Joanna Rutkowska (born in Warsaw, Poland in 1981) is a computer engineer mainly known for her research into malware and low-level security. She is the founder and CEO of the Invisible Things Lab Company, a company dedicated mainly to the investigation in computer security, as well as training and advice. She is considered one of the most relevant hackers in the world.
From a young age she showed great interest and wit in computer science. When she was still at elementary school, she started to learn programming language with MS-DOS. At the age of 14, she created her first virus. She finished her studies with a master in computer science from the Polytechnic University of Warsaw.
She became famous at the Black Hat Briefings conference in Las Vegas in August 2006. At the conference, Microsoft presented the new version of its operating system: Windows Vista. While Microsoft lectured on the security of this new version, Joanna Rutkowska showed how to insert malware into the core of Windows Vista using a rootkit developed by herself called Blue Pill. Since then she has been invited to many conferences and events related to the world of information and especially security.
In 2007 she founded Invisible Things Lab, a computer security research Company, dedicated mainly to Malware and attacks on operating systems, as well as to (create) ways to avoid them. She is also involved in training courses and lectures, having been invited in many editions of Black Hat Briefings. Within this Company, in 2010 she and her collaborator Rafal Wojtczuk created a new operating system called Qubes, focused on providing more efficient security for portable computers (laptops).
Joanna Rutkowska has worked mainly in three fields: malware research and counter attack on operating system cores, security of virtualization systems, and security programs. She states that antivirus programs are very weak because they only collect the threats already identified and are vulnerable to new threads. She believes that security policies should be aimed at creating secure/safe operating systems with effective technologies against attacks. Rutkowska says that the major security problem for most operating systems is that they work with big cores that perform all functions, so that if a thread succeeds, it has access to whole system. She proposes the use of micro-cores that perform the basic functions and the rest of processes take place in isolation, in order to prevent an attack to the nucleus from damaging the whole system.
- [http://invisiblethingslab.com/itl/Welcome.html The Invisible Things Lab