Feeds

At a stroke, MS cuts critical vuln reports

It's easy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

The Good News: Microsoft Corp will be making fewer warnings of "critical" security vulnerabilities in its products from now on,

Kevin Murphy writes

The Bad News: This is because Microsoft has changed the way it advises users and administrators of vulnerabilities, raising the threshold to require a "critical" advisory.

Steve Lipner, director of security assurance at the company, said in an email circular yesterday that Microsoft has overhauled its security advisory services to provide less "confusing" technical information to end users, while still providing administrators with the details they need to rectify problems.

The company has also introduced a four-tier scale to rate the severity of vulnerabilities. Critical-Important-Moderate-Low replaces the old Critical-Moderate-Low scale. The majority of formerly critical warnings would now be classed important, according to the ranking criteria published by Microsoft.

For a vulnerability to be ranked "critical", it now would have to be of the order of magnitude of the Internet Information Services (IIS) buffer overrun that allowed the Code Red and Nimda worms to propagate automatically last year. Holes that allow, for example, files to be stolen or deleted, would now be ranked as "important".

Lipner wrote in his email, sent to security advisory mailing list subscribers, that many customers "find that the ratings fail to clearly identify the most serious issues." He added: "We have modified the Severity Rating criteria to help customers more easily evaluate the impact of security issues."

"Our increased attention to consumer communication will only raise the profile of security threats," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "The changes we've made will not affect the number of security bulletins we ship. Our goal is simply to make it easier for users to apply necessary patches with the appropriate level of urgency."

It is reckoned that almost half of the over 60 security advisories Microsoft has issued this year have been of "critical" holes. The fact that none of these have yet been exploited on as grand a scale as Code Red exploited the IIS hole suggests that truly critical warnings a few and far between.

Shortly, Microsoft will introduce an End User Security Notification Service, which will direct non-technical Microsoft users to patches, explaining vulnerabilities without the emphasis on technical details. Systems administrators will still be able to receive the technically oriented bulletins as before.

© ComputerWire

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.