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March 18th, 2014

Cyber-hijack unlikely cause of missing Malaysian jetliner

missing_malaysia_airlines_flight-465126An unknown hacker taking control of a plane using an Android phone’s screen sounds like a frightening, but fictional, scenario from the next international spy movie. But, it’s one of many theories being bandied about to explain what happened to missing Malaysian Airways Flight MH370.

This theory, advanced by a British anti-terror expert on Sunday, says that hackers can get into the main computer network of the plane through the inflight, onboard entertainment system. Ondrej Vlcek, Chief Operating Officer at AVAST, believes this theory is highly unlikely.

“The theory is extremely wild and unlikely,” said Vlcek. “The entertainment systems on most airline carriers are relatively old and independent from the main computer systems of the aircraft such as position, temperature, etc. There is no feedback communication from the entertainment system to the main computer. It is basically only one-way information for passengers.”

Long before the mystery of Flight MH370, we shared a different rogue-hacker-with-Android-scenario. It was based on a presentation given at The Hack In The Box security conference in April 2013 called ‘Aircraft Hacking: Practical Aero Series’ by Hugo Teso.  Using PC simulation software, Teso was able to manipulate the steering of a Boeing jet in ‘autopilot’ mode, and said he could make oxygen masks drop down, and even cause the plane to crash by setting it on a collision course with another plane, stated a Forbes’ article about the presentation.

After reviewing the results of his tests, aviation safety groups disputed the findings saying, “The described technique cannot engage or control the aircraft’s autopilot system using the FMS or prevent a pilot from overriding the autopilot. Therefore, a hacker cannot obtain “full control of an aircraft” as the technology consultant has claimed.”

For an up-to-date list of all the theories – from the realistic to the really wild – about what has happened to the plane, please see The Telegraph, Malaysian Airlines MH370: live.

Photo source: Express

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.

March 13th, 2014

AVAST is top choice for mobile and PC security worldwide

Respected testing lab AV-Comparatives ranks AVAST as the most popular provider of both mobile security and antivirus protection in North America, South America, and Europe, and gaining in Asia.

AVcomp mobile security

“This survey highlights that AVAST is the most popular name in security in the world,” said Vincent Steckler, CEO of AVAST Software. “We proudly protect more than 210 million devices from hackers, thieves, spies and even governments.”

The rankings came from the fourth annual global survey released at the end of February. In the survey, AV-Comparatives states that internet usage among home and business users is growing, but how people access the internet is changing. Smartphone and tablet sales have increased, while laptop and desktop sales are on the decline. This means that the focus of cybercrooks is changing too.

Android owners are vulnerable without security protection

Mobile device owners are steadily realizing that the threat to their security is increasing. The survey confirms that the amount of mobile devices protected by security software is significantly lower than that of desktop devices, especially in North America.

“User awareness of mobile malware is dangerously low; yet in 2013, our virus lab found more than 1,850 new pieces of mobile malware a day,” commented Mr. Steckler. Read more…

March 12th, 2014

AVAST will continue to support Windows XP for home and business users

800px-Microsoft_Windows_XP_logo_and_wordmark.svgIn “internet years” Microsoft’s Windows XP has been around for eons. It was released in August 2001, and in less than one month, on April 8, 2014, Microsoft will cease to provide support and security updates. The security updates patch vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malware and help to keep users and their data safe. Because of the continued use of XP in homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, and ATMs around the world, this has the potential to create massive security issues.

AVAST will continue to support Windows XP users by creating protection modules and detections to cover vulnerabilities and other security problems for at least the next three years. Our latest version, avast! Free Antivirus 2014, works well with older machines running Windows XP because of its light footprint, speed, and negligible resource consumption, making it a perfect choice even for older machines running Windows XP. AVAST protects more XP users than anyone else. You can get it free now! Download avast! Free Antivirus.

What does this mean for businesses around the world?

The end of Microsoft support means you will no longer get security updates or new support information updates for Windows – for free.  Very large customers will have an option to subscribe to a program called “Custom Support,” an after-retirement support contract, but this is not available for SMBs or individual home users.

In an informal survey of AVAST partners, we learned that many businesses still use Windows XP and have delayed upgrading because of budget limitations as well as software and hardware compatibility issues.

