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Attack Surface Analyzer can help you analyze your operating system's security configuration for changes during software installation.
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Attack Surface Analyzer

Language grade: JavaScript

Getting Attack Surface Analyzer

Attack Surface Analyzer is distributed via our GitHub releases page.

Note on Version

The latest released version of Attack Surface Analyzer is 2.1 (see Release\v2.1).


Attack Surface Analyzer is a Microsoft-developed open source security tool that analyzes the attack surface of a target system and reports on potential security vulnerabilities introduced during the installation of software or system misconfiguration.

Attack Surface Analyzer 2.1 replaces the original Attack Surface Analyzer tool, released publicly in 2012.

Potential users of Attack Surface Analyzer include:

  • DevOps Engineers - View changes to the system attack surface introduced when your software is installed.
  • IT Security Auditors - Evaluate risk presented by when third-party software is installed.

Core Features

The core feature of Attack Surface Analyzer is the ability to "diff" an operating system's security configuration, before and after a software component is installed. This is important because most installation processes require elevated privileges, and once granted, can lead to unintended system configuration changes.

Attack Surface Analyzer currently reports on changes to the following operating system components:

  • File system (static snapshot and live monitoring available)
  • User accounts
  • Services
  • Network Ports
  • Certificates
  • Registry
  • COM Objects (New!)
  • Event Logs (New!)
  • Firewall Settings (New!)

All data collected is stored in a local SQLite database called asa.sqlite.

How to Use Attack Surface Analyzer

Run the following commands in an Administrator Shell (or as root). Replace asa.exe with asa as appropriate for your platform.

CLI Mode

To start a default all collectors run: asa.exe collect

To compare the last two collection runs: asa.exe export-collect

For other commands run: asa.exe --help

GUI Mode

For the GUI interface run: asa.exe gui and a browser window should open directed at http://localhost:5000 with the web based interface.

Detailed information on how to use Attack Surface Analyzer can be found on our wiki.

Future Plans (tentative)

We plan on adding additional features to Attack Surface Analyzer, including those from the list below:

  • Extended Driver details
  • Network traffic (live monitoring)
  • Registry (live monitoring)
  • Requested features which existed in the original Attack Surface Analyzer.

If you have feedback on these or other features, please open an issue.


Attack Surface Analyzer runs on Windows, Linux, and MacOS, and is built using .NET Core.

Packages are available on our releases page as compressed archives.


To build Attack Surface Analyzer, see BUILD.


This project welcomes contributions and suggestions. Most contributions require you to agree to a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) declaring that you have the right to, and actually do, grant us the rights to use your contribution. For details, visit

When you submit a pull request, a CLA-bot will automatically determine whether you need to provide a CLA and decorate the PR appropriately (e.g., label, comment). Simply follow the instructions provided by the bot. You will only need to do this once across all repos using our CLA.

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct.

For more information see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact with any additional questions or comments.

Reporting Security Issues

Security issues and bugs should be reported privately, via email, to the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) at You should receive a response within 24 hours. If for some reason you do not, please follow up via email to ensure we received your original message. Further information, including the MSRC PGP key, can be found in the Security TechCenter.


Attack Surface Analyzer 2.1 is licensed under the MIT license.

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