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April 7th, 2014

New AVAST survey shows people not so smart with smartphone security.

Smartphone owners are careless about security, says survey.

Guys are more likely to get a virus on their smartphone than girls (36% vs 32%), and more than one third (34%) of survey respondents don’t have any anti-theft or antivirus security on their smartphones. Add to that nearly half of the people AVAST polled in the US said they did not back up their data or know if they did on their mobile devices. This is despite nearly one in ten saying they had lost their phone or it was stolen in the last 12 months. These results are from a recent smartphone survey conducted for antivirus software company, AVAST.

AVAST Software mobile security survey

AVAST surveyed 9,060 people earlier this year in the US about smartphone ownership and use and have released the results today. Read more…

March 31st, 2014

The Gray-zone of malware detection in Android OS

Does the title of this blog post have a mysterious meaning? Not exactly.

In this first part about the gray-zone of Android malware detections, I will introduce the Android:SecApk, a detection regarding the protection that the App Shield (Bangcle) offers to Android applications (.apk). This detection has a big sample set that is still growing. Some SecApk wrapped samples that existed or still exist in the Google Play Store and third party stores, can be seen in the table below.

MD5

Name \ Info

F1EF5B8C671B2146C2A2454ECF775E47

G锁屏冰雪奇缘之来自星星的你V1.0.apk

\ PUP – An application to promote a specific movie. Potentially unwanted because of the extended permissions that was requested.

Current Status: Removed from Google Play

10bd28d4f56aff83cb6d31b6db8fdbd2

Cut_the_bird.apk

\PUP – A game that have potentially unwanted permissions that they can drive to loss of private personal info.

05ffb6f34e40bb1cf8f9628e5647d5e3

aini1314langmanzhutisuoping_V2.5_mumayi_700e0.apk

\PUP – A screensaver application that has permissions unrelated with the purpose of the app.

d6b40bbb79b54c09352a2e0824c0adba

3D职业乒乓球.apk

\Pup – This application is a tennis game. Potentially unwanted because of the extended permissions that was requested.

eefd2101e6a0b016e5a1e9859e9c443e

eefd2101e6a0b016e5a1e9859e9c443e.apk

\Malware – This app steal personal data and SMS messages from the user.

 

The App Shield is an online service that, after a submission of an .apk, encrypts it and adds some layers of protection. The procedure of the encryption and protection of the apk will be discussed with more detail during the course of the second part of this blog post.

Starting with the submission process, a clean app named AvstTest.apk uploaded to the service. The exported .apk was renamed as AvstTest[SecApk].apk. In addition, apktool and dex2jar used accordingly to decode the .apk resources and convert the ‘.dex’ files to ‘.jar’.

Folder structure

  Read more…

January 29th, 2014

AVAST team at FETC 2014 conference in Orlando.

While most of the AVAST team is located in freezing Prague, some of us are enjoying sunshine in Florida. The AVAST Free for Education team is excited to be attending FETC 2014 in Orlando, Florida for the first time! Check out the preparation progress and don’t forget to follow AVAST on Instagram and stop by at the Booth 356!

avast team1

AVAST Free for Education team is FREEking awesome!

avast_team2

Getting ready: booth 356 already looks pretty!

avast_team3
Why pay for Antivirus, if you can get one for free? Read more…

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January 25th, 2014

The top 5 things we need to know for our trip to Florida

The team that runs AVAST Free for Education is excited to be attending this year’s Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC 2014) in Orlando, Florida, but also a little nervous about what to expect. Here’s the top 5 things we have been alerted to about our trip to The Sunshine State – Florida, USA!

1. Everything will be AWESOME! Americans are a very positive bunch, and describe everything good with an enthusiastic “Awesome!” So we’re prepared that FETC will be Awesome, Orlando will be Awesome, the weather will be awesome, and of course, AVAST Free for Education is TOTALLY AWESOME!! We will fit right in. ;-) Come see us at booth #356.

2. Everyone smiles. All. The. Time. Again Americans are positive bunch, and it shows on their faces. So even when the conference day is nearing an end, and our faces hurt from smiling at Awesome people and telling our Awesome story, we’ll make an effort to keep smiling. It won’t be hard, because we are genuinely happy to be at FETC.

3. Mickey Mouse is the governor of Florida and the capital is The Magic Kingdom. Need we say more?!

4. Americans don’t know where Prague is. We’ve heard that Americans are not too good at European geography. It doesn’t matter; we don’t know where Kansas is (but I promise we’ll find out!) Conference-goers just need to know which state their school and school districts are in, so we can provide them with free business-grade security protection.

