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Windows 7 security settings may leave PCs vulnerable to cyberattacks

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posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 09:13 PM
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Microsoft has toned down the intentionally annoying User Account Control security feature introduced in Windows Vista. UAC is the feature that frequently prompts Vista users for permission to do something, sometimes more than once.

But security experts say the streamlined UAC in Windows 7, launched Thursday, is being shipped in a configuration that may do more harm than good, in terms of leaving your Windows 7 PC vulnerable to cyber criminals looking to take control.

“Overall Windows 7 is a big improvement and a much more secure operating system,”says Eric Voskuil, CTO of security firm BeyondTrust. "However, UAC in its default configuration is a ticking time bomb."

UAC is the feature in Vista that finally made a distinction between user-level access, needed to open files and work with data, and administrator-level access, needed to install new applications on your harddrive. From a security standpoint, user-level control is good, while administrator-level access can be very bad.

blogs.usatoday.com...

Luckily I don't have windows 7, but this is bad news to anyone who has it.

I don't know if anyone else is noticing it, but to me OS have gone from bad to worse, and even windows vista is not as user friendly as they make it to be.

For years now OS have been taking away choices from the user, and have taken over decisions which the user should be making, such as the fact that since Windows XP the OS decides when to download updates, when that should ALWAYS be a decision of the user.

I hate it when I am doing something, such as watching a movie and then I keep getting a message that "windows must restart for the updates it downloaded by itself to take effect"....

Doesn't anyone else find that annoying as hell?

Windows 7, Windows vista, and Windows XP suck in many ways imo, although windows XP is still better than windows vista, or windows 7, imo.




posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 09:42 PM
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I've moved from XP x64 to Vista Ultimate x64 and now Win 7 x64 all within a year.

I by far love W7 over vista and now XP. I was once one of those people that said I would never let go of xp for vista, but i'm glad I waited it out.

XP pro, Vista and W7 can all be tweaked via registry or sevices shut off. If you do the research you can literally solve any issue you really have with any of those OS's.

OP, have you ever considered to search google for ''how to turn off automatic update restart message in XP''?

I've had that setting tweaked since three years ago

google is your friend.

For years now i've been tweaking my OS's to my liking, once you tweak out Vista and W7, shut down services you don't need or use, you have a very quick system exactly how you like it.

Windows 7 is by far the best OS out there now.

[edit on 26-10-2009 by porschedrifter]



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 09:44 PM
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Look- everyone want to send a nice, clear message to the AntiChri- I mean Microsoft?

Go Linux. More people who do that, will get more people making the OS's that much better, and Bill Gates will finally stop making crap that wants to take over computers like a rubber monster in a cheesy sci fi flick. Or go broke, one of the 2.

Microsloth's OS's are slow, cumbersome, and to be honest, I cant help but wonder if the extra work they put all the hardware thru doesn't wear it out faster. I have seen enough weird crap out of Windblows to make me really suspicious of it as of late. I put Xubuntu on this computer (a 2.66), and it now runs like my dual core did with most stuff! It runs GREAT. Now, it also makes me a little worried about the dual core machine.... What the HECk was Windows using it for to slow it down that badly?! I do admit- I have Windoze on here- for Netflix, and watching a dvd (I cant figure out the DVD player in Xubuntu to save my life). other than those 2 things... XP is on it's way out....



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 09:53 PM
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Yeah but then, UAC to someone like me, is a ROYAL pain, which i why i have it fully disabled when i use Vista on my test PC. As far as windows7, i think MS just had to back off on it, cause it caused too much annoyance, even if it did make it more secure.

And yeah, XP is plenty secure if tweaked and updated properly, so on my main PC i'll be staying with it for a quite some more time.

But i do agree with you, the auto updating stuff, i've always kept disabled from the beginning. Heres what i like to do, personally, for updates. I use secunia psi from secunia.com, evey so often i run it and have it tell me what it thinks need updating, and then i do it myself if i feel like it.

Manual is the way to go



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 09:54 PM
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reply to post by porschedrifter
 


You love W7? Did you not read the article I excerpted and posted here?

That thing is a timebomb, and hacker heaven as soon as they find out how to use that vulnerability, if they haven't already found it.



