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Windows 7 may be more secure, but its UAC is less functional than Windows Vista's, according to a recent security study. The study suggests that only antivirus protection can properly protect Windows 7.  (Source: Switched)
Antivirus protection still necessary, says firm

One of the most unpopular features of Windows Vista among casual users was the User Account Control (UAC).  Ironically, while the UAC provoked irate comments from these users, like "why is my computer asking me to approve everything", the feature was one of the most appreciated features by power users as it gave them much more control over their security and ability to prevent inappropriate actions.

With Windows 7, Microsoft pledged to go the OS X route on this topic, tuning down the UAC's warnings to a lesser level.  Many security firms complained about this approach and Microsoft relented slightly, restoring some of the UAC's warnings, in particular a warning about the disabling the UAC altogether (experts showed that attackers could disable the UAC without prompting the user in early builds of Windows 7).

While these changes helped make Windows 7's release edition more secure than the test builds, the UAC's default setting is still neutered compare to Vista's robust solution, indicates Sophos Senior Security Adviser Chester Wisniewski.  He's just completed a study of attacking Windows 7 with malware and seeing how the new UAC responds.

Of the ten pieces of malware tested, Windows 7 wouldn't install two of them.  Of the remaining eight only one generated a UAC warning, allowing the user to disallow its installation.

Microsoft officials, though, minimized the test, saying the UAC just isn't that important a security feature anymore.  They point to Windows 7's improved memory protections and Microsoft free Security Essentials antivirus suite as two critical tools that can be used to fight infection, in addition to the UAC. 

States a Microsoft spokesperson, "Windows 7 is built upon the security platform of Windows Vista, which included a defense-in-depth approach to help protect customers from malware; this includes features like Security Development Lifecycle (SDL), User Account Control (UAC), Kernel Patch Protection, Windows Service Hardening, Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and Data Execution Prevention (DEP)."

"Windows 7 retains all of the development processes, including going through the Security Development Lifecycle, and technologies that made Windows Vista the most secure Windows operating system ever released," the spokesperson added. "Coupled with Internet Explorer 8—which includes added malware protection with its SmartScreen Filter—and Microsoft Security Essentials, Windows 7 provides flexible security protection against malware and intrusions."

While he understands that with other supplemental protections Windows 7 will likely be safe, Mr. Wisniewski seems mildly disapproving of defaulting the UAC to reduced functionality.  After all, users of Windows Vista may be lulled into a false sense of security expecting prompts to save them from malware.  Ultimately, though, there's little that can be done to convince Microsoft to change this, though, and he concludes, "Lesson learned? You still need to run antivirus [protection] on Windows 7."

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RE: W7
By DominionSeraph on 11/7/2009 11:23:08 AM , Rating: 2
Pirks, stop talking. You don't even know what bounds a lie, yet you blather on, completely oblivious to the mess you're making.

The analysis you're attempting to perform cuts along definitional lines. This means that you need to KNOW YOUR DEFINITIONS.

Jesus Christ. Why must every hour be amateur hour?

RE: W7
By Pirks on 11/7/2009 11:38:54 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for your lesson in ethics but my question to Alex above still stands.

RE: W7
By DominionSeraph on 11/8/2009 12:31:33 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for your lesson in ethics

Lesson? So you're still trying to figure out utilitariansim?
You realize that this is something that even a cat has no problem understanding, right?

my question to Alex above still stands

*sigh* Why me?

Pirks, your question is meaningless. Thus your presumption of meaning=1 is a faulty condition. Zero the potential with a strobe of -1, then reprocess the scenario.

RE: W7
By Alexstarfire on 11/8/2009 1:26:03 AM , Rating: 2
Unless they purposely lied I really doubt they'd post it on a webpage. Of course, without saying, "oops that's not we meant to say" what exactly are people supposed to assume? That it's true and they just don't want people to know. People do make mistakes, and if it's an innocent mistake they man to it and say "we made a mistake and that's not we meant to do." By purposely hiding something all you're doing is making the case stronger that it's true even if you don't outright say so after the fact.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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