Windows 8 Secure Boot – is the AV industry dead?


Windows Secure Boot (known as a ‘Trusted Boot Process’) is a process that loads anti-malware before the OS boots. It is designed to prevent rootkits, but can only work if the operating system is using UEFI (which stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface – this boots the relevant operating system). It’s important to note that Secure Boot will not work with current x86 machines running with BIOS.

Microsoft along with the laptop manufacturers (Ultrabooks will be using UEFI technology) are going to want to push UEFI (see bootnote), which is the BIOS replacement for both Windows 8 ultrabooks and tablets.

Secure Boot stops a computer from loading an operating system that hasn’t been signed by the publisher (in this case, Microsoft or an OEM), and its signature added to the computer’s firmware. On an x86 Windows 8 computer, you’ll be able to sign your own operating systems (custom builds for Linux, for example), or disable Secure Boot entirely. Now for the breaking bad news: On Windows 8 ARM only computers, neither of these options will be available: You’ll have official builds of Windows 8, and that’s that. Guess what Microsoft wants you to buy? Yes that’s right – ARM-based systems. Read more...

March 7, 2012
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