented, though, you will wonder how you ever lived without it. Some of the advantages of Active Directory include: Inherent scalability Active Directory has been designed to provide reliable services that scale from the small office to the multinational corporation. Multiple indexes of the directory provide swift information retrieval even in large distributed environments. Enhanced security Active Directory integrates with a number of security mechanisms. It includes support for Kerberos, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), smart cards, and X.509 certificates. Standards based In a move away from proprietary architecture, Active Directory supports LDAP access, and uses TCP/IP with DNS as a name- www.syngress.com
  12. Introduction to Windows 2000 Server • Chapter 1 7 space. This also implies that Active Directory can be easily integrated into an Internet or intranet environment. Extensibility Active Directory provides a host of built-in functionality, including an inherent extensibility supplied through a definable schema and the Active Directory Services Interface (ADSI). Active Directory also provides tools for synchronizing with other directory services and managing identity information stored in multiple directory services. Ease of administration Active Directory acts as publishing service for resources, allowing for centralized administration. The hierarchical direc- tory structure simplifies administrative tasks and allows for the delegation of authority. Inherent flexibility and scalability provides almost limitless applications for Active Directory, whether it is as the backbone of your distributed secu- rity environment or as a framework for client management and support. With the adoption of Active Directory by software vendors, the benefits of the Windows 2000 directory services will not only be available to the sup- porting infrastructure, but to applications themselves. Change and Configuration Management A great deal of attention has been focused on the cost of owning computing platforms; in particular, client workstations. Microsoft has aggressively addressed this issue by providing a series of technologies for Windows 2000 that support change and configuration management (Figure 1.2). The term change and configuration management encompasses all of the corrective, con- figurative, and preventative tasks that an Administrator must perform to keep his user base productive, including the deployment of software to the desktop. As is typical in the computing world, fancy multibarreled words can be boiled down to very basic principles: Change and configuration manage- ment is quite simply desktop and user management and configuration. Figure 1.2 Change and configuration management in Windows 2000. www.syngress.com
  13. 8 Chapter 1 • Introduction to Windows 2000 Server After consulting customers and the IT sector, Microsoft realized that its change and configuration management feature set needed to meet at least the following requirements: s The ability to store user data centrally. s Support of a personalized computing environment; data and appli- cations should follow the users as they roam around the network. s The ability to work on or offline. s Reduction of administrative overhead by providing the ability to centrally configure clients by policy, including software deployment by policy. s Self-healing desktops that reduce support call incidents. s The ability to add/replace desktops without prestaging. A number of factors have contributed to the increased costs associated with managing and owning a network and its infrastructure; more demanding users, increasingly complex products, and a growing user base are just a few of them. Windows 2000 certainly does not break the mold when it comes to developing complex products, but it does provide an infrastructure to lower the cost of owning a Windows-based infrastructure. Change and configuration management centers are the continuing requirement for Administrators to manage the change and configuration issues that arise during the support of their user base. Two main concepts that support the new change and configuration management techniques are IntelliMirror and remote operating system installation. IntelliMirror is a set of tools and technologies that increase availability, reduce support costs, and allow the users’ software, settings, and data to follow them. Three pillars support the IntelliMirror technology: User data management Users can have access to their data whether they are online or offline. This feature leverages the Active Directory, Group Policy, folder redirection, disk quotas, and file synchronization—technolo- gies that increase data availability. In Microsoft parlance: “My data and documents follow me.” User settings management Allows preferences to follow the user. The user’s personalized settings such as desktop arrangements and software and operating system settings follow the user. This feature includes the Active Directory, Group Policy, roaming profiles, and particular shell enhancements—technologies that increase computer availability. In Microsoft parlance: “My preferences follow me.” Software installation and maintenance Ensures that users have access to their required software. Software can be advertised to install on demand, or be installed by default. This feature includes the Active Directory, Group Policy, self-repairing software, and application deployment—technologies www.syngress.com
