Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Symantec Finds Flaws In Vista's Network Stack

Researchers with Symantec's advanced threat team poked through Vista's new network stack in several recent builds of the still-under-construction operating system, and found several bugs -- some of which have been fixed, including a few in Monday's release -- as well as broader evidence that the rewrite of the networking code could easily lead to problems.

"New code, whether it's been rewritten or added, needs to go through an aging process," said Oliver Friedrichs, the senior director of Symantec's security response group. "Virgin code is likely to contain more bugs and flaws. And that's particularly true in a network stack, which is one of the most complex pieces of code in an operating system."

In a just-released paper, two of Friedrich's researchers, Tim Newsham and Jim Hoagland, detailed research that began with a September 2005 build of Vista and wrapped up with May's public Beta 2.

Among Newsham's and Hoagland's conclusions: "The amount of new code present in Windows Vista provides many opportunities for new defects."

"It's true that some of the things we found were 'low-hanging fruit,' and that some are getting fixed in later builds," said Friedrichs. "But that begs the question of what else is in there?"

  • 1