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BitLocker gives dual-boot systems the elbow

Vista security feature is 'anti-Linux'

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Infosec Security features introduced in Windows Vista will make setting up PCs to boot in either Linux or Windows far more difficult, according to security guru Bruce Schneier. Vista is due to feature hardware-based encryption, called BitLocker Drive Encryption, which acts as a repository to protect sensitive data in the event of a PC being either lost or stolen.

This encryption technology also has the effect of frustrating the exchange of data needed in a dual boot system. "You could look at BitLocker as anti-Linux because it frustrates dual boot," Schneier told El Reg. Schneier said Vista will bring forward security improvements, but cautioned that technical advances are less important than improvements in how technology is presented to users.

"The fundamental security problems have been solved and now it's all about making the technology work. Installation, implementation, and update are key. A lot of work needs to be done on the user interface," he said.

Schneier is concerned at the possibility that Vista users might be bombarded with "endless" warning messages. Overexposure to messages will lead many consumers to ignore them and blindly agree to what applications are seeking to do, he added.

Schneier made his comment during an appearance at the Infosec conference in London on Wednesday. ®

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