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Windows 8 prone to infection by leading malware threats, controlled test shows

Announcement posted by BitDefender 09 Nov 2012

15 per cent of most common malware threats bypass Windows Defender to infect Windows 8

SYDNEY/AUCKLAND, Nov. 9, 2012 – Newly launched Window 8 is prone to infection by some 15 per cent of the 100 malware families most used by cyber criminals this year, even with Windows Defender activated, Bitdefender testing revealed.

Windows 8, with Windows Defender running, was infected by 61 malware threats of 385 of the most popular malware samples in a controlled test carried by leading virus researchers over the past week. Another sample bypassed Windows Defender but crashed on execution, and another one ran but was blocked by User Account Control, so no payload was delivered.

“As a means of protecting a computer from viruses, data theft and other type of malware, Windows Defender is better than nothing,” said Bitdefender Chief Security Strategist Catalin Cosoi. “But it’s not a whole lot better. Most of the popular antivirus can do better. The conclusion is clear: Using your PC without a security solution is extremely risky.”

The malicious sample set consisted of the families of malware detected most frequently in the past six months by the Bitdefender Real-Time Virus Reporting System. A The malware that successfully bypassed Windows Defender was capable of granting backdoor access to the system, intercepting keystrokes, stealing online games credentials, and more.

When tested without Windows Defender activated, the results were worse. Of the 385 samples, 234 ran successfully. Another 138 samples could not be started on the machine on various reasons, six e-threats executed but then crashed, and seven others launched but had their payload was blocked by UAC.

Even if the new operating system boasts a major overhaul in terms of visuals with the introduction of the Advanced UI, Windows 8 with the default antivirus solution activated registers alarming detections rates similar to the one registered by Windows 7,”said Bitdefender Chief Security Researcher Alexandru Balan.  

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