Vista ‘wide open’ to malware attacks

A recent report by Sophos claimed that the new Windows Vista operating system is wide open to nearly 40% of the malware currently circulating.

A recent report by Sophos claimed that the new Windows Vista operating system is wide open to nearly 40% of the malware currently circulating.

And Microsoft has admitted that there is little it can do about threats such as Stratio-Zip, Netsky-D and MyDoom-O, because they rely on social engineering to invade systems. According to Sophos, the three threats together account for 39.7% of currently circulating malware.

While the e-mail system built into Vista, Windows Mail Client, stops all of the top 10 viruses identified by Sophos for November, the three threats outlined can infect systems when a third-party e-mail client is used, Sophos said. Stratio-Zip was November’s top malware, accounting for one-third of virus traffic, it added.

There are few actual installations of Vista since the operating system has only just been launched. Sophos and McAfee have antivirus products ready for Vista, but Symantec, Trend Micro and CA are said to be still working on theirs.

Microsoft is probably right in thinking there’s little that it can do to build ‘anti-social engineering’ measures into its products. That’s down to good old-fashioned human nature.

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

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