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Archive for November, 2013
November 26th, 2013

AVAST is Awarded Best Employer in the Czech Republic

We are proud to announce that AVAST has been named best large-size company employer in the Czech Republic by global HR consulting and outsourcing firm, AON Hewitt.

AVAST

AVAST HR Director Kamila Štěpánková and CEO Vincent Steckler accept the Best Employer award along with AVAST co-founders Eduard Kučera and Pavel Baudiš.

The annual study’s results were evaluated based on the HR policies of the companies, as well as feedback from their employees and leaders. AVAST excelled in all attributes of the study, scoring above 80% in each category. The categories of the study are: engagement rate, trustworthy leadership, high performance culture, attractive employer brand and sustainability. With these high marks AVAST beat MICROSOFT s.r.o and SAP ČR, spol. s.r.o. for first place.

AVAST scored an impressive 89% in engagement, 49% more than the Czech average. According to AON Hewitt, company engagement is a key influencing factor in the final ranking, and reflects the employee’s intense desire to be a member of the company, their consistency in speaking positively of the company overall and the extra effort and engagement in their work that contributes to the success of the business.

Kamila Stěpánková, our HR Director, commented:

I am extremely proud that AVAST has been named best employer. The entire company constantly works together to maintain the extraordinary company culture the founders established 25 years ago, which gives employees freedom in completing their tasks and flexible working hours. The employees have the opportunity to contribute to the most trusted antivirus software program in the world, a product that protects 200 million users, that is both a huge honor and responsibility that makes their daily work interesting and compelling.

If you would like to become apart of AVAST’s team, please visit the AVAST’s careers page to see if there is an available position for which you are qualified for.

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November 26th, 2013

How well do you know AVAST?

How well do you know AVAST?

avast! Antivirus protects you every day, but what do you know about the company, history, and people behind the most trusted antivirus in the world? To celebrate our 25th anniversary, we offer you a playful AVAST IQ quiz and the chance to win great prizes!

Here’s your chance to test your knowledge and win prizes :D

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How does it work?

  • Go to quiz application here
  • Like AVAST Facebook page
  • For 5 days we will publish 5 new questions. 5×5 = 25! for the AVAST anniversary :)
  • You must answer ALL of them.
  • Tell us why you recommend avast!
  • Win licenses and teddy bears!

Play every day, invite your friends, have fun, and win great prizes!

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+. Business owners – check out our business products.

 

Categories: Social Media, Uncategorized Tags: , , ,
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November 22nd, 2013

AVAST is growing Movember moustaches

movember bearAvast Mo Bros have committed to grow a moustache for the 30 days of Movember* to make a difference and have fun. Why? Because we care! The moustache is our ribbon, the symbol by which we generate conversations, awareness and raise funds for men’s health. Avast Mo Sistas support us. If you do as well, show us your support.  Like or make a donation on our Movember page.

You can encourage us and also show your support by submitting your picture with a moustache across social media channels. Use the hashtag, #AVASTmovember! We will collect them and display in our Facebook photo gallery!

 

mo7

Avast Mo Bros and Sistas support Movember

*Movember (a portmanteau word from moustache and “November”) is an annual, month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and other male cancers; and associated charities. ~ Wiki

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 Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Business owners – check out our business products.

 

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November 22nd, 2013

avast! Antivirus featured by Computer America

Charles Tendell

Charles Tendell

Charles Tendell likes avast! Antivirus. “I’ve been recommending to clients for years,” he told millions of global listeners during the November 18thbroadcast of Computer America.

Computer America® is a US-syndicated radio show carried live for two hours each weeknight over the Business TalkRadio Network®. The popular show is heard in over 30 countries around the world and syndicated nationally to millions of listeners Monday through Saturday. Tendell is a Certified Ethical Hacker and Computer America’s co-host. Computer America is now in its twenty-second season.

“It is the only radio talk show dedicated to computers and technology in nightly national syndication,“said Craig Crossman, the host of Computer America. “In a world where entertainment programs come and go seemingly overnight, we think twenty-two years is a strong statement about the value we bring to our audience.”

Patricia

Patricia Rykiel

Patricia Rykiel, host of The London Minute, a weekly audio column which airs 5 times a week on the Computer America show, has been a satisfied AVAST user for many years. “I really like your antivirus program!” she said. In her other role as a home computer trainer in the UK, she recommends avast! Antivirus to her clients. Follow Patricia on Twitter @ComputerTweety.

Listen to an archived version of the entire broadcast here, http://archives.warpradio.com/btr/ComputerAmerica/111823.mp3

Recommend avast! Antivirus and get rewarded!

Did you know that you can collect points when you recommend avast! Antivirus to your friends? When your friend installs avast!, you earn points to win a free license of avast! Internet Security. Learn more about our loyalty program and start collecting points.

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 Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Business owners – check out our business products.

