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Friday, August 11, 2006

Symantec Speaks Out Against PatchGuard

PatchGuard is Microsoft's new Anti-kernel Hacking package that they added to Vista's 64bit Operating System. It was introduced in XP 64-bit, but never really made it to wide-spread fame.

"PatchGuard will make it harder for third parties, particularly host intrusion prevention software, to function in Vista," said Yankee Group analyst Andrew Jaquith. "Third parties have two choices: continue to petition Microsoft to create an approved kernel-hooking interface so products like theirs can work, or use 'black hat' techniques to bypass the restrictions."

The whole idea behind this is to make a very secure operating system which is harder to hack, harder to write viruses for, harder to .... Well, you get the picture. It just seems to me that everyone out there screams at Microsoft because they develop operating systems full of holes, and now that they've pushed forward with an OS that closes out all those holes, everyone in the business starts to complain. Sometimes, in tech, we get such a double-standard.

I'm curious to hear the opinions of our esteemed readership on this.

Read the article.


  • I think it would have been best if PatchGuard were an optional component some how. Obviously, it shouldn't be easy to turn it off other wise malware would be able to turn it off easily.

    It's excellent that Microsoft is taking the security of its operating system more seriously, but it should be providing tools to empower users to make decisions rather than force everyone to do it the M$ way.

    By Blogger Chill, at 11:58 AM  

  • I agree in part with you... but how does it do that without leaving too many hooks open for people to exploit?

    That's the pickle.

    M$'s stance on this is that we keep it shut, and no one gets it - and that keeps us safe.

    Do we leave it to the end-user at installation time? Maybe have them choose between PatchGuard and a Third-Party Anti-Virus/hack/malware vendor?


    By Blogger AlRo, at 12:03 PM  

  • I think forcing people to adopt such a technology is a great idea.. Maybe they should give the option to turn this feature off, but only to very experienced users, and turn it on by default on new installations. This way, common users that are going to prone to execute malware will have the protection, and power users will have the brain to keep away from them.

    In the end, I think it would be better to turn it on for everyone!

    By Anonymous Brian Connor, at 12:47 PM  

  • Again though, I ask, how does Microsoft police who it should be turned on for, and who it shouldn't?

    I think it's gonna have to be one or the other... do you think maybe, another anti-competitive motion fronted by Symantec with other 3rd party vendor will force M$ to open up the kernal to hooks for 3rd party guys??

    I think that's what's gonna happen.. and if it does, it undermines everything that M$ is trying to do to protect it's operating system... in the end, the same people that poo-poo'd the idea of PatchGuard will be the people that complain that Vista's full of holes..

    I hope there's a happy medium... any ideas?

    By Blogger AlRo, at 1:21 PM  

  • Found another Article related to this:

    Go To Itworldcanada.com to read it

    By Blogger AlRo, at 1:51 PM  

  • the article argues Symantec's side... worth a read.

    By Blogger AlRo, at 1:52 PM  

  • " protective feature in Windows is locking out the good guys, but letting in a lot of bad guys, according to security software makers."

    WTF? This basicly mean that people working for companies that sell security products are a bunch of complete morons. Why would bad guys be able to do what good guys cannot?

    Stupid Stupid Stupid!

    By Blogger Kiltak, at 11:41 PM  

  • That makes sense. If Symantec feels threatened by a stronger Microsoft system, they should invest in improving their own software.
    If their software is meant to work with Microsoft's operating system, Symantec needs to find a way to innovate their product and adapt to this change.

    By Anonymous Mila, at 5:01 PM  

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