Windows 7 UAC Is Ineffective Security Solution for Malware, Sophos Says
A researcher at Sophos reports putting Windows 7's User Account Control feature to the test and finding the technology failed to block numerous pieces of malware. Microsoft, however, stresses that UAC is only one part of Windows 7's security.A researcher at Sophos called the UAC feature in Windows 7 ineffective after numerous pieces of malware snuck by the technology in a test. Microsoft first introduced User Account Control in Windows Vista to improve security. After some users complained the number of alerts it generated were annoying, the company pledged to cut down on the number of prompts in Windows 7. The move however has raised concerns in the security community, and Sophos Senior Security Adviser Chester Wisniewski said his test proves Microsoft took it a step too far.
Wisniewski wrote on his blog Nov. 3 that seven of the 10 pieces of malware he tested ran with the default UAC enabled in Windows 7 without generating any prompts. As part of the test, no antivirus software was installed on the system. Two of the malware samples did not work in Windows 7; of the remaining eight, only one generated a prompt, and that one still would have been installed had the user clicked yes, Wisniewski told eWEEK.