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Three critical security updates arrive for Windows 8 on Tuesday

by Mark Tyson on 9 November 2012, 12:00

Tags: Windows 8, PC, Bitdefender

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Patch Tuesday welcomes Windows 8 to the congregation

Windows 8 was officially launched just two weeks ago. Microsoft has announced that on 13th November Windows 8 and Windows RT will be enjoying their first “Patch Tuesday” since GA. There are six Bulletins in the latest proposed update, four “critical” updates affecting Windows (three applicable to Windows 8), one “important” update for Microsoft Office and another addressing a “moderate” vulnerability, again in the Windows OS.

Specific details about the bugs, vulnerabilities and the upcoming patches are of course limited, to prevent exploitation by opportunistic malware writers (isn’t that all of them?). Five of the six security bulletins concern bugs that would allow “remote code execution” which is pretty obviously a bad thing.

BitDefender tests box-fresh Windows 8 with this year’s most popular malware

The security researchers at BitDefender have been poking around with Windows 8 and checking for problems and vulnerabilities to provide headlines with which to help sell their security software products. “Newly launched Window 8 is prone to infection by some 15 per cent of the 100 malware families most used by cyber criminals this year,” said the firm. It has tested 385 malware variations within those 100 families. TNW suggests that, far from being a scary and bad thing, the 15 per cent figure is an impressive achievement by Microsoft’s Windows 8 with built-in Windows Defender.

BitDefender compared systems running Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8 with Windows Defender running. Looking at the figures given for Windows 8 and Windows Defender (the default Windows 8 config); of the 385 malware samples, 322 were immediately detected and removed by Windows Defender. Without Windows Defender running the story was much worse with 234 malware programs running successfully on bare Windows 8. Softpedia mentions that in comparison bare Windows 7 got banjaxed by 262 of the malware samples in the tests.

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