A security tip for Microsoft

A security tip for Microsoft

Summary: Here's an idea for Microsoft if someone there is looking for a way to make computing better and safer for everyone - do a silent run of the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) every time someone requests a download.

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I don't know about you but I download a lot of stuff from the Microsoft website and I'm continually being asked to validate my operating system as genuine.  The idea is that I'm somehow being protected from ills by running a genuine copy of Windows.  I'm not convinced, but here's an idea for Microsoft if someone there is looking for a way to make computing better and safer for everyone - do a silent run of the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) every time someone requests a download.

The MSRT is a small download that scans Windows platforms for infection by some of the most commonly found malware (stuff like Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom - you can see a full list of malware detected here).  The MSRT is pretty basic but it works.

Microsoft releases a new version of the tool on the second Tuesday of every month (Patch Tuesday) but there are plenty of computer users out there who never apply updates so these systems never get scanned (and these systems affect all of us - they're the systems sending out the junk mail and malware).  I'd support Microsoft in making a MSRT scan a requirement before downloading non-security updates (and make it an option before downloading security updates) from the Microsoft site.  It might not help protect Microsoft's profits, but it sure would help reduce the number of machines out there that are part of botnets under the control of criminals.

Thoughts?

Topics: Malware, Microsoft, Security, Windows

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7 comments
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  • Slight flaw in your logic.

    How many of these people who never run updates are going to have MSRT in the first place? It's a great idea for those who do update their installations as a last-chance protection measure but as they'll already have all the updates anyway they're not part of the problem. Those who don't update won't have MSRT (or any newer auto-scanning version) anyway so the problem goes unsolved.
    odubtaig
  • Why?

    My antivirus software scans all downloads, so why would I want a second application to do it? I can imagine all sorts of conflicts arising between the two. Also, my AV checks for updates every day. MS releases updates once a month.
    aep528
  • Uh, wrong

    You are being asked to constantly validate your Windows as genuine because MS is convinced you're just waiting for a chance to throw your product key on the internet, and they want to check your validation against their blacklist database.

    It's the same reason WGA phones home a couple of times a week.
    frgough
  • Why should I be verified every time?

    Why can't I have a permanent verification? Hmm, maybe because a hacker could crack it. Still, it is annoying that I have to be approved before I can secure my computer (if IE7 and Defender are considered to be securing).

    I don't pirate, why am I treated like a criminal? Why should security updates be withheld because I don't want to continually update to the latest version of WGA? For that matter, why did WinUpdates tell me that I had to update critical components before I could use the update page? Mind you, I didn't have a choice nor was I told what the updates were. Once they were installed, I found out that it was WGA....

    Seems deceptive to me. Didn't they say that WGA wasn't required for updates?
    mtgarden
    • trust but verify

      Dont tell me that when you login at work, your client computer is authenticated everytime by the server and you have a problem with it.
      code_Warrior
      • Big Difference...

        There is a BIG DIFFERENCE between logging and having the client computer authenticate to a server and being treated as a potential criminal by a convicted monopolist.........

        Timbo
        TheBoyBailey
  • Retarted logic

    Your logic goes like this:

    You'll let the police search your house daily, just because some guy down the block occasionally smokes dope.

    You are making no sense at all, hope you get paid for this article so at least someone benefits from this drivel.
    henklaak