Vulnerabilities / Threats
7/24/2009
07:04 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Unveils Security Tools, Resources At Black Hat

Dealing with the changing threat landscape requires information sharing, Microsoft says, and it has developed software, guidelines, and programs to help make that happen.

At the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas this week, Microsoft plans to provide a progress report on the security initiatives that it launched last summer and to release new security tools and information to support security efforts by its customers and partners.

"There's a race between attackers and defenders and if we want to win, we have to share information," said Mike Reavey, director of the Microsoft Security Response Center.

To help realize that goal, Microsoft plans to release the Microsoft Office Visualization Tool, which provides a graphic visualization of the Office binary file format. The software is intended to help IT professionals and security researchers better understand attacks targeting Office files.

The reason for this is that most malware attacks application vulnerabilities rather than operating system vulnerabilities. In the second half of 2008, said Reavey, almost 90% of the vulnerabilities were in the application stack rather than the operating system.

"In order to build protections, you have to understand how a specific file format is meant to be used, so then you can understand how it's being misused," he said.

Microsoft also plans to release Project Quant, an online information resource that aims to provide organizations with a framework for evaluating the cost of patch management processes. According to a survey conduct as part of the project, nearly 50% of respondents had no patch management process for desktop application software or had an informal process.

In addition, Microsoft intends to release the Microsoft Security Update Guide, a publication that explains the entire Microsoft security update process. "Finding good guidance if you're a customer in the sea of information is challenge," said Reavey. "We wanted to provide a guidebook. By sharing how we manage risk, we hope we can help our customers manage risk."

Finally, Microsoft expects to publish a report titled, "Building a Safer, More Trusted Internet Through Information Sharing," which summarizes the three security programs launched at Black Hat 2008.

The three programs are: Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP), which supplies vulnerability information to security partners prior to the release of Microsoft's security patches; the Microsoft Exploitability Index, which aims to quantize the risk of vulnerabilities to aid patch prioritization; and Microsoft Vulnerability Research, which helps third-party vendors make their Windows applications more secure.

MAPP, the report claims, has helped Sourcefire reduce the amount of time it takes to build exploit detection for a vulnerability from an average of eight hours to two hours. The report also notes that the Microsoft Vulnerability Index has proven to be 99% reliable, a sufficiently high rate for Microsoft to declare the program a success. And as for Microsoft Vulnerability Research, the report says that the program has identified software vulnerabilities affecting 32 vendors.

Information sharing, the report concludes, is critical to making the Internet safer.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on managing risk. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-2413
Published: 2014-10-20
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the ja_purity template for Joomla! 1.5.26 and earlier allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the Mod* cookie parameter to html/modules.php.

CVE-2012-5244
Published: 2014-10-20
Multiple SQL injection vulnerabilities in Banana Dance B.2.6 and earlier allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the (1) return, (2) display, (3) table, or (4) search parameter to functions/suggest.php; (5) the id parameter to functions/widgets.php, (6) the category parameter to...

CVE-2012-5694
Published: 2014-10-20
Multiple SQL injection vulnerabilities in Bulb Security Smartphone Pentest Framework (SPF) before 0.1.3 allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the (1) agentPhNo, (2) controlPhNo, (3) agentURLPath, (4) agentControlKey, or (5) platformDD1 parameter to frameworkgui/attach2Agents.p...

CVE-2012-5695
Published: 2014-10-20
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in Bulb Security Smartphone Pentest Framework (SPF) 0.1.2 through 0.1.4 allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that conduct (1) shell metacharacter or (2) SQL injection attacks or (3) send an SMS m...

CVE-2012-5696
Published: 2014-10-20
Bulb Security Smartphone Pentest Framework (SPF) before 0.1.3 does not properly restrict access to frameworkgui/config, which allows remote attackers to obtain the plaintext database password via a direct request.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.