Print 70 comment(s) - last by peternelson.. on Oct 17 at 2:12 PM

Symantec and McAfee get an early Christmas present from Microsoft

Microsoft has given in to pressure from the European Union (EU), Symantec and McAfee with regards to kernel-level access in Vista. Microsoft has introduced a new protection system called Kernel PatchGuard to secure Vista's kernel from modifications by either programs or hackers. Symantec and McAfee (in a rather bold move) balked at such changes and said that Microsoft was locking them out entirely from providing security software for Vista.

Despite support from Russian-based Kaspersky in the matter, Microsoft has decided to make available kernel-level APIs to give security firms secure access to the Vista kernel. Microsoft feels that this addition along with changes in the way that Vista's Security System reports warnings will be enough to satisfy not only Symantec and McAfee, but also the EU. Here's a clip from Microsoft's Brad Smith on the subject:

Some security vendors expressed some concerns to the Commission, and to us, that they had previously used access to the kernel to facilitate features in their own product and that they would no longer be able to do so. We were concerned that it would be a mistake for the future of computers if PatchGuard were to be removed or eliminated. We devised a new engineering approach that will create and extend new kernel level APIs so that PatchGuard will be retained, the security of the kernel will be protected, and yet security vendors will have an opportunity to meet their needs through these kernel level API extensions. We felt that this was again the right kind of solution that meets the needs and obligations that we have under competition law, whilst also meeting the needs of computer users around the world.

When notified of the change, a representative for Symantec responded with "We have not seen anything yet. These are technical issues. Until we actually see the APIs, all we know is what they [Microsoft] have said in the media. If it is true, then it would be a step in the right direction for giving customers the choice to use whatever solutions they would like." Likewise, a spokesman for McAfee stated "We are encouraged by Microsoft's recognition that there is a problem. However, we do not have specific information on the nature of these changes, or their timing."

We will surely be hearing more about these kernel-level APIs within the coming weeks as Microsoft works together with security firms. Given that this seems to be a last minute change of heart on the part of Microsoft, it remains to be seen whether the changes will be in place in time for Vista’s November RTM date.

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By RMSe17 on 10/16/2006 2:25:14 PM , Rating: 2
This is stupid, microsoft should not be giving up on it's own security model this easy. By giving out API to kernel access, they are making it easier for security to be compromised.

RE: Why.....
By imaheadcase on 10/16/2006 2:46:03 PM , Rating: 2
The real winner her is Kaspersky, just be agreeing with MS im sure MS is going to help them more than the others now.

RE: Why.....
By zombiexl on 10/16/2006 3:20:24 PM , Rating: 5
The real winner her is Kaspersky, just be agreeing with MS im sure MS is going to help them more than the others now.

They make a better product than McAfee or Symantec anyway so they deserve more help.

RE: Why.....
By FITCamaro on 10/16/2006 3:39:35 PM , Rating: 5
I agree. Microsoft is letting other companies tell them how to write their software. In my mind, if the EU, Symantec, and McAfee have a problem with it, too bad. It's Microsoft's damn product and they should be able to develop it however they feel like it (within reason). I'd rather have a locked down kernel that other AV software makers can't touch (and thus hackers have a harder time of accessing). Now hackers have one more possible security vulnerability to exploit. I hope to god these APIs aren't going to give anything more than read access to the kernel or hackers are going to have a field day.

Regardless of anyone's security, hackers will always find a way in. No complex software is completely secure.

I find it extremely amusing that a lot of you rip on Microsoft when 99% of you couldn't do any better of a job. I know I couldn't. Unless you're a designer/developer of Unix, Linux, or Mac OS X, you have no room to talk. And I'm sure for that statement this post will get a low rating.

RE: Why.....
By FITCamaro on 10/16/2006 3:41:07 PM , Rating: 5
Oh and Microsoft, please also include a way to remove or disable these APIs for those of us who don't plan to use McAfee's or Symantec's products.

RE: Why.....
By wien on 10/16/2006 3:55:14 PM , Rating: 3
Of course we can't do any better! That's why we go to Microsoft in the first place. Does that really mean we have to shut up and take it up the backside?

