Connect with us


Microsoft releases new version of Attack Surface Analyzer utility



Seven years after releasing version 1.0, Microsoft has published version 2.0 of its Attack Surface Analyzer utility, a tool that logs the changes made to a Windows OS during the installation of third-party applications.

Released at the end of April, Attack Surface Analyzer 2.0 marks the end of a long development cycle during which Microsoft engineers rewrote the utility using .NET Core and Electron, two cross-platform technologies; meaning the tool now also runs on macOS and Linux, besides Windows.

Over the last seven years, the tool has had an essential role in the daily work of system administrators and malware hunters. Its ability to track changes made to an operating system’s configuration helped many professionals identify potential security risks and flag suspicious apps before they got any chance of doing serious damage.

Furthermore, the tool was also popular with app developers, especially in the testing phase, helping many app makers identify and patch buggy code that could have ended up in crashing end-users systems.

Where to download

The new Attack Surface Analyzer 2.0 is now available on GitHub, where Microsoft has open-sourced the code and opened the development process to any contributors.

Fans of the old Attack Surface Analyzer 1.0 release can still get the older version — now known as the “classic” version — from Microsoft’s main download center.

How to use the new tool

The new Attack Surface Analyzer 2.0 is pretty straightforward to use. The entire tool is just two sections — one for scanning a system, and one for displaying the results.

The scan section supports two types of scans, a static scan, and a live monitoring mode.

Static scans can be used to detect changes made between a before and after state. Users are supposed to scan a system before installing an app, and after the app’s installation. This will produce a report showing the changes between the two states.

The second scan mode is called Live Monitoring, and as the name suggests, records changes made to a Windows OS in real time.

Attack Surface Analyzer 2.0 Scan tab

Image: Microsoft

The Results section lists changes made to various key areas of a Windows OS, such as:

  • File System
  • Network Ports (listeners)
  • System Services
  • System Certificate Stores
  • Windows Registry
  • User Accounts
Attack Surface Analyzer 2.0 Results tab

Attack Surface Analyzer 2.0 Results tab

Image: Microsoft

Besides the Electron-based GUI app, Microsoft engineers have also released an improved CLI tool that can be used as part of automated toolchains.

Attack Surface Analyzer 2.0 CLI

Attack Surface Analyzer 2.0 CLI

Image: Microsoft

Related cybersecurity coverage:

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Work from Home Security



Spin Master is a leading global children’s entertainment company that invents toys and games, produces dozens of television and studio series that are distributed in 160 countries, and creates a variety of digital games played by more than 30 million children. What was once a small private company founded by childhood friends is now a public global supply chain with over 1,500 employees and 28 offices around the world.

Like most organizations in 2020, Spin Master had to adapt quickly to the new normal of remote work, shifting most of its production from cubicles in regional and head offices to hundreds of employees working from home and other remote locations.

This dramatic shift created potential security risks, as most employees were no longer behind the firewall on the corporate network. Without the implementation of hardened endpoint security, the door would be open for bad actors to infiltrate the organization, acquire intellectual property, and ransom customer information. Additionally, the potential downtime caused by a security breach could harm the global supply chain. With that in mind, Spin Master created a self-imposed 30-day deadline to extend its network protection capabilities to the edge.

Key Findings:

  • Think Long Term: The initial goal of establishing a stop-gap work-from-home (WFH) and work-from-anywhere (WFA) strategy has since morphed into a permanent strategy, requiring long-term solutions.
  • Gather Skills: The real urgency posed by the global pandemic made forging partnerships with providers that could fill all the required skill sets a top priority.
  • Build Momentum: The compressed timeline left no room for delay or error. The Board of Directors threw its support behind the implementation team and gave it broad budget authority to ensure rapid action, while providing active guidance to align strategy with action.
  • Deliver Value: The team established two key requirements that the selected partner must deliver: implementation support and establishing an ongoing managed security operations center (SOC).
Continue Reading


Key Criteria for Evaluating Privileged Access Management



Privileged Access Management (PAM) enables administrative access to critical IT systems while minimizing the chances of security compromises through monitoring, policy enforcement, and credential management.

A key operating principle of all PAM systems is the separation of user credentials for individual staff members from the system administration credentials they are permitted to use. PAM solutions store and manage all of the privileged credentials, providing system access without requiring users to remember, or even know, the privileged password. Of course, all staff have their own unique user ID and password that they use to complete everyday tasks such as accessing email and writing documents. Users who are permitted to handle system administration tasks that require privileged credentials log into the PAM solution, which provides and controls such access according to predefined security policies. These policies control who is allowed to use which privileged credentials when, where, and for what tasks. An organization’s policy may also require logging and recording of the actions undertaken with the privileged credentials.

Once implemented, PAM will improve your security posture in several ways. The first is by segregating day-to-day duties from duties that require elevated access, reducing the risk of accidental privileged actions. Secondly, automated password management reduces the possibility that credentials will be shared while also lowering the risk if credentials are accidentally exposed. Finally, extensive logging and activity recording in PAM solutions aids audits of critical system access for both preventative and forensic security.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Vendor Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

Continue Reading


Adventist Risk Management Data Protection Infrastructure



Companies always want to enhance their ability to quickly address pressing business needs. Toward that end, they look for new ways to make their IT infrastructures more efficient—and more cost effective. Today, those pressing needs often center around data protection and regulatory compliance, which was certainly the case for Adventist Risk Management. What they wanted was an end-to-end, best-in-class solution to meet their needs. After trying several others, they found the perfect combination with HYCU and Nutanix, which provided:

  • Ease of deployment
  • Outstanding ROI
  • Overall TCO improvement

Nutanix Cloud Platform provides a software-defined hyperconverged infrastructure, while HYCU offers purpose-built backup and recovery for Nutanix. Compared to the previous traditional infrastructure and data protection solutions in use at Adventist Risk Management, Nutanix and HYCU simplified processes, speeding day-to-day operations up to 75%. Now, migration and update activities typically scheduled for weekends can be performed during working hours and help to increase IT staff and management quality of life. HYCU further increased savings by providing faster and more frequent points of recovery as well as better DR Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) by increasing the ability to do daily backups from one to four per day.

Furthermore, the recent adoption of Nutanix Objects, which provides secure and performant S3 storage capabilities, enhanced the infrastructure by:

    • Improving overall performance for backups
    • Adding security against potential ransomware attacks
    • Replacing components difficult to manage and support

In the end, Nutanix and HYCU enabled their customer to save money, improve the existing environment, and, above all, meet regulatory compliance requirements without any struggle.

Continue Reading