Security firms go on Vista attack

Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system has barely begun to appear on retail shelves before security experts have queued up to warn of its weaknesses.

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By  Administrator Published  February 1, 2007

Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system has barely begun to appear on retail shelves before security experts have queued up to warn of its weaknesses.

Microsoft has hailed the security capabilities in Vista, with the software giant's chairman Bill Gates describing it as "dramatically more secure than any other operating system released".

However, while security firms have acknowledged that it is the most secure Windows version to date, the usefulness of some of its features have been questioned.

Security firm Webroot Software said this week that the Windows Defender program failed to block 84% of viruses it tested on it - including 15 of the most common pieces of malicious code.

Also this week, Kaspersky Lab said the User Account Control and PatchGuard features, which monitor ‘suspicious' activity, will generate so many alerts that users would be more likely to turn them off.

Bharat Kumar, business and marketing director for Microsoft Gulf, said the firm is working closely with companies that claim to find flaws in Vista, to develop patches against them. "If other people identify flaws or other challenges in the software then we are going to be open to identifying these," he said.

However, another security feature that Microsoft is touting as a major component in safeguarding Vista - the Bitlocker user access control - is only available to customers who use Microsoft's Software Assurance programme or buy the Vista Ultimate version, Kumar said.

"Most home and small business customers will probably feel that Vista offers them enough security but whether it really does only time will tell," said Justin Doo, managing director of Trend Micro Middle East.

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