RE: Why.....
By FITCamaro on 10/16/2006 4:53:57 PM , Rating: 1
No. It means you should realize that they do the best job they can to create a secure OS that everyone can use and enjoy. Blame the hackers out there trying to steal your data and make your life a living hell for causing problems. No Microsoft shouldn't leave every door open for them to do it but its not their fault people exploit their products.

Put the blame where it belongs.

RE: Why.....
By wien on 10/16/2006 5:14:27 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if hackers.. erhm.. hack, their best is obviously not good enough then, is it? Does the fact that they did their best make everything okay? I don't think so, and that's why I will keep complaining until Microsoft try harder, and (hopefully) get it right. (It is due.) If we just pat their backs and say, "well at least you tried", do you think they will ever get better? It's not like Windows is the pinnacle of OS technology. There is infinite room for improvement.

EDIT: Why, oh why does everything go "Ooops, wrong" with this comment-system if I use more than 4 seconds to write a reply?

RE: Why.....
By akugami on 10/16/2006 6:53:05 PM , Rating: 2
BS. If they did the best job they can they would have avoided the travesty that the integration of IE into the OS created. MS is all about maintaining their monopoly and integrating IE into the OS was only to help kill Netscape. There have been other design issues like ActiveX, DLL hell, and various other problems (minor and major). When your product, out of the box can be compromised in 10 minutes flat by script kiddies and not actual hackers, then you have serious security flaws. As much as we hold the MacOS and Linux as a higher standard for security, it's only because they are built with security in mind. Do I think the MacOS and Linux can be compromised? Of course, but that doesn't mean that it has to be easy to get into, unlike the swiss cheese wall that is security on Windows.

To be fair, MS seems to be making a major design shift and is actually serious about it's effort to overhaul their OS and make it safer and more secure to use out of the box. However, they are being undermined by companies like Symantec and McCaffee.

I also use Windows everyday and have a high level of knowledge so it's unlikely I'll get hit with any bugs or virii. However, Joe Computer User doesn't have knowledge such as those reading Those are the guys most likely to suffer from Windows' design flaws.

RE: Why.....
By cubby1223 on 10/16/2006 3:45:40 PM , Rating: 1
This is stupid, microsoft should not be giving up on it's own security model this easy. By giving out API to kernel access, they are making it easier for security to be compromised.

Who said Vista is 100% secure to begin with? And if some virus or worm does get into the kernel, how the heck can it be removed if all other software is forbidden to touch it? Who knows, maybe doing this will also allow for system cleanup to be possible without having to reload Vista from scratch.

RE: Why.....
By sxr7171 on 10/17/2006 12:56:32 AM , Rating: 2
It's called playing the game. If some kid in Pakistan can write something that can compromise this so called "protected kernel" then why can't these stupid corporations with multi-million dollar research and development budgets develop something that can go in there and get it out? I'd rather have a kernel that is protected as best as can be. The fine people at Kaspersky seem to have no problem with a protected kernel - that's because they are truly talented and confident people.

RE: Why.....
By mindless1 on 10/16/2006 7:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
It has to be seen in context. MS had already advertised security on WinXP, but take for example situations where someone claims they were infected by a virus but they don't practice OTHER safe computing practices like Antivirus Software or whatever their activities warrant.

So do we take the word of a company that will yet again claim security? Let's HOPE, and let's patch, and let's have additional layers of security TOO!

even so
By sprockkets on 10/16/2006 2:42:07 PM , Rating: 1
there are just a few things to keep in mind. don't we have

user/admin or simply no admin account to hack?
safeguards against this via not running unsigned programs?
and if it got around that, what would it matter if they found a way to hack the kernel?

If vista gets hacked, it most likely will not happen to the level that happened with blaster. not even xp seems to have major issues anymore.

RE: even so
By lennylim on 10/16/2006 2:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
If vista gets hacked

*cough* When *cough*

RE: even so
By stmok on 10/16/2006 3:39:38 PM , Rating: 3
If vista gets hacked

Vista has already has been hacked by Joanna Rutkowska. (A Security Researcher).

She was the first to publically demonstrate this at the Black Hat Security conference back in August.

She did two things...

(1) She demonstrated that unsigned drivers are able to load in Vista.

(2) Blue Pill...This is the name of her concept malware that she wrote. It uses AMD's Pacifica (Virtualization Technology) to gain root or admin privilages in Vista, allowing you to do anything.

