Will Windows 8 be one of the hackers' favourite targets in 2013?

How secure is Windows 8 with Windows Defender?

With the launch of Windows 8 in late 2012, there has been strong focus on safety, both from Microsoft's own ranks and from external security experts. Recent tests show that Windows 8 lets 15 out of the 100 most common malware samples get through, even though Microsoft's own antivirus software is enabled. This is too risky, says security expert Janus R. Nielsen from MYSecurityCenter. He believes that Windows 8 may be one of the hacker's favourite targets in 2013.

That prediction is in line with the conclusions of the U.S. security firm Websense Security Labs stating in its "2013 Security Predictions" that Windows 8 will targeted by online criminals this year. "Microsoft's efforts to produce an extremely developer-friendly platform will be embraced by the cybercriminal community, and vulnerabilities will be exploited", the report says.

"Windows 8 will beecome much more popular, as many Windows 7 users will upgrade to the new platform and will buy new computers with Windows 8 pre-installed. As for market share, Windows 8 will be a great business for fraudsters to get into. And combined with the unimpressive security level, there is good reason to be cautious", says Janus R. Nielsen.

He refers to a test conducted by the antivirus firm Bitdefender, which for several years has been voted to have the world's best antivirus technology by the independent testing organization AV-Test.org. Bitdefender exposed Windows 8 (with Windows Defender enabled) to 385 of the most common malware samples from the last six months in a controlled test.

The results showed that 15 percent of the malware got through the antivirus protection and that the malware was able to gain backdoor access to the system, copy thekeystrokes and steal confidential information from online games.

MYSecurityCenter uses BitDefenders technology in its antivirus products, and therefore it is no surprise that Neilsen finds the test results interesting. "With the launch of Windows 8 it is the first time that Microsoft has upgraded their spyware filter, Windows Defender, to an anti-virus program, so I am surprised by the relatively low detection rate.

"It is clear that Windows 8 ['s secuirty] is better than nothing, but it can easily give people a false sense of security if they think that Windows 8 protects 100 percent effectively against malware. No antivirus program does that, but some software is more effective than others, and 15 percent is too high a number to feel safe. I think it is too risky to use Windows 8 without an alternative security solution" he says, adding that you should make sure that you do not have two antivirus programs running at the same time, as they may conflict.

Janus R. Nielsen, CEO and security expert of MYSecurityCenter, that provides antivirus and PC optimisation software for home users. At www.mysecuritycenter.com you can try the different packages out for free.

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