Friday, April 14, 2006

Why IIS on Win32 Fails

System call depths in Win32 vs. POSIXThe pictures to the right from Richard Stiennon's post on Threat Chaos show the paths of the system calls used by IIS on Win32 and Apache on POSIX to service a single HTTP request. This pictures demonstrates, fundamentally, why IIS on Win32 is simply a bad engineering choice when it comes to security.

Every system call, every transition across the user/operating system boundary is an opportunity for the userspace program to exploit a potentially unknown hole in the underlying O/S. Why someone would choose to use an environment like this one is beyond me.

Richard Stiennon put it quite succinctly:

Windows has grown so complicated that it is harder to secure. Well these images make the point very well. Both images are a complete map of the system calls that occur when a web server serves up a single page of html with a single picture. The same page and picture.

1 comment:

  1. Windows+IIS vs. Linux+Apache (and baby vs. baby)

    Holy weblog observations, Batman! It's IT Blogwatch, in which it's "proven" than Windows+IIS is less secure than Linux+Apache. Not to mention the site that asks, "Which baby is cuter?"...