As part of its ongoingefforts to address current and emerging security threats to computer users,
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) today announced two new technology solutions
that will provide added protection against spyware and malicious software.
Customers now can download the first beta version of Microsoft(R) Windows(R)
AntiSpyware, a solution that will help protect Windows users from spyware and
other potentially unwanted software. In addition, the Microsoft Windows
malicious software removal tool, which complements traditional antivirus
technologies by removing prevalent viruses and worms from a PC, will be
available beginning Jan. 11, 2005. These solutions build on the advanced
security technologies and proactive protection features of Windows XP Service
Pack 2 (SP2), which help better safeguard computers from hackers, viruses and
other security risks.
“Customers have told us that they need solutions that make it easier to
keep computers protected from emerging and ever-changing threats,” said
Mike Nash, corporate vice president of the Security Business and Technology
Unit at Microsoft. “The solutions we’re announcing today will offer customers
additional resources to help to protect their PCs against spyware and viruses
on an ongoing and predictable basis.”
Based on technology acquired from GIANT Company Software Inc. in December
2004, the beta release of Windows AntiSpyware will help reduce negative
effects caused by spyware, including slow PC performance, annoying pop-up ads,
unwanted changes to Internet settings and unauthorized use of private
information. It is available for Microsoft Windows 2000 and later versions.
A critical aspect of any antispyware solution is the ability to determine
which programs are truly unwanted — a challenge compounded by the continual
distribution of new spyware and other unwanted software. With Windows
AntiSpyware, the worldwide SpyNet(TM) community plays a key role in
determining which suspicious programs are classified as spyware. A voluntary
network of users, SpyNet(TM) helps uncover new threats quickly to ensure that
all users are better protected. Any user can choose to join SpyNet(TM) and
report potential spyware to Microsoft.
Windows AntiSpyware enables customers to do the following:
– Detect and remove spyware. Known spyware can be quickly and easily
removed from a PC.
– Improve Internet browsing safety. Continuous protection guards more
than 50 ways Web sites and programs can put spyware on a PC.
– Stop the latest threats. Signatures for new spyware identified by the
SpyNet(TM) community and Microsoft researchers can be automatically
downloaded to a PC, helping to stop new threats quickly.
In January 2004 Microsoft released a series of removal tools, each of
which targeted a single virus or worm and some of its variants. Collectively,
these tools augmented existing antivirus protections by scanning more than
55 million PCs worldwide for viruses such as Blaster, MyDoom and
Download.Ject. The new Microsoft Windows malicious software removal tool
consolidates these existing removal tools into a single solution. The tool
will be updated on the second Tuesday of each month as part of Microsoft’s
monthly software security update process to respond to new viruses, worms and
The Microsoft Windows malicious software removal tool will be offered in
the following ways:
– As a high-priority update through Windows Update and through Auto
Update for the more than 112 million Windows XP-based PCs configured to
receive priority updates automatically
– Through a simple, online interface.
– For larger corporate customers, a download through the Microsoft
Available at no charge, the Microsoft Windows malicious software removal
tool is designed to augment traditional antivirus solutions to provide more
complete protection against viruses, worms and variants. As with Microsoft’s
earlier removal tools, the new solution incorporates the knowledge and
technology gained through Microsoft’s acquisition of GeCAD Software in 2003.
As always, Windows XP users should install Windows XP Service Pack 2 to
further protect against viruses, hackers and worms. Microsoft strongly advises
all PC users to regularly follow these simple preventative steps: Use an
Internet firewall on all PCs, update all PCs with the latest security updates,
and use up-to-date antivirus software. More details about these safeguards can
be found at http://www.microsoft.com/protect.
The Windows AntiSpyware beta and information about Microsoft’s efforts to
address spyware and other unwanted software is available for download at
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services
and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.