Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

Microsoft: Windows 7 Malware Threat 'Sensationalized'

Software maker claims tests by security vendor don't tell the whole story.

Microsoft accused a software industry rival of overhyping tests results that purported to show security features in the new Windows 7 operating system fail to block 80% of malware threats.




Windows 7 screen shot
(Click for larger image and for full photo gallery)

"I'm not a fan of companies sensationalizing findings about Windows 7 in order to sell more of their own software," said Paul Cooke, Microsoft's director of Windows Enterprise Client Security, in a blog post Friday.

Cooke's blog came in response to an earlier post by Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at anti-virus software maker Sophos. Wisniewski said Sophos' tests revealed that Windows 7 is "vulnerable to 8 out of 10 viruses."

Sophos obtained its results by planting ten instances of known malware onto a PC running Windows 7. Only two were caught by the OS. "Unfortunately, despite Microsoft's claims, Windows 7 disappointed just like earlier versions of Windows," Wisniewski wrote.

"Lesson learned? You still need to run anti-virus on Windows 7," Wisniewski added in his post.

Microsoft's Cooke, however, countered that Sophos' methodology was flawed, in part because the testers did not take advantage of Microsoft security tools, such as Internet Explorer's SmartScreen filter, that are not directly part of Windows 7 but to which an ordinary user would have access.

"The SmartScreen filter will notify you when you attempt to download software that is unsafe—which the SophosLabs methodology totally bypassed in doing their test," wrote Cooke.

Still, Cooke said he agreed with Sophos' recommendation that Windows 7 users run anti-virus software on their PCs. "Users of any computer, on any platform, should run anti-virus software, including those running Windows 7," said Cooke.

It's not surprising that Microsoft is butting heads with third-party security vendors. The company to a degree undercut their business models earlier this year when it released Microsoft Security Essentials, which includes an anti-virus component, as a free download.

FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives has called MSE a "long-term threat" to security software makers, including Symantec and McAfee.


InformationWeek has published an indepth report on Windows 7. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 5/22/2020
How an Industry Consortium Can Reinvent Security Solution Testing
Henry Harrison, Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer, Garrison,  5/21/2020
10 iOS Security Tips to Lock Down Your iPhone
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  5/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-5537
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-25
Cybozu Desktop for Windows 2.0.23 to 2.2.40 allows remote code execution via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2020-13438
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-24
ffjpeg through 2020-02-24 has an invalid read in jfif_encode in jfif.c.
CVE-2020-13439
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-24
ffjpeg through 2020-02-24 has a heap-based buffer over-read in jfif_decode in jfif.c.
CVE-2020-13440
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-24
ffjpeg through 2020-02-24 has an invalid write in bmp_load in bmp.c.
CVE-2020-13433
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-24
Jason2605 AdminPanel 4.0 allows SQL Injection via the editPlayer.php hidden parameter.