Windows 8 to get native SmartScreen file checking

By on April 8, 2011, 1:27 PM
It looks like Microsoft is introducing a built-in file checker powered by the SmartScreen Filter in Windows 8. It appears to serve two purposes: to reactively check the file system and proactively prevent any downloaded applications from running that are unknown to the filter, according to istartedsomething, which also notes that the feature can be disabled.

SmartScreen Filter was originally introduced in Internet Explorer 7 by extending the browser's phishing filter to include protection from socially engineered malware. Every website and download is checked against a local list of popular legitimate websites. If the site is not listed, the entire address is sent to Microsoft for further checks, but if it has been labeled as an impostor or harmful, IE will show a screen prompting that the site is reported harmful and shouldn't be visited. From there, the user can visit his or her homepage, visit the previous site, or continue to the unsafe page. In IE8, if a user attempts to download a file from a location reported harmful then the download is cancelled. The feature can be disabled or enforced using Group Policy.

The feature has proven highly effective in IE for preventing socially engineered malware, so it's not surprising Microsoft wants to offer it directly in Windows. If it makes it into Windows 8, it will join a myriad of security features Microsoft is offering its users, either directly in the operating system or as a free download.

User Comments: 5

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war59312 said:

Sounds good to me, about time.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

war59312 said:

Sounds good to me, about time.

Another way to censor content. Last time I enabled anti-malware, it blocked RAdmin as a trojan (it's just another RDP tool). Anti-virus vendors shouldn't be playing installation cop on machines unless it actually IS malware. That includes MS.

dotVezz said:

Not to be a jerk or anything, Shiv, but I actually liked the SmartScreen implementation in IE. In its current iteration, it is nothing like what you seem to think it is. I also doubt it will become such a censoring tool...

I can imagine any firewall or anti-malware program blocking things like RAdmin, and similar tools, because of their inherent nature (Like a trojan, they open up your system - completely - to anyone who knows the right IP Address and login info).

Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:


So in your view we should then block Microsoft Terminal Services

Symantec PC Anywhere

Ultra VNC and it's variants like Tightvnc

etc etc etc?

Guest said:

I don't think that's what he is saying at all. I think the point is, that software, by default should not be allowed through. If I am managing systems I will have configuration in place, either through GP or image, that will allow the software I choose to run on my users machines.

Letting everything run around all willy nilly is a ridiculous standpoint, and this forces people to understand what their software is doing.

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