And if you think you'd be safe using an Intel VT based chip, think again. All she has to do is buy an Intel based system and port her code over to make it compatible with Intel VT processors!

RE: even so
By FITCamaro on 10/16/2006 3:44:27 PM , Rating: 2
(1) She demonstrated that unsigned drivers are able to load in Vista.

Uh...yeah and? Anyone can load unsigned drivers on 32-bit Vista. The only version of Vista that will have restrictions on unsigned drivers is the 64-bit version. And you'll be able to disable that most likely. Developers need to be able to write new drivers and those aren't signed until you've tested them.

RE: even so
By stmok on 10/16/2006 3:48:57 PM , Rating: 2
The only version of Vista that will have restrictions on unsigned drivers is the 64-bit version.

That's the version she compromised!

What's your response now?

RE: even so
By Brainonska511 on 10/16/2006 3:55:12 PM , Rating: 3
It's the BETA version. It is not a full production model. Duh.

RE: even so
By othercents on 10/16/2006 4:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
Drivers are a very interesting issue. I use unsigned drivers because I can get updates quicker than if they are signed. Most of the times companies release unsigned drivers for minor updates and signed ones when there is a major change. However unlike Macs, PCs have a bunch of different manufacturers that build drivers for PCs. The only way I can see being able to lockdown an operating system is to lock it down based on vendor specific information. That way Dell has their computers locked and only a Dell technologist can upgrade the drivers.

However doing this removes the ability for DYI type stuff. The whole premise of PCs is being able to build your own and upgrade as you want instead of being stuck with a specific vendor like you are with a Mac.


RE: even so
By sxr7171 on 10/17/2006 1:20:19 AM , Rating: 2
The whole premise of PCs is being able to build your own and upgrade as you want instead of being stuck with a specific vendor like you are with a Mac.

For some, not everyone. Their should be choices for everyone. If I build my own machine, I better be able to put whatever I want on it. If Dell built it, I'd like the option to do whatever I want on it as it is my machine and putting in non-Dell PCI cards should allow you to put in whatever driver you want for it. Even in the case of Dell specific parts the "lockdown" software should let you say "yes" to a disclaimer that lets you waive tech support for the item you are installing non-standard drivers for.

RE: even so
By sxr7171 on 10/17/2006 1:43:22 AM , Rating: 2
I meant "there" sorry.

If you read it enough, you start doing it from force of habit. I need to stop reading internet forums and read a book.

RE: even so
By FITCamaro on 10/16/2006 4:58:13 PM , Rating: 2
Uh that Microsoft themselves put a way to run unsigned drivers on 64-bit Vista. I've done it at work and didn't do any "hacking". I forget the name of the command to run to turn off blocking unsigned drivers but it was there.

Microsoft says they plan to not allow it but I don't see it happening since it would stifle development of 64-bit drivers. Also what about all the people out there who want to write their own drivers or modify existing ones. I believe Microsoft plans to let anyone be able to sign drivers so they'll run they just won't be certified. So even a signed driver that has malicious intent could possibly run.

RE: even so
By peternelson on 10/16/2006 10:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
I want to run Vista in 64 bit mode.

I write my own kernel mode driver software.

For use with my OWN custom hardware cards.

I want to run MY drivers on MY machine to talk to MY cards.

I DON'T want to have to pay Microsoft to certify and sign them, nor do I want the delay in getting testing by them.

I will test my own drivers to my own satisfaction.

Because I am making changes to the drivers during product development I don't want to have to get each signed in order to run it.

Also I don't want to release source or object code of my drivers to a foreign corporation, particularly not Microsoft, for Intellectual property reasons.

If MS are providing certain companies with low level API access, that is unfair on others, and may itself raise competition issues and barriers to market entry.

All I want is as it's MY computer *I* will authorise which kernel level driver code gets run or not. To avoid malware trying to execute arbitrary code I am prepared to specifically authorise each driver I load, and in this particular scenario that driver is of my own writing.

How can this be done in Vista 64?

I'd rather they did the linux approach of warning "tainted kernel" or some such message.

RE: even so
By FITCamaro on 10/17/2006 11:01:21 AM , Rating: 2
Google running unsigned drivers in 64-bit Vista. And how you go about signing your own drivers. Like I said, I remember that in Vista they're changing the way the driver signing process works. I don't remember all the details though so you'll need to look into it.

