Monday, June 20, 2005

Media Center Edition vs. Virus's and Malware

A somewhat unscientific test to see if MCE PC's are inherently virus prone.

One of the loudest objections I get about MCE from peers in the system integration industry usually centers around virus's and malware. I am sure that at one point or another most of us have an infected PC that brought productivity to a halt. Their (valid) point is that underneath the simple UI of a MCE PC beats the heart of a Windows XP system and the inherent virus and malware risks.

My point is that PC's don?t get virus's, people give them virus's. A MCE PC connected to the internet through a router will not automatically get a virus. A user must download some software and give that PC the virus. One of the unique features of the MCE interface is that if you take the keyboard and mouse away a user can not easily get into the windows desktop and download any malicious software.

To prove my point I have a MCE 2005 edition in my Family Room that I have had in place since October 04. This MCE box has never had any anti virus or anti-spy ware software installed. For the most part this box just is a media only box and is not used as a standard PC. My entire family uses this box; it is on 24/7 and has been as reliable as a VCR. It is connected to our home network via cat 5 to a Linksys wireless router. It has never missed a recording and has never crashed.

My somewhat unscientific survey will be to run Lavasoft's Ad-aware SE and see if a MCE box that is not used as a PC has attracted any malware. My hypothesis is that since this PC, for the majority of the time is used just as a Media Center it will be malware free.

The screen capture below proves my hypothesis. As you can see from the screen capture below the only malicious software found in the system was from tracking cookies. A tracking cookie is used to track your movement across sites and do not generate pop-ups or other malicious actions. Compare this report to my 10 y/o daughters PC with hundreds of serious infections that need to be cleaned on a monthly basis.

Conclusion: Media Center PC's are not inherently malware prone. It takes user intervention to exit the MCE UI to the Windows desktop and download and install this malicious software. An MCE box with limited access to the Windows desktop will likely never get a infected with any malicious software.

To help solve this issue D-Tools has "MCE Lock" software in development that will password protect the Windows desktop but still allow the user to use a keyboard and mouse.

Ad-Aware screen capture


Blogger Drunk Girl said...

Hi, what a great page! Really enjoyed it, keep up the great work!
cell phone spy gadget

1:56 PM  
Blogger swissred said...

manual adware removal is a hot topic these days, and I'm glad you posted this adware related message on your blog; maybe you'll find more info for your next posts on my adware specialized website. Feel free to grab what you need.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One good resource for fax software and many more free software alternatives is
Yes it is my site and I would love for you to drop by for a second. From there you will have free access to several of my products such as The Marketing Toolbar (which is goldmine of information on how to do things quickly and on the cheap, thus saving you time and money).
Also for webmasters I have created Webmaster Wizards, which will help you with almost every aspect of putting code on your site from things such as legal and privacy disclaimers to popunders. I have so much content and free software there I could fill up this whole blog, so check it out Thanks, Sincerely Rob Rudd

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting blog about winxp basics. I have been trying to find more about winxp basics for my site at winxp basics Thanks

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Home Pride Electric Clothing Stain Remover
Cellular Phones
World's best stain-removing device can now be yours. Remove spaghetti sauce, coffee spills, blood, and blacktop dirt with the Sonic Stain Remover.

This amazing new device will remove virtually any clothing stain, no matter how stubborn. We tried it ourselves, putting it through the most rigorous tests, and it passed them all. The Sonic Stain Remover is one of our most impressive products and looks to be a sure-fire hit with consumers. Try it on all types of stains. You won't be disappointed. All it takes is a few drops of ... Cellular Phones

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New software automatically creates everything you need for your own highly lucrative list building Joint office softwarebox office software

2:33 AM  
Anonymous Adware said...


I (student) am posting to let you know that think your blog is brilliant.. I adore navigating around IT as IT is very good organised and the info I require, is very easy to find..

adware remove

8:08 AM  
Blogger Palace said...

A fine blog you have here!!

You are welcome to visit my site spyware scan

8:40 AM  
Anonymous PSP said...

Great blog, keep up the good work. If you get a chance check out my spyware removal

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have an outstanding good and well structured site. I enjoyed browsing through it Xanax for animals swelling+after+liposuction xanax vs ativan in drug test Credit now online report view Summa usa plotters Phendimetrazine and discount

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! Buspar ray Traffic exchanges marketing success sell online my Electric cooper ionizer spa equipment Bikini contest voyeur Law asbestos mesothelioma cancer settlement11 Acticare pain relief Spleen supplements Generic wellbutrin sr drug Recruiters cleveland Paintballing in bexhill

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! 1990 cadillac saville Italy transvestites Indianapolis wedding announcement and invitations Buy meridia meridia State farm insurance auction side effect of topamax atlanta baseball stadium Hot tubs spa comparison ratings Personalized backpacks under $30 cadillac care Hummer 5 flashlight heavy weight running shows Fission ar jacket ritalin German style office cabinets football gambling Daily toric contact lenses

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work video editing schools

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to digg you!
This site is kinda cool for the techno sexual:
real spy gadget
Is a cool tech, dating, fashion news site

3:26 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home