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October 1st, 2014

Millennials take responsibility for their own cybersecurity

A new trend has started – people are taking responsibility for their own safety online!

ncsam_facebook_cover_photo_2014

AVAST Software is a “champion” and supporter of NCSAM.

Last October when National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) was getting started, it was reported that the incoming workforce of millennials was lax about cyber-risks. They engaged in risky online behavior like:

  • Connecting to unprotected public WiFi networks
  • Using a storage device that wasn’t their own
  • Sharing a password with a non-family member
  • Never changing their online banking password

2014 brings more awareness among “Digital Natives”

For this year’s NCSAM, a new survey was done by defense contractor Raytheon in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. It showed that awareness of online safety is rising, with 70% of millennials saying they follow cybersecurity concerns and are up-to-date on the topic. Eighty-seven percent believe they are personally responsible for their online safety.

Millennials are known as the “Facebook generation” or “Digital natives” because they grew up in the “digital age” with internet-connected devices. But just because they were born after the digital age began, doesn’t mean they were any more concerned about security than the so-called digital immigrants who had to replace analog skills with digital. But this year, maybe because of the high profile data breaches that have occurred repeatedly, millennials are concerned about their devices being infected by malware, credit or debit card theft, someone hacking into financial information, or falling victim to online scams or fraud.

While many are aware of the risks – roughly 60% have experienced some sort of online violation – identity theft, a computer virus, or a bad experience on social media – they’re still engaging in some risky behaviors, such as 72% using public WiFi that doesn’t require a password.

Interestingly enough, this increased awareness is also driving interest in a career in cybersecurity with millennials expressing a desire to make the Internet safer and more secure. The problem is that almost two-thirds of the total don’t know or aren’t sure what the “cybersecurity” profession is.

Building_Tomorrows_Cybersecurity_Workforce-NCSAM2014

STOP. THINK. CONNECT.

Read more…

September 22nd, 2014

Join the Avast Beta 2015 and share your feedback

The Avast developers invite you to participate in the Avast 2015 beta test.

2015-Avast-beta

Your participation gives the team working on the latest versions of the world’s most trusted security products a chance to hear your voice – what’s working for you and what is not, how you like the experience, if you see performance or connectivity problems, etc. There are multiple new low-level functions which impact the whole system, so we need your feedback to tune everything for the final release.

Two new features introduced in Avast Beta 2015

Avast NG

Avast NG is a hardware-based virtualization solution capable of running each Windows process in a standalone, safe, virtualized environment (VM) which is fully integrated to your desktop. Each process is executed in its own instance of VM, which means it’s totally isolated from other applications. This feature is now powering Avast DeepScreen, resulting in better detection. The technology will also power the Sandbox and SafeZone components in the final release.

GrimeFighter Free

GrimeFighter will offer free cleaning of junk files and tuning of system settings. These tasks are performed by our Zilch and Torque minions.

Changes and other new features

  • Home Network Security scans your home network for vulnerabilities like WiFi status, connected devices, and router settings.
  • HTTPS scanning is able to detect and decrypt TLS/SSL protected traffic in our Web-content filtering component. This feature will protect you against viruses coming through HTTPs traffic as well as adding compatibility for SPDY+HTTPS/ HTTP 2.0 traffic.
  • SecureDNS protects against DNS Hijack on router/client including unsecured networks, public ones, etc. This feature is active in the paid versions only.
  • Smart Scan integrates all on-demand scans into one scan with different results and recommendations. Includes Antivirus, Browser plugins, Software updates, Home Network, and GrimeFighter.

To learn more about the Avast Beta 2015 , what to test, known issues, and to leave comments, visit the avast! Community forum thread dedicated to the beta test.

Avast Beta 2015 installation links

http://files.avast.com/beta9x/avast_free_antivirus_setup.exe
http://files.avast.com/beta9x/avast_pro_antivirus_setup.exe
http://files.avast.com/beta9x/avast_internet_security_setup.exe
http://files.avast.com/beta9x/avast_premier_antivirus_setup.exe

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: ,
September 19th, 2014

AVAST celebrates International talk like a Pirate day

Ahoy, me hearties!

Today, the AVAST crew is participating in one of the goofiest events in the world: International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Did you know thtalk-like-a-pirateat there is a Pirate language and that AVAST is one of the key words of the language? You can even set up your avast! Antivirus in Pirate language and change your sound notifications to pirate language! How we are participating?

