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
Myer CIO named retailer's new chief executive
Richard Umbers to lead data-driven retail strategy.
 
Empty terminals and mountains of data
Qantas CIO Luc Hennekens says no-one is safe from digital disruption.
 
BoQ takes $10m hit on Salesforce CRM
Regulatory hurdles end cloud pilot.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Microsoft is offering Azure for Disaster Recovery to Australian SMBs
Feb 10, 2015
If you haven't talked to your IT provider about disaster recovery, it might be worth discussing ...
The 2015 Xero Roadshow is on: here are the locations and dates
Feb 6, 2015
The 2015 Xero Roadshow kicked off this week - see where you can attend at locations around ...
Microsoft Outlook is now on iPhone and iPad: why could this be useful?
Jan 30, 2015
Microsoft today released Office for Android and Outlook for iOS - complementing the other Office ...
Franchisees, here's something you should know about
Jan 23, 2015
You need to know the Code if you are a franchisee or franchisor as the penalties are significant.
Xero users rejoice! Quoting has finally arrived
Jan 23, 2015
It has taken years, but Xero has at last added integrated quoting to its online accounting software.
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  35%
 
Your insurance company
  5%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  9%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  8%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  4%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  18%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  15%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  7%
TOTAL VOTES: 4064

Vote
Do you support the abolition of the Office of the Information Commissioner?

   |   View results
I support shutting down the OAIC.
  27%
 
I DON'T support shutting the OAIC.
  73%
TOTAL VOTES: 1390

Vote