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Archive for December, 2013
December 17th, 2013

The essential security tool for traveling is on sale!

We’ve got the tool you need when you’re on the road this holiday season and all year long! Stay safe when using public WiFi ‘hotspot’ hp-securelinenetworks and access your favorite content from your PC with no regional restrictions when you use avast! SecureLine VPN.

Save 33% now on a 1 year avast! SecureLine license

avast! SecureLine secures your data and computer from intrusive hackers when using public WiFi hotspots at airports, cafes, libraries and hotels.

Your public WiFi communications are encrypted, which means that someone snooping on you will see a bunch of gibberish instead of your email, files, passwords, etc.

Your browsing is anonymous because avast! SecureLine VPN cloaks your IP address to keep your private searches private.

When you travel and need web access from different locations, you may find some sites blocked. Now you can use servers located in multiple countries (e.g. UK, USA, etc.) to access Geo-blocked websites like Netflix or Pandora.

You have until the end of the year to take advantage of 33% off a 1 year license for avast! SecureLine. Get it now!

Get avast! SecureLine VPN here.

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.

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December 16th, 2013

AVAR 2013, Chennai, India, trip report

For those of you who have seen this name for the first time, AVAR stands for Association of Anti-Virus Asia Researchers (http://www.aavar.org/avar2013/).
This year, the 16th AVAR conference was held in a beautiful city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, a state in the southern part of India.

This year was particularly successful for Avast. Four researches presented their work in two 40-minutes  sessions. At first, Lukas Hasik (@lukashasik) and Petr Chytil (@chytil) from AVAST’s QA department presented their talk titled “Fast Data Delivery From Clouds – A Strong Weapon In The Anti-Virus Arms Race.” Their talk was a case study which showed to the conference attendees, how cooperation between three of AVAST’s departments – QA, cloud, Virus Lab – helped AVAST to accomplish implementation of the feature, which is nowadays a strong weapon against malware. Thanks to you, our community, Avast can deliver to our users new virus definitions shortly after they are generated.  Lukas and Petr talked about interesting information from all three departments and lessons learned from the implementation process. This talk showed us how communication and cooperation among different people and different departments is important. To find out more about this presentation, see the following link (http://prezi.com/aplz_phvlek_/fast-data-delivery-from-clouds-a-strong-weapon-in-the-anti-virus-arms-race/).

In AVAST’s second talk, Jaromir Horejsi (@JaromirHorejsi) and Jan Sirmer, malware researchers from AVAST’s Virus Lab, had a talk called “Korean Banks Under Pressure”, summarizing and extending the blogpost from March this year.

The Asian region shows not only a steady economic growth, but it becomes more and more important for many companies from various branches and  specializations. As for AVAST, the observed growth in cybercriminal activities is particularly important. Jaromir and Jan talked about  a malicious attack, which influenced thousands of South Korean online banking users in the first half of this year. They presented the entire infection chain from the initial hacked and infected website to the last step, where the victim gets harmed.

Both presentations were a great success and generated a lot of positive feedback.

Security conferences are not only about presenting papers, they are about sharing the ideas, making new friendships, and exploring new cultures. People from all over the world  meet together for a couple of days and have a great time together. Below we attach a few photos.

 

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avast! teddy bear enjoyed the conference

 

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 Lukas and Petr answering question after presentation

 

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Jan and Jaromir presenting about attack on Korean Banks

DSC07618teddy enjoying after party

Disclaimer: This report was written by Jaromir Horejsi before we left him in India. Jaromir is traveling around India for next month – let us know in the comments if you meet him…

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December 16th, 2013

Join in the $26,000 AVAST Recommendation Cash Giveaway!

For a few more weeks, you can share AVAST to enter our Holiday Cash contest for the chance to win up to $10,000!

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I recommended Avast! to my mom and I’ll be recommending it to the rest of my friends and family, as well! ^_~
~Tiffany C.

Did you know that 60% of avast! Antivirus software’s new users come from a personal recommendation? That’s because our satisfied users tell their friends and family about avast!.

I have recommended Avast to friends and family here in Kenya and abroad. I have been an avast! Internet Security subscriber for long and I have no words to express my happiness in the product. ~Abraham O.

To thank all of you who share avast! with friends and relatives, we started a program where you can earn points to get a 1-year license for avast! Internet Security. Now, in celebration of our 25 years in business, we bumped it up a couple of notches, and we’re giving away a total of $26,000!! Share avast! with your friends.

