The original Blue Pill proof of concept code has been written by Joanna Rutkowska, while working for COSEINC, and presented at the Black Hat Briefings 2006 in Las Vegas on August 3rd. Joanna Rutkowska then formed a small team of researchers inside COSEINC, Advanced Malware Labs, which was supposed to focus on further research into virtualization based malware. However after just a few months the priorities of work have been shifted, resulting in Blue Pill research activities being ceased.
In April 2007 Joanna Rutkowska decided to quit COSEINC and start her own security consulting firm, Invisible Things Lab. In May 2007 Alexander Tereshkin, a former member of COSEINC AML, joined ITL as a principal researcher. Joanna Rutkowska and Alexander Tereshkin decided to redesign and write from scratch the New Blue Pill rootkit, so that it would be possible to use it for further research and for educational purposes. Most of the New Blue Pill’s code was developed by Alexander Tereshkin.
The New Blue Pill is significantly different from the original Blue Pill, not only because of the various features that it implements, but also because of the different architecture it was based on (HVM-like approach, similar to that used by XEN 3).
Since Fall 2007, the work on the New Blue Pill has been supported by Phoenix Technologies. Phoenix, who works on a new virtualization product called HyperSpace, has been interested in using NBP for testing out various ideas and new virtualization technologies. One important example is the research on the nested virtualization support to enable users of an embedded virtualizated system, to also make use of higher level virtualization based desktop applications.
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