I really doubt Microsoft would stop people from being able to use their own unsigned drivers since it would make driver development a lot more complicated if a developer had to send every driver revision they come up with off to Microsoft to get signed. I believe what they're doing is you register for something and that lets you sign drivers to run. But they don't get full certification until you've done all the WHQL-like tests and had Microsoft review it.

RE: even so
By peternelson on 10/17/2006 2:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
Well it looks like the alternative to WHQL is to sign with a PIC (Publisher Identity Certificate) from Microsoft for free. However, for that to work I also need to sign up for a Verisign Class 3 Commercial Software Publisher Certificate for $500 per year.

Seems a lot of hassle to run MY software on MY machine GRRRR. Especially when they are charging for the DDK.

Of course my drivers work on linux (no such problems), but it's useful to have the hardware available when dual boot into windows.

Since 64 bits is the future I would want to run that.

Looks like I will have to consider that verisign ID, but I guess it could come in useful for other purposes too.

Let's do a pilot
By Pirks on 10/16/2006 3:13:53 PM , Rating: 4
MS should start a pilot program of selling their own MS only PC's where Vista is done THE WAY IT'S MEANT TO BE DONE (TM) - hey, a new logo for MS here, woohoo!

So basically since McAfee, Symantec, EU and others wanna f#ck MS and their customers - just let them do this. BUT! Make your own SECURE computers instead, like Macs! Install properly hardened/secured Vista there, with no compromises ever, with all the MS software they want, everything included, Mediacenter, WMP 11, EVERYTHING possible - and then let the MARKET decide.

How nice is that? Imagine - loads of shitty PC clones spoiled and crapped upon by Symantec and EU morons, and a little segment of elite consumer PCs and Macs, DIRECTLY from MS and Apple - WOOOT!!

So everyone who's poor just buys cheap shit EU and Symantec and friends are pushing on them. Everyone who has some money to spend goes either Mac way or Genuine MS Vista PC way, with added bonus of good tech support, tight integration of hardware and OS and so on. This is a win-win situatioon for everyone, folks. MS still makes gobs of money selling crippled Vista for Symantec/EU and buddies, AND ALSO selling PROPER _NO_COMPROMISE_ Vista for everyone else - hey, that's just one additional step, and they already did nice hardware job with Xbox, so this PC pilot is just one minor step - make it online order like Dell for the starters.

Maybe it's not the time right now to put an end to screwing Windows and bending it to the will of every little EU or Symantec prick, but I'm pretty sure this time will come. MS will just look with envy how nicely Apple lives by selling tightly integrated quality packages instead of EU screwed mess called PC where every little company puts a little piece in a mosaic and this ubercomplex system looks pale to Mac only because the integration is there with Macs but not with the PC.

No, really, think of it before downmodding me. There is one little sentence that says it all - have you ever seen a consumer electronic device that is made of a thousand pieces of hardware and drivers slapped together? No. The ONLY such device is a PC. Computers become more and more consumer electronic devices, like VCRs, consoles, etc - have you ever seen PC-style VCR or PS2 or digital camera where you buy parts and assemble it? Or where a company assembles parts from dozens of other OEMs? Could you imagine a VCR where firmware is made by some asian company, magnetic heads by some other chinese company and it was assembled in mexico and drivers are written in frosty siberia? This is ridiculous, folks... I know all the self assembling downmodders enthusiasts overclockers et cetera are buzzing towards me but for those who can still think about general market trends - don't you guys get upset that some cheap EU freaks or greedy Symantec money suckers can freely stomp on the very core you use in your favorite device - an operating system?

I mean it! I see these things coming up every day - and with Vista it'll become even worse. Vista is so much more complex, MS will lose steam more and more to Apple by trying to accomodate everything, every little EU wish into the next version of Windows, and Symantec with buddies will smell the blood and demand even more. Forget about properly secured Windows from now on. Too sad Apple can do things they want with OS X and MS CAN NOT do the same with Windows.

This is just heartbreaking deal, folks. I remember the Real Power and Might of MS and Windows just several years ago and I'm weeping :((( Looks like we're losing one major very nice OS, and it'll probably get even worse if MS continues to yield to pressure.

