Microsoft, in its e-mail statement, noted that "no operating system is 100% secure" and that users should employ a defense in depth strategy involving software updates, a firewall, and anti-virus/anti-spyware program, "whether a Microsoft or third party solution."
Webroot, which is venture-funded, was an early pioneer in the antispyware software space and is one of the leading sellers of antispyware software to consumers. However, the company's prospects have been hurt by Microsoft's entry into the desktop and enterprise security business and the company's decision to offer Windows Defender as a free download.
The Webroot study is just the latest in a salvo of company-sponsored studies that seek to undermine the credibility of competing security products.
In September, a Microsoft-sponsored study by 3Sharp compared antiphishing toolbars by Google/Firefox, AOL, EarthLink, Geotrust, McAfee, and others and found the Internet Explorer antiphishing technology the most accurate. The Mozilla Foundation fired back in November with a competing study by SmartWare that found the Firefox antiphishing technology better than that of Internet Explorer. A subsequent independent study by Carnegie Mellon concluded that few of the available anti-phishing products are very reliable.