Microsoft to make Longhorn vulnerability-aware

Microsoft Corp. is working on security technologies for the upcoming Longhorn release of Windows that will protect users against security threats by monitoring system and network behavior as well as the security patches that Microsoft has issued. The new technologies will allow Windows to detect irregular system behavior -- in terms of network traffic, memory usage and system calls, for example -- and respond to them automatically, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said in a presentation at the RSA Conference in San Francisco Tuesday.

The result of the development effort, which Microsoft refers to as "active protection technologies," should protect systems from worms and viruses by preventing and containing attacks, according to Microsoft. A component of the protection system, dubbed "dynamic system protection," will track which security patches users have installed. The component will make changes to the Windows firewall to fend off any attacks that appear to take advantage of a security flaw that users have not yet patched themselves against. For example, if Microsoft has provided a patch for a flaw involving ActiveX controls, dynamic system protection will block ActiveX controls from running on a Windows system until that patch is installed, Microsoft said.

News source: InfoWorld

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