The Android:FakeInst family of malware seems to be never ending story. Its creators have been trying to trick users into sending premium rate SMS messages for several months now. Just a few days ago, we discovered 25 more apps placed on alternative markets that are all based on very similar concepts as was the one in the story we wrote about before Christmas.
This time malicious Android applications are hosted on several domains:
All these sites were registered a week ago so it looks like they were supposed to serve as a malware hosting for the bad guys from the very beginning. Also if someone tries to access these sites from the browser, the visitor only receives a 404 error message which does not look like a legitimate site. Analyzing the trail the malware creators left for us, we’ve discovered a few sites they have used in order to attract users and all of them target Russian speaking people and look like an alternative markets. In reality, these sites exist for a short period of time and offers only fake downloaders. Read more…
Since you asked for avast! Free Mobile Security (for Android) and we gave it to you, we wanted to celebrate its launch with our Community. Thus, from December 22, 2011 to January 22, 2012 we offered a contest where you could win 10 Samsung Galaxy Nexus phones and 300 free avast! Internet Security licenses.
Our contest question was…
We asked you to predict how many users of avast! Free Mobile Security there will be by February 10, 2012, 12:00 CET.
Responses showed us…
Roughly 50,000 contest participants showed us that we should actually do it more often. So even if you weren’t lucky this time, make sure you won’t miss our next one!
Results are finally in…
As February 10 is here, we can finally tell you that, as of today, we have 2 168 960 users of avast! Free Mobile Security.
Winners to be announced…
In the next 10 days, we will announce the 10 winners of Samsung Galaxy Nexus phones. Our winner will find his or her name in this format on our Facebook banner: Martin F.. And we will contact the winner via email, to arrange prize delivery.
The next-closest 300 responses will receive (via email) free licenses of avast! Internet Security.
If you participated in our contest and your prediction was close to our final number above, be sure to follow our Facebook page and check your email regularly!
avast! Free Mobile Security – the new anti-theft and anti-malware app from AVAST Software – has been installed by over one million smartphone users in just 16 days.
This threshold was crossed on January 6, only 16 days after avast! Free Mobile Security was placed in the official Android Market.
“This has been a really fast-paced launch, surpassing the results from competing products,” said Ondrej Vlcek, CTO for AVAST Software. “It required Lookout a full six months to reach the one-million level for their mobile security product.”
avast! Free Mobile Security is a full-featured anti-theft and anti-malware app for Android smartphones. Read more…
The holiday season may be over, but the gift-giving is still going strong.
AVAST Software and Android Police have teamed up to give away ten Galaxy Nexus smartphones to readers of the popular Android news site.
To enter the contest, visitors to the Android Police site just need to register their name, email address, and show how they have spread the news about the Galaxy Nexus giveaway and avast! Free Mobile Security to their friends via social media including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. The more ways users spread the news, the higher their chances are of taking home a new phone.
This contest started on January 2 and runs through Saturday, January 7, closing at precisely 23.59 PST.
So, enter quickly and be social. ( :
On 21 December, 2011, we launched our Android antivirus/anti-theft solution (see our official press release). The beta version, released a few weeks earlier, was well received, and generated a lot of initial buzz in the Android community. What follows are quotes from early reviews, many of which were written about the beta version. We have also received a lot of great feedback from our avast! user community, and thus a few days ago AVAST CTO Ondrej Vlcek responded to 10 frequently asked questions about avast! Free Mobile Security.
Here is some of the initial praise from the Android community:
“It has the potential to overshadow just about all of the apps in our Mobile Security App Shootout.”
“A strong contender for the best overall security app on Android.”
“Extremely sophisticated security solution accessible to everyone.”
– Android Police (product review, 7 December 2011)
With the introduction of our new mobile product, avast! Free Mobile Security, we officially entered the mobile security business. While most of the feedback we have seen to date has been very positive, some of the reviews and comments on the Android market indicate that some people are a bit confused about the product and its features. This blog post was meant to explain some of the concepts and hopefully help resolve some of the confusion. It is structured as questions and answers. If you have additional questions, please feel free to post a comment below or head to our forum.
1. Why should I install a security product on my phone? There’s no viruses anyway, right?
First, it’s important to realize that the product goes well beyond malware protection. Components like Anti-theft, Firewall, SMS and call filtering and Application management are very useful irrespective of the malware situation and are all a good reason to install the product.
However, even the malware situation is not that great. To date, we have registered about 4,000 unique apps that exhibit malicious behavior. Most of them were pulled from the market relatively soon (some didn’t even make it to the market), but we dare to say that we can detect them faster.
Also, some of the threats are completely platform independent. A great example is phishing. Here’s how it works: you are sent a link to a website that looks and feels exactly like your online banking site, but in fact it’s a fake site whose purpose is to capture your credentials and steal your money. This has been a long-time classic on the desktop, but as people start browsing the web using their mobile devices it’s also becoming a problem here. Therefore, it does make sense to have an app that will alert you whenever you do something stupid like this (in case of avast! Mobile Security, the Web Shield component takes care phishing URL filtering). Especially given it’s free.
It used to be that beta had a specific meaning. And I am not talking about Archimedes.
Beta once meant an early, test version of a program. Run it, play with it, and yes – you’ll find some bugs in there. Now thanks to Google, and its introduction of near-perpetual beta, the meaning has changed. And, this may be close to reality as one journalist told me last week, “Remember, people are beta, too.”
Hmmm, but as the journalist also pointed out, if a Google beta is essentially complete, then what is our new Android app – avast! Free Mobile Security? It’s out in beta form and it’s on the Google Market. As a dedicated punster, my first idea was to call it alpha-beta. But on a more serious note, I decided to talk to Ondrej Vlcek, our CTO, about what an AVAST Software beta is all about. So here it is: Read more…
Just a couple weeks ago, Chris DiBona, Open Source Programs Manager for Google, claimed that no real malware exists and that “Virus companies are playing on your fears to try to sell you BS protection software for Android, RIM, and, iOS”. Well, let’s see about that.
Just a few hours ago, another group of malicious applications were removed from the official Android Market after we’ve alerted the Google’s security team to their presence. In addition to the official Android Market, these apps have also been available in around five “unofficial” markets. These are malicious apps that send premium SMS messages to numbers which users are charged a lot for. What’s more frightening is that this seems very similar to a case discovered just a few days ago. This one was was pointed out by Lookout mobile security and, as you can see in their blogpost, they were also talking about malicious apps that sent SMS messages to premium numbers. Clearly both groups of applications were created by the same person although published under different name.
Apps published by the developer Miriada Production may look like well known Android games (Angry birds, Need for speed, World of Goo and others) and users could be easily confused. Read more…