Microsoft releases Attack Surface Analyzer beta

Microsoft has introduced a tool for developers and IT professionals to identify security weaknesses caused by changes to the Windows operating system.The Attack Surface Analyzer tool, which is currently in beta, takes snapshots of Windows, and looks for classes of security vulnerability as applications are installed, or changes are made to a Windows system.

Microsoft has introduced a tool for developers and IT professionals to identify security weaknesses caused by changes to the Windows operating system.

The Attack Surface Analyzer tool, which is currently in beta, takes snapshots of Windows, and looks for classes of security vulnerability as applications are installed, or changes are made to a Windows system. The tool then prepares a report detailing any weaknesses.

The Attack Surface Analyzer is designed to check any changes to a system caused by installing applications, altering runtime parameters, or changing system state, Microsoft said in a blog post on Tuesday.

"Some of the checks performed by the tool include analysis of changed or newly added files, registry keys, services, ActiveX Controls, listening ports, access control lists and other parameters that affect a computer's attack surface," Microsoft said in the blog.

The beta was released on Wednesday, and publicised by Microsoft at the Black Hat DC security conference.

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