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Archive for May, 2011
May 5th, 2011

Virus Lab: Osama Bin Laden is hot, Gagarin is cold

Gagarin is so yesterday

Osama Bin Laden is the face of malware for the first week of May, replacing Soviet cosomonaut Yuri Gagarin.

Within hours of his death, a reputed picture of a bloody Bin Laden was making the rounds on the Internet. On close inspection, this picture appeared to be a heavily-altered version of much older photo. Regardless of whether this specific picture was accurate or not – it was still enough to make Bin Laden a momentary hit on the internet with cybercriminals. Here are four reasons why:

-        High number of searches- The large number of internet searches is an irresistible target for cybercriminals. Especially because the process of infecting sites and web searches is automatic and driven by the searches of normal users- like you.

-        Limited (no) official sources for information – The lack of an official picture means people are clicking anywhere for data, even on those unusual sites that they would never normally visit. Read more…

May 3rd, 2011

9 years of the good life

During the Nebraskan winter of 2002, Tom Broekemeier went looking for protection.

An search for “free antivirus protection,” to be exact. And his internet search brought up a brand-new product called avast – released just 11 days earlier.

Now, over nine years after first installing avast! on his home computer, he is still with avast!. “It is free, easy to use, and WORKS,” explained Tom. Read more…

May 3rd, 2011

5 Questions with Michal Krejdl (Senior Virus Analyst)

avast! Virus Lab… I once went to their floor accidentally, thinking it was my floor – it was dark and scary, and so I quickly turned and ran out. These folks are like mad scientists, practicing alchemy in white laboratory coats that are stained with hard-drive smoke and smell of burnt ones & zeros. They’re mostly nocturnal like cyborgian vampires and yet they’re always awake, online and available for ‘chat’ or email, even in daylight.

Or at least that’s partly the stereotype I had when I started at AVAST. After meeting and talking with a few “virus guys” at a company party, I realized they’re like every other department here… but just a little more reclusive… and thus maybe a ‘typical’ IT crowd. See here for yourself, as this interview is with a guy whose blog posts get a lot of traffic (even though someone of my IT ‘capabilities’ rarely understands anything he writes about). –Jason Mashak

Michal Krejdl (Senior Virus Analyst)

1. You started at AVAST about 6 years ago, while still attending university – what was it like already working for a top antivirus provider while still a student?

I was a young chemistry student (which seems removed from IT, but even AVAST co-founder Pavel Baudis studied the same subject, at the same university :) ) with no previous job experience or references. Most of the aspects of IT (including reverse engineering, programming in various languages, cryptography, etc.) were my hobby, and thus it was no problem to work for ALWIL [former name of AVAST Software, until 2010]. I had no clue what the business was about – it took me roughly a year to fully understand how a two-person project could become a successful company Read more…