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August 11th, 2011

AVAST Software: Superglue site stuck with malware

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, August 10, 2011 – The website of Super Glue Corporation (supergluecorp.com) makers of the world-famous adhesive, has been infected with malware. And after five days, this infection seemed to be sticking like glue.

The infection was a Trojan JavaScript Redirector which takes visitors through a series of infected sites to the final location in Russia, most likely a distribution center for fake antivirus. Read more…

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May 5th, 2011

CARO: Half of all computers running vulnerable versions of Adobe PDF Reader

Half of all avast! users are running an older versions of Adobe Reader on their computers that are vulnerable to a variety of malware attacks.

The avast! Virus Lab found that 49.41% of avast users were using the older Adobe Reader versions as of end-April. The number was also surprisingly stable, dropping by around five percentage points from the early March level of 55.71%.

“The numbers were a surprise to us,” said Jiri Sejtko, head virus analyst. Read more…

May 5th, 2011

Virus Lab: Osama Bin Laden is hot, Gagarin is cold

Gagarin is so yesterday

Osama Bin Laden is the face of malware for the first week of May, replacing Soviet cosomonaut Yuri Gagarin.

Within hours of his death, a reputed picture of a bloody Bin Laden was making the rounds on the Internet. On close inspection, this picture appeared to be a heavily-altered version of much older photo. Regardless of whether this specific picture was accurate or not – it was still enough to make Bin Laden a momentary hit on the internet with cybercriminals. Here are four reasons why:

-        High number of searches- The large number of internet searches is an irresistible target for cybercriminals. Especially because the process of infecting sites and web searches is automatic and driven by the searches of normal users- like you.

-        Limited (no) official sources for information – The lack of an official picture means people are clicking anywhere for data, even on those unusual sites that they would never normally visit. Read more…

May 3rd, 2011

9 years of the good life

During the Nebraskan winter of 2002, Tom Broekemeier went looking for protection.

An search for “free antivirus protection,” to be exact. And his internet search brought up a brand-new product called avast – released just 11 days earlier.

Now, over nine years after first installing avast! on his home computer, he is still with avast!. “It is free, easy to use, and WORKS,” explained Tom. Read more…

April 29th, 2011

Californian woman follows dream to become new avast! voice

What do you do when the “avast! virus database has been updated” message comes from your computer in the morning?

Aubrey Anthony, head of customer service at a California internet service provider, used to just imitate the message – but then she got an inspiration: “I told my boyfriend … what do you think about me being the voice for AVAST Software?”

The two came up with a quick answer. “We both decided it would be so cool and he told me to go for it,” remembered Aubrey. So she sent AVAST Software the following message:
The reason I am emailing is that it is my dream to be the next “avast! virus database has been updated” voice. It would be so awesome!

“I sent the email to AVAST not expecting to hear back,” stated Aubrey. But, she did get a message back – Read more…

March 28th, 2011

Malware stops the music at Spotify.com

Malware stopped the music at Spotify.com – especially for listeners in Sweden and the UK.

According to the avast! Virus Lab, the majority of Spotify users reporting the malware were in Sweden (59%), followed by a large group (40%) in the UK. The remaining 1% came from other countries. There were no reports from France – an interesting twist due to the large avast! user base there.

The poisoned ads were likely served up in specific geographic areas, resulting in the predominance of Swedish and UK reports. Geographic dispersal is a function of how and where Spotify operates as they don’t have the right to distribute music in the United States.

The malware was contained in a poisoned advertisement, with the PDF exploit “JS:Pdfka-gen [Expl]“, attempting to put a fake antivirus on visitors’ computers.  According to VirusTotal, we were the first ones to detect the pdf. The attack took place during the week of March 21, 2011.

For a detailed report on the Spotify attack,  read the websense.com report.

March 17th, 2011

Attack of the semi-fake antivirus

We know what fake antivirus is: malware posing as real antivirus while hijacking your computer and wallet. Then there is real antivirus: applications such as avast! and our competitors.

And now there is a third category: semi-fake antivirus. It’s not a blatant malware attack and may actually include a real antivirus application. From a strictly technical perspective, it might not even be called malware.

But one thing is clear: it is still taking money from consumers in a way that some would call fraudulent.

Recently, I got an email from the UK-based Computeractive about an irate customer wanting a refund on avast! Pro. It seems that the person went on the internet, searched for avast, and found a site offering special download services and videos. They ended up getting a messed-up computer and spending over $100.

And then there is the French Connection: avast2011.fr-01.net. Combining avast, the year, and a major French IT portal together into a very attractive domain name; hackers created Read more…

February 9th, 2011

WebRep and long, hot legs

I don’t know about you, but I really like taking the new avast! 6.0 features – WebRep, for example — for a test drive. With the beta 6.0 installed, I opened Google.com and quickly typed in “Longhotlegs” to see what would pop up. I even forgot to add the spaces. In my top five results, there was a stocking e-shop for women (no rating), strip bar in the UK (no rating), the TMZ celebrity blog (green rating), and – my favorite – a Wikipedia entry for Pholciadae.

This spider family includes the creature commonly known as “daddy long-legs”.

From the WebRep perspective, Google.com has a “good rating with many votes” while en.wikipedia.org has a “good rating with few voters”. Read more…

February 3rd, 2011

Spy shots of the new avast! 6.0

The new avast! 6.0 was spotted at the Prague Café Imperial this Thursday.

The “Additional Protection” features in the 6.0 version are more difficult to photograph than the art deco ceramics in this  historic Prague hotel.

Other pictures of the new 6.0 are available here. Read more…

January 25th, 2011

Is avast! antivirus headed for the Super Bowl?

avast! sports fans around the world want to know: Will the world’s most popular free antivirus program make it to Super Bowl XLV?

Yes, it would be a long shot. But I’m betting that if avast! shows up at the number one event for American football, it will be instantly recognized by thousands of supporters.

Recent months have showed avast! steadily moving up the sporting ranks, getting a foothold in a variety of arenas. If avast! can handle NBA basketball and professional wrestling, – it can handle professional (American) football. Read more…