Yesterday I said I was surprised by the lack of Windows 8 talk in the keynote. Today remedied that, plus some interesting security facts.
After everything that happened on the first day of TechEd, I was not sure what to expect from the keynote that kicked off day 2. I got a much closer seat to the stage when the room opened up and got ready for the speakers. Antoine Leblond was the main speaker and today was all about Windows 8. The information doled out was a lot of info that had been around for a bit along with a couple of nice nuggets. During the introduction of the keynote, Antoine made sure to point out that touchscreens were coming to laptops and PCs. Although he made it sound imminent, we all know that prices and the economy will really dictate how long until this technology was to be adapted.
When we got into the meat of the presentation, certain things jumped out at me. First was the swipe motions that Windows 8 accepted from a touch-pad on a laptop. Almost the exact same as what the Macbook uses at this time. It started me wondering about patent lawsuits, since the tech industry has gone sue happy. Then there was the performance enhancements and the addition of a hypervisor native to Windows 8. The did show Windows 7 running very smoothly in that hypervisor, which can be a nice point should you need to run both together. The did show a nice demo of Windows 7 open in the hypervisor with a windows 8 metro app running side by side so you could see and work with both at the same time.
They went on to talk about the performance improvements, how the convergence of home and work devices helped shaped what Windows 8 has become, and then into a beta app from SAP. We went over the Windows Store, which is organized very nicely by groups. Other points mentioned during the keynote (which should be available online to watch) included how your desktop will follow you across devices if you use a Windows Live ID to log into the machines, and my personal favorite, booting a machine off a Windows8PE image from a USB stick, which for troubleshooting and malware removal will be nice.
The next session I went to was 10 Administrator Security Mistakes, hosted by a MVP and PenTester from Poland named Paula. This woman knows her stuff and showed some things that can put the fear of security into you. How using the password rested on a DC stores the password in clear text in the memory and how easy it can be to get at it was one of the most eye opening demonstrations I have seen. So in order, the top ten we were given are:
Sin 10: Misunderstanding how passwords are used
Sin 9: Ignoring offline access
Sin 8: Incorrect access control (We were shown how Robocopy can be used to gain access to a folder which you have a deny access on)
Sin 7: Using old technology
Sin 6: Encryption, What is encryption (We were shown how HTTPS does not guarantee Encryption by a man in the middle hack which shows LinkedIn sends its passwords in clear text)
Sin 5: Installing Pirated software
Sin 4: Lack of Network Monitoring (Again shown an issue with the reset password feature in AD where is sends the password to the network broadcast address in clear text)
Sin 3: What you see is not what you get
Sin 2: Too much trust in people
Sin 1: Lack of documentation
The final session I went to was on using SysInternals software to fight malware. Mark Russinovich who created Sysinternals was the speaker. The seminar was a logical progression from the way to go about the removal process, to how to use different tools to discover different items. Again, this one was video taped, so it should be available soon for viewing. Needless to say even on Windows 8 there are gotchas, and some tools, such as msconfig, don’t have the information they used to. Between Process Explorer, Autoruns, Desktops and Process Monitor one should be able to find most if not all malware. Considering Mark said that 33% of web malware is not detectable because of time to get signatures out from the AV vendors, this seminar is a must for anyone dealing with malware removal.
Day 2 was a lot more intense and overall a lot better quality than day 1 for me. Tomorrow, there are more seminars to be had, and more things to do.