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October 31st, 2011

$50,000 to solve a few puzzles for the DoD?

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…

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October 14th, 2011

All in the Family with malware

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…

October 13th, 2011

Profiling facebook spammers

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:

  1. New profile
  2. No personal information other than “Single”
  3. Only 17 friends
  4. All 17 friends are male
  5. 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”)

 

Read more…

September 22nd, 2011

Joining the team. Our new and only Motion Graphics Designer

That’s right, we now have our very own video animator in the marketing team. We will be able to produce in-house videos and share them with you. I guess we will cover various subjects from showing and explaining how a particular program features work to addressing unique events in the life of our company or anything else worth of sharing. Read more…

September 19th, 2011

Piracy has health issues, but Talking Like a Pirate is risk free

Forget the glamor; piracy has a whole boatload of health risks. Pirates get hung out to dry, lead poisoning from being shot, or trash their computers from downloading a cleverly disguised batch of malware.

This is certainly not visible in the movies where the ‘bad guys’ such as Long John Silver or Captain Jack Sparrow seem to be the only ones having a good time.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day was designed to remedy the modern blues, creating a day (today, September 19) when people can talk or dress like a historical pirate in a safer, more modern environment. Just add an ‘Arrrggghhh’, ‘Ahoy’, and an erudite ‘Whar be me rum!?’ to the daily vocabulary.

At AVAST Software, we have an even easier solution. Add Pirate English to your avast! antivirus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have two simple options: Pirate audio or the Pirate GUI (with the audio). Read more…

August 24th, 2011

160 millionth avast! user registration, Fabricia, will visit Prague for her honeymoon

At AVAST, we not only provide you with free protection, we also reward you for registering it! No, no, we’re not crazy.  :)

You help us immensely by recommending avast! Because of that, we don’t need to advertise, and so we want to reward you even more – e.g., Internet Security licenses, t-shirts, iPods, or a trip to Prague. (see the Winners Section at: http://www.avast.com/community )

And as we informed you several weeks ago, we celebrated our 160,000,000th registration of avast! Free Antivirus.  The lucky person who won is Fabricia from Brazil. When she received an email to her native Brazil that she had won an all-inclusive trip to Prague for herself and a friend, she was of course skeptical, as junk mail scams with surprising  winner announcements are so common these days. But since she had just registered her avast! Free Antivirus she  was curious and asked her brother for his opinion. After a few phone calls and finding the announcement as well on avast.com, she knew it was legitimate.

Best of all, selecting the friend to accompany her was easy, as Fabricia had recently become engaged! So Fabricia’s trip to Prague – from being our 160 millionth user registration – will now also be her honeymoon.

We at AVAST are proud to be a part of it.

August 17th, 2011

avast! Free Antivirus – yes, it’s that good

New Zealand’s state MetService website was hijacked by malware (apparently a fake antivirus) during a particularly high time for traffic, according to a stuff.co.nz news article. The article has prompted more than 100 comments in the first day, mostly from understandably upset site visitors who may have picked up the malware on their computers.

Here, however, I just want to show you one comment, as it’s nice to see this sort of feedback in the real world. It’s no secret that we typically offer our free version in tests against our competitors’ paid-for versions, but even the results from independent testing facilities don’t feel as rewarding as  feedback like this from our user community:

Fortunately for those MetService users who were not using avast!, they can install it now and run the avast! boot-time scan — and that should do the trick. ;)

 

August 16th, 2011

avast! Facebook Community Exceeds 300 Thousand

We are happy to announce that our Facebook fan page for avast! antivirus has reached a whopping 300,000 fans! :)

avast! antivirus's facebook community increase - Aug2010 to Aug2011

Read more…

July 8th, 2011

avast! Antivirus speaks 38 languages!

This week we released program update version 6.0.1203 for avast! antivirus. Among several great improvements, two new languages were added:

  • Serbian
  • Thai

This means that avast! antivirus is now available in 38 official languages, listed here in alphabetical order:

  • Arabic
  • Belarusian
  • Bulgarian
  • Catalan
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Estonian 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…