MS security assessment tool is a 'game changer'
Microsoft on Friday released an open-source program designed to streamline the labor-intensive process of identifying security vulnerabilities in software while it's still under development.
As its name suggests, !exploitable Crash Analyzer (pronounced "bang exploitable crash analyzer") combs through bugs that cause a program to seize up, and assesses the likelihood of them being exploited by attackers. Dan Kaminsky, a well-known security expert who also provides consulting services to Microsoft, hailed the release a "game changer" because it provides a reliable way for developers to sort through thousands of bugs to identify the several dozen that pose the greatest risk.
"Microsoft has taken years of difficulties with security vulnerabilities and really condensed that experience down to a repeatable tool that takes a look at a crash and says 'You better take a look at this,'" Kaminsky told The Reg. "What makes !exploitable so fascinating is that it takes at least the first level of this knowledge and packages it up into something that can be in the workflow."
Over the past five years, Microsoft has made a fair amount of progress hardening its operating systems and applications against the most-common security threats. Protections such as Address Space Layout Randomization and cross-site scripting defenses have been added to later versions of Windows and Internet Explorer, respectively. And the company has generally managed to exorcise its programs of dangerous vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by attackers.
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