Th’ wenches ‘o Social Media ‘n HR, along wit’ a few scurvy dogs, have planned a right jolly day ‘o piratey hijinks fer th AVAST pirates. Every hour when th’ bell chimes, a new task is assigned. The treasure hunting has finished and prizes given away.

Th’ best scurvy pirates come from AVAST!

Our team received seven tasks in different categories to challenge geeky and creative minds. The response was great and we are sharing with you only a fraction of what has been happening here. :)

Jolly good idea ya social media ‘n HR wenches, garrr!

But run out of rum and you walk the plank! ~ Jan, accounting department

 

Avast who is coming next

you will need your pirate vest.

Hide your hook and say ahoy

to not scare this little boy :D ~Pavla  Marketing

 

Ya lazy bums, hurry and up,
avast! they come, our blood thirsty foes,
let’s cut their throats with our smart codes
ahoy! we’ll grab, the scavengers boats!

One more yer’old powder monkeys!

The floor is dirty and supplies are rotten,
but we keep on sailing, we won’t be forgotten,
we rockin’n’surfin’n’fixin the mast,
we are the sailors working for Avast! ~ Tomas, BI

 

Advance, ye mates! Cross your lances full before me. Let me touch the axis and drink thy rum, ye harpooneers! ~ Andre e-commerce

 

 

 

A pirate ship named Avast,boat

Was sailing accross the sea,

The sailors organized a party and had a blast,

But the Captain was pissed as his glass was empty,

Where did all the rum go?

Where did all the rum go?

Arrrgh, the Captain was complaining over and over,

They will all be hangover! ~ Sarah e-commerce

 

Ahoj sailors developers!

I see some red,logo 6

Better when green,

Oops it’s again red,

Now code is clean,

And #TDD is great!

Code is poetry when #coding at Avast ~ Jonas BI

 

Malware are #FF0000

AVAST is the #FF9900

All my rums are belong to you!

ARrrrr!

01000001 01010110 01000001 01010011 01010100 ~ Nikolas, virus lab

 

Avast! Bloody Avast! Hey,
Pirates gonna crunch the bay.
Jump, shot & sink the boats.
Down the sea of rum & dry throats. ~ Pavel BI

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.

September 19th, 2014

Avast, me hearties! Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day!

This day be a jolly day to be a scurvy pirate!

 

AVAST celebrates International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Celebrate all things pirate by installing a pirate-themed voice for your avast! Antivirus products. Download and install it from our Facebook avast! Voices tab and all yer antivirus alerts will henceforth be in a pirate voice. Go to avast! Voices on our Facebook page and choose Themed>1-pirate.mp3>Download Voice.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day started after syndicated columnist and author,  Dave Barry, mentioned a group of zany guys who liked to talk using pirate lingo. Years earlier, these guys decided to start their own Talk Like a Pirate Day and make it a national holiday on September 19th.  Trouble was, no one knew about it. But in 2002, when Dave Barry wrote about the fledgling holiday, it was a breakout success.

Since the name of our company, AVAST, also means stop or desist, as in “Avast, ye landlubbers!”, it made sense for us to be a part of the celebration.  Jezebel, the Webwench from the Talk Like a Pirate’s Day crew declares,

avast! Antivirus software  is the official AV protection of at least one-quarter of the Talk Like A Pirate Day crew. I installed the pirate voice and I LOVE IT SO MUCH, mate!

So join th’ ruckas this day, ‘n install th’ scurvy pirate voice on ye avast! Antivirus. Like our avast! Facebook page, click the avast! Voices tab and Talk Like a Pirate!

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.

 

September 16th, 2014

‘Win iPhone 6’ scams fool Facebook users, pad scammers pockets

It only took Apple 24 hours to get 4 million pre-orders of the new iPhone 6, and scammers were right there with them to cash in.

FB iPhone 6 scam

This example of a like-harvesting scam page promises an iPhone 6 giveaway.

In the newest iteration of a scam used every time a new product is launched with fanfare, Facebook pages have been popping up claiming that people who like, share, and comment on a post can win an iPhone 6.

This type of scam is referred to as like-harvesting. The scammer makes the page popular by collecting likes and then sells the page to other scammers. The offer of a new device, like the iPhone 6, entices people to click the like button then spam their friends with the bogus promotion. Thousands of likes can accumulate within a few hours, making the page quite valuable on the black market. The new owner rebrands it to peddle more questionable products and services with their built-in audience.

