Reported at the PC Magazine website Monday, there is trouble brewing in the world of the Black Hat security research.
Last year at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, a security researcher, Joanna Rutkowska, announced that they had developed a rootkit, codename Blue Pill, that was completely undetectable.
Naturally, this caused quite a stir, and the gauntlet was thrown down, as anyone and everyone who is into security research, or hacking of any type, was interested in finding this ‘invisible demon’.
Now someone named Thomas Placek of Matasano Security has announced that they have conclusively found the way to identify the Blue Pill in use.
The developer of the rootkit responded with specific demands, not the least of which was that in order to surrender the code, and validate the revelation of the process, she would have to be paid approximately $384,000, which is the equivalent of 12 man-years of work.
The challenge hit a snag there, as no one was willing to pay for the work to develop something that could [or so they claimed] do no damage because of being now detectable. Also the furor was because monetary compensation isn’t supposed to be the motivating factor.
The article ends, with the assumption that the results will probably not be revealed until the end of the month, when Black Hat will again be in Las Vegas.
During the reading of this article, and others on rootkits, such as the little jewel put out by Sony on some of their CDs, it occurs that the people responsible for this ultimately are those at Microsoft, who gave an operating system that has hooks in it allowing these exploits.
This is something that feels like the users are the ones who have been exploited here, whether the code that allows this is used for good, as in the latest antivirus scanners, or for bad, as in that Sony pest mentioned before. It is still the user who is taken advantage of.
Because this is much harder to do in a Unix-like environment, this might be another reason to fight..by switching.
[tags] rootkit, Black Hat, Rutkowska, Sony, Las Vegas, Microsoft, security research [/tags]