Microsoft Security Blog

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

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  • Blog Post: #TBT : Be Safer–Run as Standard User

    For #ThrowBackThursday, I thought it would be good to pull out an old but goodie. The original post is from back before the blog evolved into the Microsoft Security Blog and was still called “Jeff Jones Security Blog”. I’m including the full original text below, but this guidance...
  • Blog Post: Windows Vista vs Windows XP SP2 Vulnerability Report 2007

    In the wake of my Windows Vista One Year Vulnerability Report , I have received many questions regarding the current vulnerability record of Windows Vista as compares with Windows XP SP2. This short paper is a compilation of vulnerability data for Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Windows XP SP2...
  • Blog Post: The Threat Landscape in India – More Active Than First Thought

    The threat landscape in India has turned out to be more active than initially suspected. India has had a relatively low malware infection rate for some time, which seemed subdued for a region that has such a large high tech industry. But with the new data we recently released in the latest Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Windows 98 - the End is Nigh and a Look Back

    What OS were you using in 1998? Windows 98? Red Hat 5.1? Something else? The MSRC blog recently re-iterated the upcoming end of life for Windows 98 , Window 98SE and Windows ME, indicating that there will be no support after the July 11th patch Tuesday. (There’s more detail about this and other Support...
  • Blog Post: Windows vs Linux (Red Hat) - Workstation - 1st Half 2006

    NOTE: I am not asserting that my vulnerability analysis demonstrates that Windows is more secure. Rather, I frequently hear and read Linux advocates making unsupported assertions to the opposite that Linux is inherently more secure than Windows. The "unsupported" part of that bothers me, so I check for...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Security Intelligence Report - 1st Half 2007

    The third volume of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR) is now available for download at: www.microsoft.com/sir - this link will take you to a summary portal that has links to the downloadable document, upcoming webcasts about the SIR results, and so on. As one of the primary authors for...
  • Blog Post: January 2007 - Vuln Scorecard

    I just posted my January 2007 - Operating System Vulnerability Scorecard over on CSOOnline, which includes charts comparing the vulnerabilities in Windows, Red Hat Linux, Ubuntu, Sun, and Mac OS X, broken down by server and workstation. I do include the first 2 months of Windows Vista as well, which...
  • Blog Post: Windows Vista x64 Security - Pt 1

    I recently took home a build of Windows Vista for my home machine, which happens to be a dual processor 64-bit Dell machine, and it made me curious about the differences between the x86 and x64 version of Vista – specifically security differences. After doing a brief bit of research, I found three...
  • Blog Post: Windows Vista User Account Control (UAC)

    Jesper apparently stirred up things a bit with his latest post, Please don't disable security features, at least while we are testing them , asking folks to recognize that a Beta is not a final product and that you should wait to see the final before making hasty decisions like disabling a security feature...
  • Blog Post: Feb09 Security Bulletin SDL Benefit Summary

    Summaries from previous months: Jan09 Security Bulletin SDL Benefit Summary When I do analysis and reports on Microsoft products, I typically look for where the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) has helped to provide improvement and provide some stats on that.  This year, I decided to try and...
  • Blog Post: Further Perspectives on Symantec Vista "Research"

    Since my original post on last week's Symantec paper, they've released another one as noted by Joris Evers in Symantec continues Vista bug hunt . Now that I've read both of the first two papers, I note two perspectives from Symantec on this: 1) the perspective of the researchers in their paper, and...
  • Blog Post: Q1 2008 - Client OS Vulnerability Scorecard

    This paper is a compilation of vulnerability data for client operating systems for the first 3 month, January through March, of 2008. Vulnerabilities and fixes for the following products are discussed: Microsoft Windows Vista Microsoft Windows XP SP2 Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 client) Red...
  • Blog Post: Where, oh Where, are Perfect Security Features?

