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December 2011

Chris Paget on Vista final software security review

As a security consultant, it's rare I get to talk about success stories. The infosecurity press is usually full of tales of failure; bugs that have been found, new and interesting techniques for breaking in, and cancellations of talks when vendors fail to fix problems. However, shortly before the Black Hat Briefings in Las Vegas in July, a non-disclosure agreement expired that I signed five years earlier -- an NDA that had granted me an unprecedented level of access to the source code, developers and documentation for Windows Vista. Despite its failure in the marketplace, Vista was a real success story in the security world; I couldn't pass up the rare opportunity to talk about that success as a model for others to follow. Before I begin though, a confession: I don't like Windows. I avoid it wherever I can, preferring Linux on my PCs and smartphones, and BSD on my servers. Of the dozens of computers I own, only two run Windows -- a machine I use to play games, and another for running various bits of test equipment that don't ...

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