Possible Vista malware protection vulnerabilities found

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vista.jpgSecurity software company Webroot have released details of potential weaknesses in Vista’s protection systems, including Windows Defender, their anti-virus/anti-spyware software, and Live OneCare.

“Microsoft’’s default malware blocking application and anti-virus programs may not fully protect [users],” said Gerhard Eschelbeck, CTO and SVP of engineering for Webroot Software. “With the continued increase in the ingenuity and tenacity of cyber-criminals and malware publishers, it is crucial for users to additionally deploy a proven computer security solution that provides real-time protection against all forms of spyware and viruses.””

According to Webroot’s test (which are sure to be countered by Microsoft at some point), Windows Defender failed to block 84% of a testing sample that included 15 of the most common variations of
existing spyware and malware.

In another test, adware, Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs), system
monitors, keyloggers, and trojans– were able to reside on the test PC totally undetected by Windows Vista™. One PUP tested was able to install under administrator privileges, run and capture keystrokes, without Defender detecting the installation or the running application.

I’m sure Webroot would love you to use their own software solution, Spy Sweeper, but of course there are plenty of other ways of protecting your PC, both hardware and software.

Sounds as if Vista still has some way to go, at least in its out-of-the-box state, which is probably how most users will leave it set.

Related stories: Microsoft to offer Windows Vista and upgrades online | Microsoft defend Vista’s copy-protection systems | Microsoft releases beta version of Vista

Andy Merrett