Risk
1/12/2012
02:21 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Turns 10: What's Next

10 years after Bill Gates famously declared a security emergency within Microsoft, the stakes are much higher. 'TWC Next' will include a focus on cloud services such as Azure.

Windows 8 Upgrade Plans: Exclusive Research
Slideshow: Windows 8 Upgrade Plans: Exclusive Research
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Microsoft is marking the 10th anniversary of Bill Gates' game-changing security memo with a focus on new types of attacks that threaten businesses and individuals who are significantly more wired than when the company's chairman launched his now-famous Trustworthy Computing initiative.

"Today, information and communications technology (ICT) underpins every aspect of our personal and professional lives," said Microsoft chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie, in an e-mail to employees Thursday.

"While it is indisputable that ICT has transformed for the better how we live, society still confronts some long-standing and evolving challenges," Mundie said. "We must protect the security of the electrical power grid, the global financial system, and the telecommunications system, even as determined and persistent adversaries set their sights on these and other critical infrastructures."

[ Malicious attacks accounted for 40% of disclosed breaches last year. Learn more: Hack Attacks Now Leading Cause Of Data Breaches. ]

Gates fired off his Trustworthy Computing memo to employees on Jan. 15, 2002, amid a series of high-profile attacks on Windows computers and browsers in the form of worms and viruses like Code Red and "Anna Kournikova." Code Red, which used buffer overflows to exploit a weakness in Windows Server's Internet Information Services (IIS), infected more than 300,000 PCs.

The onslaught forced Gates to declare a security emergency within Microsoft, and halt all production while the company's 8,500 software engineers sifted through millions of lines of source code to identify and fix vulnerabilities. The hiatus cost Microsoft $100 million. "If we don't do this, people simply won't be willing--or able--to take advantage of all the other great work we do," Gates said in his memo. "We must lead the industry to a whole new level of Trustworthiness in computing."

To accomplish that, Gates identified three principles that Microsoft products were to be designed around--availability, security, and privacy. In practice, that meant placing security on an equal footing with usability and speed-to-market in Microsoft's development cycles.

"Getting your product to market first and killing Netscape was how you got rich at Microsoft. After the Gates memo came out, having your product have fewer top-class bugs and security vulnerabilities and less patches became as important a criterion for measuring the product managers as making an early shipping date," said Gartner research fellow John Pescatore.

As a result, Microsoft products like Visual Studio and Windows Server gained built-in security features for guarding against vulnerabilities caused by errors like stack overflow and were hardened with architectural changes, such as library randomization and formal Secure Development Lifecycle procedures, and the company made many of its own internal safeguards available to third parties.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-3946
Published: 2014-04-24
Cisco IOS before 15.3(2)S allows remote attackers to bypass interface ACL restrictions in opportunistic circumstances by sending IPv6 packets in an unspecified scenario in which expected packet drops do not occur for "a small percentage" of the packets, aka Bug ID CSCty73682.

CVE-2012-5723
Published: 2014-04-24
Cisco ASR 1000 devices with software before 3.8S, when BDI routing is enabled, allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (device reload) via crafted (1) broadcast or (2) multicast ICMP packets with fragmentation, aka Bug ID CSCub55948.

CVE-2013-6738
Published: 2014-04-24
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in IBM SmartCloud Analytics Log Analysis 1.1 and 1.2 before 1.2.0.0-CSI-SCALA-IF0003 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via an invalid query parameter in a response from an OAuth authorization endpoint.

CVE-2014-2391
Published: 2014-04-24
The password recovery service in Open-Xchange AppSuite before 7.2.2-rev20, 7.4.1 before 7.4.1-rev11, and 7.4.2 before 7.4.2-rev13 makes an improper decision about the sensitivity of a string representing a previously used but currently invalid password, which allows remote attackers to obtain potent...

CVE-2014-2392
Published: 2014-04-24
The E-Mail autoconfiguration feature in Open-Xchange AppSuite before 7.2.2-rev20, 7.4.1 before 7.4.1-rev11, and 7.4.2 before 7.4.2-rev13 places a password in a GET request, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information by reading (1) web-server access logs, (2) web-server Referer log...

Best of the Web