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October 7th, 2013

AVAST users share social media safety tips to build Cyber Awareness

Don’t talk to strangers.

Look both ways before crossing the road.

These little warnings given to children by moms everywhere are meant to make them aware of their surroundings.  Even when we’re grown, we still follow these suggestions. In anticipation of National Cyber Security Awareness Month and the European Cyber Security Month, we asked AVAST users for cyber awareness tips and gave prizes for those we found most valuable and those that others voted for.

During round 3 of our #SecurityTip contest, we asked about safety on social media,

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Congratulations to Ajla H. of Bosnia and Herzegovina who wrote the winning tip:

#SecurityTip
I would recommend my friends to learn how to use privacy and security settings on social networks, because then they can control who sees their posts and control who can contact them. I would also recommend them not to post pictures they wouldn’t want their parents or future employers to see. And my last tip is to keep their personal information to themselves so no one can steal their identity. ;)

Ajla receives a Nexus 7 tablet and a 1-year license for avast! Internet Security. A 1-year license for avast! Internet Security went to five participants also asked their friends to vote for their tip. Congratulations to:

  • Guylaine H. from Canada
  • Syed A. from Pakistan
  • Jeff A. from Costa Rica
  • Tanveer A. from Pakistan
  • Kelvin I. from Philippines

Thanks to all our Facebook fans who added their security tips each week. These are valuable suggestions for cyber awareness that we will continue to share with others.

Follow AVAST

During this month, we’ll talk more about cybersecurity with AVAST experts and share tips that you can adopt and share.  For all the latest news, fun and contest information, please visit our blog often and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+.

 

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October 7th, 2013

Beware of poisoned apples

loginEverybody knows the story of the beautiful Snow White. An evil queen with a bad temper gives a young girl a poisoned apple, because she apparently thinks that it would just make her day. Poor Snow White. All she wanted was a bite of this juicy apple. I guess this one particular bite didn’t make her very happy. Anyway, she apparently made some mistakes, that I can tell. For example, if she wanted an apple, she should have just picked one from a “genuine” tree. Or she could have had someone taste the apple first, like a brave knight that’s always there for her, protecting her every second.

Yes, it’s been a while since that famous apple incident happened. Nowadays, a girl wouldn’t just accept an apple from a stranger and take a bite right away. She would at least wash it first! If she’s smart enough, she’s going to have something that tells her more about the apple.

With the magic of fairy dust and special effects, let’s transform this story into the world of mobile security.

Poisoned APPles

The Snow White fairy tale came to life a few days ago, when we found a fake Apple iMessage app for Android. There are lot of apps for Apple iOS that are not released for other platforms. For example, when two people have an iPhone, they can send each other messages for free via Apple’s iMessage service. The Android alternative for that service would probably be Google’s Hangouts app. The problem occurs when you want to send a free text message from iOS to Android. Yes, there’s WhatsApp, Viber, and similar apps, but there’s no way to send an iMessage to Android, nor iMessage from Android. That problem seems to bother some people, so they are eagerly waiting for a solution. The evil queen is aware of the need, so she makes poisoned apples and hands them out for free, telling others that they are sweet, juicy, and absolutely free from poison. Yes, I’m talking about fake apps that are trying to look like official Apple apps for Android. Read more…

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October 5th, 2013

5 questions with: Carlos Dreyfus

1267990_10100352145636202_1137362075_o „Carlos Dreyfus joined AVAST Software in January 2013, to support our multicultural marketing team. Carlos is American with a Colombian background. He moved to Prague from Berlin and before lived in a Sunny Florida, where he graduated from the University of North Florida. Carlos is a passionate football player, beer fan (Germany and Czech Republic are not coincident destination!) and a surfer. He brought not only great professional experience, but also energetic and optimistic Latino spirit into our team. We are very pleased to introduce Carlos to you!“

What is your role at AVAST Software?

I’m the User Experience Specialist for all things marketing.  The job role consists of listening to our users and modifying portions of our website using their feedback, also the position involves creating web things from scratch that give a more positive web experience.  Think of me as the person that makes portions of our website fun, educational, easy to use, etc.

How did an American get to Prague and find his niche at AVAST?

That question comes with a very long story, but I’ll try my best to keep it short.  While traveling the world while finishing graduate school I realized that I wanted to be in Europe, so than I pursued a profession in technology, specifically in web since the internet is everywhere.  After working as a consultant in UX and then as a product manager in eCommerce, I landed this cool job at AVAST Software.  What I’ve done in the past fits nicely with what I’m doing now, it couldn’t have worked out any better.

