Shields Up!: Windows 7 a security asset? Yes!

Sections: Columns, Computers, Features, Originals, Security

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Windows 7Windows 7 will be the most secure Windows version to date. Okay I agree, that really isn’t saying much, now is it? Windows has never been bulletproof, that’s why the underground economy of cybercrime is booming. But this is different. Windows 7 may very well be a security powerhouse. Security experts are saying it may be so secure that scammers will have to look at other ways to do their business:

A new report by PureWire’s Paul Royal, published in SC Magazine, a publication geared towards security professionals, indicates that Windows 7 will be the most secure Windows operating system to date. He concludes that all but the many casual attackers will be frustrated enough to turn to easier routes of attack, such as social engineering schemes.

There’s more good news too. Windows 7’s XP Mode has been shown to disable or cripple many malware programs, and the mode itself, because it uses hardware virtualization, will cause most rootkits to fail. Since malware is written not to run on any system where hardware virtualization is detected, most of it won’t run on Windows 7. It’s certainly possible for hackers to come up with workarounds and rewrite their programs, but it’s likely to be a huge and unprofitable headache.

Firefox and IE8 also patched up most of the common routes used by hackers to inject malicious code into memory. IE8 and Firefox, along with their plug-ins, benefit from this new layer of protection making the OS even more secure.

Experts don’t expect malware to go away any time soon and you can bet there will be some industrious hackers out there who will work to find away around the new security features of Windows 7. However, security wise it looks to be a big improvement, perhaps big enough to justify the $120 upgrade price. Do you agree? Why or why not?

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