Windows Defender beaten by Ad-Aware

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 3-Jul-2006 10:10

I have been running Windows Defender for some time now, and have always been happy to have a spyware free machine. I used to run Ad-Aware, but the free version was a manually-run affair...

From the Microsoft web site:

Windows Defender (Beta 2) is a free program that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software. It features Real-Time Protection, a monitoring system that recommends actions against spyware when it's detected, and a new streamlined interface that minimizes interruptions and helps you stay productive.

Note that this software is BETA software. Its not considered to be ready for final release!

So it comes of no surprise to me that after returning from a trip, my partner complains of a virus on the PC - in fact it wasnt a virus, but a piece of spyware called ISTBAR that brings up a web page telling unsuspecting users that their antispyware is malfunctioning, and that there are 180 defects on the machine (with a fake progress bar).

A quick trip to Lavasoft, downloaded and ran Ad-Aware, and all is peaceful again on my computer.

A reminder to all - dont put your eggs in one basket. There are several good free anti spyware programs out there... good practice would be to run two...

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Comment by Mark, on 3-Jul-2006 10:25

...or run 3 like me.

Comment by Jama, on 3-Jul-2006 11:38

Ad-aware, SpyBot Search and Destroy and Hijack This. I don't trust the MS Windows Defender and it looks like Tony has confirmed my mistrust.

Comment by Jones, on 4-Jul-2006 14:43

Webroot Spy Sweeper Baby!

Comment by Dirk Hedlund, on 14-Jul-2006 08:57

Spyware is a serious, and yet-to-be-completely-defined problem. I think it is a bigger problem, currently, than viruses and worms. Windows Defender is just another tool that can HELP in the fight. It's not a bad tool, but it does have its limitations. The other tools mentioned by Jama are also good, but each of them has limitations as well. I have yet to find a single piece of software that can do it all in the antispyware arena. My advice: Drop your logon rights down to "user" level, especially while browsing the web. Use SudoWin or MakeMeAdmin to escallate your rights, only when you need to. Keep your system fully-patched. Use an alternative browser, like Firefox, and possibly add a few of the better security extensions. Use Windows Defender, AdAware, and SpyBot Search & Destroy (they're good tools). And for the really paranoid: use a tool like Privoxy just to block a whole load of junk. For the really, really paranoid: Turn off your computer, unplug it, and put it back in the box it came in, and nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Comment by, on 14-Feb-2009 04:46

Nothing big deal. It is very common that spyware is ealier than the antispyware. Windows Defender should keep on updating. And one more thing is to teach people the awareness of antispyware is better than introduce a software of antispyware.

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