Vulnerabilities / Threats
11/19/2008
10:38 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft To Offer Free Security Software

Morro will replace the subscription Windows Live OneCare service starting next year.

Microsoft on Tuesday said it plans to kill off its Windows Live OneCare subscription security service in favor of a free offering that will feature a core of essential anti-malware tools while excluding peripheral services, such as PC tune-up programs, found in OneCare.

The move could help the software maker extend its footprint in the low-cost PC market, but it might also catch the eye of trustbusters.

As a streamlined offering, Microsoft said the new service -- presently code-named Morro -- will be suitable for use on low-cost, low-powered netbooks that are growing in popularity in emerging markets and in some segments of the North American computer market.

"This new no-cost offering will give us the ability to protect an even greater number of consumers, especially in markets where the growth of new PC purchases is outpaced only by the growth of malware," said Amy Barzdukas, Microsoft's senior product manager for online services and Windows, in a statement.

The definition of malware covers a range of computer threats, including viruses, spyware, rootkits, and trojans. Hackers, many of them connected to organized crime, often use such tools to extract sensitive data such as bank account numbers and passwords from users' PCs.

Microsoft said it will launch Morro in June 2009, at which time it will discontinue the $49.95-per-year OneCare service. Morro will be compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, and the forthcoming Windows 7 operating systems, the company said.

"By offering such basic protection at no charge to the consumer, Microsoft is promoting a safer environment for PCs, service providers and e-commerce itself," said industry analyst Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates.

But while users and analysts may welcome Microsoft's offer of free antivirus software, competitors -- such as Symantec and McAfee -- and government competition watchdogs may not. Microsoft could draw antitrust complaints if it integrates Morro so tightly into Windows it makes security software from third parties difficult to install or use.

European antitrust authorities have slapped Microsoft with more than $1 billion in fines, in part for bundling Windows Media Player with the Windows operating system. Microsoft was ultimately ordered to produce a version of Windows for the European market that does not include WMP.

Morro could suffer the same fate if Microsoft doesn't tread lightly in the security market.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-4725
Published: 2014-07-27
The MailPoet Newsletters (wysija-newsletters) plugin before 2.6.7 for WordPress allows remote attackers to bypass authentication and execute arbitrary PHP code by uploading a crafted theme using wp-admin/admin-post.php and accessing the theme in wp-content/uploads/wysija/themes/mailp/.

CVE-2014-4726
Published: 2014-07-27
Unspecified vulnerability in the MailPoet Newsletters (wysija-newsletters) plugin before 2.6.8 for WordPress has unspecified impact and attack vectors.

CVE-2014-2363
Published: 2014-07-26
Morpho Itemiser 3 8.17 has hardcoded administrative credentials, which makes it easier for remote attackers to obtain access via a login request.

CVE-2014-2625
Published: 2014-07-26
Directory traversal vulnerability in the storedNtxFile function in HP Network Virtualization 8.6 (aka Shunra Network Virtualization) allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via crafted input, aka ZDI-CAN-2023.

CVE-2014-2626
Published: 2014-07-26
Directory traversal vulnerability in the toServerObject function in HP Network Virtualization 8.6 (aka Shunra Network Virtualization) allows remote attackers to create files, and consequently execute arbitrary code, via crafted input, aka ZDI-CAN-2024.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Sara Peters hosts a conversation on Botnets and those who fight them.