One of the reasons we went to Blackhat last month was to show how the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) has changed the way that Microsoft builds products. I talked about how we’re reducing attack surface with features like ActiveX opt-in, improving code quality and building-in Defense in Depth with Protected Mode. I didn’t get a chance to cover the new RSS feed support but I think the RSS team’s work is a great example for anyone building a new client to handle RSS feeds and a case study in how much Microsoft has changed product development.
The RSS team put a set of security principles in place before they set out to build their feature, they meticulously modeled the way that data would flow through their components and their developers were determined to build the feature to spec. Designing security upfront has helped the RSS team keep the same basic architecture in place since day-1 and pass security test suites with flying colors so far. I would never expect a feature to be “bulletproof” but I credit the RSS team with applying tough security principles and state-of-the-art tools to get this far.
If you handle feeds, as a developer or just as user, take a look at Sean’s latest post for more on what they did.
Lead Program Manager
edit: adding security category tag