Windows 8 gets a major security upgrade!
Windows has been gradually evolving with every update and upgrade to fight against malware. And now with Windows 8, that evolution has taken one more important step forward. The Building Windows 8 Blog or B8 as they call it internally, received a new post by Microsoft’s Jason Garms. It explains the new malware fighting features deployed in Windows 8.
ASLR And Windows Defender Improved Upon
ASLR stands Address Space Layout Randomization — it’s a security strategy meant to thwart attacks using the location of code and data by randomly moving them around in the memory. This has been improved upon and now provides security to the Windows heap and Internet Explorer.
The Windows Heap itself has also been redesigned in Windows 8 to integrate new forms of integrity checks. It also uses the same principle as ASLR to randomize the order of dynamically allocated memory for applications. Thus object placement is no longer predictable.
Windows Defender, Microsoft’s own security solution has also been improved upon. It has now been enriched with what seem to be the features from the Microsoft Security Essential Add-on. This would include the ability to remove all kinds of malware, whilst in the past Defender could only remove a certain section of them. The new defender can now also verify firmware integrity by scanning firmware and firmware updates on UEFI based machines.
SmartScreen Filter Now Active Throughout Windows 8
According to Garms, the SmartScreen filter used on Internet Explorer to filter out known and suspected malicious URL’s now works all across the OS. Providing real time protection and warning you if it thinks that you are about to run a suspicious or potentially executable.
In addition to all of this, the Windows Kernel has also been redesigned to prevent more sophisticated low level attacks on it like kernel pool corruption attacks.
There are more features discussed on Microsoft’s “building Windows 8 blog” and it looks the combination of all of them will make the final version of Windows 8 quite strong on the security front.