Windows Vista TPM kills off third-party security software?

, posted: 11-Aug-2006 16:46

VistaVista spells the end of third-party security software for Windows.

That seems to be the gist of what Oliver Friedrichs writes about over on the Symantec Security Response Weblog.

Friedrichs points to some disturbing side-effects that enhancements Microsoft has made to Vista Kernel Mode security causes. It's related to the Palladium or Next-Generation Secure Computing Base initiative by Microsoft, which forms part of their Trustworthy Computing idea.

Vista will come with "super digital rights management" that protects content from interception, but Friedrichs says that the way Microsoft has designed the system, nobody can make changes to parts of the Windows kernel. Nobody apart from Microsoft itself, that is. If nobody can touch the kernel, Microsoft reasons, there will be no rootkits or malicious drivers inserted either.

This however also kills existing legitimate kernel extensions, as used by security software. The long and short of this seems to be that third-party security vendors are left out in the cold with Vista.

In other words, you'll have choice of exactly one vendor for your security software, and that's Microsoft.

There are however already ways to not only get around the PatchGuard which safeguards kernel structures, but also disabling it completely according to Symantec - check out the 16pp PDF linked to in More Information below for a discussion on how to accomplish that.

Is this Symantec spinning or has Microsoft really slammed the door in security vendors' faces?

More information

Other related posts:
Fighting with Windows 8
The Windows Phone 7.5 bouncing tiles bug
Windows Live Essentials betas seem good, but oh so flaky

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