Print 34 comment(s) - last by Wwhat.. on Oct 26 at 10:31 PM

Microsoft rolls out the final version of its anti-spyware utility

Microsoft has released the final version of its Windows Defender anti-spyware utility. The program has been in beta for the past two years and is now available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Windows Defender is a product of the Microsoft acquisition of GIANT Software. The December 16, 2004 acquisition resulted in the first iteration of the software, Windows AntiSpyware, which was a thinly veiled copy of GIANT’s AntiSpyware. Over the past two years, numerous updates have been made to the utility along with the name change to Windows Defender.

Windows Defender incorporates Real-Time Protection to monitor systems for spyware activity, automated spyware removal with scheduled scans, full integration with Internet Explorer 7.0 and automatic spyware definition updates from Microsoft.

Windows Defender is available freely to all customers running a genuine copy of Windows. Microsoft has also announced that customers will each be allowed to report two support incidents for free with Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

With Symantec having already reported Microsoft to the European Union for anti-trust violations over its Kernel PatchGuard protection in Vista, there's no telling how Symantec and McAfee feel about Microsoft offering a free anti-spyware utility.

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Good but not enough
By wrack on 10/24/2006 7:47:21 PM , Rating: 2
I have been using it since the day it came out, it was pretty good in the beginning but I am not sure if Microsoft is keeping the signature database up-to-date as other Anti Spyware companies.

I had few spywares in which I needed to remove. So I first updated the signatures if there are any available and then I run the normal scan while the Spyware EXE was running and it couldn't detect it. So I ran a full system scan (deep scan) and no joy either.

So I downloaded Spybot S&D and wolla it detected those buggers and kicked them out. So now I am thinking if I can put that trust back and try it again..!

RE: Good but not enough
By imaheadcase on 10/24/2006 7:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
They keep it up to date, almost everyday windows Vista tells me a new update is available. I just disabled it :P

RE: Good but not enough
By Christopher1 on 10/25/2006 1:19:15 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is that it is IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to know every kind of spyware that is out there. Lavasoft, Spybot and Microsoft don't share information...... so they are in a triple-blind situation where they have to find everything three times, once for each company.

A stupid way to do things, yes. But the way that apparently the anti-spyware companies want it done.

RE: Good but not enough
By Wwhat on 10/25/06, Rating: -1
RE: Good but not enough
By hondaman on 10/25/2006 2:26:01 AM , Rating: 3
I dont like MS as much as the next guy, but you make some pretty bizarre, unsubstantiated claims as fact.

Please at least try attempt to offer any ounce of evidence supporting your personal theories about MS before spouting them off in public and embarrassing yourself.

RE: Good but not enough
By Wwhat on 10/26/2006 10:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
You want supporting evidence? here it is (only 2 of them): WMP and IE
You really think that having a system where videos have urls embeded like windowsmedia had is anything but a deliberate hole for instance?
You really think all those convenient holes that were known to be in IE for many versions and years were an accident? you think microsoft is that specifically pathetic that they could not fix any of it before being forced to?

Dream on on your fluffy pillow of incredible naïve trust and dark glasses.

"Ooops our WGA accidentally transmitted lots of information to us every damn day, our bad!"

RE: Good but not enough
By MrDiSante on 10/24/2006 8:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
Haven't had any undetected spyware on any of my machines (had a few instances caught), and believe me I know all of the process names. Anyhow to each his own, it still has the highest detection rate (there was a study somewhere about a year ago). It's free and it's got software explorer which is a nifty feature. I like it.

RE: Good but not enough
By CookieAbomination on 10/24/2006 8:28:40 PM , Rating: 5
I had few spywares in which I needed to remove.


RE: Good but not enough
By SLEEPER5555 on 10/25/2006 2:59:19 AM , Rating: 2
haaa, movie comes out 11-3

RE: Good but not enough
By sprockkets on 10/25/06, Rating: -1
RE: Good but not enough
By lamerz4391 on 10/26/2006 10:45:51 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah? What other sites? Can you substantiate your claims?

By Dactyl on 10/24/2006 8:48:33 PM , Rating: 5
The marketing campaign:

"Windows Defender: you need it because you're using Internet Explorer and Outlook Express"

By Russell on 10/24/2006 9:45:11 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty much dead on here. Had I not already replied I'd mod you up.

By Scrogneugneu on 10/24/2006 11:27:58 PM , Rating: 2
Had me laughing out loud (for real) for quite some time. Can't mod you up since you've reached 5, but can always post to show support :)

By Christopher1 on 10/25/2006 1:21:15 AM , Rating: 1
Well, I'd correct that to: Windows Defender, you need it because you are running IE6 and Outlook Express.

I'd REALLY like them to re-write Outlook Express and if possible, REMOVE IT FROM THE SYSTEM!

I've never liked it since day 1 when I got my first Windows XP computer, I tried it and Thunderbird is 10000 times better.

By Wwhat on 10/25/2006 1:29:40 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah just install IE7 and I'm sure 'defender' will never report any of the virusses that it won't collect because it's perfectly secure because it's a microsof product, it's a new thing called 'virtual safety'

By marvdmartian on 10/25/06, Rating: -1
By Murst on 10/25/2006 9:35:17 AM , Rating: 2
That joke is horrible or you have no grasp of reality.

In any case, you fail.

By Chaser on 10/25/2006 9:44:08 AM , Rating: 2
Sure. When I go to Windows update and other sites that require Active X controls. Imagine that?

