Risk
9/20/2012
03:55 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Want Better Security? Get Windows 8

The new OS and Internet Explorer 10 protect applications and limit the fallout of exploits.

InformationWeek Green - September 24, 2012
InformationWeek Green
Download the entire Sept. 24, 2012, issue of InformationWeek, distributed in an all-digital format as part of our Green Initiative
(Registration required.)
We will plant a tree for each of the first 5,000 downloads.

Here Comes Windows 8

Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10 may prove to be Microsoft's most secure OS and browser to date. The company began repairing its dismal reputation for security with Windows 7; this latest version takes significant steps to provide a more secure operating environment for PCs. Our advice? Upgrade desktops and laptops as soon as you can, especially if you're among the 20% of respondents to our latest InformationWeek Windows 8 Survey still clinging to Windows XP--a bad plan for multiple reasons.

Leading the list of improvements driving us to make this recommendation: enhanced application controls via a platform named AppContainer, in which Microsoft borrows a page from the mobile OS security playbook by forcing application developers to explicitly define what an app is allowed to do. Microsoft also introduces or enhances other security features, including a robust anti-malware package that comes standard with the OS--and must be giving antivirus vendors agita--and a new feature to make passwords easier to remember but harder for attackers to crack.

However, the most significant security change we see in Windows 8 is not so much the actual features; it's Microsoft's mindset. The Win 8 security paradigm is built around applications, particularly those that run in browsers. To that end, Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8 includes some significant security upgrades, a welcome development because most attacks that target users come from the Web.

Of particular note is AppContainer, an aggressive application permission configuration feature introduced in IE10. AppContainer functions similarly to application sandboxing on mobile operating systems, such as iOS and Android. Under AppContainer, a developer must produce a manifest file that links directly to the application and defines what it can and cannot do. For instance, a developer might indicate on a manifest that an application can initiate outbound connections to the Internet, but it can't receive an incoming connection. If that application is subsequently exploited, and the exploit instructs the application to open a port for an inbound communication, the Windows 8 kernel will prevent the port from opening, thus limiting potential damage.

There are many other permissions within the AppContainer model, including the ability to instruct that an app may talk only to the Internet and not the local network, or vice versa, or decide which Windows 8 libraries, such as music, videos, pictures, or even removable storage, the app can access. We expect Microsoft to add more options for AppContainer in subsequent releases and service packs.

To read the rest of the article,
Download the Sept. 24, 2012, issue of InformationWeek

Our full report on Windows 8 and security is available free with registration.

This report includes 21 pages of action-oriented analysis with 13 charts. What you'll find:
  • Detailed analysis of new and enhanced security features
  • Exclusive survey results
Get This And All Our Reports


Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
moarsauce123
50%
50%
moarsauce123,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/25/2012 | 7:41:37 AM
re: Want Better Security? Get Windows 8
"The new OS and Internet Explorer 10 protect applications and limit the fallout of exploits." - As can be clearly seen by the security patches already available for the OS that isn't even available for the general public.

And why the heck do you make people download an entire digital issue just to read the rest of one article?
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0972
Published: 2014-08-01
The kgsl graphics driver for the Linux kernel 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, does not properly prevent write access to IOMMU context registers, which allows local users to select a custom page table, and consequently write ...

CVE-2014-2627
Published: 2014-08-01
Unspecified vulnerability in HP NonStop NetBatch G06.14 through G06.32.01, H06 through H06.28, and J06 through J06.17.01 allows remote authenticated users to gain privileges for NetBatch job execution via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-3009
Published: 2014-08-01
The GDS component in IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management - Collaborative Edition 10.0 through 11.0 and InfoSphere Master Data Management Server for Product Information Management 9.0 and 9.1 does not properly handle FRAME elements, which makes it easier for remote authenticated users to conduct ph...

CVE-2014-3302
Published: 2014-08-01
user.php in Cisco WebEx Meetings Server 1.5(.1.131) and earlier does not properly implement the token timer for authenticated encryption, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information via a crafted URL, aka Bug ID CSCuj81708.

CVE-2014-3534
Published: 2014-08-01
arch/s390/kernel/ptrace.c in the Linux kernel before 3.15.8 on the s390 platform does not properly restrict address-space control operations in PTRACE_POKEUSR_AREA requests, which allows local users to obtain read and write access to kernel memory locations, and consequently gain privileges, via a c...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio