• Jan 1, 1966
    (b.) - ?

Bio/Description

A Technical Fellow in Microsoft Azure working on Microsoft’s cloud platform, he is a widely recognized expert in distributed systems and operating systems. He is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), of Microsoft Azure, and was a cofounder of software producers Winternals before it was acquired by Microsoft in 2006. Born in Salamanca, Spain, he is of Croatian ancestry and was raised in Birmingham, Alabama, United States. When he was 15, he moved with his family to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father was a radiologist and his mother was a business administrator of his father's radiology practice in Pittsburgh. He was introduced to computers when his friend's father got an Apple II in the 1970s. He was able to reverse engineer its ROM and write programs for it. At age 15, he bought his first computer, a TI99/4A. About six months later his parents bought him an Apple II+ from his local high school when it upgraded the computer labs to Apple IIe's. He also wrote magazine articles about Apple II. In 1989, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. The following year he received a Master of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He later returned to Carnegie Mellon, where he received a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering in 1994 under the supervision of Zary Segall. His thesis was titled Application-transparent fault management. From September 1994 through February 1996 he was a research associate with the University of Oregon's Computer Science department and from February through September 1996 he was a developer with NuMega Technologies, where he worked on performance monitoring software for Windows NT. In 1996, he and Bryce Cogswell co-founded Winternals Software, where he served as Chief Software Architect. They co-developed the website sysinternals.com, where he wrote and published dozens of popular Windows administration and diagnostic utilities including Autoruns, Filemon, Regmon, Process Explorer, TCPView, and RootkitRevealer among many others. From September 1996 through September 1997 he worked as a consulting associate at Open Systems Resources, Inc. (OSR), a company based in Amherst, New Hampshire. From September 1997 through March 2000, he was a research staff member at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center, researching operating system support for Web server acceleration and serving as an operating systems expert. He joined Microsoft in 2006, when it acquired Winternals Software. In his role as an author, he is a regular contributor to TechNet Magazine and Windows IT Pro magazine (previously called Windows NT Magazine) on the subject of the Architecture of Windows 2000 and was co-author of “Inside Windows 2000” (third edition). He is the author of many tools used by Windows NT and Windows 2000 kernel-mode programmers, and of the NTFS file system driver for DOS. In 1996, he discovered that altering two values in the Windows Registry of the Workstation edition of Windows NT 4 would change the installation so it was recognized as a Windows NT Server and allow the installation of Microsoft BackOffice products which were licensed only for the Server edition. The registry key values were guarded by a worker thread to detect tampering, and later a program called NT Tune was released to kill the monitor thread and change the values. In 2005, he discovered the Sony rootkit in Sony DRM products. Its function was to prevent users from copying their media. In January 2006, he discovered a rootkit in Norton SystemWorks by Symantec Corporation. Symantec directly removed the rootkit. He also analyzed the Windows Metafile vulnerability and concluded that it was not a deliberate backdoor. This possibility had been raised – albeit tentatively – by Steve Gibson after a cursory investigation of the nature of the exploit and its mechanism. His novels “Zero Day” (foreword by Howard Schmidt) and “Trojan Horse” (foreword by Kevin Mitnick) were published by Thomas Dunne Books on March 15, 2011 and September 4, 2012. Both are in a series of popular techno-thrillers that have attracted praise from industry insiders such as Mikko Hypponen and Daniel Suarez. A short story, Operation Desolation was published just before Trojan Horse and takes place 1 year after the events of Zero Day. Book 3, “Rogue Code: A Novel” (Jeff Aiken Series, May 2014) deals with vulnerabilities of the NYSE. It has a foreword by Haim Bodek, author of “The Problem of HFT: Collected Writings on High Frequency Trading & Stock Market Structure Reform”. He has authored or co-authored numerous other computer books, novels, and articles; and has published several instructional videos.
  • Date of Birth:

    Jan 1, 1966
  • Noted For:

    Co-developer of the website sysinternals.com, writer & publisher of several popular Windows administration and diagnostic utilities including Autoruns, Filemon, and RootkitRevealer
  • Category of Achievement:

  • More Info: