Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Windows 8 Antivirus and Antispyware--An Insight into Windows 8 Internal Virus Detection

It’s more than a year; we are listening continuously about Microsoft Windows 8. Microsoft always has to say something about its upcoming release. In many discussions company represents its focus on Windows Defender and OS kernel. Perhaps Microsoft’s history does not allow us to get more excited about security features in Windows 8.

Probably Windows 8 would be more secure than preceding versions, however, hackers may find some security holes in Windows. 

Built-in Antivirus in Windows 8

Microsoft is currently working to add more security features to Windows 8 operating system and it may anger antivirus industry that highly relies on worm catching products.  Built-in Antivirus in Windows 8 is bad news for antivirus industry but good for consumers. With built-in antivirus users will get out of the box for protection issues. It depends on the quality and power of the build in protection mechanism in the upcoming OS from the Redmond Champ. 

Possibly creating a single frame of antivirus program for multi-million users could make a security mono-culture. Built-in antivirus as a part of Windows update may threaten many companies.

Including Antivirus in Windows 8 is innovation?

Including antivirus in Windows 8 is innovation or it’s just a monopoly? Companies relying on antivirus products would get hurt but does it mean it’s good for consumers?

Built-in antivirus would certainly hurt consumer sales but if every user who is getting Windows 8 on new computer never attempts for protection, won’t that create a new universe of issues?
Assembling antivirus in Windows 8 is surprising!!!

Microsoft itself says

Windows 8 the new release would be safe, secure and reliable in computing environment. Microsoft is committed to provide broad array of solutions to the computer world through a wide range of industry partners. 

Current Landscape of Windows

Virus attacks and malware has become standard weapon against anyone who uses Internet in this digital era. Even cell phones and tablets are victim of these malicious programs. Some viruses are designed to attack all operating systems.

Hackers are now moving to social engineering tricks to perform their actions. Online advertising campaigns site can bring viruses in your system. In fact some sites have the potential to install viruses on your system.

Windows 8 is Secure by Design

Microsoft is using security development lifecycle when building Windows 8 to provide you best security design and development.

·         They are writing secure code to prevent from common coding bugs.
·         Company is continuously working to update its security tools to the latest state.

Windows 8 includes mitigation enhancements that would surely further reduce the attacks. Improvements are under following features.

·         ASLR
·         Windows Kernel
·         Windows Heap
·         Internet Explorer

Microsoft Antimalware Engine

After installation of Windows 8 on a new system, if you have no security software installed, Windows 8 will provide you protection with improved version of Windows Defender. Improvements to Windows Defender would help users to protect from all type of malicious programs. Windows update would regularly track your system for updates using Microsoft Antimalware Engine.

Windows UEFI-based secure boot will help ensure all firmware and updates are secure. In boot path only properly signed and validated code shall be inserted which ensures malicious code cannot enter into boot.

SmartScreen for IE and Windows

Windows 8 will improve the performance and security with reputation-based technologies used to launch applications as well as when you are browsing through Internet Explorer.

Application reputation is new feature that is added to SamrtScreen in IE which provides an additional layer of defense to make you feel and stay safer. Still Internet Explorer is not only way to download things, users might choose some download manger or any other web browser.

On Windows 8 based machines SmartScreen will only notify when you run an application. User experience in this way is quite simple because you just need to click and go. All major browsers, Instant Messaging and email clients have added this feature known as “Mark of the web”

In conclusion, Windows 8 is taking broader steps to improve the security level by the use of SDL processes. Windows Defender is another way to provide users real-time protection against all categories of malicious programs.


  1. I agree with you.

    I personally believe only a limited portion of users would stay with the pre-installed antivirus in Windows 8 and others will go with third party antiviruses.

    It is because different people have different expectations from their antivirus products. Some people want browser security features (like websites reputation info, email scanners, etc) while others want only basic features like computer scan.

    Those users who are expecting basic security would stay with Windows 8 antivirus and others would use third party antiviruses for additional security features.

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