Microsoft is turning to a former rival to improve the security of computing devices. Microsoft President Brad Smith said Monday at the RSA security conference in San Francisco that the company will use software based on the Linux operating system, not its own Windows operating system, for new security features to protect internet-connected toys and other consumer devices. Microsoft once deemed the free, open-source Linux system as a threat to its intellectual property, but has changed its approach in recent years. Smith says Microsoft wants to build better security for the tiny micro-controllers increasingly used to power a variety of internet-connected household devices. He says the threat was demonstrated by a 2016 "botnet" attack that took down large chunks of the internet by hijacking routers, webcams and other connected devices.

RSA Conference 2018 takes place April 16 to 20 in San Francisco.

Some other highlights at RSA Conference 2018 include: The Cryptographers’ Panel: The Past, Present and Future of the Industry – Panelists Adi Shamir (Borman Professor of Computer Science and The Weizmann Institute, Israel), Ronald Rivest (MIT Institute Professor), Moxie Marlinspike (Founder of Signal), Paul Kocher (Security Researcher and Consultant) and Whitfield Diffie (Cryptographer and Security Expert, Cryptomathic) talk with Zulfikar Ramzan, CTO of RSA, on the past, present and future of information security. The Five Most Dangerous New Attack Techniques, and What's Coming Next – Panelists from The SANS Institute, Ed Skoudis (top hacker exploits expert/teacher in the U.S.), Johannes Ullrich (head of the Internet Storm Center), James Lyne (top expert on cyber-attacks in the U.K.) and moderator Alan Paller will provide an update on the most dangerous new attack techniques, how they work, how they can be stopped and how to prepare for what’s coming next. Conference Closing: The Hugh Thompson Show – Internet security guru and RSA Conference Program Committee Chair Dr. Hugh Thompson returns to close out the week. For the 11th year, Thompson brings a lifetime of security expertise and enthusiasm to “The Hugh Thompson Show” at this year’s RSA Conference as he sits down to interview a number of industry experts. RSAC Women’s Leadership Reception – RSA Conference is pleased to be hosting this long-standing women’s leadership program as the talent, contributions and continued development of women in the cybersecurity community come together on Tuesday evening. Introducing RSAC onDemand – RSAC onDemand is a new way to experience the best of RSA Conference—from work or home. Featuring some of the Conference’s most anticipated moments, RSAC onDemand puts critical and relevant industry information online and available at any time. Monday Seminars – This year there will be numerous additional seminars added to the agenda on Monday including topics around GDPR, diversity, blockchain, bitcoin, innovation, entrepreneurship, among others. Broadcast Alley – The unofficial newsroom of RSAC 2018, Broadcast Alley features top security publications in action as they shoot live at the Conference and record exclusive interviews with cybersecurity VIPs. RSAC Early Stage Expo – The Early Stage Expo is a great opportunity to gain visibility for emerging infosec startups. Located at the Marriot Marquis, it’s an innovation space dedicated to promoting up-and-comers in the industry. With emerging talent at every booth, participating startups have the opportunity to tell their stories and showcase their products to over 43,000 of cybersecurity’s most influential decision makers and investors.

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