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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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.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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