Security Research & Defense

Rusty construction shovel

Designing a COM library for Rust

I interned with Microsoft as a Software Engineering Intern in the MSRC UK team in Cheltenham this past summer. I worked in the Safe Systems Programming Language (SSPL) group, which explores safe programming languages as a proactive measure against memory-safety related vulnerabilities. This blog post describes the project that I have been working on under …

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Rusty construction shovel

Building the Azure IoT Edge Security Daemon in Rust

Azure IoT Edge is an open source, cross platform software project from the Azure IoT team at Microsoft that seeks to solve the problem of managing distribution of compute to the edge of your on-premise network from the cloud. This post explains some of the rationale behind our choice of Rust as the implementation programming …

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Attacking the VM Worker Process

In the past year we invested a lot of time making Hyper-V research more accessible to everyone. Our first blog post, “First Steps in Hyper-V Research”, describes the tools and setup for debugging the hypervisor and examines the interesting attack surfaces of the virtualization stack components. We then published “Fuzzing para-virtualized devices in Hyper-V”, which …

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Acquiring a VHD to Investigate

In a previous post we described some of the differences between on-premises/physical forensics and cyber investigations and those performed in the cloud, and how this can make cloud forensics challenging. That blog post described a method of creating and maintaining a VM image which can be distributed to multiple regions, allowing you to deploy this …

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Scalable infrastructure for investigations and incident response

Traditional computer forensics and cyber investigations are as relevant in the cloud as they are in on-premise environments, but the methods in which to access and perform such investigations differ. This post will describe some of the challenges of bringing on-premises forensics techniques to the cloud and show one solution to overcome these challenges, using …

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Corporate IoT – a path to intrusion

Several sources estimate that by the year 2020 some 50 billion IoT devices will be deployed worldwide. IoT devices are purposefully designed to connect to a network and many are simply connected to the internet with little management or oversight. Such devices still must be identifiable, maintained, and monitored by security teams, especially in large …

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Rusty construction shovel

We need a safer systems programming language

In our first post in this series, we discussed the need for proactively addressing memory safety issues. Tools and guidance are demonstrably not preventing this class of vulnerabilities; memory safety issues have represented almost the same proportion of vulnerabilities assigned a CVE for over a decade. We feel that using memory-safe languages will mitigate this …

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Rusty construction shovel

A proactive approach to more secure code

What if we could eliminate an entire class of vulnerabilities before they ever happened? Since 2004, the Microsoft Security Response Centre (MSRC) has triaged every reported Microsoft security vulnerability. From all that triage one astonishing fact sticks out: as Matt Miller discussed in his 2019 presentation at BlueHat IL, the majority of vulnerabilities fixed and …

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Time travel debugging: It’s a blast! (from the past)

The Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) works to assess vulnerabilities that are externally reported to us as quickly as possible, but time can be lost if we have to confirm details of the repro steps or environment with the researcher to reproduce the vulnerability. Microsoft has made our “Time Travel Debugging” (TTD) tool publicly available …

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