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A descriptive study of Microsoft’s threat modeling technique


Microsoft’s STRIDE is a popular threat modeling technique commonly used to discover the security weaknesses of a software system. In turn, discovered weaknesses are a major driver for incepting security requirements. Despite its successful adoption, to date no empirical study has been carried out to quantify the cost and effectiveness of STRIDE. The contribution of this paper is the evaluation of STRIDE via a descriptive study that involved 57 students in their last master year in computer science. The study addresses three research questions. First, it assesses how many valid threats per hour are produced on average. Second, it evaluates the correctness of the analysis results by looking at the average number of false positives, i.e., the incorrect threats. Finally, it determines the completeness of the analysis results by looking at the average number of false negatives, i.e., the overlooked threats.

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This research is partially funded by the Research Fund KU Leuven, and by the EU FP7 project NESSoS, with financial support from the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union (B-CCENTRE).

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Correspondence to Riccardo Scandariato.

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Scandariato, R., Wuyts, K. & Joosen, W. A descriptive study of Microsoft’s threat modeling technique. Requirements Eng 20, 163–180 (2015).

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  • Secure software
  • Empirical study
  • Threat modeling
  • Anti-requirements