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 09:56 PM
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Meh... linux is not all that when you want to play games and edit video....
When you look at the software/hardware support of windows vs linux, linux just doesnt compare...

i'm on OS2008 right now which is a varient of linux


Yup I read it, UAC so what.... I had it completely disabled on Vista *gasp!*

W7 you don't have to disable it, it's not as anoying.
I'm not worried about the UAC issue, M$ will patch it any minute. And if you have other security software like peerguardian, hardware firewall on my router and another software firewall, then you are ok....

[edit on 26-10-2009 by porschedrifter]



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 09:57 PM
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Eh, whats so special about Windows7 having holes in it? All the releases have had them, and the problem is that Micro$oft are too slow to fix them.

Other OS's arent perfect, but the builders are quick off the mark to fix them.

I also found that when running XP / 7 via bootcamp on the Mac, I didn't need anti-virus.
Microsoft wasnt in control.



edit: Isn't that hole a similar one that Gary McKinnon got in via?

[edit on 26-10-2009 by MissMegs]



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 09:58 PM
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BTW, i know that you can search online and find some help, although that help doesn't work all the time.

The point is that OS shouldn't be set up the way they are, they should be more user friendly from the get-go, and the PC itself should have a small tutorial with most of the awnsers, instead of having to look for awnsers online. If they find how to solve certain problems as they go with time, with the updates that we get the tutorials should get also updated and describe how to solve such problem/s.

Do you work for microsoft or something that you seem to take offence at the fact that the OSs have become less, and less user-friendly with time instead of the reverse?....



[edit on 26-10-2009 by ElectricUniverse]



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 10:11 PM
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reply to post by wylekat
 


Go Linux? The limitations on hardware due to driver availability is my number one problem.

Ill wait for W7 SP-2
. Ive used earlier releases of W7 and it does look promising.
Its going to cost around 50K to upgrade or network so I want to make sure its stable with a few kinks and tweaks worked out.

I cant wait to make the switch to Windows Server 2K8 for our Exchange Server, Terminal Server and file servers. I don't look forward to making the switch over though.



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 10:13 PM
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are you sure you mean user friendly and not user familiar?

Windows 7 is extremely user friendly.

If you look at the benchmarks you can see xp is slower than vista and w7 is slowly faster than Vista....

I dont work for M$ i'm just proud that they are finally back on track with operating systems.

I'd rather have W7 manage my quad core, 8gb of ram and DX10 for my gtx 275 than XP, its just better technology.


[edit on 26-10-2009 by porschedrifter]



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 10:27 PM
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reply to post by porschedrifter
 





For years now i've been tweaking my OS's to my liking, once you tweak out Vista and W7, shut down services you don't need or use, you have a very quick system exactly how you like it.


Not. Fast. Enough. I already did a quick and dirty benchmark with my tweaked, tweaked again, and tweaked til it bled XP, and Xubuntu- right off the disk, and only UPDATED so everything was current. Result? Firefox loads up 3 times faster, the 3d stuff is twice as fast (a 128 mb AGP card), and the HD drive light barely flickers. Windows? See above, think the opposite. I keep my machines as fast as possible with maintenance and anti virus. I cant read anything off Google that I haven't done to Windows to make it faster. And yet, a free OS blew the doors off minus a single, solitary jiggle of a setting.

This brings me to 2 conclusions: 1) People pay upwards of $300 for something they have to plead with, hack, jiggle, jumble, and otherwise abuse to get any sort of performance out of, even more when the computer is a little older... to be beaten to a pulp by a FREE OS that has more combinations than a room full of safes... and 2) if I sat down and tried really hard, and cracked open some advanced coding books, I could, with the BLESSING OF THE DEVELOPERS, go and make my own OS. I probably can't- I don't have the patience for it....




Meh... linux is not all that when you want to play games and edit video.... When you look at the software/hardware support of windows vs linux, linux just doesn't compare...


Eh... what? Let's see... They have WINE, which works with windows programs, And somewhere in the neighborhood of a few hundred programs just for Linux.... My hardware works just fine in there- Creative Sound Blaster Value? Check. For this machine- Nvidia driver? Check. For my other one, an ATI 1 gig video card? Yup. Check. Wireless connection? Still working on it, tho a cable run to the DSL was recognized and set up before I even realized it. XP? Ha! I have to still do the dance of 'oh, do you want to set up a connection? Are you sure? Are you reeeeeaaallly sure....?'

After doing some reading, I think some of the hardware manufacturers dont have Linux drivers because MS has them by their dangling participles.


Here's an example: MS doesnt seem to play nice...



