Risk
1/19/2011
02:26 PM
50%
50%

Microsoft Releases Vulnerability Analysis Tool

Attack Surface Analyzer, available as a free beta, assesses operating system weaknesses which emerge after an install or an attack.

Top 10 Microsoft Stories Of 2010
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top 10 Microsoft Stories Of 2010

On Wednesday, Microsoft released a free, beta version of Attack Surface Analyzer, together with numerous updates for previously released secure development tools.

According to Microsoft, Attack Surface Analyzer -- already used by its internal product teams for the past five years -- catalogs numerous changes made to the operating system during the installation of new software. "Some of the checks performed by the tool include analysis of changed or newly added files, registry keys, services, ActiveX Controls, listening ports, access control lists, and other parameters that affect a computer's attack surface," blogged David Ladd, principal security program manager for secure development at Microsoft.

The tool, which can be used with a built-in wizard or via the command line, will collect attack surface data from applications running on Windows 7, Windows Vista, or for server-based applications, Windows Server 2008 R1 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

Microsoft is pitching Attack Surface Analyzer as a proactive tool for developers to see how their code changes the attack surface of Windows, for IT managers to see the aggregate attack surface change produced by a client build, and for IT auditors to assess the security risk of any given application. In addition, security incident responders can use the tool to assess the results of an attack, provided they've created -- prior to any attack -- a baseline scan of the system to be studied.

The tool must be installed on a freshly built operating system, at which point users run a baseline scan. Next, they install an application or applications, enabling any and all options that may make the program easier to attack, such as letting a program install a Windows Service or drivers, or allowing it to bypass the Windows Firewall. Next, users run Attack Surface Analyzer again to create a "product scan" that shows how the operating system attack surface has changed.

After addressing any issues, the tool must once again be reinstalled on a freshly built operating system that's free from any previous application artifacts. "As you may need to repeat the process a number of times, we recommend using a virtual machine with 'undo disks,' differencing disks, or the ability to revert to a prior virtual machine snapshot/configuration to perform your attack surface assessments," said Microsoft.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.