Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is a free antivirus software product for Microsoft Windows operating systems that provides protection against different types of malware such as computer virus, spyware, rootkits and trojan horses. Unlike the Microsoft Forefront family of enterprise-oriented security products, Microsoft Security Essentials is geared for consumer use.
Microsoft Security Essentials received positive reviews upon its release. In September 2011, it was the most popular antivirus software product in North America and the second most popular in the world.
Development

In 2005, Microsoft acquired security software firm Sybari of Hauppauge, New York, and shortly thereafter released the Microsoft Forefront line of server security products. Microsoft then announced plans for a free consumer security product codenamed Morro on 18 November 2008.It marked a change in Microsoft’s consumer antivirus marketing strategy: Instead of offering a subscription-based antivirus with a host of other tools, such as backup and a personal firewall, Morro would be free for all genuine installations of Windows not intended for business use (with an exception for small home based businesses) and offers protection against all types of malware. Microsoft Forefront would be offered alongside Microsoft Security Essentials, with central management tools not present in Microsoft Security Essentials, which is based on Microsoft Forefront technology obtained through the acquisition of Sybari in 2005.
On 23 June 2009, Microsoft opened a public beta to 75,000 people in the United States, Israel, People’s Republic of China and Brazil. At the time, Microsoft stated that Microsoft Security Essentials would be finalized and released before the end of 2009, in 20 markets and 10 languages.The final build was released on 29 September 2009.
Hardware requirements for Microsoft Security Essentials differ, depending on the operating system. For Windows XP, Microsoft Security Essentials requires at least a 500 MHz processor and 256 MB of RAM. On Windows Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft Security Essentials requires a 1 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM. Under any compatible operating system, a VGA screen of 800 × 600 or higher, 140 MB of free space, and an Internet connection are also required.
Second version
On 19 July 2010, Microsoft released a technical preview of Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0. On 16 December 2010, Microsoft Security Essentials version 2.0 passed the technical preview stage and was officially released to public. This version includes Network Inspection System, a network intrusion detection system that works on Windows Vista and Windows 7 as well as a new anti-malware engine that employs heuristics in malware detection. Version 2 can also integrate with Internet Explorer to protect users against web-based threats.
Future
On 13 September 2011, at the Microsoft BUILD conference in Anaheim, California, Microsoft announced it will be integrating built-in anti-malware features in the upcoming version of Windows, codenamed Windows 8. Microsoft also showed that this new antivirus is capable of preventing an infected USB flash memory from compromising the system during the boot process.
On 18 November 2011, Microsoft sent invitations to potential participants to invite them to a limited beta test of the next version of Microsoft Security Essentials.A corresponding page on the Microsoft Connect website allowed volunteers to sign up for the program.
Features

Microsoft Security Essentials is an anti-virus for Windows XP (IA-32[24]), Windows Vista, and Windows 7 (both IA-32 and x64).It is designed for consumers and lacks centralized management features which are found in Microsoft Forefront Client Security and Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP). It replaces Windows Live OneCare, a commercial subscription-based antivirus service and the free Windows Defender, which only protected users from adware and spyware.
Microsoft Security Essentials includes the same anti-malware engine (dubbed “Microsoft Malware Protection Engine”, or MSMPENG for short), and virus definitions that all other Microsoft desktop anti-malware products share, including Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection, System Center Endpoint Protection, Windows Intune Endpoint Protection, Windows Live OneCare and Windows Defender. Before installation, Microsoft Security Essentials checks for the validity of the installed copy of Microsoft Windows. Microsoft Security Essentials requires no registration or personal information.Microsoft Security Essentials disables Windows Defender, since Microsoft Security Essentials also provides protection against spyware and Adware.
Using default settings, archived files are decompressed, and then scanned. File downloads and e-mail attachments are also scanned. Its Dynamic Signature Service attempts to better identify malicious files by checking for updates if an application exhibits suspicious behavior. Before taking action against a suspect file, Microsoft Security Essentials prompts for user input. If no response is received in ten minutes, then the suspected malware is handled according to its default action, letting Microsoft Security Essentials determine what to do with the malware. System Restore points are created before removing found malware.
Microsoft Security Essentials automatically checks for and downloads virus definition updates which are published three times a day to Microsoft Update. Alternatively, users may download the updates manually from Microsoft Security Portal
Awards
On 7 January 2010, Microsoft Security Essentials won the PC Advisor’s Best Free Software award.Later, in December 2010, AV-Comparatives.org awarded Microsoft Security Essentials v1.0 the Bronze award for proactive detection of 55% of new/unknown malware, the Silver award for low false-positives (six) and the Bronze award for overall performance. Microsoft Security Essentials v2.0 was released shortly thereafter.
On 8 June 2011, PC Advisor listed Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 in its article Five of the Best Free Security Suites, which included Avast! 6 Free Edition, Comodo Antivirus 5.4, AVG Antivirus 2011 and BitDefender Total Security 2012 Beta
Issues

