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[News] [Rival] Microsoft Patents 'Security' Basics; UAC Sucks

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Old Is New Department: Microsoft Patents Proactive Virus Protection

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| Microsoft has just snared a U.S. patent for proactive virus protection, which 
| is how security software helps secure your PC when it encounters 
| shape-shifting malware not already in its antivirus definition file. What I 
| want to know is, what does this mean for all the other vendors -- like 
| McAfee, Symantec, Kaspersky, and Trend Micro -- that have been selling 
| proactive protection software for years? Do they now have to pay Microsoft 
| protection; I mean, royalties?      


Microsoft: Users confused by Vista UAC prompts

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| He said that the language used in prompts is also confusing.



Microsoft Exec: UAC Designed To 'Annoy Users'

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| "The reason we put UAC into the platform was to annoy users. I'm serious," 
| said Cross. 



Windows Forces you to use UAC to Add a Printer

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| Another bug that got past the extensive RTM testing process? Nope.
| It's a bug that came into existence during the finalization process.
| This bug wasn't there in RC2, but it's most definitely there now. All
| we can say is, hopefully this gets patched before SP6.


Security design: Why UAC will not work

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| Pinning all your end-point security hopes on UAC assumes that criminals are 
| not as smart as they really are 


Learning to Live with UAC

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| Like most veteran Windows users, I balked when I first encountered the User 
| Account Control (UAC) mechanism in the latter BETAs of Vista. The constant 
| interruption of nearly every system or maintenance related task was 
| unbearable. Finally, after one particularly frustrating bout of "move the 
| file/yes I really want to move the file/please let me move the file/sorry, do 
| dice buddy," I did what many early Vista users did: I turned UAC off.     
| Hint: For those of you who haven't figured it out yet, the option to disable 
| UAC is buried under the User Accounts sub-section of the Control Panel. 
| Ah, the bliss of no UAC! I could now do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted! 
| It was just like Windows XP, but with a cooler UI! 


Researcher Reveals 2-Step Vista UAC Hack

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| A Web application developer has uncovered a two-step process
| (PDF) for exploiting Windows Vista's User Account Control,
| essentially by having a Trojan piggyback on what could be al
| egitimate download.


Vista User Account Control and the Linux Superuser

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| So, when I was researching the way to determine the shadow storage
| size on Windows Vista for my February 23rd entry, I wasn't too surprised
| when I got an error message about needing to elevate my privilege after
| I tried to run vssadmin from a standard command shell. What a Linux
| system would have done right there would be to ask me for the
| administrator password. 


Vista's UAC needs an overhaul. Ideas?

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| It seems like everyone, other than possibly Microsoft's Vista team
| itself, seems to believe that the User Account Control (UAC) in
| Vista already needs an overhaul.


Windows Vista: Secure Or Just Frustrating?

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| The problem with Vista’s security implementation is that lots of warning 
| dialog boxes don't provide security. Users get frustrated and eventually stop 
| reading them altogether. They think of them as annoyances, an extra click 
| required to get a feature to work. Is Windows Vista really more secure than 
| the operating systems that preceded it, or simply more frustrating? Since 
| Microsoft left us with no choice but to buy a PC with Vista pre-installed, 
| we’re inevitably stuck with it. Let the frustration begin.      


,----[Quote ]
| "Oh, excuse me, is this supposed be a joke? We all remember all those
| Microsoft's statements about how serious Microsoft is about security in
| Vista and how all those new cool security features like UAC or Protected
| Mode IE will improve the world's security. And now we hear what?


Vista's Faux Security

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| At the end of the new Apple ad, the security guard finally asks the
| hapless PC: "You are coming to a sad realization. Cancel or allow?"
| Unfortunately, after conditioning the world to click "allow," all
| Microsoft will have accomplished is to pass the buck to the hapless
| PC user, trying to make the user responsible for anything bad that
| happens because they ultimately chose to allow it.
| While that may allow Microsoft?s security engineers to sleep at night,
| the rest of us won't rest as easy until Vista's holes are plugged
| with something more substantial than a dialog box.


Vista's UAC security is hopeless, says Symantec

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| A key security feature of Windows Vista, User Account Control (UAC) is
| still nearly unusable, Symantec has said.
| At a press presentation last week, Symantec vice president of
| engineering Rowan Trollope said Symantec's customers had found the
| feature so "chatty", that it was a burden on users, potentially
| creating new help-desk calls. 


Windows Vista set to overwhelm helpdesks

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| The Windows Vista features that will most benefit end users are
| likely to cause a flood of calls to enterprise IT help desks, it
| was claimed today.
| SupportSoft predicted that one of the main areas in which
| end-users are likely to experience problems will be dealing
| with Vista's security features.


Vista: Slow and Dangerous

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| Most of the time I spent testing Vista was with sluggish pre-release
| versions. I expected things to improve when I ran the finished software
| on PCs configured for the new Windows version. I now realize that
| Vista really is slow unless you throw a lot of hardware at it.
| Microsoft claims it will run with 512 megabytes of memory. I had
| recommended a minimum of a gigabyte, but 2 GB is more like it if
| you want snappy performance.
| [...]
| The most exasperating thing about Vista, though, is the security
| feature called User Account Control. UAC, satirized in an Apple
| ad as a security guy who constantly interrupts a conversation, 
| appears as a pop-up asking permission before Windows...


Your expense = my revenue

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| "Windows is a money making machine for everyone involved" - but
| describing it as really a kind of work for welfare scheme in which
| everyone wins -except the customer to whom it's a cost, and the 
| national economy for which it's a productivity sink.


Analyst slams Vista's 'backward' UI

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| Windows Vista is a step back in usability, researcher claims


Windows Vista Tip: Run as administrator

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| This will make every admin operation prompt you for credentials
| while it is great if you do a lot of remote operations it can
| become tedious if you are performing a lot of local admin operations.


Microsoft: Turn off Vista's UAC to fix problems

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| I've been fairly critical of the new User Access Control (UAC) in
| Windows Vista, as I feel it is too secure to be usable, which will
| probably result in many users and corporations turning off and
| losing out on what could have been Vista?s best feature.
| [...]
| He recommends turning UAC back on after fixing the problem, but
| when users need to do this more than a couple of times to get a
| usable system, they will just leave it turned off.


'Vista's Account Protection: One Click and It's Gone'

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| One of Vista's big security features is 'User Account Protection'
| (or 'User Account Control') which pops up and asks for user
| authentication before software can make any administrative changes to
| the system. But the TweakVista utility can turn off UAP in one click...


The Truth About User Privileges

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| Has the time finally come for the least-privilege user -- you know,
| setting your Windows client machines to run without system
| administrator rights?
| [...]
| Today, some Windows applications just won't run properly on a
| desktop without administrative rights. "It's a dirty little
| secret people sweep under the rug because they're not able to
| do much about the problem. A lot of applications and pieces
| of environments won't work if users aren't given admin rights,"
| says Steve Kleynhans, vice president for Gartner's client
| platforms group. "If you can get applications to function
| with lower rights, in a lot of cases it hampers the user
| experience."


Opinion: 'Vista Casts A Pall On PC Gaming'

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| In the interest of full disclosure I should make it clear that in a
| previous life time I was responsible for all of Microsoft's OS
| strategy for games and media, from writing the original DirectX
| development plan, to managing Microsoft?s relationships with the
| industries leading game developers. 10 years after launching DirectX
| 1.0, I still have strong opinions and feelings about how to make
| Windows a great game platform, and probably feel a stronger sense
| of pique than most when I see Microsoft making careless or callous
| mistakes that impact game developers.

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