March 31st, 2010, 21:39 PM
Microsoft runs fuzzing botnet, finds 1,800 Office bugs
Microsoft uncovered more than 1,800 bugs in Office 2010 by tapping into the unused computing horsepower of idling PCs, a company security engineer said today.
Office developers found the bugs by running millions of "fuzzing" tests, said Tom Gallagher, senior security test lead with Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing group.
Fuzzing, a practice employed by both software developers and security researchers, searches for flaws by inserting data into file format parsers to see where programs fail by crashing. Because some crash bugs can be further exploited to successfully hack software, allowing an attacker to insert malicious code, fuzzing is of great interest to both legitimate and criminal researchers looking for security vulnerabilities.
"We found and fixed about 1,800 bugs in Office 2010's code," said Gallagher, who last week co-hosted a presentation on Microsoft's fuzzing efforts at the CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. "While a large number, it's important to note that that doesn't mean we found 1,800 security issues. We also want to fix things that are not security concerns."
Full story: Computerworld