Frank Mayer, an AVAST partner in Greece said that most of his customers are still using Windows XP, but because of the ongoing financial crisis in the country, “I see no change in the near future. In this crisis, no one easily spends money on new PC’s and /or Operating systems.”

“In Romania, most computers in public institutions still use Windows XP, and about 75% of them cannot support an upgrade to Windows 7 or 8 due to hardware limitations,” said Claudiu Chirita of Easy Media SRL. “The same situation is present in the SOHO segment where software upgrades will involve hardware upgrades or replacement.

How many still use Windows XP? What’s the risk? Read more…

March 12th, 2014

AVAST gets Smart Choice award from FindTheBest

findthebestAV awardYou have probably read reviews on Amazon when buying a book or electronics, and Yelp helps greatly when looking for a new restaurant to visit. These two are popular examples of rating and review sites that help consumers get information about products and services.

FindTheBest is a research platform that attracts 20 million visitors monthly. After outranking over 50 of our competitors’ software, avast! Mobile Security & avast! Free Antivirus has won their Smart Choice awards!

To qualify, avast! Mobile Security & avast! Free Antivirus had to stand out with a Smart Rating of 90% or higher. Smart Ratings are created by averaging several expert reviews from industry publishers into one comprehensive expert rating for consumers.
findthebestmobile security award

Please write a review for AVAST

AVAST depends on word-of-mouth from our satisfied customers. In fact, over 60% of new users come to us because their friend told them about our security products.

Please add your review and help other consumers discover how great AVAST protection is.

Review avast! Mobile Security

Review avast! Free Antivirus

You can also add your review, comment, and yes, even a complaint to our Facebook page, Twitter or Google+ page. We appreciate all feedback.

 

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Add your review to FindTheBest

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: General Tags: ,
March 8th, 2014

A conversation with AVAST women – Part 2

goofy AVAST girls

They’re talented, but a bit goofy too.

Happy International Women’s Day! This is part 2 of the conversation some of the women of AVAST had together this week. We talked about women in technology, careers, daily challenges, and who inspires us.

DEBORAH We’ve been talking about the challenges of working in the male-dominated tech industry (see part 1). Do you have any role models in tech?

ANNA  Oh, yes. Marissa Mayer. It is cliché, but she is simply awesome! I like her time management skills: She leads Yahoo!, has photo shoots at Vogue, and changes clothes in the car between meetings.
JULIA If I had to name some, it would be an unusual mixture of politicians, successful businessmen and creatives. All of them however had one thing in common: Thinking out-of-the-box. Audrey Hepburn,  Angela Ahrendts, Coco Chanel, Margaret Thatcher, Steve Jobs, Woody Allen, Rembrandt, Albert Einstein, or Martin Luther King.
CAROLINE I admire people who give back.  Bill Gates took a while to do it, but he is now and with a vengeance through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I think tech masters like Bill can set a good precedent for contemporaries today.  I’ve read Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook and his wife are generous benefactors to various causes and charities.

DEBORAH Besides these role models, what or who inspires you on a daily basis?

The-Four-Agreements

“Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less.”

MAGDA People who were able to make a living from their hobby. I really admire people who are passionate and determined. It’s fantastic for example to become popular blogger and describe the world around you and inspire others to follow their dreams.
ANNA Young entrepreneurs, talented and creative people. The way their brains work and ideas they bring to life just simply amaze me.
STEFANIE My mom inspires me, she is my hero. She is strong, hardworking, loving, and has always taught me to do my best, respect others and to have fun. She has always and continues to support and encourage me to chase my dreams.
JULIA People give me new inspiration! Social media are perfect tools to connect with people and get inspired. Within minutes I can learn, connect, discover new things – breaking cultural, geographical and time zone border – people in real life and on social media share things that influence and inspire me greatly.
PAVLA It would be probably a long list. It starts with my family and continues with my schoolmates and friends. As I can see what their successes are, it inspires me to reach my own goals and work even harder.
PETRA I really like book The Four Agreements (A Toltec Wisdom Book) written by Miguel Ángel Ruiz. Any time I feel unsatisfied with myself in personal or professional life, I try to perceive in my mind all these four rules:

  • Be Impeccable With Your Word.
  • Don’t Take Anything Personally.
  • Don’t Make Assumptions.
  • Always Do Your Best.

