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How Secure is Windows 8?

Since its release less than 2 weeks ago there have been many claims by various Antivirus software companies slating the state of Windows 8’s security.

But is this a ploy to up sales or a genuine warning for users of the new OS?

Antivirus company Bitdefender recently released a study that questions the security capabilities of Windows 8. This study conveniently coincided with the company’s latest antivirus upgrade. When tested with 385 common malwares, the Microsoft software included with Windows 8, Windows Defender, allowed 15% of malicious files through.

It’s hard to make an accurate judgement using evidence from studies like this one. Of course the company will be trying to up sell various products and upgrades by highlighting weaknesses with the software. We don’t know how the test was configured and carried out, which is why it’s best to seek out independent studies surrounding issues like this one.

Windows 8 does contain many technologies that make it difficult to exploit. Solutions have been specially designed to render classes of vulnerabilities, specialising in memory corruption. This makes exploiting extremely difficult.

Other features on Windows 8 include an article that makes it almost impossible for a class of stealthy malware called rootkits to avoid detection. This feature is called Secure Boot.

Windows Defender is advised to be used in conjunction with 3rd party antivirus software, such as ESET. These programmes focus on other security vulnerabilities like phishing, identity theft and links to malicious websites as well as viruses.

An update will be released for all Windows versions today, including 8.

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