Rogue antivirus software
In February 2010, a rogue security software package calling itself “Security Essentials 2010” appeared on the Internet. This malware, designated TrojanDownloader:Win32/Fakeinit, bears no resemblance to Microsoft Security Essentials except for the name. This malware reappeared again in November 2010, this time calling itself “Microsoft Security Essentials 2011”.
A more dangerous form of these malware rogues however, appeared in October 2010. This malware, designated Rogue:Win32/FakePAV, closely resembles Microsoft Security Essentials in look and uses sophisticated social engineering to compel users into introducing malware to their systems, under the guise of five different fictional anti-malware products. This malware also terminates and prevents the launch of 156 different programs, including but not limited to Registry Editor, Command Prompt, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, Google Chrome and other web browsers, email clients, instant messaging clients, media players and entertainment software.
Reviews

The public beta received several positive reviews, citing its low resource usage, straightforward user interface, and price point.Brian Krebs of The Washington Post reported that a “quick scan” took about 10 minutes, and a “full scan” about 45 minutes on an installation of Windows 7.
Ars Technica reviewed it positively, citing its organized interface, low resource usage, and its status as freeware.
PC World noted its “clear-cut” and “cleanly designed” tabbed user interface. At the top of the main tab, the security status is clearly shown. The other three tabs allow users to manually update Microsoft Security Essentials, review its history, and change program settings. However, PC World found some of the settings to be cryptic and confusing. Settings, such as what to do when malware is found, default to “Microsoft Security Essentials’ recommended action”. There is no explanation of the recommended action except in the help file. The editor was also confused because Microsoft Security Essentials does not mention it automatically updates itself within the interface; some may believe they must manually update Microsoft Security Essentials through the “Update” tab. However, this was included in the final release.
PC Magazine cited Microsoft Security Essentials’s small installation package (about 7 MB, depending on the operating system) and its speedy installation. On the downside, the full installation occupied about 110 MB of disk space, and the initial update took 5 to 15 minutes. The editor also noted the fact Microsoft Security Essentials sets Windows Update into its fully automatic mode, which automatically downloads and installs updates although it can then be turned off again through the control panel. Installation succeeded on 12 malware-infected systems. Some full scans took over an hour on infected systems; however, a scan on a clean system took 35 minutes.
Although the Beta release of Microsoft Security Essentials did poorly in PC Magazine tests, the official final release did significantly better in AV-Test.org tests. According to Neil Rubenking, a PC Magazine author, in an on-demand scan test that he conducted in June 2009, Microsoft Security Essentials Beta found 89 percent of all malware samples: It found only 30 percent of commercial keyloggers, 67 percent of rootkits and only half of scareware samples. The suite’s real-time protection found 83 percent of all malware samples and blocked the majority of them: In this test, Microsoft Security Essentials found 40 percent of the commercial keyloggers and 78 percent of the rootkits.Later on October that year, AV-Test.org conducted a series of trials on the officially released version of the product in which Microsoft Security Essentials detected and caught 98.44 percent of 545,034 computer viruses, computer worms and software Trojan horses as well as 90.95 percent of 14,222 spyware and adware samples. It also detected and eliminated all 25 tested rootkits. Microsoft Security Essentials generated no false-positives at all

Summary of this Blog
Developer(s) Microsoft Corporation
Initial release 29 September 2009; 2 years ago
Stable release 2.1.1116.0 / 27 June 2011; 9 months ago
Preview release 4.0.1113.0 / 3 January 2012; 3 months ago
Development status Active
Operating system
Windows XP with Service Pack 2
Windows Vista and Windows 7
Platform IA-32 and x64
Size IA-32: 7.7 MB
x64: 9.7 MB
IA-32 definitions: 67 MB
x64 definitions: 69 MB
NIS definitions: 0.9 MB
Available in English, Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Slovakian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese
Type Antivirus and Network intrusion detection system
License Freeware
Website http://www.microsoft.com/security essentials

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