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MS to Launch Paid Security Subscription Service 359

user24 writes "MSN reports that Microsoft 'is launching a subscription service aimed at providing better protection for the Windows operating system, which has been vulnerable to Internet attacks. Windows Live OneCare will protect up to three computers for about 50 dollars a year.' From the OneCare website: 'Windows Live OneCare works continuously, automatically, and quietly in the background on your PC, ever vigilant against threats but never in the way, allowing you to have fun and be more productive:'"
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MS to Launch Paid Security Subscription Service

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  • ....A little late? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kahless2k ( 799262 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @11:52PM (#15441777) Homepage
    I used the OneCare beta for quite a while (actually a good product IMHO).. But the subscription service started at the beginning of the month... Slashdot is a little late in reporting it.. On a side note; I did stop using OneCare when I tried to pay for the subscription (reduced rate for beta users) only to see (for the first time) U.S. Only, with international support at some point in the future (a year?). Anyways.. my $0.02
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 01, 2006 @02:25AM (#15442469)
    I believe Symantec's first anti-virus product was SAM, Symantec AntiVirus for Macintosh, which was introduced back in the 1980s. This was eventually replaced by Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh, after Symantec had acquired Peter Norton Computing (to gain a stronger foothold in the PC market).

    As long as computers have been user friendly enough for non-technical people to use them, malware has been a problem, and it's usually a result of the user being tricked into running malicious code, as opposed to bugs in their OS or applications.

    Your diatribe about users blaming you for Microsoft bugs is actually the opposite of my experience. Most non-technical people I know think 'Windows' is essentially synonymous with all of the software on their PC. If any random application crashes, they say 'Windows crashed', and blame Microsoft, despite the fact that (a) it didn't, and (b) the program that did crash wasn't even a Microsoft product.

    It's very evident from your comment that you've never programmed for Windows, and would be even if you hadn't said so. I've programmed on various flavours of Unix, as well as NT-based Windows, and I can tell you there's no significant difference in terms of architectural stability. Ten years ago, if you had been comparing Windows 95 to any Unix, you would have had a point, but that argument is well past its sell-by date.

    What is significantly different between Windows and Unix is that Windows supports a much broader range of hardware, and device drivers are typically developed by hardware manufacturers, as opposed to the OS developers. This leads to a large number of dodgy drivers that can destabilise the system, which is why Microsoft have all of these logo and driver signing schemes. I've known device drivers on PC Unixes to cause stability problems too, but the problem is much less pronounced there, owing to the much smaller number of drivers, the much smaller installed base (especially amongst non-technical users) and the tendency of the OS developers to write the drivers themselves (since hardware companies won't do it).

    People who understand a modern system, whether a Unix derivative or an NT derivative, can make it stable and avoid viruses. My systems, for example, tend to be stable, whether they're running a Unix-like system or an NT-based one. At the same time, I've never had either become infected with a virus, and actually find buggy anti-virus software (on Windows) far more disruptive than the threat of viruses, which I know how to avoid.

    For the record, I mostly run Windows these days, because of better device and applications support than any alternatives (and better stability on laptop hardware). However, I still use Unix-like systems from time to time, for specific purposes, and if the hardware and applications support, as well as laptop stability, were a match for Windows, I'd probably run a Unix-like system instead.
  • by hexdcml ( 553714 ) <> on Thursday June 01, 2006 @04:59AM (#15442991)
    Infused with .Mac? Have you ever used .Mac? This is a completely different kettle of fish.

    .Mac is an Internet services package that once upon-a-time included Antivirus, but now it doesn't. However, it does offer remote backup (1GB), one-click homepages from iPhoto/iWeb, one-click Podcasting (GarageBand) as well as acting as a IMAP mail server and sync server so that bookmarks, system preferences, application preferences, calendars, contacts and bookmarks remain sync'd across multiple Macs.

    In short, It isn't anything like OneCare. is the place to go and get educated.

  • by Jesus_666 ( 702802 ) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @08:13AM (#15443572)
    How to secure Windows by yours truly (hope this makes sense; I haven't had much coffee yet): 1. Firewall! Better still firewall + hardware router.

    Forget firewalls, at least for home networks. The only thing I rely on to make a Windows PC safe from incoming attacks is NAT. Put the box behind a NAT router and only forward ports when necessary. Bang, zero chance of anything getting in and it's relatively cheap, as well. It also makes firewalls (which sometimes tend to cause more harm than good) obsolete.
  • by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @08:32AM (#15443670) Homepage
    A router and a NAT/PAT device are not necessarily the same. A simple "hardware router" does nothing for security.
  • But most malware nowadays doesn't rely on OS flaws, but rather user foolishness (downloading trojans from warez sites or P2P, clicking on malware email attachments, etc).

    The fact that just clicking on an attachment or a link... not even downloading and opening it... can execute malicious code locally is a fundamental design flaw in one of Microsoft's flagship operating system components... the HTML control. Remember, Microsoft went to the wall with the Department of Justice to avoid having this removed from the OS, even risking splitting the company up rather than splitting up the HTML control into multiple components.

    And I guess that was smart. If they hadn't left this criminally incompetant design stand, they wouldn't be able to charge for a security service now.

    But don't for one minute think that it's all just social engineering and people being tricked into opening malware.

    People can actually learn not to be socially engineered, I've seen it happen... for the decade and a half I was a system administrator for a Windows network I never once had someone come to me twice with a tale of being tricked into downloading a virus and launching it from their desktop or the command line.

    Computers, though, don't learn. I've had plenty of people infected through Outlook, Internet Explorer, and other programs that use the HTML control over and over again.

    That's not "user foolishness". That's "OS flaws".

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.