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Microsoft gathers hackers in Redmond

Fifth "Blue Hat" event brings hackers to Microsoft's campus to give employees a security reality check.

It is "Blue Hat" time again and Microsoft has gathered an exclusive group of responsible hackers this week at its Redmond, Wash., headquarters.

It is the fifth such event on the Microsoft campus. Employees are getting a security reality check from hackers who will talk about Microsoft's product security, Web security, mobile security and hardware security, among other topics. A schedule is posted on Microsoft's Web site.

In 2005 Microsoft invited several hackers to Redmond for the first time. That get-together was such a success that Microsoft decided to host such events twice a year.

Microsoft modeled and named Blue Hat after the widely known Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. Many of the Black Hat talks dive deep into security flaws found in software. The Blue Hat name is tweaked to reflect Microsoft's corporate color, in particular the blue badges worn by Microsoft employees.

The multiday meeting of Microsoft insiders with hackers provides each side with a glimpse into the other's world. The goal, for Microsoft, is to improve its relationship with security researchers and find ways to develop more secure software, the company has said.