Microsoft expands bug info-sharing program to larger crowd
Acknowledges increased risk of leaks to hackers
Computerworld - Microsoft today announced an expansion of a program that shares information with select security firms that will give a new class of researchers access to threat data before the company patches its software.
The current Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) will be scrapped, said Mike Reavey, a senior director of the Microsoft Security Response Center, or MSRC, in an interview Friday. Taking its place will be a new two-pronged program.
MAPP for Security Vendors will take the place of the original MAPP, which debuted in October 2008. Like its predecessor, MAPP for Security Vendors will provide detailed data on vulnerabilities Microsoft intends to patch. Some of the vetted vendors, those with the longest time in MAPP, will receive vulnerability details from Microsoft earlier than before: Three business days prior to Patch Tuesday rather than the current one day.
What Reavey called "entry-level partners" will continue to get bug information just a day ahead of time.
In 2008, Microsoft cast MAPP as a way to give proven security developers time to write detection signatures so that they could protect customers as soon as patches shipped. Reavey said the motivation hadn't changed.
"Vendors have told us that if they had a bit more time, they could create even higher-quality protection that would cover more scenarios and have less of a chance of generating false positives," said Reavey.
Also new to MAPP for Security Vendors is an initiative that will rope some participants into helping Microsoft's quality control work.
Dubbed MAPP Validation, the initiative will give a subset of the security vendors additional threat detection data -- not of the vulnerabilities themselves, but how to spot attacks exploiting those vulnerabilities -- up to a couple of weeks before patches go public.
Those companies, said Reavey, will be obligated to file bug reports and test the detections -- he called those responsibilities a "tax" levied in return for the right to receive early information -- in the hope that they will spot problems Microsoft overlooked.
"Not everyone will want to sign up for [MAPP Validation]," Reavey acknowledged.
Microsoft already has a similar program, called the Software Update Validation Program (SUVP), where large corporate customers test patches before they're released to help Redmond find flaws that break workflows or cause crashes.
The completely new part of MAPP, called MAPP for Responders, may be the most controversial. Under that part of the program, Microsoft will share threat intelligence information, including malicious URLs, malware file hashes, incident data and detection guidance, with a broader audience.
Microsoft envisions that MAPP for Responders will include corporations, government-funded security response teams -- called CERTs, like the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team -- and private organizations.
- Securing Mobile App Data - Comparing Containers and App Wrappers Analysts agree that Mobile Device Management (MDM) is not enough when it comes to securing app data. Although it remains a critical component...
- PCI 3.0 Compliance In this white paper, learn how PCI-DSS 3.0 effects how you deploy and maintain PCI compliant networks using CradlePoint devices.
- Mitigating Security Risks at the Networks Edge This white paper provides strategies and best practices for distributed enterprises to protect their networks against vulnerabilities, threats, and malicious attacks.
- 5 Strategies for Modern Data Protection Read the five strategies for modern data protection that will not only help solve your current data management challenges but also ensure that...
- Business-driven data protection Setting up data protection infrastructures with your organizations' core mission or business in mind is key. In this webinar, the ARCserve team will...
- On-Demand Webinar: Mind the Gap! Watch the webinar featuring Bob Janssen, CTO and Co-Founder of RES Software, to start building a solid foundation for business and IT to... All Security White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!