November 7, 2005 1:21 PM PST

Windows AntiSpyware becomes 'Defender'

Microsoft is giving Windows AntiSpyware a makeover.

The tool, designed to protect PCs against hidden software, has been renamed "Windows Defender" and is getting a new look as well as capabilities to detect rootkits, keystroke loggers and other threats. The news of the revamp came Friday in a posting to a new Microsoft corporate blog dealing with malicious software.

The updated application will be part of Vista, the successor to the Windows XP operating system that is expected to launch by the end of next year.

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Microsoft will also release Windows Defender for XP users. It will be released as an update to the current edition of Windows AntiSpyware, which has been available in a beta version since January.

The changes were expected. In October, Microsoft said that the tool would undergo significant changes before Windows Vista ships. The expanded detection and removal capabilities were also in the cards.

The program is designed to protect PCs against spyware, which is software that is installed on a system to watch the user's activity without his or her knowledge. The addition of rootkit protection means Windows Defender can detect and remove rootkits, hacker tools designed to go undetected by security software. Rootkits are used by hackers to lock down control of a computer after an initial attack.

Microsoft has changed how it delivers signature updates for the anti-spyware application. The signatures, used to pinpoint which software is malicious, are now distributed through Windows Update, instead through of a separate tool particular to the program.

Microsoft said Windows Defender isn't a finished product. Vista testers are likely to be the first to get their hands on the updated tool, a company spokesperson said Monday. "We expect Windows Defender to appear in the next Windows Vista Community Technology Preview release," expected by year's end, the representative said.

It is unclear when Windows Defender will be available to Windows XP users. Microsoft had planned to deliver a Beta 2 version of Windows AntiSpyware by the end of the year. That release is expected to be the debut of Windows Defender for Windows XP, but the delivery date might change, the Microsoft spokesperson said.

"The timing for Beta 2 has not been determined. The internal goal for us is Dec. 31, but that is flexible," the representative said.


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I hope it blocks SONY MALWARE
I hope it detects, removes and blocks the Sony rootkit that they are
illegally using to hijack unsuspecting users machines.
Posted by iameline (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sony malware
I agree with you!

I wonder if any of the anti virus companies have a solution for the Sony rootkit?
Posted by FirePig (10 comments )
Link Flag
s "Defender"
lets hope it works better then AntiSpyware
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by Roman12 (214 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I'm the Defender!
maybe they can use the song by Buckner &#38; Garcia as their theme song...

I'm the Defender, a mutant bender.
I'm the Defender, a mind bender.
I'll defend this state to the end;
I'm the captain of this ship and its men.

good times, people, good times...
Posted by dredawgsf (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't Trust It
I don't like this program, or whatever new name it goes by. Every time I tried to turn off AntiSpyware via the Windows Task Manager, it would turn itself back on after a few minutes; just like spyware. That's sneaky nonsense I won't be dealing with, especially for an inadecuate program. I use Lavasoft Ad-Aware and it caught/found more things than Window's AntiSpyware.
This is another MS program I won't be using.
Posted by Dead Soulman (245 comments )
Reply Link Flag
it's a beta and it's free
nuf said.
Posted by mortis9 (370 comments )
Link Flag
I like that... restarts itself. It prevents spyware that tries to disable it. Why dont you just open the program and shut it down properly instead of from the taskmanager (wrong way)?

It also gives real time protection for free. Try that in Spybot. ha.
Posted by BlinkMM182 (63 comments )
Link Flag
That is BS and you know it
You know that taskmgr doesn't turn off apps, it terminates them. Many apps that weren't properly shutdown will re-start. Just right-click on AntiSpyware taskbar icon, and select Shutdown.
Posted by slaury (1 comment )
Link Flag
Its a nice program
The program does have a service that is running, did you happen to turn that off as well? Lavasoft is good, but MS Antispyware does stop spyware from getting on to you computer in the first place.

But heres some good information.
99% percent of all computer problems are caused by what people did to their computers.
Posted by blitznwl (1 comment )
Link Flag
Tired of this!
Windows Defender? What a cheesy name. Im tired of viruses and
spyware. Blah Blah Blah, Im buying a Mac. Friend has one and he
does whatever he wants without worry because they don't have this
crap to worry about. Apple here I come!
Posted by foxxxy79 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
See ya.
Posted by J_Satch (571 comments )
Link Flag
That's how spyware and viri infect...
computers in the hands of people who don't know how to use a PC. rtfm:):
Posted by wtortorici (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Windows Defender. Microsoft is funny.
Did anybody catch the irony, sarcasm, or whatever gramatical statement Windows Defender is.

