Microsoft Attack Surface Analyzer 1.0 Released

Last year a free beta version of Attack Surface Analyzer tool was released, and now it is out of beta and Attack Surface Analyzer is available for download. The purpose of this tool is to help software developers, Independent Software Vendors and IT Professionals better understand changes in Windows systems’ attack surface resulting from the installation of new applications.

Unlike many tools that analyze a system based on signatures or known vulnerabilities, Attack Surface Analyzer looks for classes of security weaknesses Microsoft has seen when applications are installed on the Windows operating system, and it highlights these as issues. The tool also gives an overview of changes to the system that Microsoft considers important to the security of the platform, and it highlights these changes in the attack surface report. Some of the checks performed by the tool include 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.

The Attack Surface Analyzer enables:

    •Developers to view changes in the attack surface resulting from the introduction of their code on to the Windows platform.
    •IT Professionals to assess the aggregate attack surface change by the installation of an organization’s line of business applications
    •IT Security Auditors to evaluate the risk of a particular piece of software installed on the Windows platform during threat risk reviews
    •IT Security Incident Responders to gain a better understanding of the state of a systems security during investigations (if a baseline scan was taken of the system during the deployment phase)

Get more information and download Attack Surface Analyzer 1.0 Here.


46 Percent of Smartphone Customers Experience Slow Mobile Data Speeds

A recent survey conducted in April 2012 by the Pew Research Center‘s Internet and American Life Project found that 46% of participants experienced slow mobile data speeds multiple times a week or more often than that.

Of the participants, 49% of users reported experiencing slow mobile data speeds weekly. While only 21% of all surveyed users said they never experienced slow data speeds.

“As mobile owners become fond of just-in-time access to others and as their expectations about getting real-time information rise, they depend on the cell phone’s technical reliability,” said Jan Lauren Boyles, a Pew Internet Project researcher who authored the report. “Any problems that snag, stall or stop users from connecting to the material and people they seek is at least a hassle to them and sometimes is even more disturbing than that in this networked world.”

The survey also found that 32% of all mobile users (including smartphones and feature phones) experience dropped calls at least weekly, while 35% of smartphone users (not including feature phones) experience dropped calls weekly. As well as 25% of mobile phone owners and 29% of smartphone users experience spam or unwanted texts weekly.

I have had issues in the past with horrible data speeds and I know first hand that it can be the most annoying thing. The results from this survey contrast that which the mobile networks advertise, below is the advertised mobile download speeds.

Verizon LTE: average download speeds of 5-12 Mbps
AT&T LTE: average download speeds of 5-12 Mbps
Sprint LTE: average download speeds of 6-8 Mbps
T-Mobile HSPA+42: average download speeds around 8 Mbps