Microsoft's Vista 'PatchGuard' Hacked by a Security Company?

Dennis Faas's picture

It appears that some of Microsoft's ambitiousness in developing its latest operating system, Windows Vista, is receiving anything but glowing reviews from other segments of the electronics industry.

Recently, a few notable vendors are expressing anger over Microsoft's internal virus protection within Vista, which they claim has not been developed in coordination with other security companies and is thus, susceptible to hackers.

The main problem stems from Microsoft's refusal to allow firms like Authentium, McAfee, and Symantec from full access to the "kernel" technology within the 64-bit version of Vista. The above three companies all claim that this puts future antivirus software at a disadvantage, and generally makes Vista a target for malware goons and the like.

Their solution? Hack Microsoft Vista.

According to some reports, that's exactly what Authentium has done. Their solution to Microsoft's refusal to "play fair" has been to develop a method of disengaging Vista's own virus wall, called "PatchGuard", and then install Authentium antivirus software. Afterwards, PatchGuard is put back into place. The tactic bypasses the security measures laid down by Microsoft, and according to some, only strengthens a relatively weak suit of armor rigged up by the Redmond-based company. (

Authentium, who have provided security protection for customers like the US Army and Sears, has yet to fully confirm their own hack. (

On the surface, each of these antivirus vendors is claiming to have a beef with Microsoft over Vista, although much speculation is being made that the real reason for bitterness is the release of OneCare Live, MS' protection service that could indicate the company's future interest in competing against McAfee, Symantec, and Authentium.

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