Many popular software applications have avoided including security protection
mechanisms built into the latest versions of Windows. The omission leaves these
applications at greater risk of hacker attack, according to a study by security
patching and notification firm Secunia.

Two key security mechanisms in Windows - DEP (Data Execution Prevention) and
ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) - are designed to make it hard for
hackers to develop reliable exploits even in cases where security bugs are
present in Windows applications. DEP, first added to Windows with XP Service
Pack 2 in August 2004, is designed to prevent the execution of writable memory.
ASLR, which debuted with Vista, further complicates the process of creating
reliable exploits.

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