Windows Defender Explained

Hi, I’m Mike Chan, a product manager for Windows Vista. I wanted to let everyone know about a great feature that is included in Windows Vista. The threat of malicious software is still a problem that many customers face today and Microsoft has been making progress against these threats over the past few years with a combination of guidance, industry partnership and security technologies. One of our latest technologies to combat malicious and unwanted software is with Windows Defender (WD), which helps prevent poor performance and unwanted pop-up ads that can be caused by spyware. Windows Defender also helps keep private information out of the hands of spyware and other potentially unwanted software. Using Windows Defender is easy with single click access to features such as a quick scan. Windows Defender also works in the background to protect you against software that attempts to install onto your machine without proper consent or notification. One of the little known facts about Windows Defender is that it is now implemented as a system service so it provides protection for all users and utilizes User Account Control (UAC) (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/uac) to take any actions that need administrator privileges. The UI runs under the user context, but all scanning and cleaning activities are accomplished by the service. Furthermore, there is integration with IE (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie7/default.mspx) so that downloads are scanned when they are downloaded to help ensure that you do not accidentally download malicious software. This is accomplished using the IOfficeAntiVirus API (http://windowssdk.msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/workshop/security/antivirus/reference/ifaces/iofficeantivirus/scan.asp). Note, the API is used for any file scanning, not just for Office or AntiVirus. Also, Windows Defender is not a replacement for AntiVirus and Microsoft always recommends that customers deploy a full AV product. Also, Microsoft is committed to providing our customers with free on-going definition updates so you don’t ever have to worry about your protection expiring. The added security that Windows Defender provides lets you get back to using your computer without unneeded interruptions. For more information, visit http://www.microsoft.com/windowsdefender and remember to check out the Microsoft anti-malware blog (http://blogs.technet.com/antimalware).