15% of Malware Can Get Past Windows 8’s Defender, Experts Find

Bitdefender has analyzed the efficiency of the security systems integrated into Windows 8

By on November 8th, 2012 14:32 GMT

Security solutions provider Bitdefender has performed a study to see just how efficient the new Windows 8 – complete with Windows Defender – is when it comes to blocking malware.

Researchers have made comparative tests to determine the differences between Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8 with Windows Defender enabled. To ensure the accuracy of the tests, the operations have been carried out in a controlled environment with no third-party security solutions installed.

385 malware samples, selected based on popularity criteria, have been utilized in the experiment.

As it turns out, the differences between Windows 7 and Windows 8 are not notable. On Windows 7, 262 of the malware samples were successfully executed.

On Windows 8, of the 385 samples, 234 were successfully run, 138 did not start because of various reasons, 6 of them crashed before they could cause any damage, and 7 of them launched but the User Account Control (UAC) blocked their payload.

After Windows Defender was added to the equation, Windows 8 was able to block much more threats.

Of the 385 pieces of malware, 322 were immediately deleted by Windows Defender. On the other hand, 61 samples were able to evade detection.

Experts agree that the new security mechanisms implemented in Windows 8 are important when it comes to fending off cyberattacks. However, Bitdefender’s study has shown that users still need to install a third-party antivirus solution to ensure they’re properly protected.

“We’ve tested the system with and without the integrated antivirus being enabled to see, on one hand, the improvements made to the Windows 8 operating system itself and, on the other hand, the level of protection with ‘all shields up,’ more precisely with Windows Defender enabled,” Bogdan Botezatu, senior e-threat analyst at Bitdefender explained.

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