I am repeatedly amazed at the powerful tools that are bundled onto the CD of the Resource Kits for Microsoft products. I don't understand how many of these tools don't end up as native installed applications in the final product but rather reside as nearly forgotten treasures. The treasure I'm talking about in this tip is the System Scanner from the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit tools.
System Scanner is a multi-functional tool that can be used to scan for a host of issues and numerous vulnerabilities, including:
- Extensive system baseline capabilities, including file, registry, and user checks.
- Browser-specific vulnerabilities.
- Comprehensive Microsoft Internet Information Services and Microsoft Personal Web Server checks.
- Checks for the presence of well-known TCP/IP-based services.
- NetBIOS checks.
- Java vulnerabilities.
- Microsoft Office vulnerabilities.
- Susceptibility to denial-of-service attacks.
- Configuration of virus scanners.
- Registry security checks.
- User policy configuration checks.
- Remote access checks and modem checks.
In addition to these built-in scanning features, you can also create your own custom scanning policies to search for just about anything. The power of System Scanner is derived both from its ability to be customized and its ability to scan not just the size and time stamp of files but also their content. System Scanner can analyze the Registry, the file system, services, processes,
System Scanner works by creating a profile of a system to use as a baseline. All future scans of the system are then compared against the baseline to detect changes and new problems. System Scanner also can be used to produce numerous types of reports, including vulnerabilities, service status, trends, and differentials.
The only drawback to System Scanner is that it will take a bit of time to learn and to customize. If you are already a script-oholic then System Scanner is made just for you.
For more information on System Scanner see the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit as well as the following Microsoft Web site: support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb%3Ben-us%3B264178.
By the way, once installed, System Scanner has its own help file that includes extensive how-to information.
About the author
James Michael Stewart is a partner of ITinfo Pros, Inc., a technology-focused writing and training organization.
This was first published in March 2003