 

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November 21st, 2013

Ransomware shocks its victims by displaying child pornography pictures

In our blog, we wrote several times about various types of Ransomware, most recently about CryptoLocker. In most cases, ransomware has pretended to be a program installed into a victim’s computer by the police. Because of some alleged suspicious activities found on the user’s computer, ransomware blocks the user from using the computer and demands a ransom to unlock the machine or files.

Different ransomware families have different graphics and skins, usually showing intimidating images of handcuffs, logos of various government and law enforcement organizations, policemen performing inspections, government officials, etc… You can read some of our previous analyses on our blog – Reveton, Lyposit, Urausy – are the most prolific examples of such ransomware.

In this blog post, we will look at the functionally of the same type of ransomware, but one which displays more annoying and disturbing photos. After showing the message saying, “Your computer has been suspended on the grounds of viewing illegal content,” accompanied with the current IP address, name of internet service provider (ISP) and the geographical location, it displays several pictures of child pornography!
01_censored Read more…

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November 20th, 2013

Fallout from Nuclear Pack exploit kit highly toxic for Windows machines

In recent days, the avast! Virus Lab has observed a high activity of malware distributed through exploit kits. Most cases of infection are small websites which usually provide adult entertainment, but there was also news about one of the top 300 visited websites being infected.

Infection chains ended dropping a final payload in a form of an executable file with a constant, not wide-spread name like 1SKKKKKKK.exe. After a closer look, we found that this filename is shared among aggressive malware threats – banking Trojans like Win32:Citadel, Win32:Shylock/Caphaw, Win32:Ranbyus, Win32:Spyeye; stealthy infostealers like Win32:Neurevt (a.k.a. BetaBot), Win32:Gamarue, Win32:Cridex, Win32:Fareit; and even file infectors like Win32/64:Expiro(infected dbghlp.exe).

We received ~1000 unique samples in the last 10 days which possess suspicious filenames, polymorphically covering ~30 malware families with many different packers. Researching infected iframes in our databases, we discovered an infection chain which leads to a payload with a strange name that looks like this:

1skkkkk_scheme

Read more…

November 19th, 2013

Can avast! protect me against CryptoLocker?

howto2_enQuestion of the week: I have read frightening stories about CryptoLocker locking computers. I don’t have $200 to pay blackmailers for my own files. How do I protect myself from getting attacked? Does avast! protect from CryptoLocker?

 

“Avast! Antivirus detects all known variants of CryptoLocker thanks to our automated processing and CommunityIQ,” said Pavel Sramek, researcher and analyst for the avast! Virus Lab. “There are less than a dozen; this doesn’t seem to be a case of rapidly mutating malware.”

CryptoLocker EN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is CryptoLocker?

CryptoLocker is malware known as “ransomware” that encrypts files on a victim’s Windows-based PC. This includes pictures, movie and music files, documents, and certain files on local or networked storage media. A ransom, paid via Bitcoin or MoneyPak, is demanded as payment to receive a key that unlocks  the encrypted files. The victim has 72 hours to pay about $200; after that the ransom rises to over $2,200.

How to get CryptoLocker?

The CryptoLocker virus is often attached as an executable file disguised as a PDF attachment to an official-looking “spoofed” email message which claims to come from banks, UPS or FedEx claiming to be a tracking notification. When someone opens the email, they are asked to download a Zip file that contains an executable file (.exe) that unleashes the virus.  There is also evidence that CryptoLocker started with infections from the ZeuS or Zbot banking Trojan and is being circulated via botnets to download and install CryptoLocker.

How to protect your computer from CryptoLocker?

AVAST users should be safe from infection during the short period when the malware is new and “undetected” as long as AutoSandbox and DeepScreen are active. “The infection is prevented by means of a dynamic detection,” said Sramek.

“We also automatically add detections for each new sample that passes our backend filters,” said Jiri Sejtko, Sramek’s colleague in the avast! Virus Lab.

“Against future threats like this, having a backup is always a good idea – who knows when CryptoLocker v2.0 will be released, and every antivirus solution is reactive by nature,” said Sramek. “The encryption used is virtually unbreakable, there is zero chance of recovering files after infection.”

Avast! BackUp is an online backup and recovery service that allows you to select sets of data or individual files you want to back up. Try avast! BackUp free for 30 days; after that you can choose a subscription based on your storage needs.

Read the warning issued to American computer users from US-CERT, and the warning to British users from NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit.

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+. Business owners – check out our business products.

