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13 May 2008, 14:06

Study finds Vista more vulnerable than Windows 2000

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Security service provider PCTools has published a study which found that Windows Vista is more susceptible to contamination than Windows 2000. The study analyses feedback from ThreatFire, a behaviour-based contaminant blocker.

The study found that last year ThreatFire found an average of 586 contaminants per 1000 PCs running Windows 2000 in a sample population of 1.4 million PCs. On servers only 478 contaminants per thousand were found under Windows 2003, 1021 per thousand under Windows XP and 639 under Windows Vista. Vista turns out to be 37 per cent safer than Windows XP but still falls short of Windows 2000. Apparently, several of the computers investigated with ThreatFire had multiple infections.

Microsoft is quoted in US media as saying that Redmond welcomes independent studies and encourages researchers to help the software vendor make its products safer – though the spokesperson seemed to call into question the neutrality of a study produced by an anti-malware company. "ThreatFire vulnerability comparison numbers certainly don't reflect our vulnerability findings from the malicious software removal tool, which ran on over 400 million machines in December 2007. From June 2007 through December 2007, the MSRT found malware on 2.8 per cent of the Windows Vista machines it ran on, vs. 7.2 per cent of Windows XP SP2 machines. It found malware on 5 per cent of Windows 2000 SP4 machines and 12.2 per cent of Windows 2000 SP3 machines. Note that for Windows 2000 this spans both client and server machines."


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