RE: Let's do a pilot
By AmpedSilence on 10/16/2006 3:33:44 PM , Rating: 2
This is a hell of an idea. I would be interested to see what would happen if this was done.

RE: Let's do a pilot
By Pirks on 10/16/2006 4:02:52 PM , Rating: 2
depends on how much pressure will be exerted on MS by Symantec/EU and similar types, how much MS will be forced to deviate from their original plans for building secure and well-integrated desktop OS, how much this will be exploited by Apple - there are many "if"s, but I just stated that I'm worried about the tendency, and I see no other _proper_ solution for the situation than introduction of their own PC, just like Apple always did.

the crucial point here is not making this PC uber cheap and Dell-like. this must be in line with best boutique PCs like Alienware but maybe less game oriented and more general consumer friendly - more digital camera/photo/music oriented. think about best in class integration with Zune (similar to Mac/iPod itegration), and with Xbox as well. and there should be ABSOLUTELY NO COMPROMISES with EU or anyone else - Vista there should be done the way it meant to be done.

this WILL ease the burden on users of such system, security-wise. first, the MS PC will be harder to infect, because it won't be spoiled by Symantec crap. second, it'll be easier to fix it because MS would KNOW what is inside it and it'll be a matter of giving a call to MS support.

it's all been done for ages by Apple, and MS was not following them because MS's model of interaction with partners was working alright, but now as those "partners" like Symantec started to behave.. uh.. funny.. well, probably time for MS to distance a bit from those "partners" and try to do someting on their own

did you notice how well they did with Xbox? did you notice how botique PC builders are being bought out right now by faster thinking people than MS? care to guess how much money MS HAVE LOST by NOT OFFERING their own nice well integrated high-end boutique PCs for home use? very good questions, not for downmodding clowns but for those who can think ;)

RE: Let's do a pilot
By wien on 10/16/2006 4:27:09 PM , Rating: 2
If Microsoft started going the way of the Mac with Windows, every hardware vendor out there that didn't get to sell to Microsoft, would start opening up to other OSes (Linux) to be able to shift their hardware (I'm sure HP, IBM, Toshiba wouldn't like having a direct competitor in charge of the OS they ship). Microsoft knows that, and knows better.

RE: Let's do a pilot
By othercents on 10/16/2006 4:32:44 PM , Rating: 2
However Microsoft can always introduce a Mac like computer with a modified OS that is locked down to their computers. They will still be providing the same software to other vendors, but they can call their new computers "MS Secured PC" and tout the fact that these computers are impervious to attacks.


RE: Let's do a pilot
By wien on 10/16/2006 4:36:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but they would still be in direct competition with a huge percentage of their customers (A "MS Secured PC" bought, would be a lost sale for the rest of the guys), and I just don't think Microsoft is willing to risk their market position on a stunt like that.

RE: Let's do a pilot
By Xavian on 10/16/2006 5:45:29 PM , Rating: 2
If they do that, Microsoft will slowly become the same marketshare of apple. Linux or some other OS will take the place of Microsoft. Microsoft seems all powerful, but they rely on selling large OEM contracts to PC manufacturers, if those PC manufacturers refuse to use Windows after it has been locked down, because it restricts 'their' flexibility, then you can be sure Microsoft would crash under its own weight.

This is something Microsoft will never do, they have too much sense.

RE: Let's do a pilot
By Pirks on 10/16/2006 6:49:48 PM , Rating: 2
Xavian, I agree with you. Everything depends on the market. If people happily continue to buy insecure spoiled versions of Windows NO MATTER WHAT Symantec or EU or whoever puts in it, be it utter crap or even something worse - then so be it.

I was just saying that maybe market will slowly shift to the way Apple does business, because I see slow shift from mosaic chinese "built who knows where" PC to some other elegant "everything in a box" consumer electronic device Mac-style.

Well, in this case MS might be able to pull off a trick like that, because why MS would care about their competition if NOBODY BUYS computers from those competitors, because they have patchy sketchy Linux/other OS and MS offers much more polished Windows and consumer friendly product in one package. I guess MS might just dump all those OEMs. Not now, for sure, but in that distant future.. and IF Apple strategy of turning PC into consumer electronic wins in the end.. well, we don't know for sure. It was just a guess.

