Microsoft invokes six-month deadline to replace vulnerable mobile apps

Share this article:

Microsoft on Tuesday introduced a new policy to bolster the security of the applications available in its various marketplaces. 

Effective immediately, app developers must push an updated app within 180 days of being shown proof of a "critical or important security issue" that is not being attacked in the wild, according to the new policy.

Missing that deadline could result in the app being booted from Microsoft's distribution platforms: Windows Store, Windows Phone Store, Office Store, and Azure Marketplace.

"This assumes the app is not currently being exploited in the wild," Dustin Childs, a spokesman for Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, wrote. "In those cases, we'll work with the developer to have an update available as soon as possible and may remove the app from the store earlier."

Childs admitted that, although unlikely, developers may be unable to issue a fix within the allotted time. In those cases, Microsoft will work with the app creator to deploy a replacement as quickly as possible.

"We expect that developers will address all vulnerabilities much faster than 180 days," the policy states. "To date, no apps have come close to exceeding this deadline."

Microsoft is the latest tech company to suggest a vulnerability fix deadline. Google announced in May that software makers should have seven days to patch "critical" issues under active exploitation

But Microsoft's new policy appears to be the first company that hosts mobile app stores to act in this way. Will Apple and Google (maker of Android) respond next?

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of SC Magazine to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

More in News

Ground system for weather satellites contains thousands of 'high-risk' bugs

Ground system for weather satellites contains thousands of ...

An audit of the Joint Polar Satellite System ground system revealed thousands of vulnerabilities, most of which will be addressed in two years when the next version of the system ...

Threat report on Swedish firms shows 93 percent were breached

The study by KPMG and FireEye also found that 49 percent of detected malware was unknown.

Former acting HHS cyber director convicted on child porn charges

Former acting HHS cyber director convicted on child ...

Timothy DeFoggi, who was nabbed by the FBI last year in its Operation Torpedo investigation was convicted by federal jury in Nebraska.