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Sophos Dismisses McAfee and Symantec on Vista’s Kernel

Although anti-virus vendors might be unanimous in their criticism for Microsoft, their opinion no longer hold strength after the UK-based security vendor, Sophos said to the media without mentioning their names that the arguments of security market leaders, McAfee and Symantec regarding Microsoft were fallacious.

The two companies publicly criticized Microsoft for weeks together arguing that the idea of isolating 'third party' security vendors from Microsoft's new 'Vista Operating System' was baseless and incorrect. They suggest that for complete protection of customers, it is necessary to cancel or change Vista's kernel, which Microsoft refuses to even consider.

In a counter argument Sophos says it is already clear that the '64-bit version' of Vista would possess a 'kernel protection' feature. McAfee and Symantec have disregarded to equip their products with the same. This is the reason why they are facing trouble with Vista's 'host intrusion prevention system' (HIPS). Richard Jacobs, CTO of Sophos explains that since Symantec and McAfee have not coded their products with respect to 'high-spec Vista', they are struggling with HIPS. Microsoft has already supplied all the interfaces needed to enable solutions to combine with Vista.

Jacobs further explained that the security company was concentrating more on capturing bad online activity by assessing the code before it executes. In addition they are developing their technology by using Microsoft interfaces rather than by overthrowing the kernel by 'hooking' visits to it. In this way Sophos was prepared for '64-bit Vista' while others weren't.

Microsoft, however, is under 'benefit of doubt' on "PatchGuard" and the feature puts the responsibility on Redmond to work with anti-virus vendors to develop kernel interfaces to the 'Vista kernel' so that it encourages new security traits. Jacobs added that Sophos and other vendors would have to depend on Microsoft to provide kernel interfaces for such security solutions.

Microsoft recently held a discussion with 20 security companies about working jointly. In a reaffirmation Ben Fathi, Microsoft 'vice president of security technology' said that the company promised to work with other security companies but it won't allow them to alter or diminish Vista's security software called "PatchGuard".

Related article: Spike in Attacks Causes Early Release of Windows Patch

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