    In my recent exploration of Windows Vista x64 security features and Patchguard (see pt1 and pt2 ), one of the issues sent my thoughts in the direction of how "perfect" security feature are (or are not) and how that affected security value to customers. So, here is the scenario. You read about a new security...
  • Blog Post: Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) in Windows Vista Beta2 ?

    UPDATE: Mike Howard has posted to his blog , confirming David and providing details on the Vista ASLR features. So, a couple of weeks ago, Jesper Johannsen wrote how the Windows Firewall was one of his favorite security features in Windows Vista. My favorite security enhancements tend to be architectural...
  • Blog Post: Koreans Vanquish Top Malware Threat, Threat Landscape Continues to be Incredibly Active

    In a recent post, called The Curious Case of Qatar , I discuss how Qatar has the highest regional infection rate that we have ever reported. Prior to this the Republic of Korea had the highest malware infection rate in the world; back in July of this year I wrote about how the threat landscape in Korea...
  • Blog Post: Artima: Microsoft Under Attack

    A new article called Microsoft Under Attack summarizes itself by saying: Not by angry customers suing for damages after security breaches, or by governments breaking up monopolies, but by open source developers and security professionals accusing them of being obsessed by security. The content...
  • Blog Post: Symantec's Plea : Protect our Protection Racket

    I must emphasize that these are my thoughts as an individual and do not necessarily reflect those of Microsoft, or MSN, or any of the teams I happen to work with. While some of the notions in this article may be provocative, they are consistent with my charter of provoking thoughtful discussions and...
  • Blog Post: Background and Overview for Days-of-Risk

    I just published a Basic Guide to Days of Risk over on my CSO Magazine Blog , in preparation for a new quarterly days-of-risk study I'm going to start publishing. If you don't have a good understanding of the days-of-risk metrics, the post will give you the background on the metric and reference several...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Security Bulletins – March 2011

    Today, the Microsoft Security Response Center released three bulletins addressing four vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. One bulletin is rated Critical, and this is the bulletin we recommend for priority deployment: MS11-015 . This bulletin resolves one Critical-level and one...
  • Blog Post: December 2006 Catch-up

    Well, between the Holidays and 2 weeks of being sick, I didn't stay very current during December. So, to get back on track, I thought I'd create this summary, backdate it to December 31 (today is January 2nd, 2007), just so I can share my comments on some of the interesting security happenings during...
  • Blog Post: UAC, an Excellent Description and Discussion by Crispin Cowan

    I was excited when Dr. Crispin Cowan joined the company a while back - what security person wouldn't be! As one of the key drivers behind StackGuard , Linux Security Modules and co-founder of Immunix, which produced AppArmor - few people are as qualified as Dr. Cowan to talk about security features and...
  • Blog Post: Windows Server codename "Longhorn" - Server Core Install

    This past weekend I dug into an aspect of Windows Server codename "Longhorn" to personally check out something that I've been excited about for a while - a "server core" installation. Doing the Installation After burning myself a Beta3 disk, I fired it up and after a few basic screens (USEnglish...
  • Blog Post: Hundreds of Pages of New Security Intelligence Now Available: Microsoft Security Intelligence Report Volume 12 Released

    Today we released the latest volume of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR) containing a large body of new data and analysis on the threat landscape. This volume of the SIR includes: Latest industry vulnerability disclosure trends and analysis Latest data and analysis of global vulnerability...
  • Blog Post: What You Should Know About Drive-By Download Attacks – Part 2

    In part one of this two-part series, I focused on how drive-by download attacks work. These attacks can be complicated because they can use multiple levels of redirection enabling components of an attack to be hosted on compromised systems in different parts of the world. Despite the relative sophistication...
  • Blog Post: February 2007 - Vuln Scorecard

    I just posted my February 2007 - Operating System Vulnerability Scorecard over on CSOOnline, which includes charts comparing the vulnerabilities in Windows, Red Hat Linux, Ubuntu, Novell, Sun, and Mac OS X, broken down by server and workstation. I do include the first 3 months of Windows Vista as...