By lamerz4391 on 10/26/2006 10:44:19 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, such an original comment. Internet Exploder! Hardy har har.

If you had worked in a M$ or Microsuck in that comment, you would have won the internet with your leetness.

Why pay to avoid something?
By sabbath1 on 10/24/2006 8:18:13 PM , Rating: 2
For all I care, Symantec or other anti-virus companies can be how displeased as they like about Microsoft releasing their anti-spyware program for free, the idea about paying to avoid something, like viruses or spyware is not something I personally think is right or fair in any way.

RE: Why pay to avoid something?
By Nexworks on 10/24/06, Rating: -1
RE: Why pay to avoid something?
By Flunk on 10/24/2006 8:37:58 PM , Rating: 2
Well, except for the ones that install themselves through web browser security holes. But I guess you've never heard of that...

RE: Why pay to avoid something?
By Russell on 10/24/2006 9:44:22 PM , Rating: 1
I haven't. I don't use IE or Firefox.

RE: Why pay to avoid something?
By stmok on 10/24/2006 11:10:01 PM , Rating: 2
I agree there.

Don't run in Admin or root account and setup a sandbox.
(Only use Admin/Root to set things up...Use normal "restricted" user account for regular stuff like surfing and such. WinXP's "fast user switching" function helps here.)

Windows users can get an application called Sandboxie. Its free. (If you're using WinXP SP2 or Win2k3 SP1, be sure to put Sandboxie in the DEP exclusion list. Otherwise Sandboxie won't function correctly).

Just set up how you want IE or Firefox, then run them in a sandbox. When you're done, empty the sandbox or save the files you need for later. (Use something like a free AV and some other free anti-malware app to scan the files BEFORE you take them out of the sandbox). Its OK if you execute something in a sandbox while in restricted user mode. (And yes, this sandbox business is a feature in Vista).

Doing all this will prevent malware from taking your whole box. What does all this cost? Nothing. No subscription fees and no constant interrogations from "Genuine Advantage" programs.

RE: Why pay to avoid something?
By Wwhat on 10/25/2006 1:37:26 AM , Rating: 2
Have you ever read (at least some of) the 'vunerability detail' microsoft put several clicks and popupwindows away on its updates?
Ever read how deep the bugs go, how messy windows is.
Yes I'm sure the protection bit and sandboxes help, but if we'd all used sandboxes then all virusses would not only break right through that but even use it against us.
Also as microsoft admitted itself by fixing it in vista the useraccount system in XP is way too primitive, if you aren't admin you're spending all day running stuff in admin usermode credentials to get most programs to run because 60% of windows programs require admin access for one reason or another, sigh.

RE: Why pay to avoid something?
By Wwhat on 10/25/2006 1:44:20 AM , Rating: 2
BTW almost every fix for vunerabilities says as mitigating circumstances "an attacker would have to get you to visit a site" or "you have to be connected to internet to be affected", and that also makes me raise an eyebrow in amusement, who the hell doesn't visit sites and isn't connected to the internet nowadays.

RE: Why pay to avoid something?
By stmok on 10/25/2006 11:54:56 AM , Rating: 2
My comment is mainly about reducing the most common causes of infection and compromise. I have no way implied its some "invincible magic potion". (I'm actually trying to use principles I've learnt in Linux...Things like access control, SELinux, PaX, Smash Stack Protection, etc). Obviously it helps, but to some extent. Windows is clearly a different ball game compared to other OSs.

Yes, I'm well aware of how messy Windows is. I did have access to the source code at one time in the past. If you can think the concept of "herding ants", that pretty much explains how bad the code is. In layman's terms, its a "f**king mess". (as one of my professors put it).

RE: Why pay to avoid something?
By peternelson on 10/25/2006 12:35:24 AM , Rating: 2
Now that MS Defender has come out of pre-release or Beta......

Am I right in thinking that I read it was only free for NOW.

If I recall correctly, MS intended to start charging for it monthly from sometime in 2007.

That would put it on the same basis as things like Norton, but I believe it ought to remain free as part of the OS.

Also by not making available security things like this to non-legit users, it actually propagates malware. The genuine advantage should not be used for security things, as a responsible step to rid the world of malware scum.

not affected
By Murst on 10/25/2006 9:31:47 AM , Rating: 4
Who cares what other AV companies think about MS giving this away. Microsoft can give *anything* it wants away, free of any charge, and hell, they can even pay you for it and not get in trouble. Their only catch? They can't do that with a default install of the windows OS.

As long as people have to make an effort to install the software (as opposed to it being done by MS when windows is setup), its all fair game.

By xxsk8er101xx on 10/25/2006 12:33:46 PM , Rating: 2
I've used windows anti-spyware and windows defender and it does a bad job in detecting spyware. I would use defender not find anything and then use Lavasoft adaware or spybot and it would find 100 - 200+ items.

Maybe the official release is better.

I would not recommend using windows defender as your trusted source of detecting spyware right now.

By masteraleph on 10/25/2006 8:57:14 AM , Rating: 2

I don't even know what you're referring to. MS isn't going to charge people for Defender, that's pretty plain. They are charging for OneCare, because if they don't, they'll be sued.

What exactly is your point?

By peternelson on 10/25/2006 1:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
Can you contrast between OneCare and defender?

If onecare IS to be chargeable, I'd rather it be offered as a one-off fee (maybe optional extra with the OS) rather than ongoing monthly billing.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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