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Archive for August, 2013
August 29th, 2013

How schools can save big with AVAST Free for Education

Keeping kids safe while they are online is a major concern for educational institutions from schools to libraries to museums. Schools in the United States spend a lot of money on education technology—it was estimated at $56 billion dollars in 2012. That’s about $400 per student per year. A portion of that is earmarked for security software and support. In fact, an average school district pays over $14,000 for antivirus protection. Because of declining budgets, 5 percent of schools can’t even afford this protection.

AVAST gives away Security Software for FREE

 

AVAST offers avast! Endpoint Protection Suite software for FREE to schools, universities, libraries, and other educational institutions in the USA (and its territories). The award-winning security software is available for up to 30,000 devices, can be centrally installed and managed, and also protects servers – all at no cost to educational institutions. It’s free, and there is no catch or hidden surprises.

You can find out more information here: www.avast.com/education

In the same way that avast! Free Antivirus gets shared between family and friends, we ask you to share with anyone that could benefit from this program. This fun infographic is a great way to do it!  :)

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August 28th, 2013

Lost or Stolen Smartphone: The Consequences are Bigger for Women Than for Men, Our Study Finds

shocked woman (1)Personal contacts, photos, videos, apps, emails, text messages — smartphones today contain a plethora of personal information, and the thought of losing or having a smartphone stolen is extremely worrisome to many people. Our security research team recently conducted a survey of 167,904 customers worldwide and found that consumers in the United States are among those most likely to lose or have their phone stolen. We then wondered, who is affected more by a stolen or lost cell phone in the US, men or women?

Men carry out more security sensitive transactions on their phones

phone usage men_women

Men in the US use their smartphones more often to take care of online banking, download apps, and believe it or not, shop more than women do. Women, on the other hand, use their smartphones more to text and to connect with friends on Facebook and other social networking platforms. Now, the logical conclusion would be that men are more at risk if they were to lose or get their cell phone stolen. You might think that online banking and credit card information stored in browsers and apps would be more appealing to smartphone thieves than personal information, status updates, and maybe even gossip.  But that is simply not the case. Read more…

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August 27th, 2013

Linux Trojan “Hand of Thief” ungloved

A new threat for the Linux platform was first mentioned on August 7th by RSA researchers, where it was dubbed Hand of Thief.  The two main capabilities of this Trojan are form-grabbing of Linux-specific browsers and entering a victim’s computer by a back-door. Moreover, it is empowered with features like anti-virtualization and anti-monitoring. With the level of overall sophistication Hand of Thief displays, it can be compared to infamous non-Windows threats such as the FlashBack Trojan for MacOsX platform discovered last year or Trojan Obad for Android from recent times.

A detailed analysis uncovers the following structure of the initial file with all parts after the dropper being encrypted (hexadecimal number displays starting offset of a block):

handofthief_scheme

Read more…

August 26th, 2013

How to use the hidden power of avast! Mobile Security

You have downloaded the new avast! Mobile Security version 3. You now have a powerful tool to protect your mobile phone from malware, as well as anti-theft features in case your phone is lost or stolen. But you may be wondering, “How do I use this mobile security software to its full power for maximum benefit? What can I expect from the new version?”

These questions are very good ones. We love AVAST for its set-and-forget nature, and also because it’s very light on resources. But we really want you to know the power of AVAST! The hidden features that allow you to get its full power. To do this, let’s look at its six major features:

ad networks1Scanning

On demand scanning is a preventive feature. To get rid of bad or infected files that can rest in your Android and SD Card (storage), scan your phone with the latest virus definitions. You can set avast! Mobile Security to run at night, when you’re sleeping and charging your phone.

App Manager

You love to install apps in your phone, don’t you? After some time, your home manager will show a lot of icons. Why would I need an app manager if the phone already has one, you might be thinking? Because with avast! App manager you can see your running apps, check their permissions, if they display ads, and if you have a rooted device, you can even block the app access to some of your networks, saving you money with your data plan.

Privacy

avast! Mobile Security has a powerful ad detector. You can see up to 7 categories of possible ads, from geotracking to showing ads in your phone to collecting personal information and data. When you install an app, AVAST will automatically warn you about bad behaviors and you could act immediately to get rid of annoying ads. Relax! You can configure AVAST to warn based on your own criteria. For rooted phones and tablets, you can block a specific network access (WiFi/Data/Roaming) for the app being installed. Read more…

August 23rd, 2013

Win a Nexus device from AVAST and Android Police!

Android Police postsm

To celebrate the new version of our top-rated avast! Mobile Security along with the new avast! Mobile Premium, AVAST and Android Police are giving away 9 new Nexus devices. You have one week to enter the contest to win one of these great Android phones or tablets:

Getting your name in the hat is easy – just go to the AVAST/Android Police contest page and answer a simple question:

What do you value most about your phone? 

This can be a tricky question, so here are some examples of good answers:

  • The device itself
  • Photos
  • Contacts
  • Videos
  • Emails
  • Text Messages
  • …etc.

The International Mega Giveaway will run for one week and end at midnight (PST) on August 31st. Visit Android Police now to enter!

How to download avast! Mobile Premium

avast! Mobile Security and avast! Mobile Backup are FREE downloads in the Google Play store and can be used stand-alone as free versions or be upgraded to avast! Mobile Premium for access to all premium features. avast! Mobile Premium is available for $1.99 per month or $14.99 per year. Download and install on your Android device now.

