The problem stemmed from the fact that Windows Defender, which is available on all versions of Windows 10, could download almost any file from the internet, including malware. Worse still, Tom’s Guide was able to download the EICAR test file – a well-known simulated malware app used for test purposes – without the need to input administrative privileges.
At the time, Microsoft said that Windows Defender should still recognise any malware downloaded onto the system and lock it down – so, while users would still be able to use the security app to download a virus, the security app would stop them from doing anything nefarious with it.
Security blog Bleeping Computer discovered that Windows 10 users who rely on other third-party anti-virus options might not find the files downloaded using Windows Defender. And it seems Microsoft might agree that this is a risk for Windows 10 users.
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The Redmond-based company has now rolled back the changes so it seems there might’ve been an issue. Or at the very least, Microsoft doesn’t want to take the risk that some bad actors could use the feature to install something nefarious.
According to Bleeping Computer, “Removing this option from Windows Defender is a good thing as it makes no sense giving threat actors additional tools to compromise our systems.”
The news comes as Microsoft rolled-out the final beta version of its next-generation update to Windows 10. Known as Windows 10 October 2020 Update, the new operating system brings a redesigned Start Menu with reworked icons, an updated Settings page (so you won’t have to dig out the Control Panel as often as previous versions of Windows 10), and more.
The arrival of the final beta means the worldwide launch of Windows 10 October 2020 Update – the second of two major overhauls to the desktop operating system rolled out each year – can’t be too far away. Our best guess, we’ll see it sometime next month… that said, the Windows 10 April 2020 Update was hastily rebranded to the May 2020 Update when it became apparent that it wouldn’t make its original launch month.