PatchGuard, the controversial Windows Vista security feature that's at the heart of the flack between Microsoft, McAfee and Symantec, has already been cracked by another third-party security vendor, Authentium.
Microsoft quickly (and tersely) announced that it plans to block any such technique to circumvent PatchGuard, which Redmond claims is essential to improvements in Vista security. It adds quite lucidly that it won't warrant such workarounds against any updates it might release.
Under constant tensions from the EU, Microsoft has agreed to release official APIs to essentially replace the direct access some security vendors use in their product. Not surprisingly, McAfee and Symantec remain irked about the whole thing.
We'd note that this story seems to have fallen under the radar a bit, perhaps in the frenzy over the IE7 and Firefox releases. We saw it this morning at vnunet.com; eWeek had a complete item Wednesday that has to date elicited only one reader comment, and a Google search for "Authentium AND PatchGuard" turned up a scant 519 results this morning.
It seems a little obvious, but we also have to add that the need to patch a PatchGuard in a security-centric OS before it's even released is not the most reassuring development.