Symantec dismisses Vista security debate

Speculation pointless

Symantec Pacific region vice president David Sykes has thrown cold water on the Windows Vista security debacle which emerged last week pointing out that it is pointless speculating about software that isn't released yet.

The debate is around the pros and cons of Vista security features and integration with third-party security products.

Earlier this month the European Union's competition spokesperson Jonathon Todd warned that the market could be threatened if Microsoft doesn't allow security vendors a fair chance of competing.

The issue stems from the inclusion of PatchGaurd within Windows Vista, which is a feature designed to prevent code like rootkits from modifying system files.

Microsoft claims PatchGuard is simply an effort to prevent the kernel from being misused but various security vendors have publicly stated PatchGuard will make it more difficult for them to protect against malicious code aimed towards Kernel-level bugs.

Sykes dismissed speculation about whether it will be harder to interface with Vista.

He said until there are hard facts, there is no way of knowing what the exact issues will be.

"I am really reticent to make any comment until I know exactly what we are dealing with but the fundamental view is, anything Microsoft is doing to improve security and reduce the vulnerabilities in their operating system is fantastic," Sykes said.

"Security is not an effort that can be led and solved by just one party and for comprehensive end user protection you need a bunch of other players working together in concert.

"If you refer to the Symantec Internet Threat Report you can see the Microsoft environment is highly vulnerable and anything that improves that situation is great."

The Symantec Internet Threat Report, the tenth bi-annual snapshot of global Internet threats and activity will be released tomorrow (September 26).

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