Disclaimer: The opinions of the columnists are their own and not necessarily those of their employer.
Kenneth F. Belva

Blame it on Security: Vista Home Edition Cannot Run in Virtualization Software

MSNBC reports Vista Home Edition cannot run in virutalization software due to bluepill rootkit threats:

The least-expensive versions of Vista actually would work in virtualization programs. But Microsoft wants to restrict it because of new security holes spawned by the technology, according to Scott Woodgate, a director in Microsoft’s Vista team.

But Microsoft took notice. Woodgate said Microsoft considered banning virtualizing Vista entirely, on all versions. But ultimately, he said, his team decided that the most technically savvy users, or people in companies with tech support, probably could handle Vista in virtualization programs, while home users should be steered away.

Plus, even though Microsoft will let virtualization products run the higher-priced versions of Vista, some powerful features in those editions are also forbidden in virtualization. The license agreement prohibits virtualization programs from using Vista’s BitLocker data-encryption service or from playing music, video or other content wrapped in Microsoft’s copyright-protection technology. Microsoft says virtualization’s security holes make those features dangerous as well.

And even Rutkowska, who argued that her virtualization attack last year — which she called “Blue Pill” — proved a glaring weakness in the technology, said Microsoft’s decision regarding Vista would make no difference.

While Microsoft certainly improved their OS security, I tend to disagree with Microsoft on this issue unless I am provided more evidence.

It seems to me that if an individual is savvy enough to use virtualization software, they are savvy enough to understand the risks.

One Comment

  1. OsamaS Feb 25, 2007 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    They better have stop Vista altogether, after all it could pose a security risk.
    The risk here seems to be related to DRM issues. A risk for MS.
    MS doesn’t really care about the risks the users have to take, these are just an opportunity to sell their own mediocre security technologies and of course selling the new OS versions that do have “improved” security.
    This stinks, and I doubt buy the MS claims at all.

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