Microsoft's security tool includes defenses inspired by BlueHat finalist

Micorsoft's new tool incorporates defenses against return-oriented programming attacks

Microsoft released the technology preview of a new security toolkit that uses defenses inspired by one of the contestants of its BlueHat Prize security competition, the company said on Wednesday.

The tool includes protection against return-oriented programming (ROP) attacks, an advanced technique attackers use to combine short pieces of valid code already present in a system for a malicious purpose, Microsoft said. The defense against those kind of attacks was developed by Ivan Fratric, a researcher at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, who earned a Ph. D. in computer science.

Fratric submitted a security tool called ROPguard to the BlueHat competition, which is software that aims to hinder return-oriented programming attacks by defining a set of checks that can be used to detect when certain functions are being called in the context of malicious ROP code, Microsoft said. Fratric's defense system can help protect against attacks that exploit memory safety vulnerabilities, the company added.

Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group released a technology preview of the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) 3.5 on Wednesday that includes ROP defenses "inspired by" Fratric's ROPguard. The technology was integrated in EMET within three months, and the addition helps make software significantly more resistant to exploitation, Microsoft said in a news release, adding that Fratric helped incorporate the technology into EMET.

The BlueHat Prize is a competition that aims to entice researchers to develop defensive technologies by awarding more than $250,000 in cash and prizes. The competition was launched at last year's BlackHat security conference in Las Vegas and closed on April 1, 2012. Microsoft has yet to determine if Fratric, who is one of three finalists, will receive the grand prize of $200,000. It plans to announce the winner on Thursday.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?