Can a Rootkit Be Certified for Vista?

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2007-03-15 Email Print this article Print

A roomful of hackers, CIOs and CSOs agree that Microsoft's given us the most secure version of Windows yet, but their approval is served up with a garnish of "excepts," "howevers" and "althoughs."

NEW YORK—Forget what Microsoft says about Vista being the most secure version of Windows yet. More to the point, what do the hackers think of it?

In a nutshell, they think it's an improvement, but at the end of the day, it's just like everything else they dissect—that is, breakable.

"Not all bugs are being detected by Vista," pointed out famed hacker H.D. Moore. "Look at how a hacker gets access to the driver: Right now I'm working on Microsoft's automated process to get Metasploit-certified. It [only] costs $500."

Moore is the founder of the Metasploit Project and a core developer of the Metasploit Framework—the leading open-source exploit development platform—and is also director of security research at BreakingPoint Systems. The irony of his statement lies in the idea that Vista trusts Microsoft-certified programs—programs that can include a hacker exploit platform that walks through the front door for a mere $500 and a conveyor-belt approval process.

Moore was one of a handful of white-hat hackers in the audience of a session on Vista security here at Ziff Davis Enterprise's 2007 Security Summit on March 14. The session, titled "Vista: How Secure Are We?," was presented by David Tan, co-founder and chief technology officer at CHIPS Computer Consulting.

By Moore's side were equally prestigious hackers Joanna Rutkowska—security researcher at COSEINC—and Jon "Johnny Cache" Ellch, author of "Hacking Exposed Wireless."

Read the full story on Can a Rootkit Be Certified for Vista?

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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