Feeds

Microsoft refreshes secure developer software tools

Attack Surface Analyzer makes its debut

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft has released a new software tool to help developers write secure applications by highlighting the system changes created when their wares are installed on Windows machines.

The Attack Surface Analyzer, released on Tuesday, is a free verification tool that analyzes the changes in system state, runtime parameters and securable objects in the Windows operating system. The tool, which was released as part of Microsoft's Secure Development Lifecycle, takes snapshots of a system and compares the results before and after an app is installed. It then identifies resulting classes of security weaknesses.

“The tool also gives an overview of the changes to the system Microsoft considers important to the security of the platform and highlights these in the attack surface report,” David Ladd, Microsoft's principal security program manager, blogged. Among the checks performed are analysis of changed or newly added files, registry keys, services, ActiveX controls, listening ports, and access control lists. It's available for free, for now as a beta so that Microsoft can collect feedback from users.

Attack Surface Analyzer was one of several security tools Microsoft released at this week's Black Hat Security Conference in Washington, DC. Redmond also published the next version of its SDL Threat Modeling Tool that's used to assess whether applications under development meet security and privacy guidelines. It now works with Microsoft Visio 2010. More details are here.

The software company also released version 1.2 of the SDL Binscope Binary Analyzer, a verification tool that analyzes binaries on a project-wide level to insure they comply with SDL requirements.

The new offerings add to a growing roster of free security apps Microsoft makes available for free to developers. Other tools include version 2 of EMET, short for Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit. It is used to add security measures such a Data Execution Prevention and Address Space Layout Randomization to older applications and operating systems, such as Internet Explorer 6 and Windows XP. Other apps include the Microsoft Solutions Framework, !exploitable Crash Analyzer, and the Microsoft MiniFuzz fuzzer tool.

Tuesday's additions come as vulnerability tracking service Secunia reported that failure to apply third-party patches – as opposed to updates from Microsoft – is "almost exclusively" responsible for the growing exposure of Windows machines to security threats. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.