How’s this for a good phishing scam? Everything seems legit:
1. From email is “email@example.com”
2. No misspelled words and has decent grammar (however, some punctuation inconsistency)
3. Copyright (c) symbol next to the university name
4. Gmail did not filter it as spam, but left it in my normal inbox
Yes, if I had ever attended that particular university, I might have fallen for it.
PLEASE NOTE: University of Texas has nothing to do with this email.
Results of the AV-Comparatives 2013 Security Survey (pdf) are in, and once again AVAST leads among consumer preferences. Since AV-Comparatives is an independent testing firm, we always look forward to what they have to say. Here are some highlights:
According to survey respondents, AVAST remains the most widely used antivirus solution worldwide, claiming first place as the most used computer antivirus in Europe and South/Central America.
We are also glad to report that AVAST is the only brand to be among the top three most-used brands in all four global regions surveyed.
At the time this survey was conducted, AVAST was protecting just over 184 million PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.
To make the above news even better, the survey’s respondents requested AVAST as their top interest for future testing. Read more…
The new version is 7.0.1451 and contains the following totally new features:
- WebRep now supports Opera
- SiteCorrect module for the detection of unwanted websites
And, in addition to the new features, our developers have made the following modifications:
- Changes in the AutoSandbox module
- Outlook plugin redesign
- Windows 8 compatibility updates
- Emergency Updater
- Improvements to Remote Assistance (support for UAC prompts, etc.)
- Improvements to avast! SafeZone™ (protection against kernel-mode keyloggers, updated SafeZone Browser, clipboard sharing, etc.)
We offer very special thanks to our developers, our QA team, and most importantly our loyal users, who have for many years provided us with great constructive feedback. Anyone can complain, but avast! users consistently amaze us with their new ideas.
For more technical info, please visit http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=100247.0
For the millions of you who have avast! already installed, just open your avast! control panel, then go to Maintenance -> Update Program
Or, you may download the new update file directly here http://files.avast.com/iavs5x/avast_free_antivirus_setup.exe
We like to think that the avast! voice telling us that our virus database has been updated is almost like a pleasant song, something to cheer us all up, reminding us that nobody needs to sing the PC blues.
So it’s great to know we’re not alone, and that our users also think this way. Here’s an example by “Ferrett Steinmetz,” an Ohio-based writer, who recently tweeted:
A quick read down Mr. Steinmetz’s twitter wall shows similar cleverisms about a large number of subjects. You can follow him on twitter @ferretthimself.
Running the customer service department here at the AVAST headquarters brings with it a huge variety of challenges – keeping over 150 million users satisfied is no easy task – and we see a whole range of emails from complimentary caricatures to concerning complaints.
During the past week or so, we have received some complaints and it appears that some of our customers are being targeted by a new scam. Luckily only a handful of customers have contacted us regarding this so far, but they report receiving phone calls from “Avast customer service” reps who need to take control of their computer to resolve some issue and who, for a fee, wish to charge them for this privilege.
I would like to set the record straight – here at AVAST, we never phone our customers (unless they specifically ask us to of course) and none of the partners we work with do either. We currently offer free and premium in-bound phone support for our English speaking customers (and also Spanish from next week) and we remain happy to assist as much as we can via email and our ever-popular user forum, but we do not make unsolicited calls – not for sales, not for support, and certainly not to try to scam our loyal customers.
We do always advise our customers to stay alert – online, and in this case, on the phone. Never disclose your credit card details to anyone unless you are specifically contacting them to make a purchase, never download software you are unfamiliar with, and never give access to your computer (remotely or in person) to someone you do not trust.
Stay Alert – Stay Safe
Yes, most of us complain about all the seemingly unnecessary changes that Facebook initiates far more often than we’d like (just about the time we figure out how to navigate everything)… but it’s good to remember that Facebook is a free service. Of course some will argue that nothing is really ‘free’, but at least +140 million active avast! Community members know differently.
Some of you will remember the days of Rolodex. Mine was typically overfilled with business cards and scraps of paper – taped, glued, or even stapled in place. Sometimes a few ‘creative’ oversized business cards or paper scraps would clog up the ‘machine’, and maintaining changes to phone numbers, addresses, and job titles was always a major problem.
So Facebook, for me, was a welcome change. All my contacts keep their own info updated, and I can find them at any time via the search box. And my Facebook account serves 4 key purposes:
Maybe you noticed that we have launched an avast! manufacturer’s forum on CNET.com. Please note that it is not intended to replace our long-standing avast! Forum (forum.avast.com), which will continue to be our main forum. Nonetheless, there is a huge community around CNET.com/download.com, of which many within the community are already avast! users. We are doing our best to be closer to our community and to help in the several main places they go for help. CNET members can find the CNET avast forum at http://forums.cnet.com/avast-forum
I’m 38 years old, lived my first 33 years in the USA, read and studied amply about US government agencies over the years (especially during my ultra-paranoid conspiracy theory phase in my early 20s), and yet, until today, I had never heard of DARPA.
According to Wikipedia, however, the agency has been around a while — longer than me, in fact: << Its original name was simply Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), but it was renamed to “DARPA” (for Defense) in March 1972, then renamed “ARPA” again in February 1993, and then renamed “DARPA” again in March 1996. >>
It sounds like an agency with multiple personality disorder, but I guess it’s essentially a branch of the Department of Defense (DoD) that focuses on technological R&D.
Why am I telling you about it? Because I know a lot of readers of this blog are sharp-minded (maybe even genius-level) non-Luddites, who can actually understand what the guys in our Virus Lab talk about when they post here… and would jump at the chance to prove their skills (and win some money in the process). Read more…
It’s easy to get an “older sister” bit of malware on your computer – even if you don’t want one. Just practice a little “unsafe computing” with four easy steps as outlined by AVAST Virus Lab analyst Michal Krejdl in his recent blog post. As he put it: “She’s a little bit binary, but nobody has a perfect sister, hmm?”
To pick up your own “older sister”, just do the following: Read more…
I’ve seen this happen many times, but this time I decided to get a screenshot of it. In a small box, facebook recommends that I add a friend because we have friends in common… or I get a direct friend request from someone I don’t know. I click the profile to investigate and, indeed, we have several friends in common. But an instinct triggers that something isn’t quite right.
Example 1 – Notice:
- New profile
- No personal information other than “Single”
- Only 17 friends
- All 17 friends are male
- Only 1 photo, with a focal point of breasts and eyes (maybe I should have titled this post “Why men are easy targets for spammers”)