A variation on this scam is the Survey Scam. As with like-harvesting, you must first like the Facebook page. The difference is that you need to also share a link with your Facebook friends.

This link takes you to a page where you are instructed to download a “Participation Application.” Generally, a pop-up window leads you to participate in a survey before you can download the application. Some surveys will ask for personal information like your mobile phone number or name and address. If you provide those details, you open yourself up to expensive text-messaging services, annoying phone calls, and junk mail. In some cases, the download contains malicious code. The only thing you can be guaranteed not to get is an iPhone 6! Meanwhile, the scammer earns money for every survey through an affiliate marketing scheme.

What to do if you liked a ‘Win iPhone 6′ page

If you fell for the scam, then learn from it and don’t do it again! Make sure you unlike the page, delete comments that you made, and remove the post from your news feed. You may also want to alert your friends to the scams, so they don’t fall for it.

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.

September 15th, 2014

Tiny Banker Trojan targets customers of major banks worldwide

The Tinba Trojan aka Tiny Banker targeted Czech bank customers this summer; now it’s gone global.

After an analysis of a payload distributed by Rig Exploit kit, the AVAST Virus Lab identified a payload as Tinba Banker. This Trojan targets a large scope of banks like Bank of America, ING Direct, and HSBC.

 hsbc_bank

In comparison with our previous blogpost, Tinybanker Trojan targets banking customers, this variant has some differences,  which we will describe later.

How does Tiny Banker work?

  1. 1. The user visits a website infected with the Rig Exploit kit (Flash or Silverlight exploit).
  2. 2. If the user’s system is vulnerable, the exploit executes a malicious code that downloads and executes the malware payload, Tinba Trojan.
  3. 3. When the computer is infected and the user tries to log in to one of the targeted banks, webinjects come into effect and the victim is asked to fill out a form with his/her personal data.
  4. 4. If he/she confirms the form, the data is sent to the attackers. This includes credit card information, address, social security number, etc. An interesting field is “Mother’s Maiden Name”, which is often used as a security question to reset a password.

Read more…

September 12th, 2014

AVAST invites you to the WebExpo 2014 in Prague!

WebExpo_EN

WebExpo is the largest Central European conference focused on topics related to the digital world. Among many topics, this year’s focus is security and big data. AVAST Software is not only a proud general sponsor of this event, but also an active participant.

One weekend, over 1,400 online professionals, presentations, workshops, and lots of fun.

WebExpo is a great networking and knowledge exchanging opportunity, and those here in Prague will get a chance to meet AVAST experts from various areas. You can meet the AVAST team at our booth, as well as on the stage. The AVAST booth is located at CEVRO Institut. 

Our team plans some fun for you at the booth, including testing new revolutionary glasses Oculus Rift – virtual reality headset for 3D gaming, and Android Wear. UX experts can try Card Sorting. For the most active expo-goers we will have prizes, so stop by to play and say Ahoy! :)

For the less technically-oriented, we also offer some fun and prizes. If you spot someone wearing an AVAST T-shirt, grab a selfie with this person and post it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #AVASTselfie.  Come to our booth and show us the tweet or instagram post and you will receive a 1-year free license of avast! Premium Mobile Security!

The best part of WebExpo is all the knowledge sharing from AVAST specialists. Here is a list of our colleagues and the topics they will be presenting:

If you can’t attend personally, we have good news for you. Our team will be commenting during the event on social media, so you can join the conversation by following our accounts and special hashtags. Follow us at Twitter and Instagram at

or follow comments with hashes:

  • #AVASTdevs
  • #AVASTbooth
  • #webExpo
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: , ,
September 11th, 2014

Leave your credit cards at home; Apple Pay lets you buy things with your phone

source: CNET.com

In the wake of the Target, and now Home Depot, security breaches, Apple Pay wants to provide a safer way to make a purchase.

Nestled in-between this week’s announcements of the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a new mobile payment system called Apple Pay. New iPhone and Apple Watch owners can leave their credit and debit cards at home because the devices come with a chip that lets them tap-to-pay at major retailers.

When you are in one of 220,000 participating stores, like McDonald’s, Walgreens, Disney, or Macy’s, you use the magic of near-field communication (NFC) to hold your phone by a terminal to pay. It also requires that you place your finger over a sensor to verify your fingerprint. The Apple Watch works the same way, without the added security of the fingerprint, and syncs to your iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s. The payment system will work with American Express, Mastercard, and Visa.

