Microsoft trials anti-ransomware feature in Windows 10

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Microsoft trials anti-ransomware feature in Windows 10

EMET Exploit Protection arrives in preview build.

Windows 10 users who have signed up to the bleeding edge 'fast ring' updates of the operating system will be able to try out new features to protect against ransomware.

With the Windows 10 Insider build 16232, Microsoft's Windows Defender Antivirus lets users designate specific folders or directories on their computers and block applications' access to them.

Called Controlled Folder Access, the feature is specifically designed to thwart ransomware attempting to encrypt or otherwise tamper with user files, Microsoft said.

The feature spans the Windows 10 system directories Documents, Pictures, Movies and Desktop by default when switched on.

While users cannot change the default folder inclusion list above, they can add other directories like network shares.

Users can decide which apps are allowed to make changes to files stored in the protected folders; if an app blacklisted by Controlled Folder Access attempts to alter files, users will be notified.

Microsoft has also tweaked the Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) in build 16232.

It is now possible to persist data such as cookies, bookmarks and saved passwords across multiple sessions when running the Microsoft Edge web browser in a WDAG virtual machine, isolated from the rest of the operating system, to prevent remotely delivered attacks.

The company's Enhanced Exploit Mitigation Toolkit (EMET) security add-on is included in build 16232. t The tool was set to be sunset this year, but Microsoft brought it back after customer feedback.

EMET tries to prevent software bugs and unexpected use of system features from being exploited by new and unknown malware.

Microsoft has yet to fully document the EMET Exploit Protection feature in the latest Windows 10 Insider build.

The new security features are expected to appear in next major release for Windows 10, which Microsoft calls the Fall (northern Autumn) Creators Update.

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