Windows Defender vs Ransomware 2022 | Summary and Q&A

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July 20, 2022
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The PC Security Channel
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Windows Defender vs Ransomware 2022

TL;DR

Windows Defender's real-time protection against ransomware is tested, revealing mixed results and surprising vulnerabilities.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How effective is Windows Defender's real-time protection against ransomware?

While Windows Defender initially shows promising results with a detection ratio of 90+ percent, it fails to prevent Scarab ransomware from encrypting data, indicating a significant weakness in its protection capabilities.

Q: Why were certain ransomware samples allowed to launch into memory before potentially being blocked?

It is possible that Windows Defender blocked those ransomware samples reactively or later in the execution chain, but the initial test only tracks whether they were allowed to launch into memory.

Q: Does Windows Defender's online detection provide reliable protection against ransomware threats?

Surprisingly, Windows Defender fails to detect and block Scarab ransomware in an online test, resulting in the encryption of all data in the test folder. This reveals the unreliability of its online detection capabilities.

Q: How does Windows Defender perform in an offline test?

In an offline test, Windows Defender consumes more resources, suggesting it performs intensive static analysis of the ransomware files. However, it ultimately fails to prevent the encryption of data, indicating limitations in its offline protection.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The PC Security Channel tests Windows Defender's real-time protection against various notorious ransomware threats, including Rayuk, Patia, and WannaCry.

  • Initial results show a detection ratio of 90+ percent, but some ransomware samples, such as F Society and Scarab, were allowed to launch into memory before being potentially blocked.

  • In subsequent tests, Scarab successfully encrypts the data, highlighting a significant vulnerability in Windows Defender's ability to detect this particular ransomware.

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