Windows 8 Attack Surface Larger

Monday, July 9, 2012 @ 03:07 PM gHale

The attack surface in Windows 8 is bigger than in Windows 7, but then again, the software giant also beefed up security.

“Security risks from rogue applications and vulnerabilities in applications that interact with the web and handle user data leave lots of room for exploitation—not to mention ever-present malware on the desktop,” said McAfee researcher Prashant Gupta.

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At the same time, Windows 8 has additional security features, which include improvements to Windows anti-malware components, declarative resource access, application vetting via the Microsoft Store, and restrictive resource access for applications.

The Windows 8 Metro user interface offers a tile-style surface that supports touch and traditional keyboard and mouse interfaces, Gupta said. The start screen of the Windows desktop now has a back seat in favor of the Metro start screen, which provides, among other things, “live tiles” that applications can update to show fresh status and an always-connected experience for the users, he added.

However, the Metro interface using a keyboard and mouse or touchpad is “awkward,” Gupta said.

“The latest releases of the Windows preview show various tweaks that make the usability of this interface more mouse/keyboard friendly, but the advantage of touch over traditional input interfaces in this interface is very apparent. This can possibly open a market for devices that will bridge this gap or create a completely new market for interface devices”, he said.

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