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The value of DEP


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The ramblings and ravings of a demented Fortran programmer
(I never did get the hang of OOP)


I have a few old computers running Windows XP.  The trouble with old computers is that they lack the hardware feature which allows DEP to work.  I use an alternative to hardware DEP called BufferShield (created by Andreas Denter of sys-manage.com) which provides the equivalent of the Linux PaX solution through software.  Unfortunately BufferShield's drivers can conflict with unidentified drivers (possibly sound card or display screen), especially on laptops so I am without protection against data execution on those computers.  Nice thing the traditional PC.  You can readily swap hardware to get round driver conflicts.


This meandering preamble leads to my question which is that without data execution protection how much point is there in having the other protections that MBAE provides?  I note that MBAE provides DEP bypass protection and wonder if this also makes it harder for an exploit to execute data on a machine without hardware DEP.


MBAE now prevents finger printing of systems so I guess that one of the characteristics hackers are seeking to identify is lack of DEP, or are non-DEP systems now so rare as to be not worth the bother of finger print checking for the lack of DEP?  Might finger printing look for the existence of BufferShield on a system?  I have a feeling that BufferShield is now in the category of security through obscurity.


Best wishes for a Happy New Year to you all and, by the grace of Malwarebytes, may you be untroubled by exploits.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Using MBAE on a system with a processor without an Nx bit is like using MBAE on a VM.  Perhaps I should have worded my opening post this way in the first place and so achieved more success in sparking a discussion. 

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