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 10:28 PM
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Exploitations in OS security have been around since the dawn of the internet. There's really not much you can do.

I, myself, have never really been a safe computer user and have only gotten a few viruses here and there. Nothing major. The thing is anything that is created can steadily be unmade. Really not much you can do about it.

I dunno if I can be bothered making the move to Windows 7. I don't really care if it's better than Vista either. All I do with my PC is open up Firefox, listen to music and run IM programs.

A very basic PC user these days. It's the way I like it. Even if the platform I'm on sucks more than a vacuum cleaner.



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 10:39 PM
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reply to post by porschedrifter
 


Those are some nice specs. I'm holding off until they make cheap 8-core cpu's. Then i'll switch
By then 7 will even be patched a bunch and even better. Yeah, at some point XP is going to look like someone running windows 98 does now, just kind of silly.

As far as user friendliness, the real test of that is whatever the masses feel about it, honestly the vast majority are just kind of, users, if you know what i mean.



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 10:40 PM
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WINDOWS 7 ROCKS HARD CORE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i have tested win7 x64 for over 3 months solid against xp, vista, osx tiger, opensolaris, ubuntu 9.04, sabayaon 4.1, opensuse11, gentoo 2008 and elive.
hands down win7 is the best, easiest, most user friendly, stable and functional operating system ever released by microsoft.

for those with a short memory - the first 24 months of xp was a living hell. thankfully the vista release was nowhere near as bad as the xp release (which was better than win2000 and win98).

most vista issues are cause by bad usres who dont know what to do and poor third party software makers like adobe, ati and apple writing bad code.

ever noticed that those that complain the loudest against vista are those that havent seen or used it!



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 10:45 PM
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Yeah, no thanks.. im not trying to emulate my games on linux. I use W7 because it's mainly the platform that the software I use was made for. Especially if you are a gamer, its Windows, not mac os or linux.


Originally posted by Whine Flu
I dunno if I can be bothered making the move to Windows 7. I don't really care if it's better than Vista either. All I do with my PC is open up Firefox, listen to music and run IM programs.


and there's nothing wrong with that! It really depends on what you need to do on the PC.

8/12/16 cores are just on the horizon, drool... can't wait!

[edit on 26-10-2009 by porschedrifter]



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 11:11 PM
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Thanks OP, that article has convinced me to stay with WinME. Sure it doesn't have any security but hackers don't bother me cause they know that the system doesn't stay up and running long enough for them to do any damage so they give up


Seriously though, it's good to know the weakness of M$'s newest OS. I'll be going to Win Seven when I buy a new PC, I'll be putting Linux on this one, till then XP will have to do...



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 12:05 AM
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reply to post by yizzel
 


microsofts weakness over the last few years has been the 'johnny-come-lately' people who have never seen or used the operating system but can tell you everything that 'some-guy-on-internet' said was wrong with it and thats why it sucks.



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 01:13 AM
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reply to post by optyk phyba
 


Yeah there's some truth to that but to be fair many versions of Windows really did suck to begin with. E.g. Win 1 - 3 (win3.1 was usable), WinME and XP before SP2 came out. And yes, I've actually used all those OS's, except Win 1 & 2 though I've seen them running. Had Vista on this box for less than a day so I won't comment on that one.

Edit spelling..

[edit on 27-10-2009 by yizzel]



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 02:21 AM
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For years now OS have been taking away choices from the user, and have taken over decisions which the user should be making, such as the fact that since Windows XP the OS decides when to download updates, when that should ALWAYS be a decision of the user.

Automatic updates is a feature of Windows (and other Operating Systems), that allows them to get software updates without the user actually doing anything. It is easily disabled in Windows 7 (and XP) by browsing to the control panel. You can also stop the "Automatic Updates", and "Background Intelligent Transfer", services to wipe out automatic updates absolutely completely, but this can cause incompatibilities if you try and manually update. And if you are sick of the nag on your taskbar after doing this, then disable the "Security Center" service also.

Start--->run--->type "services.msc" without quotes, press enter, disable Automatic Updates, BITS, & Security Center. Manually browse to the Windows Update website (www.windowsupdate.com) for updates, although you will have to temporarily enable them services again. Personally, automatic updates are a fantastic idea for the end user.



You love W7? Did you not read the article I excerpted and posted here?

That thing is a timebomb, and hacker heaven as soon as they find out how to use that vulnerability, if they haven't already found it.


