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December 27th, 2013

What bugged AVAST users this year: Mobile malware and fraud

Last year, on Christmas day, over 17 million new mobile devices went online. Before the ribbons and wrapping paper could be discarded, cybercrooks started their attacks.
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In the first half of this year, experts said that 79 percent of all mobile malware attacks were on Android systems. When we asked Ondrej Vlček, AVAST’s Chief Technology Officer, about mobile security in 2013 and what we can expect in 2014, he answered, “Mobile threats will certainly continue to be on the rise. We see nearly 2,000 new malware samples on Android every day, and this is up from maybe 50 a year ago. It’s quite likely that the trend will continue. Especially if you are running an Android device, you absolutely need to install a security product.”

Online fraud goes viral on mobile

Paving the way for a mobile-payment driven future like Japan and Singapore have developed, mobile phones morphed into wallets during 2013, including SMS, WAP and near-field communications (NFC) payment. Data privacy and security have emerged as critical issues over the past few years, and will continue to be important as these new mobile payment options introduce new threats of data hacking and fraud.

AVAST detected an average of 1,839 new mobile malware samples a day, about 60 to 70% of which were designed to send and charge mobile users for premium SMS.

Speaking to SC Magazine about mobile malware, Vlček said, “Especially on Android, the KPIs are exploding, because its openness and design make it a logical choice for the attacker, and it has reached a critical mass in terms of penetration and market share.”  And, he adds, with the smartphone’s ability to send premium SMS and spam SMS messages offering new channels for malware writers to make money, it’s only going to get worse.

AVAST this year has also seen more targeted attacks where the goal is to steal users‘ financial transaction data and ultimately their money. This includes hacking specific banks by manipulating their Internet banking interfaces to steal the customer’s personal data.

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It’s a good idea to follow Ondrej’s advice and get a mobile security product for your Android smartphone or tablet. We suggest PC Mag’s Editor’s Choice award winner, avast! Free Mobile Security.

Upgrade from avast! Free Mobile Security to avast! Mobile Premium for your device and get a second license free of charge for a friend!

To get this offer, install our top-rated avast! Mobile Security app, then click on the Go Premium! button and follow the instructions. This offer is valid from now until the end of December.

Buy One, Get One: avast! Mobile Premium.

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 19th, 2013

The No. 1 app you need for your Android phone now

avast! Mobile Security is the number 1 app you need on your Android phone. Not convinced? If you already have an Android phone in your pocket, or if a new mobile phone or tablet is on your Christmas wish list, read this story shared with us by Jennifer:

BOGO AMS

 

The number 1 reason Jennifer got her phone back was that she had avast! Mobile Security installed. You need this too, because loss and theft happens all the time. Jennifer ended her story saying that she may install our pro version – if the price was right. Well, Jennifer, from now until the end of December, we are offering you and all other Android owners:

Buy avast! Mobile Premium for your device and get a second license free of charge for a friend!

To get this offer, install our top-rated avast! Mobile Security app, then click on the Go Premium! button and follow the instructions.  Read more about avast! Mobile Security’s features in avast! Mobile Premium: The Ultimate in Mobile Security.

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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 4th, 2013

Advanced Beta testers needed for avast! SecureLine for Android

securelineWe are happy to announce an open beta test for our upcoming product avast! SecureLine for Android, and we are seeking advanced beta testers to take part.

With avast! SecureLine for Android, you can securely use your smartphones and tablets on unsecure WiFi networks while traveling or in your favorite cafe. Those of you who live in parts of world without access to foreign services and restricted content (Netflix, Pandora, etc.) will now have a solution to their problem with avast! SecureLine. Best of all, beta testers will exclusively get a one month subscription for FREE!

Try it out and give us your feedback! We’ll be working hard to bring you the best possible product.

Please note this important open beta information:
- Only 2 servers, New York and London, will be available during the beta. The full release will include more around the world.
- Exclusive 1-month free subscription for beta testers. The standard free trial will be 7 days after the beta closure.
- avast! SecureLine runs on Android 4.0 and higher

How to install:
1. Join our beta Google+ group at https://plus.google.com/communities/112394513906169233317
2. Click on the avast! SecureLine (beta) link on this page https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.avast.android.vpn. Once you (the user) join, the link will become active and you can opt-in.
3. Click on “Become a tester”.
4. Download through Google Play on your device OR install directly from Google Play website.avast! SecureLine for Android has an open beta, and you are invited to join!

Categories: Android corner Tags: , ,
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November 18th, 2013

On the road with avast! Mobile Security

With six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, the highways are already busy with tractor trailers delivering merchandise to retailers, shoppers making gift runs, and families hitting the road or airports to travel “Over the River and Through the Woods” to Grandmother’s house. With all that moving around, it’s a given that someone will lose their smartphone or tablet.

truckers
In fact, “One hundred thirteen smartphones are lost or stolen every minute in the US,” said Stephen Ebbett, president of lifestyle insurance company, Protect Your Bubble, in an interview on Fox Techtake. In a survey conducted by the company earlier this year, they discovered that people are most likely to lose their phones when traveling. Twenty-three percent of cell phones are left at the airport, 21.7% are left at hotels, 18% are lost or stolen on public transportation,  or forgotten in a rental car (11.5%).

