Microsoft recently released the Attack Surface Analyzer 1.0, whose beta version was launched last year. The tool is useful for software developers, especially during the verification phase of the Microsoft software lifecycle, and helps understand changes in Windows systems’ attack surface resulting from the installation of new application.
As compared to the beta version, this 1.0 release comprises several performance enhancements and bug fixes to improve the user experience.
The Attack Surface Analyzer 1.0 performs several checks, including analysis of changed or newly added files, registry keys, services, Microsoft ActiveX controls, listening ports and other parameters that affect a computer’s attack surface. It also comprises a wizard to help guide users through the scanning and analysis process, and hence has a user-friendly interface and working.
Microsoft has become quite pro-active when it comes to internet security. That’s why it supported the Do Not Track feature and also included the same in its latest browser version. Do Not Track feature will be turned on by default, when the newest version of Internet Explorer becomes available for the public. In fact, the U.S. Congress and the European Union is backing Microsoft’s “on by default” aspiration, as they are looking to protect the privacy of consumers.
Another big news that came from Microsoft’s realm about online security is that their native antivirus is going to come pre-installed for out-of-the-box operating systems. This move is probably designed to help patch up the ailing image of Microsoft Windows when it comes to its propensity to end up being a haven for viruses. Micorosft Windows XP SP2,Vista, and 7 comprise Windows Defender—which, while not a fully fledged antivirus product, did attempt to educate users by yelling at them to get an antivirus service installed.
But for Windows 8, Windows Defender will be buttressed with the power of Microsoft Security Essentials bringing it up to speed with modern antivirus perimeter defenses and refreshing its armaments. While this may be good for both Windows users as well as the Microsoft, the antivirus vendors, such as Symantec and McAfee may see this as a slash at their bottom-line. After all, they have been providing their antivirus products to Windows users so far. Whatever it is, Microsoft installing their own antivirus into an OS is a really good step to cope with increasing malware menace.