NSA helped Microsoft make Vista secure

The U.S. agency best known for eavesdropping on telephone calls had a hand in the development of Microsoft's Vista operating system, Microsoft confirmed Tuesday. The National Security Agency (NSA) stepped in to help Microsoft develop a configuration of its next-generation operating system that would meet U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) requirements, said NSA Spokesman Ken White. This is not the first time the secretive agency has been brought in to consult with private industry on operating system security, White said, but it is the first time the NSA has worked with a vendor prior to the release of an operating system.

By getting involved early in the process, the NSA helped Microsoft ensure that it was delivering a product that was both secure and compatible with existing government software, he said. "This allows us to ensure that the off-the-shelf security configuration that the DOD customer receives is at a level that meets our standards," White said. "It just makes a lot more sense to be involved up-front, than it does to have the tail wag the dog." The NSA's involvement in Vista was first reported Tuesday by The Washington Post . The NSA has provided guidance on how best to secure Microsoft's Windows XP and Windows 2000 operating systems in the past. The agency is also credited with reviewing the Vista Security Guide published on Microsoft's Web site.

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News source: InfoWorld

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12 Comments

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If you guys bothered to read the article [or the one on the BPN] you would learn that the NSA didn't tell Microsoft what to code. All they did was use 2 teams to actively test out Vista and find flaws and report them to Microsoft.

And I GUARANTEE it was not to help Microsoft make the NSA's job harder.

This should be a HUGE warning bell for.. well, ANYONE planning on buying Vista.

not trying to defend neither microsoft or the nsa, but those who use linux, does selinux rings any bells???

Was that first line necessary? I don't really think so. Not to mention that's not what the NSA is best known for. I guess all the anti-americanism (ehh excuse me... anti-current-US-government) has to be slipped in everywhere. Gotta make that quota, right?

I guess all the anti-americanism (ehh excuse me... anti-current-US-government) has to be slipped in everywhere.

The monkey's still in the white house. That means not enough people know.
And you see that line is quite rare compared to "monopoly known for its security holes"

All that NSA code and hackers still get through. Way to go Microsoft! Maybe now hackers will have access to NSA security technology and be able to stop the US big brother mess.

hrm... conspiricy theory anyone? NSA helped make Vista secure to everyone, except for the NSA, so that they can keep monitoring the USA's communications. anyone else? lol, but i agree with neofuse on their participation - anything in Vista is done by MS, and if anything was put in there by the NSA it would eventually be found out by some codemonkey who hacks through M$'s code.

I don't know man. All that wiretapping and backdoors etc...It's ok if they didn't try any funny stuff but I don't trust anything government related.

Mike Frett said,
I don't know man. All that wiretapping and backdoors etc...It's ok if they didn't try any funny stuff but I don't trust anything government related.

The NSA has some of the best security techniques out there, everyone looks at them for guides on how to secure everything from UNIX to Windows... They don't force code and backdoors on people, they just give suggestions, they did not write a single line of code for windows, so stop being paranoid... and just so you know NT 5.0 was also worked on by them so if you ever ran windows 2000, XP or Server 2003 they touched it also... just in service pack ranges not in Gold releases