Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) version 5.5 is now available


The Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) benefits enterprises and all computer users by helping to protect against security threats and breaches that can disrupt businesses and daily lives. It does this by anticipating, diverting, terminating, blocking, or otherwise invalidating the most common actions and techniques adversaries might use to compromise a computer. In this way, EMET can help protect your computer systems even from new and undiscovered threats before they are formally addressed by security updates and antimalware software.

Today we are pleased to announce the release of EMET 5.5, which includes the following new functionality and updates:

  • Windows 10 compatibility
  • Improved configuration of various mitigations via GPO
  • Improved writing of the mitigations to the registry, making it easier to leverage existing tools to manage EMET mitigations via GPO 
  • EAF/EAF+ pseudo-mitigation performance improvements
  • Support for untrusted fonts mitigation in Windows 10

Mitigations in Windows 10

EMET was released in 2009 as a standalone tool to help enterprises better protect their Windows clients by providing an interface to manage built-in Windows security mitigations while also providing additional features meant to disrupt known attack vectors used by prevalent malware. Since that time,  we have made substantial improvements to the security of the browser and the core OS. With Windows 10 we have implemented many features and mitigations that can make EMET unnecessary on devices running Windows 10. EMET is most useful to help protect down-level systems, legacy applications, and to provide Control Flow Guard (CFG) protection for 3rd party software that may not yet be recompiled using CFG.

Some of the Windows 10 features that provide equivalent (or better) mitigations than EMET are:

Device Guard: Device Guard is a combination of enterprise-related hardware and software security features that, when configured together, will lock a device down so that it can only run trusted applications. Device Guard provides hardware-based zero day protection for all software running in kernel mode, thus protecting the device and Device Guard itself from tampering, and app control policies that prevent untrusted software from running on the device.

Control Flow Guard (CFG): As developers compile new apps, CFG analyzes and discovers every location that any indirect-call instruction can reach.  It builds that knowledge into the binaries (in extra data structures – the ones mentioned in a dumpbin/loadconfig display).  It also injects a check, before every indirect-call in your code, that ensures the target is one of those expected, safe locations.  If that check fails at runtime, the operating system closes the program.

AppLocker: AppLocker is an application control feature introduced in Windows 7 that helps prevent the execution of unwanted and unknown applications within an organization's network while providing security, operational, and compliance benefits. AppLocker can be used in isolation or in combination with Device Guard to control which apps from trusted publishers are allowed to run.

For more information on Windows 10 security features please review the Windows 10 Security overview whitepaper on TechNet.

EMET 5.5 and Edge

Given the advanced technologies used to protect Microsoft Edge, including industry leading sandboxing, compiler, and memory management techniques, EMET 5.5 mitigations do not apply to Edge.

 

For support using EMET 5.5, please visit https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2458544.

 

The EMET team

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