Feeds

Microsoft may look again at virus notification

Customers want more info

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Customer feedback over the last few days of Microsoft's IT Forum in Barcelona has prompted the vendor to look again at the early notification process for vulnerabilities.

Microsoft releases monthly patch updates on the second Tuesday of the month but gives some customers a heads-up on the previous Thursday.

Stephen Toulouse, security program manager in Microsoft’s Security Response Team said: “Talking to customers over the last few days we’re hearing they’d like us to give them more information ahead of patch Tuesday. Customers are asking for advance notification to be split by service pack or vulnerabilities – so different teams for servers, PCs and laptops will know what they will be doing.” Toulouse said there was always a balance between informing customers and tipping-off would-be attackers.

Talking about the recent problems created by Sony’s rootkit DRM software Toulouse said: “If it happened again I think you’d see a better, quicker response. This was so new it took a couple of days for people to react – it was like an old DOS disc virus.” He said companies like Sony need to remember they have rights to protect their intellectual property but no rights over other people’s computers.

Toulouse said the process of tracking and fixing malware problems now includes a lot more forensic work and co-operation with Interpol and other police authorities to track down virus writers and find evidence against them.

Just as important Microsoft is working with developers to get security built in from the very beginning. Toulouse said: “Developers focus on the cool stuff you can do with new features – we have to get them to think about bad things people can do too."

He said scanning new code and using threat models would all help make life safer. The Xbox360 is currently going through that threat model process.®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.