Spyware-killing Vista could take out rivals

by admin March 18, 2006 at 9:56 am

There’s a software product coming that has the potential to demote spyware from a security priority to an afterthought: Windows Vista.

Spyware has become a serious security problem for users of Microsoft’s operating system over the past years, giving rise to a host of third-party tools to fight the insidious software. But perhaps the best defensive program has yet to ship, some analysts believe.

Microsoft later this year plans to release Windows Vista, the long-awaited successor to Windows XP. The operating system is being designed to shut the door on spyware. It will introduce important changes at the heart of the operating system, as well as to Internet Explorer, and include Windows Defender, an anti-spyware tool.

“The spyware threat will definitely shrink or shrivel” as Vista gets adopted, said John Pescatore, an analyst with Gartner. “We got a handle on spam. It still gets through, but it is such a small percentage now, we know how to deal with what gets through. That same thing will happen to spyware. It will be under control.”

While Microsoft was working on Vista, spyware grew into a security nightmare. Experts believe the malicious software, which pops up ads on screens or spies on PC users, has been surreptitiously put on more than three-quarters of PCs. In an FBI survey published earlier this year, 80 percent of businesses reported spyware trouble, making it the most common security woe after viruses, worms and Trojan horses.

Every new version of Windows offers some security improvements, but Vista more so, said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group. “Vista, because it was pretty much conceived during the toughest times for Microsoft with regards to malicious software, has the most protection in it compared to any of their platforms,” he said.

Full article: ZDNet News