Risky Business #207 -- Is Microsoft's Blue Hat Prize for losers?

Microsoft defends its prize for defensive security research...
19 Aug 2011 » Risky Business

You may have heard about Microsoft's Blue Hat Prize for defensive security research. The company is running a contest for the best memory corruption bug mitigation technology. So, if you reckon you've found the next DEP or ASLR, you could be eligible for the company's $200,000 first prize.

It marks a departure from bug bounties -- this is a contest that rewards defensive research, not just new attacks.

There has, however, been a limited but vocal backlash. Security development firm Supreption took to its blog to describe the contest as a "late April Fools joke".

Winners of the contest maintain ownership of their ideas and intellectual property, but Microsoft assumes right to implement any entries it chooses into its operating systems. The guys at Supreption say that means Microsoft is getting way too good a deal for its prizemoney.

The blog claims the PaX team, creators of ASLR, support the company's position.

Microsoft's Katie Moussouris joins the show to face the criticisms and defend the prize.

Adam Boileau, of course, joins the show to discuss the week's news headlines.