Computer Crime Research Center


Microsoft using help from hackers

Date: August 10, 2006

Microsoft has touted Windows Vista as its most secure operating system ever. From User Account Control to signed kernel mode drivers all the way to BitLocker, security is the name of the game in Vista. Because Microsoft has made such bold statements about the new operating system's security, it has had to make some bold moves to back up their words. And one of those moves included hiring a team of hackers and security experts to give Vista a critical security beat down.

Back in 2003, a Polish hacking group named Last Stage of Delirium (LSD) found a hole in the Windows Remote Procedure Call (RPC) interface, and that vulnerability soon became the attack center for the Blaster worm—a worm that most of us would like to forget. Because LSD found the vulnerability and ultimately disclosed its discoveries to Microsoft, the Redmond giant decided to hire the hackers to perform penetration testing in Windows Vista. But they're not the only hackers who have their hands all over Vista.

According to Microsoft's Secure Windows Initiative senior group manager John Lambert, the company has given roughly 20 other security experts total access to Vista. Their goal is to find as many vulnerabilities and bugs as humanly possible. Speaking at the Black Hat Briefings, Lambert said that they had already discovered problems such as process handicaps and poorly named files, not to mention several other security problems.
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