Microsoft Security Blog

The official Microsoft blog for discussing industry and Microsoft security topics.

September, 2011

  • Weekly Roundup : Sep 30, 2011 : Microsoft and Kaspersky Lab Take Down the Kelihos Botnet

    Trending Security News More good news this week on the botnet front, with reports that Microsoft and Kaspersky Lab had succeeded in taking down the Kelihos botnet, a collection of some 41,000 infected computers worldwide that was capable of sending spam at the rate of 3.8 million e-mails per day. Kaspersky lab played a staring role in defining and then sinkholing the botnet to render it inactive, as described in The Inside Story of the Kelihos Botnet Takedown . The importance of taking down botnets...
  • Targeted Attacks and the Need to Keep Document Parsers Updated

    Over the past few years there has been a lot of concern about “advanced persistent threat” and targeted attacks such as “spear-phishing” and “whaling”. In my discussions with security professionals in different parts of the world I have encountered many different views on the risks associated with these attacks, ranging from disbelief that they actually happen to the belief that every email with an attachment contains an exploit. The Microsoft Security Engineering Center (MSEC) studies such attacks...
  • The Snake Oil Days of Internet Health

    The snake oil salesman was a colorful part of American history, especially in the frontier West. The term comes from people offering what was purported to be oil from a snake to ease the pain of arthritis—though the term soon evolved to cover all manner of phony cures—often with the help of a secret assistant in the crowd: “By golly, it works!” One popular ruse was to find a fellow con artist with a very thick crop of hair, shave his head completely bald and send him into...
  • The Threat Landscape in Africa & the Internet Governance Forum

    The sixth annual United Nations Internet Governance Conference (UN-IGF) meeting is being held this week (September 27-30, 2011) at the U.N. Office in Nairobi, Kenya (UNON). The main theme of this meeting is “Internet as a catalyst for change: access, development, freedoms and innovation.” Representatives from government and industry from numerous places in Africa will be gathering to address a host of Internet governance topics, including security. A delegation from Microsoft is in attendance. Historically...
  • Weekly Roundup : Sep 23, 2011 : Rustock Botnet Case Goes to the FBI

    Trending Security News The week ended on a high note with news that Microsoft had successfully completed its civil action in the Rustock botnet case and had passed along all of its evidence to the FBI for possible criminal investigation. CNET led the coverage with its Microsoft hands Rustock botnet case over to FBI .  In other news from the world of malware, there was something special for those who hunger for their sense of irony to be fed: Spammers are accusing their recipients of being spammers...
  • Microsoft Gives Rustock Botnet Evidence to the FBI

    It was great to read this morning about Microsoft successfully concluding its civil case against the Rustock botnet operators, and referring the matter, along with all the evidence it has discovered, to the FBI for criminal review. Readers may recall the first report on the breakthrough back in March with Taking Down Botnets: Microsoft and the Rustock Botnet . The good news today was on two fronts. On the civil side , Judge James L. Robart, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington...
  • Trip Report: Securing Control Systems in our Critical Infrastructures

    I am just returning from Washington, DC where I had the privilege to attend and present at the Control Systems Cyber Security Conference . I have attended this annual conference several times in the past and it never fails to attract some of the brightest minds in the field. Over three days the single track conference featured speakers from government, vendors, end users and security researchers. Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are at the core of many of our critical infrastructures such as electric...
  • Playing Better Defense: Protecting Against Cyber Threats

    I’m happy today to introduce a guest blog post by Matt Thomlinson, the General Manager of Trustworthy Computing Security at Microsoft, who leads the Microsoft Security Engineering Center (MSEC), the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), and Global Security Strategy & Diplomacy (GSSD). His teams are responsible for proactively implementing training, tools and processes of the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) to improve the security of Microsoft products. Matt is speaking today...
  • Weekly Roundup : Sep 16, 2011 : Bot Net Armies and Heidi Klum

    Trending Security News Sometimes the juxtaposition of stories you read is kind of interesting. Over at Network World, Tim Greene authored an article Bot army being assembled, awaiting orders . While CNET News reported Heidi Klum the 'most dangerous' celeb on the Net . It appears as if Klum , a model, actress, and television host is quite a popular subject of online searches, and about 10 percent of search results on her are reported to be malicious – leveraging the “social engineering” power of Ms...
  • Read the Series: Lessons from Least Malware Infected Countries

    Tim Rains’ recent series on Lessons from the Least Malware Infected Countries has been very popular, so we created a page that brings all of the links together so that it is easier to read through the full series of posts. Click here to go to the full series page.   Regards ~Jeff