All Windows 10 Kernel Mode Drivers Must Be Digitally Signed By Microsoft

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“Last year, we announced that beginning with the release of Windows 10, all new Windows 10 kernel mode drivers must be submitted to the Windows Hardware Developer Center Dashboard portal to be digitally signed by Microsoft,” reads a MSDN blog post. “However, due to technical and ecosystem readiness issues, this was not enforced by Windows Code Integrity and remained only a policy statement. Starting with new installations of Windows 10, version 1607, the previously defined driver signing rules will be enforced by the Operating System, and Windows 10, version 1607 will not load any new kernel mode drivers which are not signed by the Dev Portal.”

Slashdot reader mikejuk quotes a report from which argues “the control of what software users can run on their machines is becoming ever tighter,” and compares Microsoft’s proposal to an XKCD cartoon:

Before you start to panic about backward compatibility with existing drivers the lockdown is only going to be enforced on new installations of Windows 10. If you simply upgrade an existing system then the OS will take over the drivers that are already installed… Only new installations, i.e. installing all drivers from scratch, will enforce the new rules from Windows 10 version 1607… Be warned, if you need to do a fresh install of Windows 10 in the future you might find that your existing drivers are rejected.

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