Saturday, May 10, 2008

Windows Vista 37% Less Vulnerable Than Windows XP: Study

Depending on how you spin this information, it's either good news or bad. A study by a decidedly partial observer, security vendor PC Tools Software, showed that Windows Vista, while much improved over Windows XP, is still far too vulnerable.

Not that we needed a study to tell us that ...

The study was developed by using data from PC Tools' ThreatFire program. According to the data, Vista allowed 639 threats per thousand computers through its built-in security, compared with 586 for Windows 2000, 478 for Windows Server 2003, and 1,021 for Windows XP.

So, rather than Windows Vista being Microsoft's most secure OS, as it's advertised, it's really Windows Server 2003?

Simon Clausen, CEO of PC Tools, said in a statement:
"Ironically, the new operating system has been hailed by Microsoft as the most secure version of Windows to date. However, recent research conducted with statistics from over 1.4 million computers within the ThreatFire community has shown that Windows Vista is more susceptible to malware than the eight year old Windows 2000 operating system, and only 37% more secure than Windows XP."
PC Tools' flagship product, ThreatFire, is designed to work in concert with standard antivirus programs to protect your PC. ThreatFire uses behavioral analysis to detect malware rather than a signature database. PC Tools says on their ThreatFire site:
Traditional antivirus solutions cannot protect you until after they've discovered a new threat and produced a signature to counter it.

ThreatFire is different. It does not rely on signatures, but instead constantly analyzes your computer's behavior to detect and block any malicious activity. ThreatFire protects immediately so you know your PC and your valuable data is always secure.
While this is the type of protection that I've always stressed is important, of the type that might have prevented the recent malware "shipment" in a Firefox language pack, it also means that PC Tools has a vested interest in this type of study.

While ThreatFire is free, PC Tools also sells a anti-spyware product as well as an antivirus product.


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