Feeds

Fight malware by upgrading to Vista, urges MS

Really fighting fire with fire

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Microsoft is pushing improved malware defences as a reason to shift over to Vista.

Systems running Microsoft’s latest operating system recorded 60 per cent less malware infections than XP, according to figures obtained using Microsoft’s malicious software removal tool.

Ben Fathi, corporate vice president of development for Windows, claimed on Tuesday that Vista experienced fewer security vulnerabilities than either Mac OS X, Windows XP or Ubuntu Linux. Fathi made the statement during a keynote presentation at the RSA Europe security conference in London on Tuesday.

The launch of Vista has been dogged with problems including the difficulty in performing simple tasks such as moving files and lukewarm responses from PC builders, software developers and users alike. Vista contains improved security features such User Account Control (UAC) and Kernel Patch Protection.

Third party application developers have criticised patch protection while many users have found it hard to get to grips with UAC, which has a habit of confronting users with pop-up windows even when running innocuous applications.

Fathi left the stage without fielding questions, which would surely have included queries as to how Microsoft’s vulnerability stats compare with independent security sources such as Secunia or Symantec, whose figures often cast Microsoft’s software in a less favourable light.

Technology on its own can only help mitigate, not eradicate, malware problems. Often the weakest link stems from users, Fathi argued. Microsoft's most recent Security Intelligence Report, released on Tuesday, showed a 500 percent increase in Trojan downloaders and droppers. Phishing attacks increased by 150 per cent over the same period.

I want to ride my lifecycle

During his keynote, Fathi reviewed the last six years of the Trustworthy Computing initiative. He said the biggest changes have come in the security development lifecycle of products.

Of 300 products or new versions that have gone through the process of review, analysis and testing that makes up the revamped security development roadmap, three have been delayed as a result of an unfavourable analysis. "These products were sent back to the products teams so that they could work out mitigation. This affected the release cycle but it was the right thing to do for our customers," Fathi said.

During his presentation, Fathi briefly touched on the key security features that will come with Windows Server 2008. Key features will include hypervisor virtualisation technology, BitLocker drive encryption technology (a feature that will allow users with branch offices to more easily encrypt data) and Network Access Protection, a technology that restricts unpatched systems or those with out of date software from accessing network resources. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.