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Security

  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Images for Threat Modelling Post

    • 0 Comments
    Recently I've had several folks ask me for the images for my Threat Modelling Post , which have disappeared due to various back-end changes over the years. The first few times I just e-mailed the Visio diagram, but more people are asking so I updated...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Updating Firefox as non-admin

    • 2 Comments
    Firefox , like all web browsers, needs to be regularly updated to keep up with security patches . Version 1.5 has an auto-update feature built-in, but unfortunately if you're not running as a local Administrator (at least in Windows), it doesn't work...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    When facts get in the way of a good argument

    • 3 Comments
    I've wanted to write this blog for a long time, but never gotten around to it. It's a very simple observation, but one that too many people fail to make. Maybe something will come of it :-) Oftentimes you will see something like the following on...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Why not use hashes for the Anti-Phishing Filter?

    • 0 Comments
    Several people have asked why Internet Explorer 7 will send "real" URLs instead of hashes to the AP (Anti-Phishing) server. That's a good question, and I know it's a good question because it's the same thing just about everybody at Microsoft (including...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Blindly trusting detection tools

    • 6 Comments
    Imagine I have a house cleaner that comes in once a week to clean the house. After a while I start to notice that my house smells "fishy", but my house cleaner has just the ticket -- the all-new FishBeGone (TM) cleaner & fragrance that gets rid of...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    What is Microsoft doing for security?

    • 5 Comments
    A recent comment on the IE Blog made it pretty apparent that not everybody is aware of Microsoft's efforts around security. Michael Howard has mentioned the Security Developme n t Lifecyle before, but in case you don't want to read the entire document...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    HELLO? CAN YOU HEAR ME?!?

    • 0 Comments
    As most of my friends know, I'm a pretty jumpy person. And, of course, most of those same friends like to exploit that fact for their own amusement from time to time (thanks to J e f f for almost running me over the other day). The fact that I lose 5...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    IE Blog

    • 2 Comments
    For those of you who haven't already heard, the IE team has a blog and recently they've started to talk about some of the cool features to be found in IE 7 Beta 1 (or planned for RTM). I've been working pretty closely with the IE team for some time...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    The Evil Problem

    • 6 Comments
    Over on the IE Blog, a commenter made a very good point -- why is it that IE flags scripts as “potentially bad”? That’s very confusing to the average user, and they have no way of knowing whether or not the script really is bad or not (and therefore whether...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Malicious vs Spoofed Servers

    • 0 Comments
    Curious Caroline writes: Dear Peter , I have a friend who was talking to a security tester the other day, and apparently the tester said that having a "malicious server" is different than having a "spoofed" server. How is that...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Adding URLs to an application securely

    • 1 Comments
    An Anonymous Reader writes: Dear Peter, I am writing a desktop application that contains links to external websites inside the "Help" menu, as is common with many applications such as Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office. I...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Dear Diary...

    • 0 Comments
    I haven't really blogged in a while, mostly because it's hard to blog about the kind of work I do right now (improving the security of unreleased products). But, I thought to myself, one way to share some of my experience with all you great folks would...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    So that's what happens...

    • 2 Comments
    Today I did something I haven't done in a long time: I downloaded and installed some unsigned code while running as a local administrator on my home computer. I had to stare at the Security Warning dialog from Windows for quite a few moments before...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Mozilla now signs Firefox downloads

    • 13 Comments
    A little bird recently told me some good news -- Mozilla Firefox is now digitally signed by "Mozilla Foundation." This means that Windows customers who want to download the self-installing executable with Internet Explorer can do so and be sure that what...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Guerrilla Threat Modelling (or 'Threat Modeling' if you're American)

    • 20 Comments

    A crash-course in developing Data Flow Diagrams in support of software threat models

    ...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    High-Level Threat Modelling Process

    • 10 Comments
    The following is a (slightly modified) version of a document I wrote for the VSTO team way back in the day. You might find it useful as you plan threat modelling for your product(s). You should of course read the Threat Modelling book from Microsoft Press...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Inheritance Demands for Interfaces

    • 11 Comments
    I'm cheating here by re-posting an e-mail I sent the other day... but hey, you don't expect me to come up with new content for this blog do you? :-) Here is a deliberately contrived example of why you might need to protect interfaces with inheritance...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    I love Slashdot

    • 244 Comments
    The comments from my last post are still coming in thick and fast. Thanks to everyone who didn't just swear at me (and if I didn't approve your comment, it was because it had too much profanity in it). First things first: I was wrong about uninstalling...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    How can I trust Firefox?

    • 1,408 Comments
    [Fixed issues with images; sorry] [Removed the clear=all problem; thanks for pointing it out] [Added a follow-up post here ] Recently, a lot of volunteers donated money to the Firefox project to pay for a two-page advert in the New York Times . If only...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Career Update

    • 18 Comments
    Just thought I’d let people know that I have moved from the Visual Studio Tools for Office team to the Secure Windows Initiative team. Exactly what that means for my blogging activities, I don’t yet know. I haven’t really been doing much of...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    AllowPartiallyTrustedCallers and AppDomain Boundaries

    • 2 Comments
    Continuing on from yesterday's post on creating pa r tially-trusted AppDomains , I had a bit of an e-mail exchange with Robert Hurlbut of Hurlbut Consulting . He wanted me to divulge all my secrets about AppDomains to him over e-mail, but I do intend...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Creating a partially-trusted AppDomain

    • 4 Comments
    Shawn has some great blog entries on how to create restricted (or "sandboxed") AppDomains in the CLR by setting up custom AppDomain policy. Perhaps not surprisingly, this is one of the techniques used by Visual Studio Tools for Office to ensure that untrusted...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Dr. Strongname, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the URL

    • 9 Comments
    One of the problems with the Trustworthy Computing initiative is that many of our products have become harder to use as a result, either due to configuration changes or documentation changes. For example, Windows Server 2003 now ships with pretty much...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Show me the money!

    • 4 Comments
    A member of the VSTO team just came to my office and asked, "Is it bad to trust all Office documents on the Local Intranet?" That's a good question, and after answering it for him I thought it was also worth blogging about (plus I'm hanging around...
  • Peter Torr's Blog

    Threat Models in Action

    • 0 Comments
    As you probably know, the first Visual Studio "Whidbey" beta was released a few months ago, and we are hard at work finishing the product for release sometime... soon. ish. As you also probably know, Microsoft is now threat-modelling all new components...
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