Sounds pretty good. But, Google Wallet, PayPal and other NFC systems have failed to really take off; will Apple give us a better way? I asked mobile malware analyst Filip Chytrý to share his thoughts about the security of Apple Pay.

Deborah: From a security perspective, what do you think about Apple Pay?

Filip: I have some concerns. Communications between your device or watch is through Bluetooth, and we have already seen many incidences of intercepted communication between two devices using a man-in-the-middle attack. Generally, anytime you use a pay system there is communication between the phone or watch over Bluetooth. This communication works over a much longer distance than NFC, so payment interception would be easier.

Deborah: I understand the convenience of paying with Apple Pay, but how is this more secure than paying with a credit card? Read more…

Categories: General, Technology Tags: , ,
September 3rd, 2014

Survey shows the person you trust the most may be spying on you

People expect that they are being watched online in cyberspace, but who would expect to be spied on by the people closest to them? You better watch out – your partner may be spying on you more than the NSA: One in five men and one in four women admitted to checking their partner’s smartphone in a survey with 13,132 respondents conducted by AVAST in the United States.

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Playing detective

The survey found that while the majority of women check their partner’s device because they are nosey, a quarter of married women suspect their spouse is cheating on them and want to find evidence.

Married women are not the only ones who suspect their partner is cheating on them. The reason why most men pry on their partner is because they too are afraid their better half is being unfaithful and want to confirm their suspicions – especially if the relationship is fresh.

Caught red handed

One may think that people who snoop on their significant other to find evidence of cheating or lying are being paranoid. Unfortunately, the majority of them are not paranoid–their gut feeling is often correct. Seven out of ten women and more than half of men who turn to their partner’s device to find proof their partner is deceiving them, have found evidence. Which of the two sexes is more likely to confront their partner regarding their findings? Women. The survey revealed that women are 20% more likely than men to confront their partner with the facts.

“Picking” the mobile lock

Cracking their partner’s device passcode wasn’t necessary for the greater number of snoopers. A shockingly high percentage of respondents claimed they didn’t need a passcode to gain entry to their significant other’s device. Women did, however, have an easier time with 41% reporting their partner’s device did not have a passcode compared to the 33% of men. Coming in at a high second, both male and female respondents claimed to know their partner’s device passcode because their partner had shared it with them in the past, unknowingly setting themselves up to get caught. Read more…

Categories: General Tags: , ,
August 28th, 2014

Bad news for SMBs: Target’s “Backoff” malware attack hits 1,000 more businesses

PoS attacks

avast! Endpoint Protection can protect your network

U.S. merchants advised to protect themselves against same PoS hack that hit Target and Neiman Marcus last year.

More than 1,000 U.S. businesses have had their systems infected by Backoff, a point-of-sale (PoS) malware that was linked to the remote-access attacks against Target, Michaels, and P.F. Chang’s last year and more recently, UPS and Dairy Queen. In the Target breach alone, 40 million credit and debit cards were stolen, along with 70 million records which included the name, address, email address, and phone number of Target shoppers.

The way these breaches occur is laid out in BACKOFF: New Point of Sale Malware, a new U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report. Investigations reveal that cybercrooks use readily available tools to identify businesses that use remote desktop applications which allow a user to connect to a computer from a remote location. The Target breach began with stolen login credentials from the air-conditioning repairman.

Once the business is identified, the hackers use brute force to break into the login feature of the remote desktop solution. After gaining access to administrator or privileged access accounts, the cybercrooks are then able to deploy the PoS malware and steal consumer payment data. If that’s not enough, most versions of Backoff have keylogging functionality and can also upload discovered data, update the malware, download/execute further malware, and uninstall the malware.

General steps SMBs and consumers can take to protect themselves

  • You should use a proper security solution, like avast! Endpoint Protection, to protect your network from hacking tools, malicious modules, and from hackers using exploits as a gateway to insert malware into your network.
  • Regularly monitor your bank and credit card statements to make sure all the transactions are legitimate.
  • Change default and staff passwords controlling access to key payment systems and applications. Our blog post, Do you hate updating your passwords whenever there’s a new hack?, has some tips.
  • Monitor your credit report for any changes. You’re entitled to one free report per year from each of the three reporting agencies.

Read more…

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