With the release of its latest OS, Microsoft appears to have put security at the forefront of the design phase. So much so that the National Security Agency (NSA) had a hand in helping the software maker lock down its operating system, a senior NSA official said on Tuesday.
"Working in partnership with Microsoft and [the Department of Defense], NSA leveraged our unique expertise and operational knowledge of system threats and vulnerabilities to enhance Microsoft's operating system security guide without constraining the user's ability to perform their everyday tasks," Richard Schaeffer, the NSA's Information Assurance Director, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a statement prepared for a hearing held in Washington. "All this was done in coordination with the product release, not months or years later in the product cycle."
The NSA and Microsoft working together is not exactly a new venture. Back in 2007, NSA officials confirmed they had also lent a hand during the development of VIsta, but the collaboration goes even further back. In 2005, the NSA and other government agencies assisted Microsoft in securing Windows XP and other programs.
Of course, the NSA is probably best known for its electronic eavesdropping operations, and we can't wait to see what the conspiracy theorists have to say about the organization's involvement with Windows.