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Archive for November, 2011
November 10th, 2011

AVAR 2011 [Day 2] –Meeting Bruce Lee in Hong Kong

Hello again from Hong Kong. We have little bit of time because our AVAR Conference 2011 presentation starts at 14:45 at the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel so we can share a few pictures with you.

We arrived to Hong Kong a few days before the conference in order to have time to accommodate to a different time zone and weather. We spent this time preparing our presentation, admiring the city, and meeting some interesting people.

As first, we met some android figures in one of the local computer shops.

Read more…

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November 9th, 2011

AVAR 2011 [Day 1] – the web is not always what you expected

Hello from Hong Kong, the city where the AVAR Conference 2011 is taking place. We, Lukas and Jan, are here to make a presentation on “Google Image poisoning”.

We arrived to Hong Kong on Monday after a long flight from Prague. From the moment we got off the plane we knew that Hong Kong is completely different from what we are used to in Prague. Not only is the weather different – winter in Prague but summer in Hong Kong – the cultures are also completely different. I think that it would be unfair to try to compare Asia to Europe, so let’s move on.

completely different from world wide web...

there are different webs...

We were hungry when we got to our hotel and so we went for lunch. The lady at the Wharney Guang Dong hotel recommended us to a dim sum restaurant across the street. Well, I have to admit that it was really good advice. The place was spectacular and the food was delicious. We even ordered something called “duck web”. However, what we received wasn’t a web at all.

As you can see on the picture on the left. Honza (Jan) has a duck leg. It was quite a new experience to both of us, but… where is our web?

OK, let me make a long story short. We have a presentation at the AVAR conference at about Google Image poisoning. And there is a close connection between duck web and the poisoning. But, let me tell you, it’s quite difficult to write an article after midnight when you have jet lag and also after a welcoming drink with all the AVAR members. — So let me just fix the first sentence – there is a close relation between web and Google Image search poisoning attacks but … we’ll tell you more tomorrow after our presentation.

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November 8th, 2011

Brazilian wins sweetheart deal

A Brazilian is the 160 millionth registered user of avast! antivirus and has won  a sweetheart trip to Prague for two.

In fact, it is such a sweet deal, it will be Fabricia’s honeymoon and she will come with her husband. It took so long to convince her that the offer of an expenses-paid trip for two to Prague was real – for someone who had just registered a  copy of avast! Free Antivirus and to arrange the trip for her and her new husband – that AVAST has almost added another 20 million registered users in the meantime. We just hope it will be much easier to give away the next trip to Prague.

But, just the facts.

On May 27, Fabricia downloaded and registered a copy of avast! Free Antivirus for her home computer. That’s all. And she went on with her normal life with its facets of work (health sector), love (fiancée), and life together (planning a wedding). And she had absolutely no idea of the commotion that her simple registration would cause over 10,000 km away in the Czech Republic.

In Prague, Julia Szymanska, our AVAST Community Manager, had been getting ready for the registration counter to reach the 160 million mark. With around 100,000 registrations a day, these numbers change quickly. Thankfully, Fabricia had registered with a valid email address. But communication was not easy as there was no response to the first few emails.  For starters, she does not speak English and then she thought the emails were spam.

While some of us were ready to give up, our Brazilian colleague in AVAST took over the task. Marcus  Googled her email address and name to find her work address and then gave her a direct phone call. After several rounds of communication, he succeeded in convincing her that the AVAST offer was real and that she should really accept it. And when we learned that she would be soon be getting married, this put the expenses-paid trip into a new, very romantic perspective.

In two days, our newlyweds will arrive in Prague.  For the two of them, we hope this will be the sweetheart trip they  remember for the rest of their lives. And for the rest of the world, it should be a reminder that a free antivirus can be very good to its users AND please pay attention to your emails. After all, we are about ready to notify the 180 millionth user.

 

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November 4th, 2011

The end is near – Facebook’s day of Destruction

T minus 8 hours until we see if the threats of the hacktivist group Anonymous are fulfilled. November 5 is the scheduled demise of Facebook, according to a YouTube “press release” published months ago, and since removed. Last August a rally cry went out to willing hacktivists or guys who want “to protect the freedom of information” to “join the cause and kill facebook for the sake of your own privacy.” It seems that this group has the technical chops to do it too – these are the same folks who brought us publicized attacks on the IMF, Sony and the Iranian government.

However, there is an indication that the big take-down won’t happen. The OP_Facebook account which was fairly active in the beginning has been pretty dead since last month.  And the larger group has distanced themselves from the threat. Earlier today on AnonOps, one of the Twitter accounts regularly used by the Anonymous group, they tweeted, “We told you many times ddosing Facebook was a fake operation.”

So the world’s most popular social networking site will probably live to see another day. But maybe the threat of attack issued by Anonymous was designed to make us think about Facebook and their dalliances with individuals’ privacy. Facebook admitted this September that they had been tracking their 750 million users, even after they logged out of Facebook, using browsing monitoring cookies. The stated reasons were for security and fraud prevention.

We hope to see Facebook survive, if only for our thriving avast! antivirus page. It’s a great way to interact with like-minded people and learn a thing or two from you and share things about avast!. If Facebook is still around tomorrow, please share http://www.facebook.com/avast with a friend.

November 3rd, 2011

avast! Server Security according to VB Comparative test: Fast. Ultra-light. Efficient.

Yesterday evening we got the latest results from Virus Bulletin comparative test of over 40 antivirus solutions for Server deployment.   It is the first test of the new business product we launched before summer and it is definitely worth publishing.  AVAST is known for distributing a very good free product – and some competitors look down their noses at us as being only good for home users.  Well, this could change their minds. Read more…

November 3rd, 2011

IE’s long good-bye


It was bound to happen. Some years back, that upstart Firefox tempted us with tabs, add-ons and fun themes. And it seems like only yesterday that Chrome’s speed and minimalist design seduced us even further. Yes, it was bound to happen.

For the first time in ten years, tech blogs are reporting that Microsoft’s web browser, the ubiquitous Internet Explorer, has fallen below 50 percent of global browser usage (you have to factor in mobile browser usage to make the numbers add up). Once the undisputed leader in market share, residing on an astounding 95 percent of the world’s desktops, browser watchers say that IE is in steady decline.

Whether the numbers work or not, and whether IE’s decline can be attributed more to the rise of mobile browsers, than a migration of users to different browsers, we thought it would be fun to look at which browsers avast! users prefer. Here is a breakdown of browser usage among avast! users this year. Looks like our users are ahead of the trend!

Security reminder: An interesting and dangerous fact is that there is still major usage of old versions of Internet Explorer. IE 6 and 7, which are not supported on any version of Windows, are still used by over 25 percent of Internet Explorer users, which equals a bit over 13 percent of all desktop users. Whether you use Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome (or any of the others), to keep your computer secure, please make sure you have the most recent browser version and install any patches that are available.