As far as this being a problem - not really. It's far better than Vista where users would turn UAC completely off as soon as they get it. Or XP where there is no UAC.

From the article that you obviously did not read:


"It defeats the purpose of the whole system," says Voskuil. "Anybody can do whatever they want; all they need to do is get the user to launch code."

The medium setting plays directly to the strength of cyber gangs adept at tricking PC users into clicking on corrupted Web links arriving in email spam, Twitter microblog postings, Facebook messages and Google search results. The bad guys are also planting infectious launch code hidden in online advertisements display by popular Web sites, such as the New York Times.

Voskuil recommends immediately elevating your Windows 7 UAC default setting from “notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer,” to the “always notify” setting.


So - it's pretty much the same as it's always been. The problem is the end user, not the OS. In any case, UAC is a nag on its highest setting, keeping it on medium gives you slightly better security than XP because it will now tell you if changes are being made, and OFF gives you the same problems with XP. I keep it on OFF because it's very easy not to run things that are clearly viruses, that, and it uses system recourses.


Windows 7, Windows vista, and Windows XP suck in many ways imo, although windows XP is still better than windows vista, or windows 7, imo.


XP might use less system recourses, however the GUI is archaic as is its memory management, and multi-core management. That, and no Direct X 11. Windows 7 is far better.

Also, I have never used Vista so I cannot comment on that.


Go Linux. More people who do that, will get more people making the OS's that much better, and Bill Gates will finally stop making crap that wants to take over computers like a rubber monster in a cheesy sci fi flick. Or go broke, one of the 2.

Linux is fantastic, however honestly it is absolutely terrible for the average user where it's absolutely laughable to compare it to even the 8 year old Windows XP, let alone Windows 7.

encyclopediadramatica.com... (Lunix)


The point is that OS shouldn't be set up the way they are, they should be more user friendly from the get-go,

They are user friendly from the get go. Windows 7 is light years ahead of Windows XP in that regard.


and the PC itself should have a small tutorial with most of the awnsers, instead of having to look for awnsers online.


In Windows 7...

Click start, type in HELP, press ENTER, and a tutorial comes up.

Click Start, type Updates, press ENTER, and you can change update policy.

Click start, type security, press ENTER, and you can change security policy.

You can also press Start, click CONTROL panel, then click on the most obvious thing. For example, updates are labelled "Windows Update".

To get to HELP AND SUPPORT, you can click start, then click HELP AND SUPPORT.

Getting Started tutorial was launched the first time I ran Windows 7, and then was on the Start menu for a few days.

i38.tinypic.com...

i36.tinypic.com...

This isn't rocket science.


s, and less user-friendly with time instead of the reverse?....

How can you criticize Microsoft for setting UAC on medium, for having automatic updates, while being less user friendly?


  • They changed the default UAC setting to be more user-friendly (unless you want a nag every time you try to do anything).
  • They included automatic updates to keep computers bug free, and also to minimize any software incompatibilities as newer software, or features, are added. Try running Windows XP RTM and see if any of your applications work and then talk to me about being "user-friendly".
  • They did include a tutorial with Windows 7. I think they did with XP but I have not used or installed that in a long time.
  • The GUI is significantly improved, for example, it has Windows Search on the taskbar. Pressing a button called "troubleshoot" will usually find and correct any problems also.
  • Windows Update has now been updated to include drivers. If you did not have this then you would have users wondering why their hardware doesn't work properly.
  • Windows 7 connects to networks far easier than XP.


The trend you are describing is actually the complete opposite of what you are suggesting. Also, you should not blame the Operating System because you did not use the Control panel, or even use the "help and support" feature which pops up on pretty much every single page in Windows XP. That is your fault.


Do you work for microsoft or something that you seem to take offence at the fact that the OSs have become less

Not everyone who disagrees with you is biased.

Maybe they are sick of people complaining about a product they have never used, obviously do not know a thing about, and just overall have no clue.

Do you work for Apple?


[edit on 27/10/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 03:29 AM
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Windows XP Pro - Decent
Windows Vista Ultimate - I feel sorry for anyone who has it
Windows 7 Ultimate - PRAISE THE LORD

Basically Windows 7 fixes everything I hated about Vista...and has a lot of cool features that make things easier and more efficient. It's a very good system over all, I've been beta testing for months now, and haven't had a single bug. All my software and games work perfectly.




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