What do you consider the biggest and most exciting challenge at AVAST Software?

We have almost 200 million users, so the idea of being able to enhance their web experience on avast.com seemed like pretty fun challenge, so as the famous Barney Stinson would say: Challenge Accepted…

Do you have anything exciting coming up? Read more…

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October 4th, 2013

What’s hot on VB2013? – Day 3

Today is unfortunately the last day of the Virus Bulletin 2013 conference, but it has definitely been memorable. Last night, a gala dinner was held that went on into the wee morning hours. During the dinner there was a classic performance from a dancing cabaret group and a delicious meal was served. And as continuing the tradition for VB conferences, after dinner all the participants moved to our avast! Beer Bar and attempt getting their results to a higher level.

Today’s speaking line-up was concentrated on sophisticated malware on the Windows platform, online threats, and botnets. The afternoon panel discussion was moderated by Pedram Amini, our new AVAST colleague who joined the team a few weeks ago with the acquisition of Jumpshot. The discussion was about cyberwar and what we as a security industry can do about it.

Finally, the most important information: In the first blog chronicling this event, we mentioned the 7th IT Security Table Football World Championship. I asked you to wish us luck, and now I thank you for that! It definitely helped us a lot! And here are the final results!

1. Gdata – Germany

2. Avast – Czech republic

3. Microsoft – USA

Hurray, we came in second! From such a big competition, it’s a great success for the avast! Virus Lab team, and one that we hope our colleagues (and our boss) will appreciate. For example, by buying a new football table for our office! To be ready to reclaim the AVAST honor at VB2014, we need to increase our practice time! (Next year, Gdata. Next year…)

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 FacebookTwitter and Google+.

 

Categories: General, Marketing, Uncategorized, Virus Lab Tags:
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October 4th, 2013

What’s hot on VB2013? – Day 2

We had a second day of VB 2013, and today can definitely be classified as an Android day. Most of the presentations from first three blocks were concentrated on Android threats, potential unwanted applications and Adkits. This gave a strong signal that everyone should take Android security very seriously. Every big antivirus vendor has their own Android security applications, but a main point for me personally was that we should cooperate and share information to fight malware effectively.

In the last presentation block of the day, there were two presenters: First was Milos Korenko with his presentation The Best Things in Life are Free.  I have to admit that listening to Milos is really inspiring. His high level public speaking abilities combined with the fact that he was speaking about such a good company as Avast made it one of the best presentations of the day.

During Miloš’ speech there were two hidden surprises. First, we announced the winners of the beer competition from Virus Bulletin 2012 held in Dallas. The top three from VB2012 are:

1. Dmitry (McAfee)

2. Jiri Bracek (AVG)

3. Roman Kovac (ESET)

The second surprise was from my colleagues in the avast! Virus Lab,  Jaromir Horejsi and Peter Kalnai. Milos finished his speech quite quickly so he could share his free time with our analysts. They presented Are Linux desktop systems threatened by Trojans? Their talk, based on a blog post Hand Of Thief threat, published at the end of August, extended some philosophical thoughts about a real potential for Linux Desktops.

The avast! Beer Bar is open again! On the first day of VB2013, we spent an evening socializing with other colleagues. You can check our website for the beer rankings and see which IT security company has the best score.

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 FacebookTwitter and Google+.

 

October 3rd, 2013

VB 2013 has began!

Virus Bulletin 2013 just started today and our company is participating in many ways! This conference is one of the biggest IT security conferences in the world which well known security companies can’t miss. And we are really proud to be there with more than 370  specialist from the security industry. We are a platinum sponsor, we have a few speakers here – but mainly we are the PROUD BEER SPONSORS for all participants.

Here is a quick review of the first day which was a pretty busy one! During the morning the conference started with a welcome speech from Virus Bulletin editor Helen Martin, and then the technical and corporate streams, represented by many speakers, began. We have one speaker from our company here today. It was Jindřich Kubec, with Eric Romang, presenting “Big bang theory of CVE-2012-4792” – a very successful presentation indeed. The main subject was forensics & detective model that describes the early development of the watering hole campaign which was mostly active from Dec. 2012 to Jan. 2013, targeting prominently energy industries, governments, non profit organizations and human rights websites. After the initial targeted attack, the vulnerability cooled sufficiently to allow its integration in different confidential or public exploit kits. They also dug into the past and showed that there had clearly been a connection with the previous Sept. 2012 watering hole attacks on industrial websites, and also with watering hole attacks through Twitter in May 2012. The earliest phases of the vulnerability, like the Big Bang, are subject to much speculation. They tried to observe the most distant things that a security researcher can see. The timeline of the attacks, together with the disclosure, detection and publication dates were shown. The code structure and changes were also analyzed, including the binary payloads – e.g. remote access tools.