$26,000 worth of cash prizes

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December 14th, 2013

AVAST welcomes Jumpshot fans

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Jumpshot was a cool company even before AVAST Software made them a part of the world’s most trusted antivirus family. They told us about the awesome fan base following the company, so we’re pretty excited to welcome all you cool Jumpshot kids as you make the move from Jumpshot’s current blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and most Twitter accounts to AVAST’s blog and social media outlets.

The AVAST social media team shares the latest news, fun facts, and contest information on our Facebook page, on Twitter and Google+. You can also discover news, tips, and advice on the latest security and privacy threats right here on the AVAST blog.

As part of the integration into AVAST, Jumpshot’s name has been changed to GrimeFighter. We all agree that it’s a great way to describe the war Officer Pete and his band of minions fight against the grime that accumulates in computers everywhere. Watch this blog and our social media pages for announcements on  when GrimeFighter becomes a part of AVAST products.

We invite you to continue your relationship with the former Jumpshot here on AVAST. Become an AVAST fan, follower, and blog reader to stay informed about the latest in security and privacy.  As you make the transition with us, we ask that you take a look around, and give the most trusted antivirus software in the world, avast! Free Antivirus, or one of our premium paid products a try. You can compare features of our products here, and look for deals at the avast! Store.

Thank you and welcome to AVAST!

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December 13th, 2013

How do I know which antivirus is the best?

howto2_enQuestion of the week: How do I know which antivirus is the best for my computer? I mostly use it for staying in touch with my friends, doing schoolwork and watching videos. Is your free product good enough to protect me?

We receive questions like yours on our Facebook page frequently. We understand how difficult choosing which security product is right for you when the technology is unfamiliar and the marketing messages are similar.

That’s where independent testing labs like AV-Comparatives can help. A few times a year, these experts set up a “real-world’ test in their lab where they test dozens of antivirus products on identical computers.

AV-C_adv+_dec2013avast! Free Antivirus was the only free product to receive AV-Comparatives highest award in the ADVANCED Plus category because of exemplary results in protecting against malicious samples with a small incidence of false positives (wrongly blocking domains or files). The other Advanced Plus recipients were paid-for products (that shows how good avast! Free Antivirus is! ;-)).

For this “real-world” test, AV-Comparatives, together with the University of Innsbruck’s Computer Science department, set up identical Dell computers with Windows 7, Office, Adobe Reader, Flash, Java, QuickTime, Firefox, and a constant  internet connection – basically, like most of us have at home. Twenty-two products, of which only two were free, including avast! Free Antivirus, were tested. As you can see from the award, avast! Free Antivirus held it’s own, so yes, this product is more than good enough to protect your computer.

Notable among the test results is Microsoft Security Essentials, which placed last. AV-Comparatives only used it as a basis of comparison, because Microsoft withdrew it from testing this year.  This product provides only basic malware protection and has been the source of much conversation since earlier this year when Microsoft advised Windows users to use a third-party antivirus instead of counting on MSE. Since then they have changed their statement. Nevertheless, MSE’s scores in malware detection have continued to slide.

We hope you choose avast!, the most trusted antivirus in the world

No matter which antivirus product you decide to go with, make sure you keep it up-to-date, as well as keeping the software and apps on your machines updated. We hope you will choose avast! Free Antivirus or one of our premium products. You can see a comparison of all the choices on our website. If you want to see how avast! stacks up against others, then check out the avast! comparison tool on our Facebook page.

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.

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December 12th, 2013

avast! File Server Security wins Virus Bulletin award with ease

Our high-performancavast business solutionse avast! File Server Security software continues its run of perfect detection rate scores and excellent performance in the latest Virus Bulletin test concluded in October 2013.

The experts at VB’s labs said, “Avast hasn’t missed a VB100 comparative since 2007, and has maintained an impressive level of passes as well as keeping the lab team happy with good design and reliable performances.”

VB server 1013

avast! File Server Security scored 100% on detection rates with zero false positives on WildList samples and clean test sets. The test measures detection rates using the freshest malware samples available, as well as samples not seen until after product databases are frozen, thus reflecting both the vendors’ ability to handle the huge quantity of newly emerging malware and their accuracy in detecting previously unknown malware.

VB’s lab experts found that avast! File Server Security installed rapidly and with ease. The feel of the product’s graphical user interface (GUI) was similar to the desktop version, making it easy to navigate, and most importantly for the IT professional, responsive. Scanning speeds were steady and detection rates were strong and remained steady during the days of testing, making for a highly reliable product. They concluded by stating, “The certification sets presented no problems, and Avast earns another VB100 award comfortably.”

