Understanding The Many Microsoft Anti-Malware Software

If you are like many folks, it is really hard to understand the many names (some reused) for Microsoft Anti-Malware Software. Don’t feel like you are the only ones! Many people are confused about the various names especially those that have been resurrected and revamped.

Corrine at her Security Garden Blog has a great article to help you sort out all the names, the reused names, and what they all do! It was posted back in April 2012 and recently updated June 2014:

Understanding Microsoft Anti-Malware Software – Security Garden Blog 

Microsoft provides a variety of security products for both consumers as well as business environments.  With multiple products available, there is bound to be questions and, occasionally, confusion on which product to use.

This article is presented to help clarify questions about the variety of Microsoft anti-malware products.  (Updated:  06JUN2014)

The article starts out with the most confused ones; Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), the renamed and revamped Windows Defender for Windows 8, but it doesn’t end there.

A must read article for anyone who wants to understand the many Microsoft Anti-Malware Software packages out there for the various versions of Windows for Consumers, Business and Enterprise customers.

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The ‘ole Conficker worm still infecting PCs years later

‘Obstinate’ Conficker worm infests millions of PCs years later
By Gregg Keizer, Computerworld

Suppressed botnet has 7M Windows machines in its grip three years after it first appeared

And Mac users thought they had it bad with their Flashback, which is not good, so don’t get me wrong here. But Apple should be watching closely situations like Conficker worm/botnet. What’s that old saying? But by the grace of God go I? or something like that.

Of course this is one of the most widespread botnets to hit Windows PCs, but still, it’s only one of many that are out there for PCs. And although Microsoft made similar mistakes as Apple in regard to malware/viruses/botnets initially, they made up for it in time. They even put out their own antivirus/antimalware program – Microsoft Security Essentials for free to home users to help protect their users. But even with their experience with these things for many years and learning from their mistakes, there is this…

Concern about Conficker reached a crescendo when the mainstream media, including major television networks, reported that the worm would update itself on April 1, 2009. Because of the size of the Conficker botnet — estimates ran as high as 12 million at that point — and other mysteries, hype ran at fever pitch.

It also urged all Windows users to ensure they have applied the pertinent patch — MS08-067 — and for Windows XP and Vista machines, the March update that disables AutoRun.

Much more in the 2 page article.

Fred Langa gives Microsoft security suite test drive

[tweetmeme source=”franscomputerservices” only_single=false]On the WindowsSecrets’s comp newsletter page, Fred Langa wrote the Top Story article entitled The 120-day Microsoft security suite test drive:

Frustration with most commercial antivirus suites launched a long-term, real-life test of Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft’s free anti-malware application.

Over a 4 month period, Fred Langa gave Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows 7’s Windows Firewall a spin in real-time, real life situations including the potentially more dangerous public WiFi access points, and found his systems were (to the best of his knowledge-which is pretty considerable) safe during the testing.

To confirm that his Windows 7 computers were safe during this test, he periodically used several online scanners such as ESET’s Online Scanner, McAfee’s FreeScan or Symantec’s Security Check.

Fred Langa shows how Microsoft Security Essentials and Window Firewall (Windows 7 only) work well together and do a good job for the average Windows 7 user.

Thanks for this test drive Fred since as you noted, few, if any, have done a comprehensive test of this combination.

In addition to the online scanners, making use of CCleaner, SpywareBlaster, and Malwarebytes Antimalware (non-realtime free version) run once a week certainly go a long way to helping to be sure as well.