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Potential Malware Risk posed by Microsoft

It has recently emerged that Microsoft has published a list of folders that it believes you do not need to scan for malware.  This has caused major concerns in the IT security industry.  Although many already knew these folders were of lower risk from a malware attack people in the industry were still shocked that Microsoft would release this list of folders into the public domain.

There are some ideas as to why Microsoft would publish this sort of information.  It may encourage people who don't normally scan their computers with anti-virus programs to do so.  They may choose do a quicker scan because they feel there is no need to do a full scan.  While this is better than no scan at all, malware creators could now create malicious software that resides in these folders.

Now this information is available publicly, many malware creators can write spyware, viruses or other harmful programs to automatically download to these folders.  These folders that Microsoft believed originally to be 'safer' than others could become the least safe folders. This information effects Windows XP, Windows 2000, Window Vista, Windows 7, Windows 2003 and Windows 2008.

Ultimately, what you now need to do is to set your anti-virus software, such as ESET, to scan all files and folders including archived files and hidden folders.  If you do this regularly, your anti-virus software will pick up any malicious software and quarantine or delete it.

Microsoft may have believed they were providing a service with this information, but now it is available publicly, it's no longer any use to anyone.  So all you need to do is make sure you scan your computer regularly with anti-virus software and make sure it is up to date.  It is also always a good idea to set Windows to update automatically and to update your firewall regularly too.

Prolateral can help you

If you think you have been infected by a virus, spyware, malware, or scareware and need help then give us a call. Prolateral Consulting is an IT Security company specialising in the protection of your computer systems. Prolateral is solution partners with Symantec and eSet to help provide you the best of breed solution that is tailored to fit your business requirement.  Together with proFilter, Prolateral's first rate anti-spam and anti-phishing email filter we have the complete solution.

About Prolateral

Prolateral Consulting is in business to put your organisation back in control of your own Information Technology, specialising in information and messaging security, computer forensic services, and disaster recovery planning.

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Prolateral Consulting Ltd
Luton, Bedfordshire, UK
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