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Hacking the Hacker by Roger A. Grimes

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11Profile: Mark Russinovich

No one knows everything about Microsoft Windows. It’s tens of millions of lines of code. But for more than two decades, Mark Russinovich has come close. He’s the Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft Azure. C‐level officers (CEOs, CIOs, and so on) of companies are rarely people that still grok technology at the deepest levels, but Russinovich does. Rarely is there a smarter person in the room or someone who knows more about a feature. He’s very happy to be looking at code. I told him this during our interview, and he replied, “The details of the technology is what keeps me going!”

I’ve known Russinovich for nearly two decades. For a long time he ran two software companies, Winternals, a for‐profit commercial company, and Sysinternals, a not‐for‐profit freeware company. Both the companies and their software were very popular with techies. Eventually, Microsoft acquired both companies when he went to work for them. Visit http://www.sysinternals.com to see the cool utilities he created and Microsoft still offers and updates today. Russinovich has always been a techie’s techie, and he is not afraid of controversy when finding the truth during his technical investigations.

I even distinctly remember being with him at a restaurant dinner table back in 2005 (neither of us were Microsoft employees at the time) when the news of his Sony BMG rootkit scandal discovery went viral. Russinovich had discovered that when a Sony music CD was placed inside of a computer ...

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