Thank you for using avast! Antivirus and recommending us to your friends and family. For all the latest news, fun, and contest information, please follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Instagram.

August 22nd, 2013

avast! Mobile Premium: The Ultimate in Mobile Security

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More than 25 million Android smartphone and tablet users protect their precious devices with AVAST’s free security app. Today, we are happy to provide even more awesome features in our new premium version, avast! Mobile Premium.

The security of data on mobile devices is a growing concern. Over a quarter (26%) of mobile phone owners have lost their phone or had it stolen, and that means that photos, contacts, and personal information, and in a growing number of cases-  company data, is exposed to crooks. This data loss is exacerbated because nearly 50% of US smartphone owners do not back up their content.

avast! Mobile Premium can help you recover your lost phone and data with superior back-up and anti-theft technology.

Erect an invisible fence around your phone

Geo-Fencing is one of the clever anti-theft features of avast! Mobile Premium. You set up a perimeter, for example, around the coffee shop, and choose some actions like setting a loud alarm. If a sticky-fingered thief tries to take your phone outside of the perimeter when you are distracted by your mocha latte, the alarm goes off, or the phone is locked. Gotcha! Read more…

August 21st, 2013

Do you know the difference between antivirus and anti-malware?

ku-bigpicIn an article explaining the differences between antivirus and anti-malware, and which tools protect you from both, Lifehacker recommends that you install their favorite, avast! Free Antivirus. AVAST “scans for as much as possible, and has an on-access scanning engine that protects you from threats while you surf the web, install applications, and open files.”

Viruses, Malware, and Trojans…Oh, My!

The name “Antivirus” became popular over a decade ago, when computer viruses were making headlines and being featured on nightly news broadcasts. Consumers became aware of the term, therefore marketers adopted it to describe the protection security software offered.

“Today viruses are the minority when it comes to malware,” explains Jiri Sejtko, Director of the AVAST Virus Lab. “More common than viruses is malware like Trojans, Worms, Backdoors, Exploits, Adware, and PUP (Potentially Unwanted Programs), which can include communication clients, remote desktops and password revealers, just to name a few.”

Cybercrooks are driving the change. Back in the day, it was enough for a hacker to have his ego stroked by playing practical jokes, but the diversity of the early market and platforms kept early viruses from spreading far and wide.

“The focus of online criminals has shifted and therefore malware has changed, “ said Sejtko. Read more…

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August 20th, 2013

No problem bro – ransom decryption service

If thieves gain control of sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) on your computer, your identity can be stolen.  Information such as your social security number, driver’s license number, date of birth, or full name are examples of files that should be encrypted.  Confidential business data like individual customer information or intellectual property should also be encrypted for your safety.

In this blog post we will look at a service offering file decryption. This service helps you to decrypt files which were previously encrypted. But this is no helpful ‘Tips and Tricks’ blog for people who forgot the password to their documents and ask for help recovering it. Although breaking weak passwords is quite possible, noproblembro.com specializes in a different type of service.

01-noproblembro

Read more…

Categories: analyses, Virus Lab Tags: , ,
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August 19th, 2013

Computers at Salt Lake County Library System protected for FREE

SLCLS_logoWhen we launched the AVAST Free for Education program last November, some journalists were asking us “what’s the catch”… They didn’t quite understand why we would do such a thing. ;)  I guess for them “advertising” means TV commercials, print ads, online banners, radio adverts, billboard, outdoor, and so on. In the world of antivirus companies, that would mean a company like Norton/Symantec, which pours $2.8 billion into Sales and Marketing (42% of its annual revenue).

But advertising can be different! Such as providing free computer security for Salt Lake Country Library System. In total: 50 servers and 500 computers in 18 library locations.  Cost? Our cost is only to provide the virus definition updates, as we do pay for the bandwidth. That is less than 2 cents per year per computer. In this example, the servers are getting the updates and they mirror them within the network for free. Total cost for AVAST: $1 per year (yes, ONE dollar).

Benefit? Well, I guess we will not be visible to all of the 600 thousands library card holders served by the 18 libraries. But I’m sure we got 1 loyal user there:  Scott Condie, the library Infrastructure Manager. (To quote him: “AVAST is a great product!  Works as well as any antivirus program we’ve ever used.  And it doesn’t have the bloat that slows down PC performance like other products we tested.”)

Then there are the 380 employees of the library whose computers are now protected by AVAST.  And of course we will be visible to some of the library visitors who use the on-site computers. Overall, not bad visibility for $1 per year.  Quite likely many of them will install AVAST on their home computers once their Norton license expires. And if only one of them buys an AVAST paid-for version… our advertising investment of 1$ into the Salt Lake Country Library System has paid for itself.  More than enough!

Free is GOOD ;)
If your library license is about to expire… get one for free here: www.avast.com/education

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August 16th, 2013

Norwalk-La Mirada School District computers protected for FREE

Norwalk-La MiradaNorwalk and La Mirada are two suburban cities in Los Angeles County, with a combined population of 155 thousand people. The Norwalk-La Mirada School District embodies 17 elementary, 6 middle, and 5 high schools – for a total of 20,000 students and 2,000 staff and faculty.

Viet Tran, the Network Administrator, applied for a free license (3,000 endpoints and servers) based on a recommendation from his friends back in May. Deployment in the testing environment was smooth and, with full installation, Norwalk-La Mirada is looking at a nice annual savings of $30,000.

 

Free is good!
Happy back to school ;)

www.avast.com/education

 

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