I should also mention that there is an international IT security table football championship. And so far we have been successful! In the morning we won the first match against Sophos 6:1, 6:2 and second against Norman 6:0, 6:0.  So cross your fingers and wish us luck for the next rounds.  Stay tuned, we will definitely share more information in the next two days!

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 FacebookTwitter and Google+.

 

October 2nd, 2013

AVAST experts present at Virus Bulletin 2013

VB2013One of the most anticipated anti-malware conferences of the year is being held this week in Berlin, Germany. AVAST Software is proud to be there among 370 of the most knowledgeable specialists from the security industry. AVAST experts will be speaking every day, plus we are proud sponsors of the beer bar for all conference participants. :-)

Today, Jindrich Kubec, the avast! Virus Lab’s Director of Threat Intelligence, along with Eric Romang, will be presenting Big bang theory of CVE-2012-4792, a forensic & detective model that describes the early development of the watering hole campaign which was active this past winter, and targeted the energy industry, governments, non-profit organizations, and human rights websites.

On Thursday, Milos Korenko, Marketing Director, will talk about AVAST’s freemium model, from our FREE antivirus products for PC, Mac, and Android, to our Free for Education program launched in the US market, in The best things in life are free.

Wrapping up the conference on Friday, Pedram Amini, of Jumpshot by AVAST, will be participating in a panel discussion about nation-state sponsored cyberwar and cyber-espionage in Collateral damage in the age of cyber-warfare.

BREAKING NEWS from Filip Chytry live at the conference: AVAST won the first match set of the IT security football table international championship against Sophos 2:0, 6:1, 6:2.  Cross your fingers, and wish us a luck in next round scheduled at 6:00pm CET.

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 FacebookTwitter and Google+.

October 2nd, 2013

Free for Education protects almost 200 universities and colleges

educationThe AVAST Free for Education is not only available for schools, school districts and libraries in the US, but also for US universities! To date, 200 universities and colleges across 47 different states benefit from AVAST’s FREE business-grade antivirus. This means that a total of almost 450,000 university computers are being protected, for FREE.

We are proud to support education on such a large scale, however it is not just about education. One of our many satisfied customers is the University of Hawaii Cancer Center. “AVAST has always held a spot in the upper tier of AV products. Savings will be used to purchase additional servers, computers or any number of upgrades.“ says Grant Gathagann of the University. Being able to protect the sensitive information stored on their PCs and servers is an honor for us, as well as giving them the opportunity to spend the money they save on antivirus software, so that they can focus their attention on fighting cancer.

Michael Keen, director of IT from Southern Vermont College pointed out the basic purpose of AVAST Free for Education, something we hope all universities will realize and take advantage of: “This product provides the same protection as commercial products for free. Why wouldn’t a school take advantage of this?“

Not all universities suffer from large IT budget cuts, as many schools in the states do, but it still important for them to save money so that they can purchase necessary hardware and software upgrades.

If you attend or work for a university (or school) in the US that hasn’t benefited from our program yet, you can apply online here: www.avast.com/education

Alternatively feel free to contact me with any questions or comments regarding AVAST Free for Education: kholova@avast.com

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October 1st, 2013

Cybersecurity is Our Shared Responsibility

ncsam10_bnr1AVAST is a proud champion of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and supporter of the European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) recognized this October. The month begins with the awareness that no individual, company, or government is solely responsible for securing the internet – it is Our Shared Responsibility.

Individual computer users are the first line of defense in guarding against online risks. For this reason, online security requires our collective participation, requiring awareness and vigilance from every citizen, community, and country.

How can I do my part?

The Stop.Think.Connect.™ campaign is designed to help people practice safer online habits. Here are some basic steps everyone from kids to business owners should know to minimize the chances of becoming a victim of cybercrime:

  • Set strong passwords, change them regularly, and don’t share them with anyone.
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates. (AVAST has Free protection for PCs, Macs, and Android devices.)
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your friends, family, and colleagues about Internet safety.
  • Use privacy settings and limit the amount of personal information you post online.
  • Be cautious about offers online – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Follow AVAST

During this month, we’ll talk more about cybersecurity with AVAST experts and share tips that you can adopt and share.  For all the latest news, fun and contest information, please visit our blog often and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+.

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