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Reports Question Vista's Security

Security vendor PC Tools engages Microsoft in running battle of reports

Security software vendor PC Tools has issued multiple reports this month stating that Microsoft's Vista, touted as a more secure version of Windows operating system, is no more secure than previous versions of the OS.

In its latest report, which was published Monday, PC Tools cited a study of 58,000 Vista machines that use its Threatfire security software. In the study, PC Tools detected approximately 121,000 pieces of malware -- and at least one piece of malware actively running on on all of the Vista systems.

Seventeen percent of the threats found on the Vista machines were Trojans. Worms accounted for 5 percent, spyware for 3 percent, and viruses for 2 percent.

“PC Tools maintains that Vista is not immune from online threats," said Simon Clausen, CEO of PC Tools. "Further research and analysis has confirmed our contention that additional third-party protection is absolutely necessary for all Windows Vista users.”

PC Tools made its initial report questioning Vista's security on May 8, alleging that Vista is actually more vulnerable than two of its predecessors, Windows 2000 and Windows 2003. Microsoft security expert Austin Wilson refuted those allegations in a subsequent blog.

However, Wilson did not dispute PC Tools's assertion that third-party security software may be useful. "Does this mean that anti-malware software isn’t necessary? Absolutely not," he said. "No software is perfect."

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)
  • PC Tools Pty Ltd.
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