November 18th, 2013

On the road with avast! Mobile Security

With six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, the highways are already busy with tractor trailers delivering merchandise to retailers, shoppers making gift runs, and families hitting the road or airports to travel “Over the River and Through the Woods” to Grandmother’s house. With all that moving around, it’s a given that someone will lose their smartphone or tablet.

truckers
In fact, “One hundred thirteen smartphones are lost or stolen every minute in the US,” said Stephen Ebbett, president of lifestyle insurance company, Protect Your Bubble, in an interview on Fox Techtake. In a survey conducted by the company earlier this year, they discovered that people are most likely to lose their phones when traveling. Twenty-three percent of cell phones are left at the airport, 21.7% are left at hotels, 18% are lost or stolen on public transportation,  or forgotten in a rental car (11.5%).

The need to protect truck drivers smartphones

Truck drivers are among those professional travelers whose devices have been lost or stolen. It’s an important subject for drivers because bring-your-own-device is being adopted by many trucking companies. Stephen Bennett of Transport Topics, The Newspaper of Trucking and Freight Transportation, wrote about it in the Oct-Nov issue,

…security features…available from companies that cater to consumers are becoming increasingly important to over-the-road truck drivers because of a trend that has been described as the “consumerization” of business technology or “BYOD” — tech-talk for “bring your own device.”

Bennett spoke to Juraj Chrappa, senior product manager of avast! Mobile Security. Chrappa said that an AVAST survey conducted in June indicated that 25% of AVAST users, or more than 6 million people with mobile devices, had lost their devices or they had been stolen with U.S. consumers among those most likely to lose or have their phone stolen.The average cost of a smart phone is $372, he added. Read more…

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November 14th, 2013

Malvertising and OpenX servers

Monster-iconMalvertising is an abbreviation of malicious advertising and means that legitimate sites spread malware from their infected advertisement systems. There were many malvertising campaigns in last few years, some of them confirmed even on big sites like The New York Times, but most of them go unnoticed because they are well hidden and served only to selected users. Earlier this year, one of our top analysts found a stealth infection on a Czech entertainment site and began to watch it. We were able to obtain source code from infected sites, and I would like to show you how easily hacking is done and what can be done to secure your server.

In this case all infected servers contained OpenX (open source solution for advertisement) which has a rich history of vulnerabilities. Look, for example, at last three versions.

  • In version 2.8.9 and previous versions there was a SQL injection
  • Version 2.8.10 contained a hidden backdoor that allowed remote PHP execution
  • The latest version 2.8.11 offers more security, but there are known vulnerabilities

In summer 2013, OpenX was re-branded as Revive Adserver and several security flaws were patched. I strongly recommend you update to the latest version (currently 3.0.0) to secure your advertisement solution from being misused by hackers.

How do they get in?

An analysis of infected web pages revealed that the attacker used SQL injection to obtain administrator log ins and passwords from the database. Then he used credentials to log in and exploited another flaw to upload a backdoor with executable extension. Actually there were more backdoors and PHP scripts hidden in various places suggesting that this server was attacked multiple times.

mv-files

This picture shows all scripts and their dates of creation found on the infected page. The first three files are backdoors and tools for server control. The last two files are different; they serve as an interface to the database.

Files “inj” and “minify” seem to be two versions of the same script, which connects to the database and either removes injected scripts or add new ones. The result of this modification is an iframe appended to advertisement banners. The picture below shows a SQL query used to insert malicious java-script.

mv-sqlThe described infection is really hard to trace, because it’s not present on the server all the time, but only in predefined times and shows only to users coming from specific zone. Read more…

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November 13th, 2013

AVAST donates to Typhoon Haiyan recovery efforts

foundationThe Foundation arm of AVAST Software announced today that it will make a donation of 500,000 CZK (approximately $25,000) to support relief and recovery efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.

“The greatest needs are for water, food and hygiene kits, and this will be coordinated through our main partner, People in Need, the biggest humanitarian organization in Central/Eastern Europe,” said Martina Břeňová, spokesperson for the AVAST Foundation.

“I speak for the founders, management, and employees of AVAST, when I say that our hearts go out to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines,” said Vojtěch Nekvapil, AVAST’s Partner Sales and Support Manager. “Our highest priority is to make sure that our associates and their families are safe and have what they need.”

How to avoid scammers taking advantage of Typhoon Haiyan

Whenever a catastrophe hits, people seek ways they can help. Cybercrooks quickly throw up fake websites or use similar sounding names to trick donors, and scam victims or even the real charity. Typhoon Haiyan already wrecked havoc on residents of the Philippines; don’t let making a donation wreck havoc on your bank account or identity

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and other organizations caution people to be selective in choosing charities. Here are a few tips from the FTC:

  • Donate to charities you trust, those with a “proven track record” of delivering aid to those in need.
  • Be alert for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight in connection with current events. Check out the charity with the BBB’s Wise Giving AllianceCharity NavigatorCharity Watch, or GuideStar.
  • Don’t give out personal or financial information — including your credit card or bank account number — unless you know the charity is reputable.
  •  Never send cash: You can’t be sure the organization will receive your donation, and you won’t have a record for tax purposes.

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+. Business owners – check out our business products.