Microsoft is busy rewriting core Windows code in memory-safe Rust

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Mar 16, 2019
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Microsoft is rewriting core Windows libraries in the Rust programming language, and the more memory-safe code is already reaching developers.

David "dwizzle" Weston, director of OS security for Windows, announced the arrival of Rust in the operating system's kernel at BlueHat IL 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel, last month.

"You will actually have Windows booting with Rust in the kernel in probably the next several weeks or months, which is really cool," he said. "The basic goal here was to convert some of these internal C++ data types into their Rust equivalents."

Microsoft showed interest in Rust several years ago as a way to catch and squash memory safety bugs before the code lands in the hands of users; these kinds of bugs were at the heart of about 70 percent of the CVE-listed security vulnerabilities patched by the Windows maker in its own products since 2006.

The Rust toolchain strives to prevent code from being built and shipped that is exploitable, which in an ideal world reduces opportunities for miscreants to attack weaknesses in software. Simply put, Rust is focused on memory safety and similar protections, which cuts down on the number of bad bugs in the resulting code.

Rivals like Google have already publicly declared their affinity for Rust.

Amid growing industry support for memory safe programming, Microsoft's exploration of Rust has become.................
 

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