Feeds

Fight malware by upgrading to Vista, urges MS

Really fighting fire with fire

Website security in corporate America

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. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.