5. Alligators live in every body of fresh water in Florida. We sincerely hope that doesn’t include hotel swimming pools.

We can’t wait to arrive in beautiful Orlando, Florida and spend this next week talking to our Free for Education customers, meeting new people, and saving U.S. schools and districts thousands of dollars a year. Stop by our booth #356 and attend our Learning Lab talk on Friday at 11:40.

fetc-post

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January 21st, 2014

5 security tips from an expert AVAST Evangelist

howto2_enEarlier this month we introduced you to AVAST Evangelist: Paulius Yla. With nearly 10 years of experience gained from supporting users on the AVAST forum, Paulius can be easily called an AVAST expert. He has been using our software since 2003 and participated in testing dozens of AVAST products. Paulius has shared with us 5 basic and MUST-FOLLOW security tips!

Check it out and don’t forget to follow these steps:

  • Antivirus software is a MUST. Don’t believe your friends if the say you don’t need it, it only slows your PC, and so on. It must be installed and must be up-to-date.
  • A Firewall must be enabled too, at least the integrated one.
  • Never use cracked illegal software, especially Operating Systems (OS). You will never know what backdoor can be included in it.
  • Never ignore OS updates, leave automatic updates on. Other software updates are also important. In most cases they are fixing bugs, security holes etc., and improving your internet security.
  • Believe me, the internet is a wild place, so try to avoid sites with a bad reputation or risky sites (peer-to-peer, adult sites, etc.) There is no AV solution which can protect you from 100% of threats, so use your head, too!

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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.

 

January 16th, 2014

avast! Free Antivirus is Top Rated product of 2013

post-top-rated

Throughout the year, independent testing labs run antivirus products through the rigors of “real-world’ testings as well as simulations and testing of specific features and performance. avast! Free Antivirus was honored as the Top Rated Program of 2013 by one of the most respected antivirus testing labs, AV-Comparatives.  Tests during 2013 were carried out on 22 consumer antivirus and internet security products. AVAST always puts our free product up against our competitor’s paid-for products because we are confident that the technology can stand up to the competition. The honors we received validate that.

Explaining the reasoning behind pitting a free antivirus product against paid-for suites, AVAST Software co-founder, Eduard Kučera said, “Our philosophy is we should not be a good product, but a perfect product. We provide the community with a perfect product.”

AV-Comparatives awards given to avast! Free Antivirus in 2013

  • Top Rated Program of 2013 avast! Free Antivirus proves that it protects against real-world internet threats, it identifies thousands of recent malicious programs, and provides protection without slowing down the PC. See report (PDF).
  • Advanced On Demand Detection Test, March 2013 A good file detection rate is still one of the most important, deterministic and reliable features of an antivirus product. See report (PDF).
  • Advanced Plus Performance Test, April 2013 avast! Free Antivirus not only provides high detection rates and good protection against malware, but it also does not degrade system performance or trouble users. See report (PDF).
  • Advanced Plus Real-World Protection Test, July 2013 avast! Free Antivirus passed the tests with honors and was the only free solution to receive the Advanced+ rating! See report (PDF).
  • Advanced Heuristic/Behavioral Test, August 2013 See report (PDF).
  • Advanced Anti-Phishing Test, August 2013 See report (PDF).
  • Advanced On Demand Detection Test, September 2013 See report (PDF).
  • Advanced Plus Malware Removal, November 2013 Good malware protection is important to find existing malware that is already on the system. avast! Free Antivirus earned the Advanced Plus rating for successfully removing malware from an already infected system. See report (PDF).
  • Advanced Plus Performance Test, November 2013 avast! Free Antivirus has negligible impact on system performance performed on an up-to-date Windows 8 64-Bit system. See report (PDF).
  • Advanced Plus Real-World Protection Test, December 2013 avast! Free Antivirus was the only free product to receive AV-Comparatives highest award in the ADVANCED Plus category because of exemplary results in protecting against malicious samples with a small incidence of false positives. See report (PDF).
  • Silver Best Overall Speed 2013
  • Bronze Real-World Protection Test 2013

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.

1/17 edited for clarity

January 3rd, 2014

avast! Free Antivirus is the most popular download of 2013

download-2013During the launch of avast! 2014 in October, CEO Vincent Steckler told a group of international journalists, “On all the download sites around the world, this year, through the end of September, we have 143 million downloads. That’s the most downloaded product – period.”

After a few more months, the highest profile download site, CNET’s download.com, confirmed that statement with an article, Top downloads of 2013, which proclaimed that avast! Free Antivirus was their most popular app for 2013, with more than 53 million downloads for Windows and nearly 1 million for Mac.

