We had a second day of VB 2013, and today can definitely be classified as an Android day. Most of the presentations from first three blocks were concentrated on Android threats, potential unwanted applications and Adkits. This gave a strong signal that everyone should take Android security very seriously. Every big antivirus vendor has their own Android security applications, but a main point for me personally was that we should cooperate and share information to fight malware effectively.
In the last presentation block of the day, there were two presenters: First was Milos Korenko with his presentation The Best Things in Life are Free. I have to admit that listening to Milos is really inspiring. His high level public speaking abilities combined with the fact that he was speaking about such a good company as Avast made it one of the best presentations of the day.
During Miloš’ speech there were two hidden surprises. First, we announced the winners of the beer competition from Virus Bulletin 2012 held in Dallas. The top three from VB2012 are:
1. Dmitry (McAfee)
2. Jiri Bracek (AVG)
3. Roman Kovac (ESET)
The second surprise was from my colleagues in the avast! Virus Lab, Jaromir Horejsi and Peter Kalnai. Milos finished his speech quite quickly so he could share his free time with our analysts. They presented Are Linux desktop systems threatened by Trojans? Their talk, based on a blog post Hand Of Thief threat, published at the end of August, extended some philosophical thoughts about a real potential for Linux Desktops.
The avast! Beer Bar is open again! On the first day of VB2013, we spent an evening socializing with other colleagues. You can check our website for the beer rankings and see which IT security company has the best score.
Virus Bulletin 2013 just started today and our company is participating in many ways! This conference is one of the biggest IT security conferences in the world which well known security companies can’t miss. And we are really proud to be there with more than 370 specialist from the security industry. We are a platinum sponsor, we have a few speakers here – but mainly we are the PROUD BEER SPONSORS for all participants.
Here is a quick review of the first day which was a pretty busy one! During the morning the conference started with a welcome speech from Virus Bulletin editor Helen Martin, and then the technical and corporate streams, represented by many speakers, began. We have one speaker from our company here today. It was Jindřich Kubec, with Eric Romang, presenting “Big bang theory of CVE-2012-4792” – a very successful presentation indeed. The main subject was forensics & detective model that describes the early development of the watering hole campaign which was mostly active from Dec. 2012 to Jan. 2013, targeting prominently energy industries, governments, non profit organizations and human rights websites. After the initial targeted attack, the vulnerability cooled sufficiently to allow its integration in different confidential or public exploit kits. They also dug into the past and showed that there had clearly been a connection with the previous Sept. 2012 watering hole attacks on industrial websites, and also with watering hole attacks through Twitter in May 2012. The earliest phases of the vulnerability, like the Big Bang, are subject to much speculation. They tried to observe the most distant things that a security researcher can see. The timeline of the attacks, together with the disclosure, detection and publication dates were shown. The code structure and changes were also analyzed, including the binary payloads – e.g. remote access tools.
I should also mention that there is an international IT security table football championship. And so far we have been successful! In the morning we won the first match against Sophos 6:1, 6:2 and second against Norman 6:0, 6:0. So cross your fingers and wish us luck for the next rounds. Stay tuned, we will definitely share more information in the next two days!
AVAST Community: Without YOU, we would be nothing
There is no exaggeration in this statement. The AVAST Community keeps helping us by sharing security Tips, supporting each other on the AVAST forum, helping to translate our product, most importantly, by recommending our products.
You also helped us create the great communities across social media. Every day thousands of AVAST users gather on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to praise the AVAST products, ask us questions, request support, or simply share your AVAST stories. It is extremely valuable for us to receive your feedback, positive or negative. Positive comments stimulate and motivate us for further hard work; negative one helps us to improve our service and products. Following our blog from January 2013, we would like to share with you some of the messages we have received lately on social media.
Tell us your AVAST story, and we will share it with our Community. Thank you all!
Protection: AVAST helps to find lost mobile devices
It’s free: AVAST allows you to control your expenses, without compromising quality
HELLO. This is Microsoft tech support and we have detected a serious virus in your computer and we need you to log on right away so we can help you.
Have you ever received a phone call like this, without actually requesting support? The call itself should already raise your suspicions. However, when you are asked to provide your personal data or credit card credentials, warning lights should be flashing.
Recently journalists, bloggers, and even Microsoft itself warned against the “Microsoft calling scam.” The Microsoft phone scam is just one example of thousands of similar offers reported daily. Scammers can be very creative and do not hesitate to take advantage of people’s trust. They are well prepared and trained, so we need to beware and ready to react fast.
What should raise you suspicions?
- You receive a call with an offer of a service you never requested
- You receive a call / email / social media message claiming you won a prize from a contest you have never participated in
- The person contacting you is very insistent and wants you to provide access to your personal data or pay in order to receive support or a prize
- The person contacting you doesn’t provide his/her full contact details
- The person contacting you requests access to your PC, personal information, or credit card.
What to do, if you suspect it’s a scam
- Ask how they got your number or contact information Read more…
Hiew V.Y. from beautiful Kota Kinabalu in Malyasia wrote this winning #SecurityTip during Round 2 of the AVAST #SecurityTip contest.
