Vista’s email client can help protect users from malware infection

Sophos revealed the top ten threats and hoaxes reported in November 2006.  Microsoft replaced Outlook Express with new and improved e-mail client which is called “Windows Mail” in Windows Vista.

Sophos’ latest announcements and research shows Windows Mail can help reduce malware protection but let us not forget that while that is a good work by Microsoft, it is not the one to use as a defense.  Whatever product a user is using, an up-to-date antivirus, a properly configured firewall (software or hardware firewall), an up-to-date system and by using a Standard User or limited account user in Windows will help protect the system, your data, yourself, your family and other computers.

Sophos tested each piece of malware in the top ten on the Vista operating system to establish whether users running Vista without any third-party security software would avoid infection.

The results showed that while the Windows Mail email client (Vista’s upgrade of Outlook) was able to identify and halt all of the threats, W32/Stratio-Zip, W32/Netsky-P and W32/MyDoom-O – each of which are commonly disseminated via email – were able to bypass the defences when accessed via a third-party web email client. This represents a serious issue for businesses who allow employees to access their personal email at work, as well as for companies that are considering adopting an alternative email client.

“There has been much speculation about whether Vista would render existing malware extinct, and the news is now in – it won’t,” said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos.

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