DEBORAH What project or initiatives are you most excited about in 2014?

JULIA We have initiated a huge project with Fnatic. eSports and professional video gaming is an exciting new field.
CAROLINE We have the spotlight on the U.S at AVAST and it’s exciting to be able to champion our offering in a marketplace where many people still don’t know about us. There are boundless opportunities to explore to help them discover AVAST and why they should use us.
JULIA Also, our success on the Social Media (4 million fans / followers of avast! on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels) brought us several opportunities to share our experience and knowledge at various of conferences and Universities. My partner, Deborah Salmi ,and I are very proud of it and pleased to share our knowledge with students and other professionals. [High fives]
DOMINIKA I am excited about organizing press conferences for new releases of AVAST solutions, and also about communicating all news we are going to introduce to the public. Our Social Media Team is constantly coming up with fun contests and other activities, and I am very happy I can communicate it “to the world,” especially to the Czech fans!

Read more…

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March 7th, 2014

#avastSelfie Photo Contest

Happy International Women’s Day!

As we celebrate the 106th annual International Women’s Day on Saturday, March 8th, it is an occasion to thank women everywhere who trust us to protect their devices with avast! Antivirus products. To acknowledge women’s contributions to information technology, we took a closer look this week at women’s role in the IT industry, and had a few chats with AVAST female employees to talk about women in technology, careers, daily challenges, and who inspires us.

Now it’s time for fun! The #avastSelfie Photo Contest: Special female edition begins Saturday! :)

blog

Why should you participate?

Because it is fun! We all take “Selfie” photos! Ducky lips, smiley faces, cool poses: We just love Selfies! Now you can have fun with your girlfriends and win our cute avast! teddy bears or free licenses for avast! Internet Security.

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Tag your photo #avastSelfie and you could win!

How to do it?

Snap an “avastSelfie” of yourself (or Gentlemen – take a Selfie with your female friend, sister, daughter, wife, or girlfriend) together with an avast! Antivirus protected device, tag it #avastSelfie, upload it on our Facebook contest app, on Twitter or Instagram! Smile for the camera and show us which device is protected by avast!

• Your laptop

• Your smartphone

• Your tablet

• Your desktop

How to enter via Facebook?

1. Fill in your contact details in the app (contest begins Saturday)

2. Submit your best “avastSelfie”

3. Tell your friends about avast! and invite your friends to vote for your image!

How to enter via Twitter and Instagram?

Tag your photo #avastSelfie and post it on Twitter or Instagram. It will be automatically upload to the gallery here.

The #avastSelfie photo contest begins on Saturday, March 8 and ends Friday, March 14. Eight (8) free licenses for avast! Internet Security will be given to those Selfies with the most votes, and eight (8) avast! teddy bears will be given to our favorites. Have fun, and happy International Women’s Day!

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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March 7th, 2014

A conversation with AVAST women – Part 1

IWD2014

Some of the talented women of AVAST.

AVAST Software is officially a great place to work. One of the reasons it’s so enjoyable here is because of the women we work with. Like most technology companies, AVAST is male-dominated. Our male colleagues are the best at what they do, but since International Women’s Day is on Saturday, March 8, some of the women of AVAST sat down together to have a chat about women in technology, careers, daily challenges, and who inspires us. This is part 1 of that conversation.

Coffee and conversation

DEBORAH Thanks for joining in on the Women’s Day conversation. Most of us had a winding career path that lead us to work for this great technology company. What were some early experiences with technology that influenced your career?

tin-can-string

How do you send text messages?

