Microsoft's Project Springfield enables automated security testing in the cloud

azure project springfield test projectspringfield02
Developers keen to test their newly created software against some of the more common exploits out there now have a new avenue to do so. Announced at Microsoft’s Ignite Conference this week, the software giant debuted Project Springfield, a platform which can throw simple attack vectors at application binaries to test them for a number of security flaws.

Although automated testing is a relatively common method of testing the security of a piece of software, Microsoft is coining a new type of exploit hunting for its new platform. “Whitebox fuzzing,” as it is called, is said to combine different testing methods from traditional whiteboxing and fuzzing, hence the name.

It uses similar varied inputs at different levels of the code base to simulate attacks and test for potential weaknesses, all the while using machine learning to refine the input process so that it more intelligently tests the software over and over, according to Ars Technica. This is more likely to mirror a human tester or a potential hacker who would try to deliberately break the system.

The big advantage being that it is remote, so no local access is required and the tests and be repeated and altered time and again for much more thorough testing.

This is a process that Microsoft has been using internally for some time now. The basis for Project Springfield, known as SAGE, was first used to test different aspects of Windows 7 prior to its release. It ultimately discovered as much as a third of all pre-release bugs discovered by fuzzing tools, despite being used as a last line of defense after all other automated testing was complete.

Now that sort of system is available to developers through a easy-to-use user interface and it is available through the Azure Cloud platform, so it is easily accessible. Linux support is planned for the future, but for now Windows binaries are the only ones that it will work with.

Available on a limited preview, Microsoft is openly looking for clients who are interested in using the service to test its popularity and viability on a wider set of binaries.


Cities looking to get smart take a lesson from an iconic shopping mall

From Disney World to the Mall of America, public venues are becoming microcosms for smart city projects. We dove into both, to show what government officials can learn – and what you can expect from your city.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.

Windows Update not working after October 2018 patch? Here’s how to fix it

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.

Forget painting-style transfers, this A.I. creates realistic portraits of fake people

Do these images look computer-generated? Nvidia researchers recently published a paper on a new variation on style transfer artificial intelligence that's able to generate entirely new portraits.

Leaked HP laptop listing reveals entry-level Nvidia MX250 GPU

Alongside powerful graphics cards, Nvidia may have more mobile GPUs to show off at next year's CES show in January. The MX250 has been spotted in a listing for an HP laptop, potentially replacing the entry-level MX150.

ZSpace’s laptop brings education to life with its own 3D technology

The ZSpace laptop wants to overhaul education and training by offering affordable access to 3D mixed reality through a bespoke screen and glasses technology that is already supported by a wide array of applications.

Former Microsoft intern claims Google may have sabotaged Edge browser

Google's Chrome web browser has been able to establish such dominance that Microsoft is abandoning its web rendering engine, switching Edge over to Chromium, but did Google play dirty in an attempt to force Microsoft to make the decision?

ViewSonic’s 1080p gaming monitor lets you experience the action in style

ViewSonic is catering to gamers with its latest monitor, the XG240R. Featuring a 1080p 144Hz panel, RGB lighting, and a fast 1ms response time, you can conquer your opponents and do it in style.

Here’s why you might still be using Wi-Fi after cellular 5G launches

Cellular 5G might be around the corner and promising to deliver lightning fast speeds, but the folks over at the Wi-Fi Alliance have a few reasons why they think you shouldn't dump Wi-Fi just yet.

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.

Detangle your desk with a mighty wireless mouse. Here are our six favorites

If you're looking for the best wireless mouse on the market, we've got the list for you!. These six models have something for everyone, whether you're a hardcore gamer or simply looking to ward off carpal tunnel.

Canceling Amazon Prime is easy, and you might get a refund

Don't be intimidated. Learning how to cancel Amazon Prime is easier than you might think. You might even get a partial or full refund on the cost, depending on how much you've used it. Check out our quick-hit guide for doing so.