Microsoft invites hackers to test Vista

Written by Ryan Garside

August 4, 2006 | 11:22

Tags: #exploit #hack #hacker #hackers #las #mike #pgp #vegas #vista #vulnerability #windows

Companies: #microsoft

Microsoft are taking a fresh approach to working out security problems in anticipation of the release of Windows Vista, by inviting hackers to come and pick holes in their system.

Microsoft has consistently received criticism at the lack of resources they put into protecting their products. This attempt is aimed to rectify all that; people like Jon Callas, chief technology officer at PGP Corp, describing the stunt like this:

"They're going directly to the bear in the bear's lair. They are going to people who don't like them, say nasty things and have the incentive to find the things that are wrong."

The suggestion is circling that that those who don’t like Microsoft would thus ignore this invitation to help them. Or worse still, hackers invited to the event, may research all the most notable security vulnerabilities and wait until the product is fully released before subsequently releasing their own viruses and who knows what other nasties.

The conference surely is a representation of how confident Microsoft is about their new product with Mike Janosko, a security expert from Ernst & Young, describing the event as a “bold statement”. Perhaps Microsoft believes that the latest operating system will prove too difficult for the hacker to exploit. At least the Blackhat Project is full of mostly respectable people.

We’ll let you know whether this event turns out to be a success for Microsoft or whether it turns out to be a bit of an embarrassment. Until then let us know what you think of Microsoft’s new move over in the forums.
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