In the end we all may agree that 1) forcing MS to bend Windows the way some suckers see fit is BAD and 2) the MARKET will decide is this really THAT bad, is Symantec/EU crippled Vista PC really not worth buying.

The consumers, the people and companies who buy MS software and OEM-built PCs might NOT EVEN NOTICE this stuff with EU and Symantec. Great then. Good for MS. No need to change anything, just do business as usual. I said it was supposed to be a PILOT, okay? ;)

RE: Let's do a pilot
By INeedCache on 10/16/2006 7:53:11 PM , Rating: 2
The EU - Extortion Union, strikes again. I think MS should allowed to market and sell both. Then let's see how McAfee and Symantec bloatware protect versus MS on it's own. Besides, sometimes I wonder which is worse, a virus crippling my system, or Norton or McAfee doing it. I don't sell Kaspersky, but I might look into it now. I've never sold Norton or McAfee, and always scold people for using it, as they are truly a scam. Looks like this thread hasn't really been discovered by the Microsoft naysayers yet. I guess they haven't crawled out from under their rocks yet today. Give 'em time.

RE: Let's do a pilot
By sxr7171 on 10/17/2006 1:13:18 AM , Rating: 2
Well they could partner with a few OEMs like Dell, HP, Lenovo etc. to make such PCs that are tightly held to spec and with a different branding just like Toshiba makes the Zune. Then the rest of the models will be called the "intentionally less secure so that Symantec and McAfee can sell you extra crap to have a secure computer" models.

Even better during installation there should be a dialog box that says "would you like to make your installation of Windows less secure so that Symantec or McAfee can sell you security software?" Let's see how many people hit "yes" for that one.

(Although on a side note, they definitely screwed their Plays For Sure partners and maybe you'll have all the other players like Sandisk and all the Plays For Sure music stores get cozy with a Real Networks form of DRM.)

RE: Let's do a pilot
By brshoemak on 10/16/2006 5:53:12 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like an interesting idea. My main concern would be the effects on the internet as a whole. All those cheap kernel-exposed PC's with only 10% of them protected by some sort of AV/spyware protection, the rest being used as zombies to spurt forth their electronic waste.

Meanwhile your pristine yacht of a PC (MS Genuine) is trying to navigate the internet through all of that to achieve the lowest ping/highest bandwidth possible. Sailing a yacht through an ocean of poo is much harder than sailing through clear blue waters.

/wtf am i talking about?!

RE: Let's do a pilot
By Pirks on 10/16/2006 6:35:50 PM , Rating: 2
well, linux and os x sail through ocean of poo quite well, why genuine MS windows PC with no Symantec/EU shit attached can't do the same? :)

Might not be bad
By archcommus on 10/16/2006 2:26:29 PM , Rating: 1
As long as the APIs are only given to the right people, the kernel should still be more secure than it is in XP. And it is true, that although Symantec and McAfee both may suck, the consumer should have a choice as to which security software they want to use, and perhaps both Symantec and McAfee really cannot develop adequate solutions without kernel access. You don't want MS monopolizing and shutting down businesses.

RE: Might not be bad
By zombiexl on 10/16/2006 2:37:42 PM , Rating: 5
Find me one large company without a leak and i'll... well I dont know what i'll do, but in any case find me one.

RE: Might not be bad
By zombiexl on 10/16/2006 2:38:38 PM , Rating: 5
McAfee can't really develop adequate solutions now. What's their current excuse?

RE: Might not be bad
By kamel5547 on 10/16/06, Rating: 0
Who do u think writes viruses ?
By RW on 10/16/06, Rating: 0
RE: Who do u think writes viruses ?
By lemonadesoda on 10/16/2006 7:19:26 PM , Rating: 3
your (belongs to you) / whereas, you're = you are
their (belongs to them) / whereas, they're = they are
its (belongs to it) / whereas, it's = it is
his (belongs to him) / whereas, he's = he is

I know english is tough for a foreigner. In fact foreign languages are impossible to english speakers! LOL... but please keep the above list in mind for your next post.

By peternelson on 10/16/2006 10:46:47 PM , Rating: 3
Thankyou, it needed saying.

About half of Internet users need to memorise and apply this. It seems unfortunately only a minority of us learnt English properly at school.

