Microsoft will show world+dog how to write secure code

SDL for the masses


After spending four years as an internal process for designing secure programs from the ground up, Microsoft's Secure Development Lifecycle could soon go mainstream.

The company on Tuesday unveiled plans to help other organizations adopt comprehensive secure coding practices through three initiatives that will go live sometime in November. The company is billing them as a way to bring SDL practices to the development masses.

The first initiative is the release of the Microsoft SDL Threat Modeling Tool. The software is designed to streamline the development of secure applications by helping teams track and mitigate security and privacy flaws that are likely to affect specific types of applications. The idea is to streamline secure coding by giving guidance in drawing threat diagrams, analysis of threats and mitigations and integrating with an organization's bug tracking systems.

A software process involving an external entity, for example, would be flagged by the tool for vulnerabilities involving spoofing and repudiation. Dataflow processes, by contrast, would be flagged for tampering and information disclosure.

It was only yesterday that Window Snyder, Mozilla's chief of security and a former Microsoft employee, said security departments from different organizations should cooperate more in their common goal of keeping the net secure.

"I would love to see Microsoft's internal tools available to you guys to be able to use in an IT deployment or to use in the development of other software products," Snyder told attendees of the MIS Training Institute's IT Security World conference in San Francisco. "These are incredibly useful."

The second initiative is Microsoft's SDL optimization model, which is designed to help outside agencies develop an internal SDL process of their own or better assess the quality of their current SDL program.

A third initiative, dubbed the Microsoft SDL Pro Network, is a collection of third-party security providers that will help outside organizations tackle specific challenges in developing secure applications. Nine security consultancies have been tapped for the one-year pilot program. They include: Cigital, IOActive, iSEC Partners, Leviathan Security Group, Next Genertion Security Software, Nruns Professionals, Security Innovation, Security University, and Verizon Business. ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • North Korea pulled in $400m in cryptocurrency heists last year – report

    Plus: FIFA 22 players lose their identity and Texas gets phony QR codes

    In brief Thieves operating for the North Korean government made off with almost $400m in digicash last year in a concerted attack to steal and launder as much currency as they could.

    A report from blockchain biz Chainalysis found that attackers were going after investment houses and currency exchanges in a bid to purloin funds and send them back to the Glorious Leader's coffers. They then use mixing software to make masses of micropayments to new wallets, before consolidating them all again into a new account and moving the funds.

    Bitcoin used to be a top target but Ether is now the most stolen currency, say the researchers, accounting for 58 per cent of the funds filched. Bitcoin accounted for just 20 per cent, a fall of more than 50 per cent since 2019 - although part of the reason might be that they are now so valuable people are taking more care with them.

    Continue reading
  • Tesla Full Self-Driving videos prompt California's DMV to rethink policy on accidents

    Plus: AI systems can identify different chess players by their moves and more

    In brief California’s Department of Motor Vehicles said it’s “revisiting” its opinion of whether Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving feature needs more oversight after a series of videos demonstrate how the technology can be dangerous.

    “Recent software updates, videos showing dangerous use of that technology, open investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the opinions of other experts in this space,” have made the DMV think twice about Tesla, according to a letter sent to California’s Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), chair of the Senate’s transportation committee, and first reported by the LA Times.

    Tesla isn’t required to report the number of crashes to California’s DMV unlike other self-driving car companies like Waymo or Cruise because it operates at lower levels of autonomy and requires human supervision. But that may change after videos like drivers having to take over to avoid accidentally swerving into pedestrians crossing the road or failing to detect a truck in the middle of the road continue circulating.

    Continue reading
  • Alien life on Super-Earth can survive longer than us due to long-lasting protection from cosmic rays

    Laser experiments show their magnetic fields shielding their surfaces from radiation last longer

    Life on Super-Earths may have more time to develop and evolve, thanks to their long-lasting magnetic fields protecting them against harmful cosmic rays, according to new research published in Science.

    Space is a hazardous environment. Streams of charged particles traveling at the speed of light, ejected from stars and distant galaxies, bombard planets. The intense radiation can strip atmospheres and cause oceans on planetary surfaces to dry up over time, leaving them arid and incapable of supporting habitable life. Cosmic rays, however, are deflected away from Earth, however, since it’s shielded by its magnetic field.

    Now, a team of researchers led by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) believe that Super-Earths - planets that are more massive than Earth but less than Neptune - may have magnetic fields too. Their defensive bubbles, in fact, are estimated to stay intact for longer than the one around Earth, meaning life on their surfaces will have more time to develop and survive.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022