I think it's funny that Microsoft makes a security product anyway, but to call it Windows Defender. This say's to me they have no faith in the security of their OS. Windows needs defending? Of course I say this from a biased point of view, but I still thinks it's a funny name.

Of course I suppose that those of you who trust Windows will have no problem trusting Windows Defender or Microsoft antispyware application. Me personally... I think I'll stick with ZoneAlarm and AVG.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
common sense is needed
spy bot, ad aware, and avast keep my computer virus and spyware free. I also use firefox. Oh, and for those who think switching to macs will solve everything, it won't. Macs can get viruses/spyware too. Yes, its much rarer, but it does happen. I do tech support as a side job and have had macs call in with spyware/viruses on their computers. (OS X by the way.)

The best way to keep spyware off a pc or mac is to not use the internet at all. Other than that, practice common sense measures. (something average joe has no sense to do. They hear about viruses and spyware, but it'll never happen to them.)

By this, I mean dont buy norton, and then not let it auto update at all or just let it expire and blame norton when the pc gets overloaded with viruses. If you are going to pay for a virus scanner, keep it updated and make sure it doesnt run out on you!
Posted by techguy83 (295 comments )
Link Flag
funny, agaree I, fragment, and spelt
I will apologize first, for being anal. Although I totally agree with the sarcasm and humour (oh my gosh, a Canadian with "u" placement), I most point out that "gramatical" is actually "grammatical". The sentence beginning "This say's to me..." and other punctuation errors detracts from your message impact. I moved to the U.S. from Canada a few years ago. I am overwhelmed by the common english spelling and grammar mistakes. I am NOT an english major. I only completed grade 10 english, math is my thing. May I humbly suggest your criticism would be better served if it was delivered without "blatant" errors.
Posted by Warp2Hype (1 comment )
Link Flag
Your mother is infected with spyware....
Anyone who trusts the same Corporation that hijacks their home page (when doing a clean install of their operating system) to handle their spyware needs to have their head examined.
Posted by hodesworthe (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ms anti-spyware = GIANT "anti-spyware".

this was a GREAT product, and worked on win 98/me ALSO.

now that microsoft BOUGHT the program, they REMOVED the win 9x ability.

as to the comments "program X works better", you need to WAKE UP.

there is NO one program that gets all the bugs.

just last night i scanned with BOTH ad-aware AND spy-bot on a customer's computer. pulled almost 1,000 files/registry entries.

re-scanned with BOTH (after re-boot) and found NOTHING.

scanned with ms anti-spyware (cough GIANT cough) and found 27 actual BUGS (i don't remember the # of files/registry entries) that the other 2 missed.

and YES, i have done the REVERSE on other computers. use the MS app first, then either lavasoft and/or spybot. then THEY will catch files/registry entries that the MS prog didn't.

BOTTOM LINE: you need all 3 AND "hijack this" to have a CHANCE of getting rid of the crud.

and who is to say that ALL 3 are not missing some?? HOW WOULD YOU KNOW?!?!?!?!

"a" is not better than "b", just DIFFERENT.

get over your "loyalties". use what works.
Posted by ima big pirate (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Well done MS
Hope soon they will launch an antivirus with the whole package!
_____________________________<br>Mohsin MoreLee<br><a href="" target="_blank">Webmaster AcmeAims</a>
Posted by jaoja (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Everything in the world gets a makeover. For example ABS makes money airing a Makeover program called Extreme Make over (home addition). Although ABC cheats the IRS because it makes it appear that it is getting the home from the people living there in and makes it over to present a show, it says in the show that the people living in the home were desperate and living in desperate conditions. So Make over was necessary.

However does MS think that the make over will root out web spying. It is sorely mistaken. the only way to root the web spying out is to redevelop the web surfing as written in

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>

Even the development of VISTA is unjustified. Every couple of years MS updates its OS to keep up with its competition. But it does not mean that it is keeping up with the Hackers or the web Spies or is preventing the copies of Key Strokes. Every time you try to log on to a site you get a warning that you may get traced. But you can get traced by making key strokes even without submitting anything.
Posted by newerawisp (47 comments )
Reply Link Flag
People People People...i have a problem and it needs fixing...can anyone help. Windows Defender is not updateing...i keep getting the error code 80244019. Now if that is not bad enough every time i go to the download page to do it manually it tells me the link is broken..not just one site but any site to do with windows crapy defender.....Grrrrrr.....can anyone help....thanx
Posted by jahrasterferi (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag

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