Virtualization-based security (VBS) memory enclaves: Data protection through isolation

I’m glad that Virtualization-Based Security has replaced VisualBasic Script as the new acronym for VBS. 🙂

The escalating sophistication of cyberattacks is marked by the increased use of kernel-level exploits that attempt to run malware with the highest privileges and evade security solutions and software sandboxes. Kernel exploits famously gave the WannaCry and Petya ransomware remote code execution capability, resulting in widescale global outbreaks. Windows 10 remained resilient to these attacks, with Microsoft constantly raising the bar in platform security to stay ahead of threat actors. Virtualization-based security (VBS) hardens Windows 10 against attacks by using the Windows hypervisor to create an environment that isolates a secure region of memory known as secure memory enclaves.[…]


VMWare and Microsoft Virtualization Based Security (VBS)

Introducing support for Virtualization Based Security and Credential Guard in vSphere 6.7
Mike Foley

Microsoft virtualization-based security, also known as “VBS”, is a feature of the Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 operating systems. It uses hardware and software virtualization to enhance Windows system security by creating an isolated, hypervisor-restricted, specialized subsystem. Starting with vSphere 6.7, you can now enable Microsoft (VBS) on supported Windows guest operating systems. You may or may not be familiar with these new Windows features. Based on conversations I have with security teams, you might want to become familiar! What you will hear first and foremost is the requirement for “Credential Guard” which is why I added that to the title. In order to level set the conversation in this blog I will go over the features as they related to a bare metal installation of Windows and then a Windows VM on ESXi.[…]

Microsoft adds more enterprise security features to Windows 10

Enable virtualization-based protection of code integrity
Contributors: Brian Lich Justinha Nick Brower Jason Gerend Jeffrey Sutherland

Virtualization-based protection of code integrity (herein referred to as Hypervisor-protected Code Integrity, or HVCI) is a powerful system mitigation that leverages hardware virtualization and the Windows Hyper-V hypervisor to protect Windows kernel-mode processes against the injection and execution of malicious or unverified code. Code integrity validation is performed in a secure environment that is resistant to attack from malicious software, and page permissions for kernel mode are set and maintained by the Hyper-V hypervisor. Some applications, including device drivers, may be incompatible with HVCI. This can cause devices or software to malfunction and in rare cases may result in a Blue Screen. Such issues may occur after HVCI has been turned on or during the enablement process itself. If this happens, see Troubleshooting for remediation steps.[…]