Steve Riley on Security

Formerly of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group.

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  • Blog Post: Security myths and passwords

    I like this a lot. http://www.cerias.purdue.edu/weblogs/spaf/general/post-30/ In the practice of security we have accumulated a number of “rules of thumb” that many people accept without careful consideration. Some of these get included in policies, and thus may get propagated to environments...
  • Blog Post: Why administrative passwords will never be like nuclear missile launchers

    During the past few months many people have lamented that Windows lacks a nuclear missile style control option for administrator passwords. Surely you've read about or seen photographs of missile silos where two operators, separated by a distance greater than the span of a single human's arms, must each...
  • Blog Post: Password policies. Once again.

    Recently in the newsgroups ( news:microsoft.public.security , to be specific) the question of password polices and the out-of-box defaults came up. The poster lamented a number of things: that Microsoft doesn't enable account lockout by default, that we don't have a built-in mechanism for automatically...
  • Blog Post: It's me, and here's my proof: why identity and authentication must remain distinct

    My February Security Management column is posted: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/community/columns/secmgmt/sm0206.mspx No matter what kinds of technological or procedural advancements occur, certain principles of computer science will remain -- especially those concerning information security...
  • Blog Post: What do YOU need out of two-factor authentication?

    Two-factor authentication continues to grow in popularity and emerge as a security requirement for many people I meet with. At Microsoft, we use smartcards internally for VPN access right now; soon we'll be requiring smartcards for domain logon, too. We are also looking at ways to require two-factor...
  • Blog Post: Passgen tool from my book

    Way back in 2005, Jesper Johannson and I wrote Protect Your Windows Network . It’s still available , and although its product set is now somewhat dated (Windows XP and Server 2003), much of the practical advice about security policies, social engineering, security dependencies, and how to think about...