  14. Introduction to Windows 2000 Server • Chapter 1 9 that increase application availability. In Microsoft parlance: “My software follows me.” NOTE A word of caution, do not tell friends or family that your software, data, and preferences are following you. They could take it upon themselves to retire you to a room with soft padded walls. The second concept, remote operating system installation, allows Administrators to build a functional, standardized workstation remotely. Providing a solid and flexible infrastructure for operating system deploy- ment is imperative for a successful operating system installation strategy. A brief summary of some of the technologies used with IntelliMirror include (Figure 1.3): Active Directory A scalable directory service that stores information about the network that can be accessed by users and Administrators alike. It can act as both an information source and a centralized administrative tool. Group Policy A technology that enables Administrators to precisely define the configuration of the users’ computing environment. It can sat- isfy such diverse requirements as setting security settings to application deployment. Group Policy can control both user- and machine-based con- figuration settings. Offline Files and Folders A technology that allows users to access defined files and folders while offline. Entire mapped drives can even be accessed while offline. The Synchronization Manager can be used to synchronize offline resources. Folder Redirection The ability to point a folder, such as My Documents, to another (network) location. Distributed File System (DFS) This service can build a single namespace consisting of multiple shares on different servers. DFS provides the ability to load share and increase data availability. Roaming User Profiles A centrally stored user profile that follows the user around the network. Windows Installer A standardized, scalable installation service that is cus- tomizable, consistent, and provides diagnosis and self-repair functionality. Disk Quotas A technology that enables Administrators to monitor and limit disk space usage on a per-volume per-user basis. www.syngress.com
  15. 10 Chapter 1 • Introduction to Windows 2000 Server Figure 1.3 IntelliMirror and associated technologies. Group Policies At times, it seems that as soon as your back is turned, more clients attach themselves to the network. The growing hunger of businesses to technologi- cally enable their workforce is creating a mounting headache for the Administrator of today’s networks. Maintaining and enforcing a standardized configuration while allowing the users freedom to work unhindered is a jug- gling act that sometimes requires the Administrator to have too many balls in the air at once. The only way to ensure that the configuration of possibly thousands of workstations is maintained in a consistent manner is by allowing the network to enforce the rules for software deployment and other change and configuration issues. Policy-based management is one answer to Windows 2000 change and configuration management challenges. Group policies can be used throughout Windows 2000 to define user and computer configuration settings such as scripts, software policies, security settings, application deployment, user settings, and document options. Using group policies, these settings can be controlled centrally and www.syngress.com
  16. Introduction to Windows 2000 Server • Chapter 1 11 applied across the business. Group Policy leverages the Active Directory and supports the IntelliMirror technology to control the scope and granu- larity of changes in configuration. By providing a well-managed desktop environment through group policies, Windows 2000 eases the resolution and elimination of change and configuration management issues. The ability to control and manage the network in a scalable environ- ment ensures that small, medium, and large businesses have the tools to lower the cost of owning PCs and supporting users. The vast array of con- figurable settings ensure that there is a wealth of usage scenarios for Group Policy, with just a few of those possible being: s Install the accounting package on all computers in Finance. s Run acclogon.cmd when users in the Accounts department log on. s Do not save settings on exit for all consultants. s Disable the RunAs service for the whole organization except Administrators. s Launch this Web page at user logon. Windows 2000 Security Windows 2000 Server serves up a great number of security enhancements compared to what was available in previous incarnations of the operating system. These enhancements include Public Key Infrastructure capabilities, the Kerberos v5 authentication protocol, smart card support, the Encrypted File System (EFS), and IPSec. These new additions to security are neces- sary to protect data as more organizations come to the realization that their information technology infrastructure is business critical. It can be very hard to quantify the benefits of an enhanced security infrastructure—that is, until it’s too late. Legacy security infrastructure and exploitable vulnera- bilities have the potential to leave the doors in your network invitingly ajar, allowing havoc to be wreaked on mission-critical systems. In today’s ever-changing global environment, the more security that can be provided by a network operating system, the better off the organizations that use it will be. Security for Microsoft’s network operating system has undergone major surgery with the arrival of Windows 2000 Server. What has emerged from the operating theatre is a product family that includes extensible, standards-based, mission-critical security. Some of the new fea- tures include: s Multiple methods of authenticating internal and external users s Protection of data stored on disk drives using encryption s Protection of data transmitted across the network using encryption www.syngress.com
