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Ranjeet Menon
64-bit Vista PatchGuard
November 14, 2006

To prevent unauthorized access to the kernel Microsoft is using PatchGuard in 64-bit Vista. Some third party security vendors has expressed concerns that this is making it tougher to protect customers as it is locking them out of the kernel.

We at Cat believes that Microsoft as a OS vendor has a logical position in keeping out third party developers from accessing/patching kernel and securing the kernel by maintaining control over it. Microsoft provides lots of documented interfaces for third party security vendors that are needed to build security products. Vendors who use undocumented ways or hooking or have developed earlier protection with not keeping in mind the future versions of Operating System (like Vista) will face trouble porting their applications to Windows Vista.

Cat has taken all the efforts to avoid such situations and hence build its protection based on the interfaces that are supported by the OS. We can say that Quick Heal is ready for 64-bit Vista. We believe that Microsoft has taken a right step with the introduction of PatchGuard. This will definitely add one more layer of protection for Windows users and make bit difficult for hackers to break in. From third party vendor point of view it is also important that Microsoft maintains same level of kernel support with its own security product team, which it has done it with third party developers. It should not take any advantage of being the OS vendor by having privilege access for its own products.

Overall its like PatchGuard is good from security point of view for customers and the third party vendors now should learn to leave with it.

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