NSA Discloses Details About a Windows Security Flaw

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Microsoft has released a critical patch for Windows after the US National Security Agency (NSA) detected a dangerous bug in the operating system. This hazardous vulnerability was already affecting hundreds of millions of computers running Windows 10. The main concern for Windows 10 users seems to be the data privacy that can be compromised due to the bug.

NSA notified Microsoft as soon as they discovered the security flaw. The security flaw is known to potentially cause major data breaches. The NSA believes the flaw is serious and that hackers will discover ways to rapidly manipulate it. The effects of not fixing the vulnerability can be very damaging.

This malicious bug is in Windows’ system that verifies software validity and creating secure network connections. If the verification check isn’t reliable, invaders can take advantage, e.g., remotely disperse malware or divert sensitive data. NSA suggested that users accelerate deployment of the patch right away. In this type of situation, it is best to act quickly to ensure mitigation of risks as soon as possible.

What Is Known About This Severe Windows Security Vulnerability?

The flaw is explicitly in Microsoft’s CryptoAPI service, which helps developers to secure software cryptographically, or create digital documents used in authentication. An attacker could theoretically manipulate the bug to weaken vital safeguards, and eventually take control of target devices.

As hackers explore the vulnerability and hurry to build a hacking tool that leverages it, the scale of the threat to users will become clearer. But a flaw in a key cryptographic element of Windows is tough, especially given that Windows 10 is the most popular and used operating system in the world, installed on more than 900 million PCs.

This is a fundamental piece of the Windows operating system and one that creates a trust boundary between regular users, and other computers – on both the local network and the internet.

What Does NSA Have to Say About This High-Risk Vulnerability?

The Windows 10 bug disclosure is NSA’s attempt to avoid disastrous circumstances. And is part of an NSA attempt to share its vulnerability outcomes more swiftly and more regularly. The endeavor will work in tandem with the Vulnerability Equities Process, which takes into consideration the national security significance of keeping hacking tools confidential versus revealing vulnerabilities.

The collaboration between the NSA and Microsoft to mitigate the vulnerability is an encouraging development. The NSA formerly built hacking tools to exploit Microsoft system flaws, through an activity called Eternal Blue. The NSA’s exploit was stolen by hackers and used by cybercriminals in a cycle of ransomware attacks all over the United States.

Microsoft will release patches for Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016, which was also affected. Microsoft maintained a close loop of confidentiality around the details of the vulnerabilities, with few at the company completely informed of their existence.

How Can Windows 10 Users Find the Right Solution for Their Security Privacy?

Cybersecurity researchers have communicated their concerns about the Microsoft Windows 10 flaw, believing this could allow cyber attackers into invading infrastructures secured with encryption as they move from sender to recipient. This is an activity that relies on Transfer Layer Security (TLS) a cryptographic protocol. Developers running applications that use TLS, for example, will have a major impact on their threat models.

The best way to ensure this or any other future security flaw affecting your operating system, is by implementing a threat model that is proactive and safeguards your data. Threat modeling helps organizations map out and model IT infrastructure components, including users and connectors, in order to better understand security threats.

Learn more about what developers need to know to protect data

Companies decide the level of risk they are willing to accept – also known as risk appetite. Determining factors include acceptable loss, mitigation cost against the potential loss and general impact of the security event. ThreatModeler sets itself apart from the competition by automating key processes and saving time, costs and efforts. It also differentiates itself by developing proactive solutions to reduce your attack surface.

How Windows 10 Users Can Benefit From ThreatModeler to Secure Their Data

ThreatModeler keeps updated with the latest threats through integrations with main threat frameworks (CAPEC, OWASP, NVD), plus cloud services. Scalability is a big plus, allowing Windows 10 users to save threat models to a library, refine their approach along the way, and build upon existing libraries.

ThreatModeler is an automated tool that takes the guesswork out of creating threat models for your enterprise. Out-of-the-box, professionals with minimum technical understanding can build a threat model with all the components, connectors and users needed. Making server-client relationships as simple as possible, while managing API content lifecycles will help ensure a more secure SDLC. To discover how ThreatModeler is the right tool for your DevSecOps program, we recommend scheduling a live demo. You can also contact us directly to speak with a threat modeling expert.

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