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After IoT Hack, Microsoft Unveils New Partner Security Program

In the wake of a massive botnet attack from infected Internet of Things (IoT) devices last week, Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled a limited release of a new Security Program for Azure IoT that involves working with and recommending certain partners to audit customers' IoT implementations.

"This new program brings together a curated set of best-in-class security auditors customers can choose from to perform a security audit on their IoT solutions, find issues and provide recommendations. The Security Program for Azure IoT will work from the ground up, examining everything from a businesses' devices and assets to gateways and even communication to the cloud," wrote Sam George, partner director of program management for Microsoft's Azure IoT, in a blog post announcing the program.

George's post doesn't specifically reference the massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Friday against Dyn DNS. For users in the northeastern United States, and elsewhere as the day wore on, the domain name service outage took down major Internet services, such as Amazon, Netflix, Twitter, PayPal, Reddit, GitHub and Spotify.

Security researchers tied the outage to the Mirai malware, which scans for IoT devices like routers and cameras still using factory-default passwords and then infects them with malware. The ability to build botnets out of so many of the inexpensive IoT devices is leading to DDoS attacks of unprecedented scale.

The timing of Microsoft's announcement and the fact that the program is a limited release for "select Azure IoT" customers suggests Microsoft may have moved up the unveiling of the program in response to the notoriety the attack has caused for the emerging IoT market.

Initial security auditing partners in the program are Casaba Security LLC, CyberX, Praetorian and Tech Mahindra.

"In the coming months, we'll continue to provide updates on the Security Program for Azure IoT, our global auditing partners, and auditing standards," George said. "This is part of our commitment to establish a vibrant and safe IoT ecosystem."

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 26, 2016


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