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.

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December 12th, 2013

Christmas time! Do you want a malware present?

DHLspoofChristmas time is essentially connected with buying presents. There’s a lot of stuff to be done and a lot of opportunities to buy a present in an e-shop to save time. Who doesn’t know someone who buys a Christmas gift online?

The malware authors know and are very keen to take advantage of it. We see scam emails containing order or delivery details every day and they have a lot of common. In fact, it’s nothing new. Such methods are used constantly during the year, it’s nothing special connected to Christmas. However, Christmas is the reason why many people might be fooled. Let’s look at them in detail.

Imagine you are customer waiting for a present to be delivered. You get anxious and check your email waiting for order details. You are probably the most vulnerable at this time. Then you get an email from DHL, the well-known parcel delivery service, with a notice saying that the shipping details are in an attachment. In that moment of relief, you click on the email attachment. It turns out to be a zip file containing a file named DHL-parcel.exe. The strange thing is the file extension looks like regular PDF file because it has the same icon. In fact, it is malware.

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December 11th, 2013

Browser Ransomware tricks revealed

It’s not surprising that scared people are the most vulnerable to attacker’s traps, and there is no reason to think it will work differently with computer users. Using this psychology, cybercrooks show an unaware victim an alert page claiming to have found that banned pornography was viewed or stored on their computer. The message goes on to say their computer is blocked, all their data is encrypted, and they will be sent to court in 48 hours unless they pay a fine. This is basically how ‘Ransomware’ works – scare tactics with a convenient way to buy yourself out of the predicament at the end.

Ransomware page

When we look closer at the scam, we find that the Ransomware is focused only on the victim’s browser and fortunately, not as they claim, on the data stored inside the victim’s computer. Here are several points that work together to scare the victim:

  • The headline of the webpage: “FBI. ATTENTION! Your browser has been blocked…”. This is the part of the attack that tries to scare visitors as much as possible.
  • The name of the page, “gov.cybercrimescenter.com”, tries to convince visitors they are on a legitimate website which belongs to the government.
  • A countdown timer starts on 48 hours and counts down the time before “legal steps” starts.

These points try to rush panicked victims into paying the requested money as soon as possible without time to think. But it’s better to take a deep breath before reacting. You know you didn’t watch the movies mentioned on the page, and of course, you didn’t store illegal files. Do you really think that upon identifying a child pornographer, that the government will tell them to pay a small amount of money as a fine and let them go?

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December 10th, 2013

How to creatively Recommend AVAST and win $1000

howto2_enQuestion of the week: I have been recommending avast! Antivirus to my friends for years. Now I see that you are giving away up to $10,000 for the person with the most recommendations. When you ask for “creative” ways to recommend (to win $1000), just what are you looking for?

Thanks for the helpful question. To celebrate our 25th anniversary and reaching the 200 million users milestone, we are giving away $26,000 to AVAST users who share with their friends and family! I’ll explain more about it below, but let’s first answer your question.

We know that there are people among our 200 million users with wonderful talents. Songwriters, actors, artists, fashion designers, bakers, film-makers, dancers – you name it – in our community, we have them all. We asked those creative minds to think of new ways to recommend avast! Antivirus. We want to showcase those talents and reward the 10 best with $1000 each. Here’s an example from Arun P. He obviously has quite a talent for making videos, so he used it to recommend avast!.

 

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Categories: General, Marketing Tags: , ,
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December 6th, 2013

Ignoring update warnings makes you a sitting duck for malware

We all see the reminders to update Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Java frequently. There is good reason not to put this task off: The trusted researchers at AV-TEST Institute found that 66 percent of affected Windows systems are victims of malware that took advantage of exploits found in Reader, Flash, and Java.

During the 10-year study, they found that Adobe Reader has nearly 37,000 recorded variants that exploit user machines with “high levels of precision.” Java gets the top spot for exploit attacks with a whopping 82,000 attack variations available against the multiple versions of software on 3 billion devices worldwide.

The top 10 list of the most frequently infected file types from AV-TEST.

The top 10 list of the most frequently infected file types from AV-TEST.

 

Can I just stop using Java or Flash?

Not really. Surfing the web without Java and/or JavaScript is virtually impossible given that practically every website uses it in some way to display images, videos, and interactive content. Currently, there are no direct alternatives to Java or Flash for browsers. There are several alternatives to Adobe Reader which display PDFs on your system. You can see what AV-TEST recommends in their report.

Does avast! Antivirus provide protection?

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