Well, maybe not the end of anything outside of legacy file system filter drivers on Windows, but their life expectancy is coming to an end. Microsoft recently announced publicly they will be preventing the loading of legacy style file system filter drivers. Then again at the recent IFS Plugfest held on the Microsoft campus it was announced numerous times that the time is now to convert any legacy style filter drivers to the filter manager minifilter model.
Microsoft does plan to have a step-wise elimination of these drivers starting with the release of an upcoming Windows Server 2016 version that will have a registry setting available to disable the loading of legacy filter drivers. The default value in this first release will be to allow legacy filter drivers to be loaded but it will also allow developers to test and ensure that everything is OK on their system when the loading is disabled. In a followup release they will either provide a version that has the default value set to disable or they will eliminate the registry value altogether, preventing legacy filter drivers from loading.
What does this mean to companies who currently leverage a legacy file system filter driver? They need to convert or forever be blocked from loading on a future release of Windows. While there are going to be attempts to bypass this security model through patching of some sort, it will be a long, uphill battle so why not make the leap and convert to the minifilter model for filter drivers?
If you don’t have the resources to make the conversion or lack the engineering know-how, we can provide assistance in making the move. Contact us at Info@KernelDrivers.com to discuss options and what it will take to make your driver full supported and future proofed.