RE: Who do u think writes viruses ?
By sxr7171 on 10/17/2006 1:31:29 AM , Rating: 3
You sir, are my hero.

Pay attention to that last paragraph.
By JWalk on 10/16/2006 2:31:46 PM , Rating: 2
The last paragraph says that Microsoft is giving access to the kernel, but on their terms. They are willing to let McAfee or Symantec work alongside Patchguard, but not in place of it.

In any case, I have had bad experiences with both McAfee and Symantec's products in recent years. So, I won't be using either one with Vista or any other OS. I have found other security applications that work alot better (and less intrusive) for me.

By JWalk on 10/16/2006 2:36:13 PM , Rating: 2
Whoops. I meant pay attention to the paragraph detailing Microsoft's reasoning. Which, now that I look, isn't the last paragraph. ;)

RE: Pay attention to that last paragraph.
By zenwarrior on 10/16/2006 3:18:56 PM , Rating: 2
I definitely won't be buying any security products that require kernel hooks to work. McAfee and Symantec are complaining about being locked out of the Vista market but it's totally fair game, even Microsoft's OneCare has to interface with PatchGuard without hooking into the kernel.

By Helbore on 10/17/2006 1:11:03 PM , Rating: 2
I voted you up purely because you are one of the few people who seem to realise that OneCare isn't using kernel hooks to operate.

I'm getting sick of reading all the "MS are just trying to kill competition by locking other vendors out the kernel" comments, so its nice to see there are still people who actually research new technology before posting about it on the internet!

Competitive landscape
By tophat on 10/16/2006 5:27:47 PM , Rating: 2
I think some fail to realize that even if you produce a (seemingly) superior product, there are other factors other than the consumer that must be recognized. Look at what happened with Netscape and the incorporation of IE into the Windows OS back in the day. Everyone was up in arms over it as it may (or may not have) constituted an unfair business practice. Lastly, I find it odd that many are under the unfounded opinion that restricting access to the kernel is the *only* way to secure Vista from hackers.

As for MS allowing access to that kernel, I personally thought that it was only a matter of time before MS opened it up to security firms.

RE: Competitive landscape
By lemonadesoda on 10/16/2006 7:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
In other news... you will be claiming that cars brought the downfall of blacksmiths... and this constitutes unfair business practice of the worst kind.

And you will go further to complain that cars are delivered with wheels... it constitutes unfair business practice to 3rd party wheel manufacturers.

And you will complain that your car has a radio already built in... and even worse it is not removeable... it constitutes unfair business practice to independent radio manufacturers.

RE: Competitive landscape
By tophat on 10/16/2006 7:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
I only state my opinions based on historical fact. Your comments have no basis.

For the record, blacksmiths do still exist and 3rd party wheel manufacturers do not exist. Additionally, car radios are an option on economy cars and low end models. Move on.

RE: Competitive landscape
By sxr7171 on 10/17/2006 1:35:09 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah no shit, you basically just reiterated his point.

The EU, Symantec and McAfee all rejoice in
By zombiexl on 10/16/2006 2:20:07 PM , Rating: 3
their ability to overthrow microsoft and lessen the security of the OS.

In the months after Vista is released the EU will complain about lack of security and Symantec and McAfee will run ads about how insecure windows is without their products.

Seems like a real win-win-win situation for the EU, Symantec and McAfee and a potential loss for the consumers. Guess we'll have to wait and see how this works out.

By lemonadesoda on 10/16/2006 7:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
I agree the EU sometimes goes a step too far... although equally the EU often doesn't do enough.

But what I don't understand is
Seems like a real win-win-win situation for the EU...
I'm not sure, exactly, how the EU or citizens of the EU get that "win", unless you think it IS a good thing to remove kernel protection?

By Chillin1248 on 10/16/2006 3:28:34 PM , Rating: 5
Why do I have a feeling that either Symantec or Mcafee or some other security provider will purposely engineer hacks/viruses that target the kernel with the knowledge they have learned. Thus they will have a reason that people should buy their software that magically protects against all these "hacks and viruses" that target the kernel.


