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Software tests virus protection in 64-bit CPUs

Chicago (IL) - A small utility is now available to test the DEP security feature in AMD and Intel 64-bit CPUs.

With the RC1 of Windows XP Service Pack 2 announced yesterday, as well as the Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003, Microsofts operating system now supports a new security feature in AMD and Intel 64-bit CPUs which adds enhanced virus protection.

Called "Data Execution Prevention" (DEP) or "NX" (No Execution), the feature marks all memory locations in a process as non-executable unless the location explicitly contains executable code. AMD as well as Intel claim that potentially malicious code in regions which normally do not contain code - such as the program stack - can now be detected by the CPU.

The small utility "NXTEST" by Robert Schlabbach is able to test DEP and is available for free download. You will need a 64-bit AMD or Intel CPU and Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Windows XP 64 bit with Service Pack 1, or Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 to run the test.