In the security industry, we’re focused on the impact of offensive advancements and how to best adapt defensive strategies without much reflection on how our industry has evolved. I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the history of our industry in the context of one individual’s contribution.
After many years in the software engineering and security business, Steve Lipner, Partner Director of Program Management, will retire from Microsoft this month. Steve’s contributions to the security industry are many and far reaching. Many of the concepts he helped develop form the basis for today’s approach to building more secure systems.
In the early 2000’s Steve suffered through CodeRed and Nimda, two worms that affected Microsoft Internet Information Server 4.0 and 5.0. In January 2002 when Bill Gates issued his “Trustworthy Computing memo” shifting the company’s focus from adding features to pursuing secure software, Steve and his team went to work training thousands of developers and started a radical series of “security pushes” that enabled Microsoft to change the corporate culture to emphasize product security.
Steve likes to joke that he started running the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) when he was 32; the punchline being that the retirement-aged person he is today is strictly due to the ravages of the job. Microsoft security was once called one of the hardest jobs out there and Steve’s work is truly an inspiration.
The Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) is the process that emerged during these security improvements. Steve’s team has been responsible for the application of the SDL process across Microsoft, while also making it possible for hundreds of security organizations to adopt, or like Adobe, use it as a model for their respective secure product engineering frameworks
Along with Michael Howard, Lipner co-authored of the book The Security Development Lifecycle and he is named as inventor on 12 U.S. patents and two pending applications in the field of computer and network security. He served two terms on the United States Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board and its predecessor. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Steve on the board for SAFECode – The Software Assurance Forum for Excellence in Code – a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of effective software assurance methods.
I’d like to thank Steve for all of the important contributions he has made to the security industry.
Vice President & CSO
Today Bentley Systems announced their alliance with Adobe to integrate rights management with ProjectWise and AssetWise for architecture, engineering, construction (AEC) and operations workflows. Rights management already supports native PDF and Office formats, and this integration will provide support for additional formats in these markets. This includes the ability to control who can open a document, specify what they can do with it, as well as track what has been done with it. This content-centric security also supports expiration, revocation, and version control at the file level.
The Dutch government today announced that DigiNotar’s subordinate Certificate Authorities (subCAs) under the Staat der Nederlanden root certificates will be revoked next Wednesday, September 28th. This follows on the Dutch government’s removal of trust from DigiNotar, DigiNotar’s removal from the Netherlands Trust List, and the company’s announcement of bankruptcy proceedings.
In the past two weeks, it has come to light that Dutch certificate authority DigiNotar suffered a serious security breach in which a hacker generated more than 500 rogue SSL certificates and had access to DigiNotar’s services, including many that were relied upon specifically by the Dutch government for key citizen and commercial services. The full extent of the attack is still not clear.
Last week, many of the major browser vendors removed DigiNotar certificates from their list of trusted certificates, and in turn, the Dutch government renounced trust in DigiNotar and took over certificate operations at the company.
What Does This Mean for Adobe Customers?
The DigiNotar Qualified CA root certificate is part of the Adobe Approved Trust List (AATL) program, which we have mentioned in this space on multiple occasions. The AATL is designed to make it easier for authors to create digitally signed PDF files that are trusted automatically by Adobe Reader and Acrobat versions 9 and above, and includes many certificates from around the world.
While Adobe is not aware of any evidence at this time of rogue certificates being issued directly from the DigiNotar Qualified CA root in particular, an official report by Dutch security consultancy Fox-IT stated that there was evidence of the hacker having access to this CA, thus possibly compromising its security. (The rogue certificates known today are SSL certificates originating from the DigiNotar Public CA.)
Adobe takes the security and trust of our users very seriously. Based on the nature of the breach, Adobe is now taking the action to remove the DigiNotar Qualified CA from the Adobe Approved Trust List. This update will be published next Tuesday, September 13, 2011 for Adobe Reader and Acrobat X. We have delayed the removal of this certificate until next Tuesday at the explicit request of the Dutch government, while they explore the implications of this action and prepare their systems for the change.
Late last week, SOFTPRO, one of the members of Adobe’s Security Partner Community, announced one of the largest known deployments of electronic signature technology alongside Adobe® LiveCycle ES (now known as the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform (ADEP), Adobe Reader and tablet PCs. The customer? Cintas Corporation.
Cintas provides specialized services—among them uniform delivery, document management, and cleanroom resources—around the world for clients in a variety of markets. Their trucks and personnel are recognizable the world over…and by the end of 2011, all Cintas sales representatives will be able to collect customer signatures directly on a tablet computer, eliminating the paper from their workflows and making the company both more efficient and more ecologically sustainable.
According to Brian Daniel, Director IT, at Cintas:
SOFTPRO is an excellent partner for us for two reasons. First, they understood our needs and worked closely with us to deploy and support our implementation. We knew we could count on them. Second, their solution is both robust and easy to implement. We are deploying a combination of technologies and SOFTPRO brings them all together. Both our sales team and customers have been quite pleased with this roll-out.
SOFTPRO’s software integrates directly with Reader and LiveCycle ES, and allows Cintas to not only produce easy to use PDF forms with LiveCycle ES, but also easily electronically sign them in Reader.
Read the press release here, and for more on SOFTPRO, visit their website here.
Today, Adobe pushed out yet another update to its certificate trust program implemented in Adobe Reader and Acrobat. The AATL program, launched in 2009, makes it easier for users to view and rely on digitally signed PDFs by automatically displaying a green checkmark for those signature credentials which meet higher assurance requirements when opened in Reader and Acrobat 9 and X.
The update today included the Columbian A.C. Raiz Certicamara S. A. root certificate for Acrobat and Reader X.
Last week, the Swiss government announced (English translation) the launch of the SuisseID, a program intended to provide citizens and business with access to high assurance identity credentials that can be used to access government and business services as well as digitally sign documents with legally binding signatures.
Two Members of the Adobe Approved Trust List (AATL), SwissSign and newly joined QuoVadis, are also key Providers in the SuisseID program.
Today, Vasco Data Security announced an integration between its VACMAN and DIGIPASS authentication products and Adobe LiveCycle Rights Management ES2, enabling users to leverage Vasco security tokens to access protected, encrypted documents.
Adobe is excited to welcome Post.Trust, the certification authority subsidiary of An Post, the Irish postal service, into the Certified Document Services program.
CDS makes creating and receiving authentic documents easier by not
requiring a recipient to explicitly trust the author of the document.
CDS signatures automatically validate in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader 6.0 and above,
providing integrity and long-term assurance to electronic documents of
record. Providers involved in the CDS Program are required to meet
stringent requirements for identity vetting, security, and operations.