Forget what Microsoft says about Vista being the most secure version of Windows yet. More to the point, what do the hackers think of it? In a nutshell, they think it's an improvement, but at the end of the day, it's just like everything else they dissect—that is, breakable. "Not all bugs are being detected by Vista," pointed out famed hacker H.D. Moore. "Look at how a hacker gets access to the driver: Right now I'm working on Microsoft's automated process to get Metasploit-certified. It [only] costs $500." Moore is the founder of the Metasploit Project and a core developer of the Metasploit Framework—the leading open-source exploit development platform—and is also director of security research at BreakingPoint Systems. The irony of his statement lies in the idea that Vista trusts Microsoft-certified programs—programs that can include a hacker exploit platform that walks through the front door for a mere $500 and a conveyor-belt approval process.
Moore was one of a handful of white-hat hackers in the audience of a session on Vista security here at Ziff Davis Enterprise's 2007 Security Summit on March 14. The session, titled "Vista: How Secure Are We?," was presented by David Tan, co-founder and chief technology officer at CHIPS Computer Consulting. For her part, Rutkowska granted that yes, one way to own a Vista system is by getting a rootkit certified, but if you want a compromised system, you don't even have to waste your time and money with certification—"It can be a graphics card with a stupid bug," she said. "You can't do anything about it. You can't sue the vendor for introducing a bug. You can't prove it was done intentionally."