Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

Summary: Is building an antivirus package into Windows a bad idea?

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Microsoft is building antivirus support directly into Windows 8. But following a blunder the other day that caused the Google Chrome browser to be identified malware, do you still trust Microsoft to deliver effective protection?

The problem was outlined in a blog post over on the Google Chrome Blog yesterday:

Earlier today, we learned that the Microsoft Security Essentials tool began falsely identifying Google Chrome as a piece of malware ("PWS:Win32/Zbot") and removing it from people's computers.

Microsoft has more details:

On September 30th, 2011, an incorrect detection for PWS:Win32/Zbot was identified and as a result, Google Chrome was inadvertently blocked and in some cases removed. Within a few hours, Microsoft released an update that addresses the issue. Signature versions 1.113.672.0 and higher include this update. Affected customers should manually update Microsoft Security Essentials with the latest signatures. After updating the definitions, reinstall Google Chrome. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused our customers.

False positives do happen. I've covered a few examples on this blog over the years, and depending on what's identified as malware, it can be pretty devastating. When McAfee mistakenly identified the system file svchost.exe as malware back in April 2010, this prevented Windows from even loading up properly. I heard from a number of people who had no idea what had happened to their PCs and had to completely reload their OS and applications.

One antivirus package installed on every Windows 8 system will mean that millions of people could be vulnerable to a dodgy update. As much as I like the idea of having an antivirus package installed on Windows by default, the thought of the widespread damage to millions of PCs that a single bad update could cause also worries me greatly.

This mistake on Microsoft's part might suggest that it isn't ready to deploy its security solution to all Windows users just yet and that it needs to put in place a better mechanism for testing updates before they are deployed.

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Note: I use Microsoft Security Essentials and Google Chrome on a number of systems and wasn't affected by this problem.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Security

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  • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

    Funny. Almost every other anti-virus software maker had the same type of snafu happening to them already. What makes Microsoft different is at least they fix the problem as soon as possible and it comes free with the OS.
    madfry
    • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

      @madfry Well if thats true.. and i don't think so, then every (other) antivirusbuilder has a problem..<br><br><a href="http://www.energieprijzen-vergelijken.nl">energie vergelijken</a>
      Energieprijzen
      • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

        @Energieprijzen

        Why yes they do,
        for example Kaspersky internet security 2012 deleted the MSN plus uninstaller, and flagged it as a maleware (and it still does!!!) which cause me a great deal of frustration ( i had to re install it disable my av, then uninstall it then disable av startup because uninstaller continues after reboot etc.

        And i still use Kaspersky 2012
        And believe me KAS is one of if not the best AVs out there and it still has false positives
        Unrealmaster287
      • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

        Not to mention AVG was notorious for this, I had many false positives.
        CobraA1
      • Microsoft has a conflict of interest

        Microsoft's case is different. We got Chrome deleted here and the conclusions aren't pretty:

        1) MS doesn't let you enable just that one file, they insist on removing the file or allowing this kind of virus forever and everywhere. That's not good.

        2) It doesn't matter if they messed up the update deliberately... although - THEY SHOULD HAVE TESTED THE UPDATE ON CHROME AND OTHER SOFTWARE IN WIDE USE.

        3) The mere presence of such a giant conflict of interest is an incontestable reason against using MS AV software or an OS which embeds it, especially for mission critical tasks.
        sambors
      • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

        @Energieprijzen Yes as a matter of fact every other anti virus builder does indeed have a problem with false positives.

        @sambors You seem to be more upset over the fact that Google Chrome was temporarily deleted than the fact that it was a false positive and was fixed the same day. Personally I'd much rather have a false positive and have Chrome deleted and the issue fixed with a same day update than it miss something and my system gets infected.
        athynz
      • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

        @Adrian: do you still trust Apple in readily acknowledging the existence of malware for Mac?
        markbn
      • And other companies don't?

        @sambors

        Had they done it deliberately, *every* user of MSE that had Chrome installed would have lost Chrome.

        However, as with the blog's author, I had *zero* problems with it. MSE was running the entire time, & *nothing* happened to Chrome on my PC. And I even started my PC up twice that day: once in the morning before work, once in the evening after work. Two opportunities to be affected, & nothing happened.

        Big flap over *nothing*, IMHO.
        spdragoo@...
      • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

        @Energieprijzen

        Yes, it is true. The same thing has in fact happened to all other A-V firms. More than once. I can testify to that one in court. Some of those events took days, weeks, and in at least one case, months, , before a fix was issued.
        WCarlS
    • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

      @madfry
      The main objection to Microsoft building their own AV is that they also are building the OS. If Windows was built with care from the beginning then AV software would be of no use today, like on every other OS.
      Mikael_z
      • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

        @Mikael_z,
        "If Windows was built with care from the beginning then AV software would be of no use today, like on every other OS."

        If that was the case, care to explain why Mac OS includes a malware blocker since Snow Leopard?
        http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/apple-adds-malware-blocker-in-snow-leopard/4104
        dvm
      • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

        @Mikael_z Exactly, defense should be in the blood.
        sandeep.splash
      • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

        @Mikael_z You really think so? Don't know weather to just call you a noob or a fool. Think noob will do :)
        MrElectrifyer
      • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

        @Mikael_z

        You obviously don't know much about the Real World. It doesn't work the way you think it does...

        First of all, there are over 1.2 billion Windows users, compared to around 80 million Mac users and 12 million Linux users.

        Second, most malware these days get onto systems due to social engineering and not flaws in the OS. Others get onto the system due to flaws in non-OS software (like, uhm, pretty much all of Adobe's software).

        So yea, a statement like...

        "If Windows was built with care from the beginning then AV software would be of no use today, like on every other OS"

        ...shows you are completely clueless.
        Qbt
    • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

      @madfry

      It's not free, it's included in the price.
      Alan Smithie
      • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

        @Alan Smithie So when I bought Windows 7 I also bought Microsoft Internet Security? Did I just imagine that separate free download? All Microsoft is doing is incorporating that free software into the OS... so yeah it is free.
        athynz
      • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

        @Pete "athynz" Athens

        Actually, no. The fact is that Microsoft Internet Security is an add-on program that is included in the price of your purchase of Windows 7.

        Just like Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer are overseas where they are not allowed to be bundled in with the OS.
        Lerianis10
    • You are correct.

      @madfry
      Did not McAfee have a major issue not too long ago? And Symantec, as well as Kaspersky?

      And these are "big name" companies.

      I believe that the blogger is "troling for hits", if I have used the phrase correctly.

      :|
      Tim Cook
      • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

        @Mister Spock

        Did you follow the links? And he did mention McAfee in his article (unless it was edited since this comment).
        benched42
    • RE: Do you STILL trust Microsoft to build antivirus support into Windows 8?

      @madfry Exaclty what I was going to say.

      Also, it is Microsoft's operating system, so it should be their job to ensure that it is as secure as possible.
      wright_is