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Secure Hypervisor in the Works

5:08 PM

By Kelly Jackson Higgins
Senior Editor, Dark Reading

Phoenix Technologies has teamed up with researcher and stealth malware expert Joanna Rutkowska and her company, Invisible Things Lab, to help secure an ultra-thin hypervisor that the firmware company is currently building. The company also plans to support further development of Rutkowska's famed Blue Pill virtualized rootkit prototype -- for thin hypervisor research. (See Blue Pill Gets a Refill.)

Rutkowska, founder of Invisible Things Lab, says the problem with most hypervisors today is that they are too large, which leaves them open to complexity, and therefore, vulnerabilities. "We should make sure our VMMs (hypervisors) are as thin as possible. Today, that's not the case. They're too big, almost like conventional OSes," she says.

Phoenix's new, slimmed-down hypervisor technology aims to make that footprint smaller, and will run embedded operating systems within its virtual machines. According to a Phoenix slide presentation to investors, the hypervisor's architecture is resistant to rootkits.

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