Are you ready to make the move to Windows 8.1? Reviews says that with Windows 8.1, Microsoft made some significant improvements, including restoring the much-missed start button. Make sure that your upgrade experience goes smoothly by installing avast! 2014 first.
Avast! 2014 has Windows 8.1 certification which ensures that it meets compatibility standards and performs well on the Windows platform. Older versions of avast! Antivirus do not carry that certification, so if you update to Windows 8.1, it will disable avast! and you will be unprotected.
Make sure you stay protected when upgrading to Windows 8.1
Update to avast! 2014 before you upgrade to Windows 8.1. Here’s how:
- Open the avast! user interface
- Click on the Maintenance tab
- Click Update Program
- The Update screen shows you the overall progress
- When it’s done, you will be asked to restart your computer. Click ‘Yes’ to reboot.
- Once your computer is restarted, you might be asked to install Google Chrome as your default browser. We recommend this safe browser, but you have the option to decline.
- Click ‘Continue’ to complete the upgrade.
After this, the latest version of avast! Antivirus 2014 is installed on your computer and ready to use. You can now make the upgrade to Windows 8.1 and remain protected.
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In today’s world where malware evolves and develops rapidly, sharing security information is the key element for success. Companies which ignore this fact sooner of later suffer from the consequences of their bad decision. Malware researchers from all over the world regularly meet at various IT security conferences, where they learn from each other how to fight with malware and how to make the IT world a safer place.
I am quite surprised at how inventive people can be when it comes to the thinking up weak passwords. The obviously weak combinations like ’1234′ or ‘qwerty’ along with names and phone numbers are quite common parts of passwords.
The story begins with me fighting a familiar piece of malware, Bicololo, which is spyware designed to steal the identity from users of Russian social networks. A routine task you might say. This time the authors were less cautious with settings on their rogue servers, so I managed to get hundreds of freshly-stolen credentials. What to do with them? The first thing I tried was contacting support of the affected social network to get users warned and passwords reset. Unfortunately, my effort met no success there; they did not even bother to answer my mail! So instead of getting to warn hundreds of innocent users on the Russian social network, I used this unique opportunity to analyze the habits users have regarding their passwords and share it with our AVAST readers.
Once I cleaned up the data, I received about 850 unique combinations of username-password pairs. This is not enough variants for the results to be widely representative. The data was obtained from a rather specific group of (less experienced) users whose lack of knowledge allowed their computers to be infected. I expect the general reality to be a bit better than my results. Though my findings are not scientifically-correct, they can give us some insight into the problem and show us examples we should avoid while choosing our passwords. Read more…
In the 25 years that AVAST has existed, the goal has always been to protect people’s valuable data, residing on computers and mobile devices, from cybercrooks. Today, after all those years of experience gained from protecting nearly 200 million devices, we are proud to introduce our strongest, most effective product, the new avast! 2014.
“The new avast! 2014 delivers on our commitment to provide faster, better protection to the market,” said AVAST Chief Executive Officer Vincent Steckler. “It’s the culmination of 25 years of research and the experience of protecting nearly 200 million devices – by far more than any other antivirus product.”
AVAST Software co-founder, Eduard Kučera, introduced free antivirus protection years ago because he believed that all computer users deserve protection from harmful threats, and that computer safety should not be a luxury only a few can afford. AVAST has never strayed from the vision of offering a high-end antivirus product for free while building a wide user base. This user base now comprises the largest crowdsourced data pool in the world.
Community IQ – The largest crowdsourcing in the world
Protection starts with award-winning AVAST technology, but is amplified and improved by the feedback that our huge user base supplies. AVAST uses crowdsourced analysis called Community IQ to identify and isolate malware found in suspicious files and programs. Nearly 200 million devices worldwide automatically detect and report blacklist and whitelist applications and websites, along with tens of thousands of people who regularly provide us with vital information and feedback through the avast! user forum each day.
These enormous channels of communication give AVAST a distinct advantage in terms of the technical data we are able to use. Our users quickly send information to our Virus Lab experts who immediately start tracking the scope and severity of viruses. The analysis results provide the basis for “streaming updates” that we send to our global user base.
Continuous streaming updates
All that information sent from our Community IQ, allows the avast! Virus Lab to send streaming updates around the clock. These nearly instantaneous updates are malware detection “signatures” as well as advanced detections numbering in the hundreds per day.
“avast! 2014 is a big step forward,” said AVAST Chief Technology Officer Ondřej Vlček. “We now stream more than 250 micro-updates to active devices each day to improve zero-day detection and prevention. By protecting the most devices we have the best insight into the threat landscape, and that translates into better protection for our users.”
The 2014 version is available in four consumer variations – avast! Free Antivirus, avast! Pro Antivirus, avast! Internet Security, and avast! Premier – and in more than 40 languages. AVAST also provides world-class protection for businesses and mobile devices.
AVAST Free for Education is proud to sponsor some of the featured sessions at this years EDUCAUSE, which will be taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center, in Anaheim, California from Tuesday, October 15th until Friday, October 18th.
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education through the use of information technology. The association organizes an annual conference whose target group is higher education IT professionals. Just one week remains until this big event, and we are ready for it!
Myself, Stephanie King and my colleague, Che Johnson, will be attending the event and are looking forward to meeting everyone and to answering questions regarding the Free for Education program. We will be located at the Anaheim Convention Center, Level 3, Ballroom C, on Thursday, October 17th. We hope that our sponsorship will make educational IT professionals aware of the possibility they have to save money with our business-grade security product, which has the same features and performance as paid ones, but is unique in that it is FREE!
To sum it up: If you are a university professional, come to get more information about program, as well as some AVAST Free for Education materials. If you are journalist, stop by to learn more about our program and help us to spread the word about this unbeatable offer. And Corey E.P., as a US school district, you are eligible too. Find out more at at our Free for EDU website You can also apply there. It’s easy and fast.
Hope to see you there!
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…)
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.
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!
One 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.
The VB100 award is given to those products that detect 100% of viruses “in the wild,” using the freshest malware sample sets available, as well as samples not previously seen. In this round, the testers also used a range of items including a wide selection of educational software, designed for use either in schools or in home-teaching environments. avast! Free Antivirus scored 100% for each malware set tested.
“The core sets were dealt with flawlessly, easily earning Avast a VB100 award for this month’s efforts,” said the Virus Bulletin experts conducting the test.
The second standard measured is the number of false positives generated when scanning. A false positive warning happens when a file is erroneously tagged as a virus or malware, when in fact the file does not possess such malicious code and is not a virus or malware. avast! Free Antivirus had zero false positives and got a perfect score on both standards showing it has what it takes to handle newly emerging malware and accurately detect previously unknown malware.
Speed and performance measures are also taken and avast! Free Antivirus earned the highest Stability rating, Solid: No issues observed, as opposed to Stable, Fair, or Buggy.
The Virus Bulletin annual conference, the premier technical event of the antivirus/security industry, will be held the first week in October in Berlin. AVAST will be attending, so we hope to see you there.