  17. 12 Chapter 1 • Introduction to Windows 2000 Server s Per-property access control for objects s Smart card support for securing user credentials securely s Transitive trust relationships between domains s Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Why the Change? The change in security in Windows 2000 Server is necessary as more organi- zations use the operating system for mission-critical applications. The more widely an operating system is used in industry, the more likely it is to become a target. The weaknesses of Windows NT came under constant attack as it gained popularity. One group, L0pht Heavy Industries, harshly highlighted the frailties of Windows NT’s password encryption for the LAN Manager hash. Due to the fact that the LAN Manager hash was always sent (by default) when a user logged in, L0pht produced a tool to crack the password. Microsoft made provisions for fixing the problem in a Service Pack release, but in Windows 2000 Server, it has replaced the default authentication with Kerberos v5 for an all-Windows 2000 domain controller based network—a system where pass- words are never transmitted along the network. Alarming figures based on intrusion detection statistics indicate that the majority of security violations occur internal to the corporate network. Accordingly, emphasis has moved from protecting against “black hat” external hackers to securing the corporate network as a whole. Differences in Windows 2000 Server Security One of the enhancements to the security in Windows 2000 Server is the support for two authentication protocols, Kerberos v5 and NTLM (NT LAN Manager). Kerberos v5 is the default authentication method for Windows 2000 domains, and NTLM is provided for backward compatibility with Windows NT 4.0 and earlier operating systems. Transitive trust relation- ships—a feature of Kerberos v5—are established and maintained automati- cally. Transitive trusts rely on Kerberos v5, so they are applicable only to Windows 2000 Server-only domains. Another security enhancement is the addition of the Encrypted File System (EFS). EFS allows users to encrypt and decrypt files on their system on the fly. This provides an even higher degree of protection for files than was previously available using NTFS (NT File System) only. The inclusion of IPSec (IP Security) in Windows 2000 Server enhances security by protecting the integrity and confidentiality of data as it travels over the network. It’s easy to see why IPSec is important; today’s networks consist of not only intranets, but also branch offices, remote access for travelers, and, of course (fade in scary music), the Internet. Each object in the Active Directory can have its permissions controlled with a high level of granularity. This per-property level of permissioning is www.syngress.com
  18. Introduction to Windows 2000 Server • Chapter 1 13 available at all levels of the Active Directory. Smart cards are supported in Windows 2000 Server to provide an additional layer of protection for client authentication, as well as providing secure e-mail. The extra protection is derived from adversaries needing not only the smart card, but also the Personal Identification Number (PIN) of the user to activate the card—a fea- ture called two-factor authentication. Windows 2000 Server depends heavily on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). PKI consists of several components: public keys, private keys, certificates, and certificate authorities (CAs). Windows 2000 Network Services The cliché that the world is getting smaller is used and derided on a daily basis, but that does not detract from the fact that it has become a truism. Communications, both data- and voice-based, have reduced the world to a global village. One of the factors that have hastened the arrival of the global village is the drive to well-connected networks. Operating systems such as Windows 2000 Server provide a number of advanced network services that facilitate reliable and scalable communication and connectivity. A few of the network services Windows 2000 offers include: Certificate Services Several of the services available in the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack are now included in Windows 2000 Server, including Certificate Services. Certificates are used most commonly to implement Secure Socket Layer communications on Web servers for the transmission of private information—your credit card number, for example. Certificate Services can also be used to make e-mail secure, provide digital signatures, and set up certification authorities that issue and revoke certificates. DHCP Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) is certainly not new, but now interfaces with DNS and Active Directory. This feature illustrates an important point: Active Directory integration is pervasive throughout Windows 2000, and you’ll find it in the most unlikely places! DNS Domain Name Services (DNS) have been included with Windows 2000 as the default namespace provider. Additional benefits include the adoption of Dynamic Domain Name Service (DDNS), allowing clients to update details in DNS automatically. Internet Authentication Service Internet Authentication Service (IAS) brings the ability to manage the authentication, accounting, authorization, and auditing of dial-up or virtual private network (VPN) clients. IAS uses the Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS). Setting up a VPN will allow you to provide secure network connections to users over the Internet, and IAS is a service used to manage these types of connections. Internet Connection Sharing Many homes and small offices have a need for sharing an Internet connection, and there are a number of third-party products on the market that have filled this need. Windows 2000 can now www.syngress.com
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