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).

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/6/2020
Another COVID-19 Side Effect: Rising Nation-State Cyber Activity
Stephen Ward, VP, ThreatConnect,  7/1/2020
Lessons from COVID-19 Cyberattacks: Where Do We Go Next?
Derek Manky, Chief of Security Insights and Global Threat Alliances, FortiGuard Labs,  7/2/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15600
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
An issue was discovered in CMSUno before 1.6.1. uno.php allows CSRF to change the admin password.
CVE-2020-15599
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
Victor CMS through 2019-02-28 allows XSS via the register.php user_firstname or user_lastname field.
CVE-2020-8916
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
A memory leak in Openthread's wpantund versions up to commit 0e5d1601febb869f583e944785e5685c6c747be7, when used in an environment where wpanctl is directly interfacing with the control driver (eg: debug environments) can allow an attacker to crash the service (DoS). We recommend updating, or to res...
CVE-2020-12821
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
Gossipsub 1.0 does not properly resist invalid message spam, such as an eclipse attack or a sybil attack.
CVE-2020-15008
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
A SQLi exists in the probe code of all Connectwise Automate versions before 2020.7 or 2019.12. A SQL Injection in the probe implementation to save data to a custom table exists due to inadequate server side validation. As the code creates dynamic SQL for the insert statement and utilizes the user su...