Photos: Inside Microsoft's Security War Room

Powered by SC Magazine
 

iTnews tours Microsoft's Security Response Centre.

View larger image View larger image View larger image

See all pictures here »

When Microsoft finds a critical security flaw, the Microsoft Security Response Centre (MSRC) goes to war. So naturally they've got a War Room.

"We get over 150,000 emails to secure@microsoft.com a year," says MSRC director Mike Reavey. "A lot of that is spam. Some of that is 'My Hotmail account is locked out'. [But] out of those, about a thousand investigations result."

Critical vulnerabilities trigger the Software Security Incident Response Plan (SSIRP). Anyone with relevant knowledge is summoned to the War Room [see photo gallery, top right], physically or virtually, to work the problem around the clock.

"Anything that has a name. Blaster, Sasser, Slammer, Zotob. Anything that's an out-of-cycle release, you can assume one of these processes is occurring back at Redmond," Reavey told iTnews.

The Emergency Engineering Team War Room is unassuming.

A long conference table with power, network and A/V ports seats twenty. Six low chairs surround a coffee table. Red LED clocks show the time zones: Pacific, Mountain, Central, Eastern, London, Japan.

One monitor shows a world map with the day/night boundary shown in real time. The other four monitors show the MSRC logo. For now.

The few personal touches include signed basketball singlets from previous teams and big red button marked "easy".

There's a framed photograph of Harvey Keitel as Pulp Fiction's Winston Wolf, the fixer who remains calm in a crisis as others panic.

Next door is the Emergency Communications Team War Room, separated by a collapsible wall.

"The engineering team can focus on making sure we understand the facts. The communications team can take a complex message and make it simple," says Reavey.

Interplay between the two teams helps ensure the messages to customers aren't overly-complex but still include the important nuances.

Behind a black curtain sit the servers for what is presumably the secure network for developing and testing patches. Around twenty ordinary boxes are lined up on three white shelves, a mix of Dell, Compaq and unbranded machines.

No questions answered about them, though. And no photographs.

Stilgherrian travelled to Redmond, Washington, as a guest of Microsoft.


 
 
 
Top Stories
Business-focused Windows 10 brings back the Start menu
Microsoft skips 9 for the "greatest enterprise platform ever".
 
Feeling Shellshocked?
Stay up to date with patching for the Bash bug.
 
Amazon forced to reboot EC2 to patch Xen bug
Rolling restarts over next week.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Constantly rushing to the printer to stop other people seeing your printouts?
Sep 24, 2014
Lexmark's latest family of small-business printers include a feature that lets you stop anyone ...
This 4G smartphone costs $219
Sep 3, 2014
It's possible to spend a lot less on a smartphone if you're prepared to go with a brand you ...
Looking for storage? Seagate has five new small business NAS devices
Aug 22, 2014
Seagate has announced a new portfolio of Networked Attached Storage (NAS) solutions specifically ...
Run a small business in western Sydney?
Aug 15, 2014
This event might be of interest if you're looking to meet other people with a similar interest ...
Buying a tablet? Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 goes on sale this month
Aug 8, 2014
Microsoft has announced its Surface Pro 3 will go on sale in Australia on 28 August from ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Which is the most prevalent cyber attack method your organisation faces?




   |   View results
Phishing and social engineering
  66%
 
Advanced persistent threats
  5%
 
Unpatched or unsupported software vulnerabilities
  11%
 
Denial of service attacks
  6%
 
Insider threats
  12%
TOTAL VOTES: 1375

Vote