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Vista Not Cracked, but OneCare Lacks

Yin and yang on the security front last week for Microsoft. For starters, it turns out that a script that supposedly circumvented Vista licensing by using a "brute force" method (we'll let you dream up your own imagery here) turned out to be a big joke and doesn't really work at all. This no doubt made for big laughs on nerdy message boards and gave Microsoft cause for a little sigh of relief -- despite the fact that some pundits insist that such a script could still work in a blind-squirrel-finds-a-nut sense once in a while.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, that was the good security news. The bad news involved Windows Live OneCare, Redmond's fledgling antivirus software. In tests by a bunch of Austrian graduate students from an organization called AV-Comparitives.org that compares antivirus applications, OneCare not only failed to be certified as a "standard" (as in, barely better than useless, as far as we can tell) performer ... it actually finished dead last out of 17 AV packages in the competition. The numbers were not especially pretty, either, as OneCare whiffed on 17.6 percent of the malware that came its way. The winner, by contrast, the cleverly named AntiVirusKit from G Data Security, had a failure rate of less than one percent. Microsoft officials are "looking into the methodology" used in the tests, as you might imagine, but it appears as though they have work to do.

What has your experience been with Microsoft antivirus applications? E-mail me (if you're not recovering from a crippling attack that OneCare didn't catch) at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 03/06/2007 at 1:20 PM


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