Feeds

Symantec: Vista probably 'less stable' than XP

Beta blockers

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The networking technology underpinning Windows Vista may be less stable on release that that behind Windows XP, according to an analysis by security firm Symantec.

Microsoft has re-written its networking stack for Windows Vista in order to allow for "easier maintenance, improved performance, and improved stability". But an analysis by security researchers at Symantec found a variety of security flaws with early builds of the OS.

In a white paper based on this research, Windows Vista Network Attack Surface Analysis: A Broad Overview (PDF), the researchers conclude that Vista may be less stable, at least for the immediate future, than Windows XP. They reached this conclusion after looking at the stability of Vista, searching for undocumented or unexpected behavior and probing for the effect of adding support for new protocols, such as native support for IPv6. Researchers also looked for the susceptibility of Windows Vista to well known attacks, fixed in previous versions of Windows.

The Symantec team are careful to note that their tests were conducted on beta code, designed for testing purposes. Bugs are constantly getting identified and fixed with each build. Symantec reckons that the complete rewrite of Windows network stack - along with the introduction of new protocols such as LLTD, IPv6, Teredo, SMB2, and encapsulation - will prove a far bigger security headache for Microsoft and its customers.

"A number of the issues we had identified in the earlier Vista builds have already been fixed in later ones. We fully expect that trend to continue up until Vista’s final release. [But] network stacks can take several years of real-world scrutiny before they are battle hardened. It will be interesting to observe to what degree the Windows Vista network stack accomplishes this in such a compressed time frame," Symantec concludes in a posting about its paper on its security blog here. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.