Research confirms that Vista’s anti-spyware protection has holes

PC Tools announced the results of an independent comparison by Enex Testlab of anti-spyware software including Microsoft’s own Windows defender.

PC Tools hired independent testing facility — Enex Testlab — to evaluate how Windows Defender stacks up against Spyware Doctor and other third party vendors. The internationally renowned, independent lab has been performing comparison tests for the past 17 years. The lab compared identical threats against a number of leading anti-spyware products throughout 2006 — Spyware Doctor was the conclusive overall winner.

“We have taken a look at several anti-spyware vendors over time to determine the current level of accuracy against spyware threats in 2006. These results show Vista requires more work to protect users. Third party security vendors — especially in the area of anti-spyware are still essential components in protecting users,” said Matt Tett, Senior Test Engineer for Enex TestLab.

Research from other security vendors revealed weaknesses in Vista’s security — demonstrating ineffective blocking capabilities, slow definition updates and weak in-built anti-spyware protection. These independent results from Enex Testlab further illustrate how Microsoft must continue to improve the Vista security component to protect consumers.

Recently, a third party vendor chose its own testing sample-set and performed basic tests out of their own threat research lab. They also reported weaknesses in the spyware blocking capability of Windows Defender.

“While we agree with the overriding conclusion that Vista security is lacking, this approach fundamentally contradicts the laws of statistical analysis, and clearly creates a bias result. By hand-picking the sample-set, it is easy to return results showing whatever you want. It would even be possible to show Vista had 0% blocking ability,” Clausen explained.

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