First and foremost, I cover myself with Mobile Security & Antivirus. Like the old saying goes:
[A]lone in the dark,
[V]arious dangers lurks,
[A]ctive protective is a must,
[S]afety ensured by professionals,
[T]rust we can get from AVAST.
On steps I take personally, don’t ever click and access anything that I’m not certain about, and disbelief any vaguely unbelievable things.
Since AVAST is one of the most trusted mobile security apps with more than 50 million users, we decided to ask:
The first prize for best answer was a Nexus 4 smartphone and a 1-year license for avast! Mobile Premium, our new upgrade to avast! Free Mobile Security with premium anti-theft features. Congratulations to Hiew V.Y. for winning Round 2. Five participants also won a 1-year license for avast! Mobile Premium after asking their friends to vote for their tip. Congratulations to:
- Guylaine H. from Canada
- Ghazala N. from Pakistan
- Parag S. from India
- Muhammad T. from Pakistan
- Darshan S. from England
ROUND 3 has begun
Don’t miss your opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with others in Round 3 of the #SecurityTip contest. This week’s question is all about social media. Click here to go directly to the entry form.
When you answer the question, remember to include #SecurityTip, and after you publish it, ask your friends to vote by using the links in the app. The top 5 most voted tips for the week will receive a 1-year license for avast! Internet Security. Our favorite tip will win a brand new Nexus 7 tablet.
In a blog post published back in June, we shared the stories of a few unfortunate people who were fired from their jobs or passed over for a job promotion because of over-sharing on social networks. If you are looking for a job and wonder why you are not getting a call back, it could be because of what’s on your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ profiles.
A new survey from Jobvite says that more than 90% of HR managers and recruiters report reviewing job candidates’ social profiles during the hiring process. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are still the recruiters social networks of choice – but they are also looking through blogs, YouTube channels, Yammer, Instagram and other networks to source talent. Based on what they find, 42% of companies said they reconsidered hiring candidates.
Posts related to illegal drug use and those of a sexual nature met with universal disapproval. Profanity, and grammar and punctuation errors in posts and tweets trigger negative reactions among recruiters over 60% of the time. On the other hand, posts which share your volunteering gigs or donations to charity give recruiters a positive feeling about hiring you.
Read our tips on giving your social profiles a makeover during job hunting time.
Many of you might wonder how the avast! Virus Lab works. Who are those guys sitting behind the computers and analyzing malicious files? Well let us unveil some of the virus lab secrets and break some stereotypes at the same time:
1. The avast! Virus Lab team doesn’t work in a laboratory.
2. Virus analytic professionals are real, nice human beings, not robots.
3. Yes, there are also ladies in the virus lab team (although these pictures don’t prove that.)
4. They like to have fun and socialize!
Proof that they really exist
Here’s a challenge for you – the first person to discover the Director of the avast! Virus Lab will receive a one year free license of avast! Premier! Please respond in the comments section of this blog.
Congratulations to Steve L. from the USA who won Round 1 of the AVAST #SecurityTip contest being played now on the AVAST Facebook page. He answered this question about helping kids stay safe when they are using their home or school computers:
Steve’s answer covered some of the basics that every computer user should remember:
#SecurityTip 1) Never share personal information with strangers online. 2) Never share or reuse your passwords.(Ask parents for help to make a good one that you can remember) 3) Never click on links in emails from people you don’t know and try to make sure the people you do know actually sent you the links in emails from them.
The first prize for best answer was a Nexus 7 II tablet and a 1-year license for avast! Mobile Premium. Five participants also won a 1-year license for avast! Internet Security after gathering the most votes. Congratulations to:
- Ghazala S. from Oman
- Muhammad H. from Pakistan
- Maira A. from Pakistan
- Imran R. from Pakistan
- Kamil R. from Pakistan
Check out the best of Round 1 that were highlighted on our Facebook page in this blog post.
Round 2 begins today
Round 2 has just started, and this week a new Nexus 4 smartphone is up for grabs. Head over to the Facebook app and answer this question about keeping your mobile devices safe,
The first round of the AVAST #SecurityTip contest has ended. Users participate by sharing their knowledge with others and at the same time they get a chance to win free avast! Mobile Premium and avast! Internet Security licenses, as well as Nexus 7 tablets and a Nexus 4 smartphone. The contest has four rounds and each week we will ask you a different question. So, don’t miss your chance! Enter here, to submit your tip.
During Round 1, we asked participants the following question:
Now we would like to share with you the most valuable, creative, and helpful tips to keep kids stay safe online. Here they are:
Tip 1. Listen up, kids. NEVER give your password away, even to your “best friend”. ~Sheila E.
Tip 2. Never accept requests from strangers. Always alert parents when strangers want to contact you or chat with you on-line. ~Patricia H.
Recently, we have seen many Facebook posts with links leading to applications called Give Hearts, Drink It Up and Daily Horoscope. The applications are very popular – they have over 5 million monthly users – and are managed by the same provider called App Discovery Engine. The posts attracted my attention because they seem to be posted automatically. The entire post consists of the URL which contains quite long text separated with ‘+’. (Later we will see that the text is a horoscope that you see on the page of the application).
To begin investigating these apps I follow the link leading to the Give Hearts application. It redirects me directly to the application. But before I can use it I am asked to grant Give Hearts access to information on my Facebook account like my email or friend lists.