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Microsoft’s Vista Obstructs All Malware For the Moment

Security vendor Symantec said in news reported by inquireinside, on March 1, 2007, that the latest OS (operating system) by Microsoft is very efficient in blocking all malware for the time being.

In many white papers discussing the OS, researchers from Symantec concluded that for the time being, the OS could impede any malware that come its way.

The main white paper, title 'Microsoft Windows Vista and Security', is a bit lengthy but extremely readable. Supporting white papers are specifically meant for technologists only.

The paper discusses three major areas for investigation. 'Generic exploit mitigation' comprises of Data Execution Prevention (introduced in Windows XP) together with other less popular technologies. The debatable PatchGuard technology and driver signing are included under 'Kernel integrity'. The catch all 'Systems integrity and user-mode defenses' has everything from Windows Defender to User Account Control to Automatic Updates.

Generic exploit mitigation actually refers to modification within the OS itself and to alterations that software developers can go for to make their products strong. Symantec wraps up that the OS enhancements, that make several conventional flaws unfeasible, are very efficient. The paper says the total effect of certain code-level vulnerabilities, even if introduced by an engineer from Microsoft, is highly feeble.

Symantec states for Kernel integrity that this class of technology benefits only 64-bit edition of Windows Vista while 32-bit edition, anticipated to be the standard deployment in the near future, doesn't. Kernel-level rootkits simple could not be deployed without the user's permission who has to press many allow buttons before it'll install.

User Account Control of Vista limits the harm malevolent software can do having all users operating at a declined privilege level. Anytime an operation requires Administrator level privilege, an Administrator user will have to confirm it. Standard users will require an Administrator to enter the password.

The white paper sums up that the shortage of clear information in the innumerable confirmation pop-ups would result in indifference on the user's part.

Symantec's boffins boggled their minds with the question how much security Vista alone can give against malware. They came to know that kernel-level rootkits could not install without the permission from UAC.

In other categories of malware, like Trojans, spyware, and backdoors, they found from 2-4% could deploy effectively under Vista.

Related article: Microsoft Patches Live OneCare to Tackle Quarantined E-Mails

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