Sophos slams Vista's security critics

Antivirus firm says vendors should give more consideration to Vista

Security vendors McAfee and Symantec haven't given sufficient thought to Windows Vista when developing their products, according to antivirus firm Sophos.

Sophos has responded to the two companies' recent criticism of Microsoft by claiming that it has taken the appropriate steps to ensure its products offer full protection against malware threats on systems running Vista.

McAfee and Symantec have complained about being locked out of the Vista OS (operating system) kernel by Microsoft's PatchGuard prevention system, a feature specific to the 64bit version of the OS. They allege that Microsoft has been dragging its feet in providing access to the code that would allow competitors to develop Hips (host intrusion prevention system) tools to work with Vista.

Yet Sophos claims the software giant has fully complied with its requests for the tools to make its antivirus software Vista-compliant.

"Symantec and McAfee may be struggling with Hips because they haven't coded their solutions with high-spec Vista in mind," said Richard Jacobs, chief technical officer at Sophos. "We've taken a different approach, by focusing on catching bad behavior before it has a chance to occur. Additionally, we are building our technology by making use of supported Microsoft interfaces rather than by trying to subvert them. That's why we're ready for 64bit Vista, and others aren't."

Sophos said system administrators should question their security vendors to make sure they're capable of providing adequate protection on the 64bit version of Vista.

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