Exhausted By New Features, Users Would Downgrade Security

Tend Micro CTO, Raimund Genes, voices that the computer security industry has not done enough to educate users about the dangers on the Internet. The anti-virus expert said that the industry has done a poor job in creating awareness of security risks.

Genes said that users of Microsoft's new 'Windows Vista operating system' would tend to downgrade security, as the new features that keep coming up for online safety would exhaust them. One such feature is 'User Account Control' that alerts users while conducting an operation with administrator privileges and also tells the correct authorization needed to carry out that task. But he said users would ultimately switch off 'User Account Control' when they receive constant pop-ups.

According to Genes, the problem of computers being compromised by infecting them with malware and bringing them under the control of hackers continues. 'Trend Micro' estimates some 5m 'zombie PCs' connected to the Net at any one time. Hackers sell access to these PCs to third parties who use them either to send spam or conduct 'denial of service' attacks, both within 'digital background'.

Trend Micro chiefs expressed concern because they apprehend adware companies will exploit the new features in IE7 to generate revenue. One of them is the new 'tabbed browsing' function, which attackers can hijack to display links to some adware site.

According to Ed English, Trend Micro chief technology officer for anti-spyware, IE7 is heading to become the dominant browser, which is likely to produce new opportunities for exploits like 'tab jacking'. IE7 shall also become the most acceptable 'RSS reader' around the world. Again, there would be scope for adware to inject into 'RSS feeds'.

ISPs need to adopt proactive steps to enhance security of their users, argues Genes' colleague Dave Rand, CTO of 'Internet Content Security' at 'Trend Micro'. This is necessary despite the "higher charges" to customers. He implores ISPs to employ better 'content-based filtering' to crack down on spam and also to generate security services along with their basic 'connectivity packages'. He said that ISPs should consider blocking more ports and stop spam, which they can do economically.

Related article: External Software Can Allow Malware into Windows Vista

» SPAMfighter News - 12-12-2006

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