The need to protect truck drivers smartphones

Truck drivers are among those professional travelers whose devices have been lost or stolen. It’s an important subject for drivers because bring-your-own-device is being adopted by many trucking companies. Stephen Bennett of Transport Topics, The Newspaper of Trucking and Freight Transportation, wrote about it in the Oct-Nov issue,

…security features…available from companies that cater to consumers are becoming increasingly important to over-the-road truck drivers because of a trend that has been described as the “consumerization” of business technology or “BYOD” — tech-talk for “bring your own device.”

Bennett spoke to Juraj Chrappa, senior product manager of avast! Mobile Security. Chrappa said that an AVAST survey conducted in June indicated that 25% of AVAST users, or more than 6 million people with mobile devices, had lost their devices or they had been stolen with U.S. consumers among those most likely to lose or have their phone stolen.The average cost of a smart phone is $372, he added. Read more…

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October 23rd, 2013

No pleasure from this adult app – only pain

A few weeks ago, I discovered and Julia warned you about a fake AVAST application which was infecting smartphones. It was hidden behind adult apps and was pretty nasty. Here is some detailed information about it.

First of all, if you look for adult applications (also known as pleasure applications J ), you can find tons of them.  Some apps, especially those offered on unofficial markets, are infected by malware;  in the case of the fake AVAST app, it was ransomware. The same scenario commonly plays out – after installation when you play the application for the first time, you get infected and blocked from using your phone.  The app asks for money to unblock you phone. That’s typical ransomware behavior.

The clues are easy to spot

You are looking for a adult application and run across something called AVASTME.NOW.  What the hell is going on here, you might think? The fact that an adult app is named after the world’s most trusted antivirus might be your first clue that something is wrong. But you install the app, even though it’s a pretty weird name for an app designed for adults. Luckily, after the installation you get an icon on your device called Porn Hub, so you start to feel satisfied you actually got what you were looking for. So let’s play it!

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But this satisfied feeling does not stay forever. After the first few clicks, the application announces your phone must be checked for viruses. That‘s the second big clue that something might be wrong. Normal applications do not check your phone for viruses.  But you don‘t have any choice, so you continue. That’s when you see a fake avast! Mobile Security interface which is almost identical to the original.

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Here comes a third clue for sharp-eyed users: All the detections you see on the screen use a different format than AVAST. But it‘s already too late to stop the app. In the next step, you are asked to pay $100 to clean up your phone.  And your device is locked.

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Sloppy, but effective

This ransomware is easily packed, and it’s apparent that the creators tried to do it as quickly as possible. Strings of detections don‘t have any kind of background, and it appears that it used randomly generated names from multiple antiviruses, as you see in the screenshot  below. They were even too lazy to clean up unnecessary icons from the package, so you can find a picture of a cat in it (maybe it‘s the unhappy cat of some of the creators? :) ) Even though the app was sloppily done, the cybercrooks were successful and earned/stole large sums of money.

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This is just one example of the many applications out there waiting to steal money from you. It doesn’t have to be for adults only; basically any application might be misused against you. That‘s why everyone should be a careful and download applications only from trusted sources.  Because malware like this is increasing, it especially prudent to use some kind of antivirus protection.  We suggest (the authentic) avast! Mobile Security, available from the Google Play store. It’s free! You never know when you will get something like this, so install it today on your Android device.

SHA:
0768724FFD5B78F1F510E5C5C87181534E61A35D04BFCD29946D9DBB305BF275
F9D4CE9174F1A57C3D335E467A5079BF3CA87F00EB6B996B8EAF21E0D6F54BDD

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+.

 

Categories: Android corner, Uncategorized, Virus Lab Tags:
October 7th, 2013

Beware of poisoned apples

loginEverybody knows the story of the beautiful Snow White. An evil queen with a bad temper gives a young girl a poisoned apple, because she apparently thinks that it would just make her day. Poor Snow White. All she wanted was a bite of this juicy apple. I guess this one particular bite didn’t make her very happy. Anyway, she apparently made some mistakes, that I can tell. For example, if she wanted an apple, she should have just picked one from a “genuine” tree. Or she could have had someone taste the apple first, like a brave knight that’s always there for her, protecting her every second.

Yes, it’s been a while since that famous apple incident happened. Nowadays, a girl wouldn’t just accept an apple from a stranger and take a bite right away. She would at least wash it first! If she’s smart enough, she’s going to have something that tells her more about the apple.

With the magic of fairy dust and special effects, let’s transform this story into the world of mobile security.

