Mark Russinovich

Mark Russinovich
Mark Russinovich

Russinovich at PDC10, October 2010
Born c. 1966 (age 44–45)
Salamanca, Spain
Occupation Technical Fellow at Microsoft
Known for cofounder of Winternals Software and

Mark E. Russinovich (born c. 1966) is a Technical Fellow in the Platform and Services Division at Microsoft. He was a cofounder of software producers Winternals before it was acquired by Microsoft in 2006.


Early life and education

He was born in Salamanca, Spain and was raised in Birmingham, Alabama, until he was 15, when 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.

When Russinovich began taking an interest in programming at age 15, he bought himself 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.

In 1989, Russinovich earned his B.S. in computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. The following year he received an M.S. in computer engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He later returned to Carnegie Mellon, where he received a Ph.D. in computer engineering in 1994.[1]


From September 1994 through February 1996 he was a research associate with the University of Oregon's computer science department. From February through September 1996 he was a developer with NuMega Technologies, where he worked on performance monitoring software for Windows NT.[2]

In 1996, he and Bryce Cogswell cofounded Winternals Software, where Russinovich served as Chief Software Architect, and the web site Sysinternals, where Russinovich 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 OSR Open Systems Resources, Inc., a company based in Amherst, New Hampshire. From September 1997 through March 2000, he was 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.[2]

Russinovich 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 (3rd edition). Russinovich 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. He is widely regarded as a Windows expert.

Other work

In 1996, Russinovich discovered that the alteration of two registry values in the Windows Registry of the Workstation edition of Windows NT 4 would allow the installation of Microsoft BackOffice products which were licensed only for the Server edition.[3]

In 2005, Russinovich discovered the Sony rootkit in Sony DRM products. Its function was to prevent users from copying their media.[2]

In 2006, Russinovich discovered a rootkit in a product of security software company Symantec. Symantec directly removed the rootkit.[4][5]

In January 2006, Russinovich again came to public attention when he analyzed the Windows Metafile vulnerability in Windows 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.[6]

Russinovich's first novel Zero Day was published by Thomas Dunne Books on March 15, 2011.[7]


  • Solomon, David; Mark Russinovich (September 16, 2000). Inside Microsoft Windows 2000 (Third ed.). Microsoft Press. ISBN 0-7356-1021-5. 
  • Russinovich, Mark; David Solomon (December 8, 2004). Microsoft Windows Internals (Fourth ed.). Microsoft Press. ISBN 0-7356-1917-4. 
  • Russinovich, Mark; David Solomon, Alex Ionescu (June 17, 2009). Microsoft Windows Internals (Fifth ed.). Microsoft Press. ISBN 0-7356-2530-1. 
  • Russinovich, Mark (March 15, 2011). Zero Day: A Novel. Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 031261246X. 
  • Russinovich, Mark; Aaron Margosis (July 12, 2011). Windows Sysinternals Administrator's Reference. Microsoft Press. ISBN 073565672X. 


  1. ^ "Mark Russinovich". Making it Big in Software. Retrieved February 13, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Affidavit of Mark Russinovich". April 2, 2005. 
  3. ^ Andrew Schulman (1996-09-16). "Differences Between NT Server and Workstation Are Minimal". O'Reilly and Associates. Retrieved 2005-11-16. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Symantec Norton Protected Recycle Bin Exposure
  6. ^ Steve Gibson (2006-01-12). "". Gibson Research Corporation. Retrieved 2007-11-06.  "The only conclusion that can reasonably be drawn is that this was a deliberate backdoor put into all of Microsoft's recent editions of Windows."
  7. ^ Zero Day: A Novel

External links

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