Symantec tell Microsoft to level the playing field with Vista security

Symantec is still crying foul over Microsoft’s decision to lock anti-virus vendors out of the Windows Vista kernel. Last week, DailyTech reported that McAfee has gone so far as to take out a place a full-page ad in the Financial Times berating Microsoft for its Kernel PatchGuard protection scheme in Windows Vista. Just a few weeks prior to that pot shot at Microsoft, Symantec had expressed similar displeasure in the security feature.

Now, Symantec is going even further by saying that Microsoft needs to provide a "level playing field" for security vendors and give them equal access to the Vista kernel. "We want the same access to the operating system as their engineers and developers. Let us integrate; we can do a better job of integrating security than Microsoft can," said Jeremy Button of Symantec's security and data management group.

Microsoft has decided to take a new approach to security with its Windows Vista operating and it felt that denying access to the kernel was one of the best things it could do to ensure security. Information Week reports:

Microsoft has built anti-virus and anti-spyware software into Vista, and the company has taken away access to the Windows kernel, which controls the operating system's most basic functions. Security vendors use that access to detect and block certain malware, including worms. Microsoft says that benefit isn't worth the downside, which is that malware writers exploit the same kernel access.

While McAfee and Symantec aren't too happy about the current state of affairs with Windows Vista, Russian-based Kaspersky Labs has rushed to Microsoft's defense. "It would not make any sense for them (Microsoft) to stop working with other computer security companies because it would make their system more vulnerable to attacks," said Kaspersky Lab Chief Executive and co-founder Natalya Kaspersky.

For those that want to take a deeper look at Kernel PatchGuard, you can take a look at this MSDN blog post.

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