Poisoned APPles

The Snow White fairy tale came to life a few days ago, when we found a fake Apple iMessage app for Android. There are lot of apps for Apple iOS that are not released for other platforms. For example, when two people have an iPhone, they can send each other messages for free via Apple’s iMessage service. The Android alternative for that service would probably be Google’s Hangouts app. The problem occurs when you want to send a free text message from iOS to Android. Yes, there’s WhatsApp, Viber, and similar apps, but there’s no way to send an iMessage to Android, nor iMessage from Android. That problem seems to bother some people, so they are eagerly waiting for a solution. The evil queen is aware of the need, so she makes poisoned apples and hands them out for free, telling others that they are sweet, juicy, and absolutely free from poison. Yes, I’m talking about fake apps that are trying to look like official Apple apps for Android. Read more…

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September 11th, 2013

Fake Antivirus Android application discovered

AVAST virus lab analyst Filip Chytrý has discovered a fake Android Antivirus application impersonating avast! Free Mobile Security.  The malicious application called com.avastmenow has a user interface that looks very similar to the genuine one by AVAST Software. After the installation of the fake program, an icon with the text of PornHub is displayed to users.  The Trojan displays fake alert pop ups in an attempt to convince the user he is infected even when he is not. Users who download the fake application might end up with their Smartphone device blocked and be requested to pay 100$ to unlock the phone.

Our virus lab specialists are currently working on samples, so the AVAST virus database will be updated shortly. The goal is to protect all avast! Antivirus users and prevent them from downloading the malicious application. We will update our community on the progress here and on our social media channels.

Meanwhile we recommend all users to use trusted source and download avast! free Mobile Security only from 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 FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Instagram.

September 11th, 2013

avast! Mobile Security trusted by millions to fight Android malware

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There have been over 50 million downloads of avast! Mobile Security from Google Play since it was released last year. Android users are becoming more aware of the security and theft issues surrounding their mobile devices, and putting their trust in AVAST. A few weeks ago, avast! Mobile Premium was introduced providing superior back-up and anti-theft technology.

Android is the world’s most widely used mobile operating system (OS). That popularity, together with its open source architecture, makes it a primary target for malware attacks. Android threats make up 79 percent of all known mobile malware, so mobile security should no longer be considered optional.

The avast! Mobile Security Virus Scanner detected 99% of malware with no false positives in a recent test by independent lab AV-Comparatives. That exemplary detection plus the fact that avast! Mobile Security has negligible impact on your smartphone’s performance or battery life, is why we have had 50 million downloads.

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How to download avast! Mobile Security

Download avast! Mobile Security from the Google Play store  as the free version or upgrade to avast! Mobile Premium for access to all premium features. avast! Mobile Premium is available for $1.99 per month or $14.99 per year. Download and install on your Android device now.

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 FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Instagram.

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September 10th, 2013

Congrats! Your Mobile Number was selected as a winner of £2,000,000.00!

Yes! What a lucky day! I’ve just got a message that I won 2,000,000.00 British Pounds (2.4M EUR/3.1M USD), an Apple laptop, a T-shirt, and a cap emblazoned with a logo of The Free Lotto Company.  Pretty awesome you might think, but appearances are deceptive. Unfortunately, this is just one of the ways bad guys try to get some of our money.

Well, I was thinking, it‘s worth a shot. So I decided to write to the email address and see what would happen. Actually, the hardest part was a making up a fake name for myself! You would never believe how rough this might be. In the end, I decided to call myself Robert Konmed.

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Here’s how the conversation went down.

Me: Hello, I’ve got a winning message with information to contact your email address. How can I pick up my prize please? Thank you, Robert Konmed

Bad guys: Please find attached document for info to contact courier delivery company:  EMAIL:rdsdeliveryservices@hotmail.co.uk Regards Brian Calton

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Me: Hello guys, I’m really excited about a winning prize. But would be possible to tell me how much I should prepare for a delivery company? And also I’m curious if there is possibility to charge delivery from my winning prize? Thank you & have a nice day! Best regards! Robert Konmed Read more…

August 28th, 2013

Lost or Stolen Smartphone: The Consequences are Bigger for Women Than for Men, Our Study Finds

shocked woman (1)Personal contacts, photos, videos, apps, emails, text messages — smartphones today contain a plethora of personal information, and the thought of losing or having a smartphone stolen is extremely worrisome to many people. Our security research team recently conducted a survey of 167,904 customers worldwide and found that consumers in the United States are among those most likely to lose or have their phone stolen. We then wondered, who is affected more by a stolen or lost cell phone in the US, men or women?

Men carry out more security sensitive transactions on their phones

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Men in the US use their smartphones more often to take care of online banking, download apps, and believe it or not, shop more than women do. Women, on the other hand, use their smartphones more to text and to connect with friends on Facebook and other social networking platforms. Now, the logical conclusion would be that men are more at risk if they were to lose or get their cell phone stolen. You might think that online banking and credit card information stored in browsers and apps would be more appealing to smartphone thieves than personal information, status updates, and maybe even gossip.  But that is simply not the case. Read more…

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