Windows 8 Fends Off Most Malware Thrown at It So Far

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News Posted: Sat, Nov 10 2012 11:03 AM
Windows 8 isn't without controversy, in that Microsoft designed the operating system to offer a unified experience between touch-friendly mobile devices and desktops that may or may not be equipped to handle touch input. But should we also be concerned about security? That depends on your perspective.

On one hand, a new study by security firm BitDefender points out that "Windows 8 is prone to infection by some 15 percent of the 100 malware families most used by cyber criminals this year, even with Windows Defender activated." BitDefender tossed 385 of the most popular malware samples at a Windows 8 testbed, with Windows Defender running, and it fell prey to 61 of the threats. Without Windows Defender activated, the Windows 8 machine allowed 234 of the malware samples to run successfully.

Windows 8

"As a means of protecting a computer from viruses, data theft and other type of malware, Windows Defender is better than nothing," said Bitdefender Chief Security Strategist Catalin Cosoi. "But it’s not a whole lot better. Most of the popular antivirus can do better. The conclusion is clear: Using your PC without a security solution is extremely risky."

Obviously BitDefender has a vested interest in studies like this, since it sells security software, but the fact that Windows 8 (with Windows Defender) defends against 85 percent of the most popular threats out there is pretty encouraging. Plus, protection will improve over time as Microsoft releases more definition updates. Even a 5 percent improvement would mean that Windows 8 would then be thwarting 9 out of 10 of the most popular malware samples.
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3vi1 replied on Sat, Nov 10 2012 2:42 PM

>> it fell prey to 61 of the threats.

Everything will be fixed in Windows 9. We promise.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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MCaddick replied on Sat, Nov 10 2012 4:33 PM

This is why Windows RT might be a far better choice for anyone who doesn't need to run legacy apps like 10 years old Quickbooks, or iTunes (and seriously, who the hell actually WANTS to use iTunes).

To retain software backwards compatibility means necessarily also being somewhat compatible for malware as well.

A transparent and sandboxed VM-based solution like Windows XP Mode under Windows 7 would perhaps have allowed them to dump the old insecure code, but the amount of work to ensure 100% compatibility would have been never-ending.

Apple did the right thing moving from OS9 to 10 by moving to a completely different codebase, but MS has such an overwhelming marketshare in the enterprise and business space that it can't easily cut backwards compatibility without howls of complaint and lost business. Its their biggest strength, and also their greatest weakness.

The windows PC in the PWN to OWN contest will still fall after the apple machine the next time its held (as usual). When your beloved apple OS gets routinely pwned in under 2 minutes on the first day of competition but the 'insecure' windows one needs its security to be reduced on day 2 to get compromised there is something very wrong with the apple way of doing things and their non-existent security model.

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Ouch ! too early for Windws 8. it really be fix of the bugs. I'm glad i'm stick with Windows 7 ( I recenty upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimatic with SP1 from Windows 7 Pro) . I did saw the new Windows 8 on laptop at store and look nice but not for me. Stick with Windows 7 until new next Windows come out.

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RiCoFrost replied on Sun, Nov 11 2012 5:31 PM

I think you guys are missing the point, its able to block 85% out of the box. Windows 7 would not be able to block as many. Windows 8 is far more secure then windows 7.

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This is a VERY good result. M$ is really taking it seriously since Vista and getting better at it.

Mind you any anti-virus company is also a competitor since M$ offers free Essentials (forefront) to private persons. So it is quite remarkable

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Windows 8 IS better optimized for certain things. It shuts down faster, starts up faster, but then again, I still think its kind of crap. There's no operating system that is safe, but if you're really wanting to evade the armada of viruses, go to Linux. ( You may have to give up some of your gaming though >.>)

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