IFF the EU are going to meddle...
By lemonadesoda on 10/16/2006 7:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
IFF the EU are going to meddle... then I would rather they would turn their attention to the new Vista license, allowing only "one reinstall/transfer". THIS ISSUE has a real financial impact ON EVERY person or company that purchases a Vista license. It also discourages upgrading of machines which is essentially creating a financial barrier to the purchase of third party equipment (new or upgraded PC components).

Thank you for listening EU... PLEASE DEAL WITH IT

By Helbore on 10/17/2006 1:16:14 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but the EU will never do that. You made a valid point about a potential problem that needs serious attention. That alone makes this fall outside the remit of the EU.

Now if you had a problem with the curveture of the Windows install CD...

i still dont agree
By otispunkmeyer on 10/17/2006 4:18:42 AM , Rating: 2
with this

who gave norton and mcaffee the right to tell MS how to make is OS. MS had a great idea there and these two's petty-ness is jepordising it.

it would fine if they actually made AV software i wanted to buy, but they dont. usually if you want customers you make something better than what the competition made. you dont whinge about it and force them to give up any advantage.

but from that there this is the way i now understand it, MS has granted them access to the kernel but its secure... so only they (mcaffee and norton) can change things, not anyone else like spyware or hackers right?

RE: i still dont agree
By otispunkmeyer on 10/17/2006 4:21:34 AM , Rating: 2
sorry ive said norton and it should of been symantec... still garbage though

By Chadder007 on 10/16/2006 2:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft does something to actually make the Kernal more secure and Mcafee and Symantec go nuts?!.....of course I guess they would considering it would hurt their business by the OS being more secure.

By Murst on 10/16/2006 3:02:52 PM , Rating: 2
Nowhere does it say that non-ms code will be able to modify the kernel. Hopefully this is still the case.

What I got from this is that companies will be able to call certain methods and attach to events thrown by the kernel, thus letting them have better understanding from what is going on inside, without the ability to modify it.

If all that is exposed is basically "reporting" code, its all fine. Just don't let anyone make alterations and it should be secure.

which edition will this impact
By mrgq912 on 10/16/2006 8:19:44 PM , Rating: 2
Will only the EU edition of Vista be the one with hooks for AV programs?

Will the US one be totally locked down?

Please tell me it will be locked down. I can' t believe the once big bad MS is getting pushed down by 2 lowly POS AV companies. F EU, they have it out for MS.

I'm just glad...
By Locutus465 on 10/17/2006 1:10:24 AM , Rating: 2
That I haven't thrown my money away on a Symantec or McAfee product in years... I'm just sad that MS caved..

If microsoft
By FStone on 10/17/2006 7:03:57 AM , Rating: 2
wants to sell its product within the EU then that product has to live up to the EU laws. The EU isn't the bad wolf here, its just making sure a company plays by its rules. If microsoft can't follow the EU antitrust laws and since no one is forcing microsoft to sell in the EU then all MS has to do is to get out of the EU sone.

Course it won't do that as the EU is a gargantuan marked after all so then it has to play by the EUs rules.

Remember, any EU company has to follow american law when selling in america so this is no different.

Mmm security...
By Spartan Niner on 10/16/2006 3:09:59 PM , Rating: 1
As long as functionality is properly modular, and, to use a programming analogy, is more like:


rather than:


...then it should be okay. However if the kernel can be modified or interfered with Symantec and McAfee should be drawn and quartered. Oh wait, they should already be shot for their atrociously bad software. Every version of Symantec or McAfee software I've used since 2001 has just been too damn slow. Probably because they entangle themselves around XP's kernel in a death-grip.

3 minutes....
By shamgar03 on 10/16/2006 4:32:23 PM , Rating: 1
The amount of time for that API to be available to hackers. It probobly already is.

have to say
By Wwhat on 10/17/2006 10:20:16 AM , Rating: 1
Reading all these idiotic comments and the kind of people that so lovingly bend over for vista I'm starting to think that OS-X or linux will be my future, because who wants to belong to a group like the vista/microsoft fanbois?
And now they are complaining that the EU helped several major american firms, some people...
How about declaring war because some european countries helped you with the katrina aftermath? how hostile of them, well at least once you people shot yourself after shooting up a school you'll go quiet.
And to think all the goddamn EU leaders salivate with adoration for bush and america and try to sneak their crap into our countries all the time trying to make us like them.

this sucks
By 8steve8 on 10/16/06, Rating: -1
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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