CAROLINE I’ve always been proud that I’m one of the first people to try new technologies.  I remember when I was working for a subsidiary company of recruitment juggernaut, Monster.com, that I was one of a handful in our 200+ employee office to jump right on email when it was being introduced.  And some 17 years later, look where email has us now? Everyone uses it – a business mainstay.
MAGDA I worked at Cisco in the past, and I was really amazed by the media which allows you to communicate. My first interview was done via Telepresence, and I was really excited about how easy it was to just connect anytime without spending hours on a plane.
CAROLINE  As well, during my time at Porter Novelli – a global public relations firm – I was part of the team that championed and recognized the power of the web (the Internet had only come about in the mid-90s).  Websites were big business for PR firms back in the day – we wrote copy, designed the look and feel, advised on messaging, etc.
MARCELA My background is pure social, and when I was offered a role in an IT Company 8 years ago, I worried about how I can learn and understand an IT technical world. It took a few years of listening, Googling, and studying to catch up on core technical things to be able to understand and see the whole picture but it was definitely worth it.
MAGDA Working in technology gives you a lot of useful and interesting skills, which you can apply in your private life as well.

DEBORAH The curiosity and creativity you describe seem to be a trait among pioneers, women and men, in any field. What technologies do you ladies use today that allows you to express who you really are? Read more…

February 28th, 2014

How do I handle files that avast! can’t scan?

howto2_enQuestion of the week: Last week I ran a complete avast! Antivirus scan on my desktop computer and when it finished, it gave me the message that some files could not be scanned because they were password protected.  They all had the extension of .png, so I did a search of all programs by typing *.png and the items that came up were photos our grandson had posted to Facebook from his recent trip to Thailand.

My question is, are the .png files innocuous?  If not, what should I do?  I don’t really like to have files on my computer that Avast cannot scan.

Thanks for your question. This is one that is commonly asked on the avast! Forum, so it’s useful to post the answer here too. Take a look at AVAST evangelist Bob G.’s answer:

Files that can’t be scanned are just that -  files that for one reason or another cannot be scanned. It’s not an indication that those files are suspicious or infected; it simply means that these files need another element before they can actually be opened and examined by avast! Antivirus.

Many programs (often security-related) password protect their files for legitimate reasons. Avast! doesn’t know the password or have any way of using it even if it did. Once the password is supplied by whatever program is using these files, avast! will check the files when they are actually run. If it turns out that something is hidden, avast! will block it. While they are in their password protected state, the files pose no threat to you or your system.

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.

February 26th, 2014

Lost your phone? avast! Anti-Theft helps get it back!

Our AVAST mobile security developers labored over an ingenious feature that we hope you will never have to use. Losing your mobile phone may cause you to have a panic attack and cry uncontrollably, but if it happens to you, you can dry your tears because you have tools to find your phone when you install avast! Free Mobile Security with Anti-Theft.

What is avast! Anti-Theft?

avast! Anti-Theft is a separate program included in avast! Free Mobile Security. You can install it at the same time as the avast! Mobile Security product, or later as a separate installation. Its unique capabilities help you recover your phone by controlling it remotely with SMS commands or via the internet by logging in to your AVAST account.

Since Anti-Theft is a stand-alone application, once its launched, it hides itself, making it completely invisible to a potential thief. Read more…

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February 24th, 2014

avast! SecureLine VPN protects you from the Apple Exploit

A major Apple security flaw allows cybercrooks and spies to grab personal information like email, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data. Apple confirmed researchers’ findings that the same SSL/TSL security flaw fixed with the latest iOS 7.0.2 update is also present in notebook and desktop machines running OS X.

Please apply the patches as advised in this post.

It is clear that we need constant protection to cover flaws that will always exist; flaws that we are not even aware of. Reuter‘s reported that

The bug has been present for months, according to researchers who tested earlier versions of Apple’s software. No one had publicly reported it before, which means that any knowledge of it was tightly held and that there is a chance it hadn’t been used.

But documents leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden showed agents boasting that they could break into any iPhone, and that hadn’t been public knowledge either.

It’s very public now, and that means the race is on between cybercrooks to exploit the flaw and Apple to fix it. You are exposed until the bugs are identified by the vendor, a patch is created, and it’s pushed out or you install it. Your vulnerability increases when you use public WiFi Hotspots.

Your best protection is constant protection

ios-vpn (1)

 

It’s precisely because we put ourselves at risk by using free WiFi, and we don’t know when the next security crisis is coming that we need constant protection. SecureLine VPN is that protection. Read more…

Categories: General, Mac Tags: , , , , , ,