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Security Firm: Windows 7 Less Secure Than Vista

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 101 comments

Despite the marketing push, Microsoft developers do not try to hide the fact that Windows 7 is an extension of efforts made for Windows Vista.

Windows 7 fixed or improved many of the things people didn't like about Windows Vista, but Raimund Genes, CTO of security firm Trend Micro, has found something that he much preferred in the earlier OS.

Genes said that Microsoft made design decisions this time around that sacrificed security in the interest of usability, mostly because of Microsoft dialing back User Account Control (UAC).

"I'm not saying Windows 7 is insecure, but out of the box Vista is better," Genes told The Register.

"I was disappointed when I first used a Windows 7 machine that there was no warning that I had no anti-virus, unlike Vista," Genes said. "There are no file extension hidden warnings either. Even when you do install anti-virus, warnings that it has not been updated are almost invisible."

"Windows 7 may be an improvement in terms of useability but in terms of security it's a mistake, though one that isn't that surprising. When Microsoft's developers choose between usability and security, they will always choose useability," Genes argued.

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Top Comments
  • 33 Hide
    mental issues , December 11, 2009 11:04 PM
    What an odd position for a company that sells anti-virus products to be taking.

    On another note, my old subcompact car is safer than any new vehicle because I placed a sticker on the dash that says "DRIVING INTO THINGS AT HIGH SPEEDS CAN CAUSE SERIOUSLY INJURY OR DEATH". Without this warning, I would have no way to realize that I should be taking precautions to avoid a crash. Of course, the only standard of safety by which I measure cars is their ability to make me aware of the danger of colliding with large objects.
  • 25 Hide
    jerreece , December 11, 2009 10:20 PM
    Quote:
    "I was disappointed when I first used a Windows 7 machine that there was no warning that I had no anti-virus, unlike Vista," Genes said. "There are no file extension hidden warnings either. Even when you do install anti-virus, warnings that it has not been updated are almost invisible."


    First off, if you don't install your own Anti-Virus without a warning you shouldn't be using a computer.

    Second, I'm fairly certain Windows reminded me to do so when I first installed the retail Windows 7 Home Premium.
  • 24 Hide
    mikeynavy1976 , December 11, 2009 11:49 PM
    When I installed 7, the "Action Center" immediately told me that I wasn't running antivirus and that I needed to get one. I'm not sure what this guy is saying.
Other Comments
    Display all 101 comments.
  • 21 Hide
    philologos , December 11, 2009 10:19 PM
    Vista UAC was one of the major complaints about the OS. Microsoft really had no choice but to change the default. Anandtech, for one, recommends turning UAC back to maximum. But Microsoft was practically forced to loosen the UAC settings.
  • 25 Hide
    jerreece , December 11, 2009 10:20 PM
    Quote:
    "I was disappointed when I first used a Windows 7 machine that there was no warning that I had no anti-virus, unlike Vista," Genes said. "There are no file extension hidden warnings either. Even when you do install anti-virus, warnings that it has not been updated are almost invisible."


    First off, if you don't install your own Anti-Virus without a warning you shouldn't be using a computer.

    Second, I'm fairly certain Windows reminded me to do so when I first installed the retail Windows 7 Home Premium.
  • 5 Hide
    ubernoobie , December 11, 2009 10:26 PM
    That's why we have antiviruses
  • 24 Hide
    justiceguy216 , December 11, 2009 10:35 PM
    Quote:
    "I was disappointed when I first used a Windows 7 machine that there was no warning that I had no anti-virus, unlike Vista," Genes said./quote]

    "...because now users aren't scared into buying our product."
  • 8 Hide
    Foxholecharlie , December 11, 2009 10:42 PM
    Did someone mention to this guy that he had to dress, feed and water himself every time ?

    I find it very hard to believe it did not tell him he had no Anti-Virus.
    Let me see, OH by golly, what is that "flag" in the task bar ? Do I dare place my mouse over it ? Do I dare!!!

    Imagine this guy who works for a "security company" and cannot even check what or if any anti-virus is loaded onto a machine. How could he possible even find a virus ?

    See its easier than pie to fill a blank page with rhetoric. No special job title or occupation needed.
  • 24 Hide
    elel , December 11, 2009 10:44 PM
    Well, I'm glad that it's a potential behind-the-keyboard issue and not a real OS flaw.
  • 33 Hide
    mental issues , December 11, 2009 11:04 PM
    What an odd position for a company that sells anti-virus products to be taking.

