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Windows 7: Security researcher slams Microsoft over IE9 malware blocking stats

23 May 2011   #1

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Security researcher slams Microsoft over IE9 malware blocking stats

Complete article on link below.

Quote:
Security researcher slams Microsoft over IE9 malware blocking stats

'Where's the beef?' asks Sophos researcher

By Gregg Keizer
May 20, 2011 04:05 PM ET

Computerworld - Microsoft's claims that Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) blocks attacks just don't add up, a security researcher charged Friday.

"They're presenting only half of the equation," said Chet Wisniewski, a security researcher at U.K.-based vendor Sophos. "They put lots of numbers to make it seem all 'sciencey,' but they raise more questions than they answer. So really, where's the beef?"

Wisniewski was reacting to a Tuesday blog post by Jeb Haber, the program manager lead for Microsoft's SmartScreen technology. In this post, Haber cited a wide range of statistics to show that IE9, which includes a new feature dubbed SmartScreen Application Reputation, blocked a significant number of attempted malicious downloads from reaching PCs running Vista or Windows 7.

Among Haber's key points: Microsoft's data showed that one in every 14 downloads by Windows users is malicious, and thus blocked by IE9.

Microsoft also argued that IE9's Application Reputation, or "App Rep," stymied socially engineered attacks, the kind that rely on duping users into downloading and installing a dangerous file containing code that compromises a computer and infects it with malware.

"Microsoft is comparing apples to ... nothing," Wisniewski said in a Friday interview. Because IE9's unable to block exploits of such software as Adobe Reader and Flash, Apple's iTunes or Oracle's Java, Microsoft's data doesn't show the real picture.

"Where are the numbers of exploits?" Wisniewski asked, referring to the attacks, often conducted not through downloads but by drive-by hacks leveraging vulnerabilities in Microsoft's own software or popular third-party programs.
The result is a partial picture, one that Microsoft presented as a public relations move, Wisniewski said.


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 Security researcher slams Microsoft over IE9 malware blocking stats





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