Good day, Paul Cooke here.

 

The Microsoft Malware Protection Center has published volume five of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report. If you have not taken a look at this report before, I urge you to go download it from http://www.microsoft.com/sir. It provides a thorough view of the current threat landscape and is filled with a number of great data points. In my first scanning of the document, the following items immediately jumped out at me:

 

·         Microsoft vulnerabilities accounted for 42% of the total vulnerabilities on Windows XP for browser based attacks; however, on Windows Vista-based machines the proportion of vulnerabilities attacked in Microsoft software dropped to just 6% of the total. This highlights our not only our continued security investments in the browser but also that attackers are focusing more and more on the applications that run in the browser.

 

·         The infection rate for Windows Vista is significantly lower than Windows XP, regardless of service pack levels. In addition, 64-bit versions of XP and Vista have lower infection rates than their 32-bit counterparts.

 

·         The higher the level of service pack a machine runs, the lower the rate of infection. This is consistent across client and server platforms, across all versions. Clearly, keeping up to date with the latest service pack levels and security patches is beneficial from a security perspective. While we have always thought this to be true, having a data point to prove it is great.

 

This is just a taste of some of the findings in this latest report. I’ll be scouring this report in detail and come back in the next week or so with a comprehensive look at how Windows Vista has fared from a security perspective since its release!

 

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