    On another note, my old subcompact car is safer than any new vehicle because I placed a sticker on the dash that says "DRIVING INTO THINGS AT HIGH SPEEDS CAN CAUSE SERIOUSLY INJURY OR DEATH". Without this warning, I would have no way to realize that I should be taking precautions to avoid a crash. Of course, the only standard of safety by which I measure cars is their ability to make me aware of the danger of colliding with large objects.
  • 24 Hide
    mikeynavy1976 , December 11, 2009 11:49 PM
    When I installed 7, the "Action Center" immediately told me that I wasn't running antivirus and that I needed to get one. I'm not sure what this guy is saying.
  • 8 Hide
    amabhy , December 11, 2009 11:52 PM
    Oh great Yam. Another article slamming Windows 7, and you fail to note that the company stating the claims makes money fixing up problems and viruses in Windows.
  • 10 Hide
    ravewulf , December 12, 2009 12:02 AM
    Out of the box, Vista can be more annoying (for those who aren't paranoid).

    I love Vista, but UAC was/is the first thing to go on any new installation for me.
  • 8 Hide
    DarkMantle , December 12, 2009 12:03 AM
    mental issuesWhat an odd position for a company that sells anti-virus products to be taking.On another note, my old subcompact car is safer than any new vehicle because I placed a sticker on the dash that says "DRIVING INTO THINGS AT HIGH SPEEDS CAN CAUSE SERIOUSLY INJURY OR DEATH". Without this warning, I would have no way to realize that I should be taking precautions to avoid a crash. Of course, the only standard of safety by which I measure cars is their ability to make me aware of the danger of colliding with large objects.


    +1 to you, that was great.
  • 4 Hide
    belardo , December 12, 2009 1:03 AM
    UH... when you install Windows7, it does FLAG a warning about the lack of an Antivirus program and WILL/CAN open a Window to download an Antivirus program, besides Microsoft's.

    So I call the "Security expert" as fud.

    Yeah, UAC is dialed back a bit... but the USER can make it as bad as Vista... and oh yeah, vista's UAC was such retarded crap that most people TURNED IT OFF when they can or find out that they could!

    UAC (in vista) is such garbage that it POPs up with when doing such simple things like Device manager, Display settings, rename a desktop icon, etc... it gets old very very fast.

    With Win7, it can be left on with minimal bother. Still stupid thjavascript: void(0);at there isn't a CHECK BOX to remember what the program is like firewalls do or SpyBot's tools.

  • 16 Hide
    eddieroolz , December 12, 2009 1:07 AM
    Quote:
    Security Firm: Windows 7 Less Secure Than Vista


    So buy our product...only $40 now!
  • 3 Hide
    XD_dued , December 12, 2009 1:09 AM
    Hmm...i now know my file extensions...oh no...my security is compromised :) 
  • 0 Hide
    buwish , December 12, 2009 1:24 AM
    I'm sure it is just fine security wise, i.e. on par with Vista or better. It just doesn't have all of the annoying security warnings from the UAC.
  • 4 Hide
    doc70 , December 12, 2009 1:29 AM
    Bull$hit from a company that tries to sell it's product. I disabled the UAC on Vista first thing and never had a virus because I use an anti-virus (free) and a firewall (free). Also, did the same thing on Win7 and guess what? My AV auto-updates, so I don't need to monitor it.
    A PC can only be as smart as it's user, and there is no software in hell that will ever change that, regardless of the OS of choice.
    If you know anything about protection you will know what and when to use it.
  • 2 Hide
    joe nate , December 12, 2009 2:03 AM
    "Even when you do install anti-virus, warnings that it has not been updated are almost invisible."

    For some reason, yesterday my Kaspersky Internet Security turned itself off yesterday. Normally the little flag in the lower right is gone unless it says something. Seeing the little flag (Windows Action Center) there told me something was amiss. Mousing over it it told me what was wrong.

    Definitely more user friendly now, instead of bombarding you with annoying pop-ups every 5 seconds, acting like built in ad-ware! Windows 7 action center ftw.
  • 1 Hide
    wira020 , December 12, 2009 2:25 AM
    He couldnt find anything wrong with win7... and this is the best thing he can say about win7... sure means to me that win7 is good or better than i thought... look at this positively...
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