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AppInit DLLs in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

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Executive Summary

This paper provides information about the AppInit-DLLs infrastructure for the Windows family of operating systems. It provides guidelines for application developers to ensure that any applications that depend on the AppInit-DLLs mechanism function correctly when run in Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. The AppInit-DLLs infrastructure enables applications to load arbitrary DLLs into all user-mode processes. The most common use of this mechanism is API hooking. The AppInit-DLLs infrastructure has been changed for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to help improve the integrity and visibility of code that is running on these systems. This paper includes information about the new code signature requirement that has been introduced for AppInit-DLLs.

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