File Under: Software & Tools

Microsoft: Naive Web Surfers Are Their Own Worst Enemies

vistaMicrosoft is doing its best to keep your PC secure, but you’re screwing up its efforts by naively falling for Tony Soprano’s ever more sophisticated tricks and scams.

That’s the takeaway from Microsoft’s most recent Security Intelligence Report, which tracks threats, viruses, malware and more.

The latest Security Intelligence Report report is self-congratulatory about Vista’s improved security measures over XP, but unfortunately some of the biggest threats are coming from organized crime groups and use phishing techniques that Microsoft claims it can’t patch.

The result is a portrait of web security where the greatest threat, according to Microsoft anyway, is unsophisticated users and non-Microsoft software — like plugins from Apple and other third party vendors.

The number of vulnerabilities in Windows now represents only about 6 percent of the total disclosed vulnerabilities. The bulk of problem (more than 90 percent of disclosed vulnerabilities) is found in applications, especially web browsers and browser plugins.

Of course this is a Microsoft report and other companies are perhaps rightly skeptical. The New York Times quotes an Apple spokesman, Bill Evans, who rather drolly says that the data is not supported by users’ experience of infections.

Still, even if Microsoft’s conclusion is suspect, there’s no question that increasingly sophisticated phishing attacks are, and will likely continue to be, the biggest and most difficult threat the average user faces.

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