The National Security Agency helped Microsoft harden Windows 7 against attacks and is providing similar assistance to Apple, Sun Microsystems and Red Hat too, an agency official said. The admission came in prepared remarks delivered by Richard Schaeffer, at a hearing before Senate's Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security. "Working in partnership with Microsoft and elements of the DoD, NSA leveraged our unique expertise and operational knowledge of system threats and vulnerabilities to enhance Microsoft's operating system security guide without constraining the user's ability to perform their everyday tasks, whether those tasks are being performed in the public or private sector," Schaeffer stated. "All this was done in coordination with the product release, not months or years later during the product lifecycle." The NSA is working with Apple, Sun, and Red Hat "to develop secure baselines for their products," he added.