The purpose of this tool is to help software developers, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and IT Professionals better understand changes in Windows systems' attack surface resulting from the installation of new applications. Since the initial launch of Attack Surface Analyzer, we have received quite a bit of positive feedback on the value it has provided to customers.
This release includes performance enhancements and bug fixes to improve the user experience. Through improvements in the code, we were able to reduce the number of false positives and improve Graphic User Interface performance. This release also includes in-depth documentation and guidance to improve ease of use. For more information regarding the improvements see the ReadMe document.
The Attack Surface Analyzer tool is designed to assist independent software vendors (ISVs) and other software developers during the verification phase of the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) as they evaluate the changes their software makes to the attack surface of a computer. Because Attack Surface Analyzer does not require source code or symbol access, IT professionals and security auditors can also use the tool to gain a better understanding of the aggregate attack surface change that may result from the introduction of line-of-business (LOB) applications to the Windows platform.
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 tool has a stand-alone wizard to help guide users through the scanning and analysis process; a command-line version supports automation and older versions of Windows, and assists IT professionals as they integrate the tool with existing enterprise management tools.
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)
Is Attack Surface Analyzer V1 compatible with the Beta version of the tool?
Attack Surface Analyzer V1 is not compatible with the beta version. New scans are required to generate the baseline and product scans. If you are currently using the beta version in a development cycle, we recommend that you keep a copy of the beta version until this current cycle is complete.