Symantec is upping the stakes in its face-off with Microsoft by attacking Vista's core. While the Redmond Company has locked down 64-bit Windows Vista's kernel via PatchGuard, leaving third-party software on the outside, be it for malicious or security purposes, Symantec claims that Microsoft protections are not impenetrable. The Redmond Company itself has acknowledged that PatchGuard is at risk, but has added that the technology is build in such a way as to permit security updates. In this context, PatchGuard's vulnerabilities would simply be resolved via security bulletins and Vista's kernel would return to a status of temporary security.
"Hackers have already broken PatchGuard and can disable it. This means that hackers can already get malicious code into the Windows Vista kernel; while legitimate security vendors can no longer protect it. This presents a serious new risk for consumers and enterprises worldwide," stated Oliver Friedrichs director of emerging technologies in Symantec Security Respons.
With this, Symantec is aiming to no less than discredit PatchGuard in the eyes of the consumers. In this regard, the two brands are weight in the public perspective. When put in the balance, which of Microsoft and Symantec is synonymous with security? Undoubtedly, the latter, who is leader of an industry build on offering security solutions designed for safeguarding Microsoft's products. By delivering a below the belt blow with the PatchGuard Hacking claim, Symantec has chosen to do its laundries with Microsoft in public.
"In addition, now, you may ask yourself, if hackers can bypass PatchGuard, why don't security vendors? We certainly could, if we chose to; however, Microsoft has firmly stated that any attempt to do so will result in an update to PatchGuard, which will detect these attempts. It would be foolish for Symantec to ship a product out to over 200 million desktops that may result in a BSOD on each desktop, if Microsoft decides to update PatchGuard," commented Friedrichs.