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Aslr Will Make Vista Hard To Attack...


Teddy Rogers

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Teddy Rogers
Although lately everybody has been talking about the delays and the features removed from Vista, the OS with the longest development time in the history of IT still has some aces up its sleeve.

One of Microsoft’s programmers, working at Vista’s security, wrote on his blog about a new technology included in Windows XP’s successor, which will make automated attacks harder.

Included in the new Beta 2 and on by default, Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) will load system code into different locations in memory, which will greatly reduce the chances for a security bug to be exploited.

Here’s what Mike Howard writes about Address Space Layout Randomization:

„This helps defeat a well-understood attack called “return-to-libc”, where exploit code attempts to call a system function, such as the socket() function in wsock32.dll to open a socket, or LoadLibrary in kernel32.dll to load wsock32.dll in the first place. The job of ASLR is to move these function entry points around in memory, so they are in unpredictable locations. In the case of Windows Vista Beta 2, a DLL or EXE could be loaded into any of 256 locations, which means an attacker has a 1/256 chance of getting the address right.”

Mike Howard also says that the new technology is not meant to become the main protection method against exploits, but to complement existing ones to make Vista as safe as possible.

Ted.

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