Coffeehouse Thread

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What is Microsoft Going To Do About Spyware?

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  • User profile image
    machocomacho

    Is Longhorn or SP2 going to have a spyware remover, these are the main reason for  pop-ups and such and when will Microsoft address this growing and potentially dangerous(identity wise) problem?

  • User profile image
    Manip

    SP2 does not contain any spyware removal tools but it DOES make it harder for spyware to infect you. It generally just makes IE's security stronger and stops sites catching people in infinite loops of pop-up's and tricking them into clicking links. It also stops you getting spammed by blocking imagines in your mail unless you expressly allow them.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    The fact of the matter is that most viruses and spyware these days are brought in through User Choice. While certain protections can be instituted, it's really difficult to get around people's ability to act stupidly without even knowing it.

  • User profile image
    Manip

    IBM tried stopping people from acting stupid with this button... problem is they just found the button too difficult to use :-/



  • User profile image
    paulcam

    In addition to this, we have new UI to allow users to disable ActiveX controls utilized by IE. This includes the nefarious Browser Helper Object controls that are so often used as a vehicle to alter IE behavior. The Windows XP SP2 white paper can be found here (Word Doc format).

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    machocomacho wrote:
    Is Longhorn or SP2 going to have a spyware remover, these are the main reason for  pop-ups and such and when will Microsoft address this growing and potentially dangerous(identity wise) problem?


    I doubt it considering Microsoft would make AntiVirus software before they would make AntiSpyware software.

    Anyway, many things for fighting Spyware are already in Windows. For example, in IE's privacy settings, I have set custom settings. I have set it to block third party cookies, allow first party cookies, and unchecked the always allow session cookies box. With these settings, unless I go to doubleclick.net, they aren't getting a cookie on to my computer.

    I believe Microsoft has Software Retention Policies in Windows XP, they are meant for corporations and I believe if configured, they can make it impossible for Spyware or Viruses to execute on Windows.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    Well, impossible's a strong word. We created our own IEAK packages to distribute (doing a push this week to 3000 PC's). As part of this you can do some serious locking down. Again, though, if a user chooses to break something, it'll break. We've locked enough down that it's hard for stuff to be broken, but we have some pretty "smart" users.

  • User profile image
    lars

    I would like more options in the dialog box that asks you about untrusted (ActiveX) content in MSIE.

    Now I can choose to "always trust content from YY, Inc. ". I would like to be selectivt the other way around. So it asks me for new unknowns, but when I've said no to "the Bonsai Buddy", he'll never ever bother me again.

    I'm more worried of the pseudo spyware in Windows Update. Rumour has it that since the transition to
    Windows XP it send a whole lot of information about
    both your harware and software configuration to Microsoft. And maybe even you girlfriends measurements - who knows. Smiley

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    Jeremy W. wrote:
    Well, impossible's a strong word. We created our own IEAK packages to distribute (doing a push this week to 3000 PC's). As part of this you can do some serious locking down. Again, though, if a user chooses to break something, it'll break. We've locked enough down that it's hard for stuff to be broken, but we have some pretty "smart" users.


    I meant virtually impossible, anyway I doubt software retention policies are well known so anyone who using them is safe assuming virus/spyware writers don't start looking for security weaknesses to exploit.

    lars wrote:
    I would like more options in the dialog box that asks you about untrusted (ActiveX) content in MSIE.

    Now I can choose to "always trust content from YY, Inc. ". I would like to be selectivt the other way around. So it asks me for new unknowns, but when I've said no to "the Bonsai Buddy", he'll never ever bother me again.

    I'm more worried of the pseudo spyware in Windows Update. Rumour has it that since the transition to
    Windows XP it send a whole lot of information about
    both your harware and software configuration to Microsoft. And maybe even you girlfriends measurements - who knows. Smiley


    That has been added in Windows XP SP2 RC1.

  • User profile image
    ktegels

    And no, they aren't likely too either, just something else for somebody to complain about "Microsoft trying to crush the little guy" about. That Stinks!

  • User profile image
    Manip

    I'm using SP2 at the moment, it is definitely a welcome improvement and everyone will love it. As soon as they role out a final version I am going to install it on every PC I have access to (and is running xP).

  • User profile image
    eagle

    I have been running WindowsXP with SP2 for two weeks now. I ran Spybot-search & destroy the other day and he came up with nothing! So something is working to stop spyware, is it the firewall or the popup blocker?

  • User profile image
    vanlandw

    I have had many run-in's at my place of employment with spyware.  It really is a shame how much software people will allow to be installed on their machines.  I hope SP2 will clean up many of the problems I have to fix. 

  • User profile image
    Shawn

    Jeremy W. wrote:
    The fact of the matter is that most viruses and spyware these days are brought in through User Choice. While certain protections can be instituted, it's really difficult to get around people's ability to act stupidly without even knowing it.


    Ahem.

    I can't help but smile when I ask some of my non-technical friends how they got the "XXX Toolbar" on their machines.

  • User profile image
    Charles

    lars wrote:
    I'm more worried of the pseudo spyware in Windows Update. Rumour has it that since the transition to Windows XP it send a whole lot of information about both your harware and software configuration to Microsoft. And maybe even you girlfriends measurements - who knows. Smiley


    Well, we don't do anything with the measurements of users' special somebodies since we have no way of shipping changes to you via Windows Update. MS Research is looking into this, though Smiley

    Seriously, I used to work on Windows Update and I can assure you that the only data we collect from your machine are: full OS version (lang, sp, sku, etc), installed software, installed hardware (and associated device drivers), service packs installed, critical updates installed, etc.

    We do not collect personal information. Period.

    We need to gather as much information about your system as possible so at the very least we do NOT:

    a) suggest installing something that you don't need

    b) suggest installing something that is incompatible with your system

    c) ask you to upgrade a device driver that will hose your system 


    Keep on posting,

    Charles

  • User profile image
    prog_dotnet

    Do not run ie with an admin account. Admmins has full ntfs rights on both system folders and registry. Theryby providing all code executed by that user, full system access. 
    Power users have change on folders and special permissions in the registry. But normal users have only read on both folders and registry,  

    I allways use the run as/secondary service and do not have any problems with spyware while running ie besides tracking cookies.

    The IE team should take a look at what ms have done with IIS. Run the app with a service accont wich has minimal previlegies.

  • User profile image
    richard_dee​ming

    Jeremy W. wrote:
    ... most viruses and spyware these days are brought in through User Choice


    I would have agreed with you until last Friday, when I got hit with a variant of the WinPup / AdClick trojans - simply by viewing a web page. No security warning, no download prompt.

    The virus managed to get past both IE6 and my anti-virus software, install itself in several places, replace the Windows Media Player executable and prevent WFP from restoring it.

    This was on an XP SP1 / IE6 SP1 machine, with all critical updates installed, and the IE security settings locked down extremely tight.

    If I could remember which site the virus came from, I would be inclined to report this as a security problem with IE6, but after spending the day disinfecting my computer, I can't even remember what I was looking for in the first place.

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