You can download files from download.com’s software, mobile, and game libraries choosing from more than 150,000 titles. Downloads are rated by registered users, as well as reviewed by editors. The editors awarded avast! Free Antivirus 2014 four and half stars.

This year’s Avast release has distinguished itself as not just a malware or antivirus solution, but also as a full-on security monitor for your machine. It comes with great design, displaying a lot of information yet maintaining a high usability factor for the core feature of virus removal and malware scanning. ~CNET Editors’ review

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 13th, 2013

How do I know which antivirus is the best?

howto2_enQuestion of the week: How do I know which antivirus is the best for my computer? I mostly use it for staying in touch with my friends, doing schoolwork and watching videos. Is your free product good enough to protect me?

We receive questions like yours on our Facebook page frequently. We understand how difficult choosing which security product is right for you when the technology is unfamiliar and the marketing messages are similar.

That’s where independent testing labs like AV-Comparatives can help. A few times a year, these experts set up a “real-world’ test in their lab where they test dozens of antivirus products on identical computers.

AV-C_adv+_dec2013avast! Free Antivirus was the only free product to receive AV-Comparatives highest award in the ADVANCED Plus category because of exemplary results in protecting against malicious samples with a small incidence of false positives (wrongly blocking domains or files). The other Advanced Plus recipients were paid-for products (that shows how good avast! Free Antivirus is! ;-) ).

For this “real-world” test, AV-Comparatives, together with the University of Innsbruck’s Computer Science department, set up identical Dell computers with Windows 7, Office, Adobe Reader, Flash, Java, QuickTime, Firefox, and a constant  internet connection – basically, like most of us have at home. Twenty-two products, of which only two were free, including avast! Free Antivirus, were tested. As you can see from the award, avast! Free Antivirus held it’s own, so yes, this product is more than good enough to protect your computer.

Notable among the test results is Microsoft Security Essentials, which placed last. AV-Comparatives only used it as a basis of comparison, because Microsoft withdrew it from testing this year.  This product provides only basic malware protection and has been the source of much conversation since earlier this year when Microsoft advised Windows users to use a third-party antivirus instead of counting on MSE. Since then they have changed their statement. Nevertheless, MSE’s scores in malware detection have continued to slide.

We hope you choose avast!, the most trusted antivirus in the world

No matter which antivirus product you decide to go with, make sure you keep it up-to-date, as well as keeping the software and apps on your machines updated. We hope you will choose avast! Free Antivirus or one of our premium products. You can see a comparison of all the choices on our website. If you want to see how avast! stacks up against others, then check out the avast! comparison tool on our Facebook page.

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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October 14th, 2013

Five wonderful things the Czech Republic has given the world

beer (1)
Where beer flows like water

The Czechs love their beer. Monks living in the region started brewing in monasteries just a few centuries AD. The Czechs gave the gift of Pilsner to the world back in the mid-1800s, and ever since then citizens have supported their own industry by consuming more beer per capita than any other country in the world. These days, Czechs drink on average about 161 liters of beer per person each year.  Not surprising when bottled beer is cheaper than bottled water!

“Beer is known to free up your brain for creative problem solving,” said Jindřich Kubec, Director of Threat Intelligence, “and since AVAST has some of the highest detection ratings of any antivirus out there, it shows that we are doing lots of “problem solving.” ;-)

Sweet success

Back in the day, refined sugar came in unwieldy big blocks that had to be sawed at, hacked, and cut through. This physical effort resulted in numerous boo-boos and aching fingers holding onto dainty tea cups (Czechs don’t always drink beer ;) ). One day, the wife of Jakub Kryštof Rad, the man who ran the local sugar refinery,  grew tired of having to bandage her appendages every time she wanted a little sweetener. She asked him why he couldn’t package sugar in a more manageable size for teacups. Mrs. Rad inspired her husband to create what we know today as sugar cubes.

“Speaking of sugar,” said Vladimir Saur, Traffic Manager at AVAST, “every day someone brings chocolate to the office, and we are living proof that dark chocolate improves brain function. Well, only when our boss leaves us at least a little bit!”

As unique as a fingerprint

CSI fans will dig what 19th-century physician and scientist Jan Evangelista Purkyně revealed in his work in physiology.  His discovery that all human fingerprints are unique and his subsequent classification of fingerprint patterns advanced criminology and forensic science.  A century later, Czech scientist Jan Janský learned that human blood could be classified into four distinct groups, which led the way to the A-B-O system we use today.

“Just like Sherlock Holmes hot on a the trail of a “whodunit” mystery, the researchers in the avast! Virus Lab follow clues to discover what malware does, why it does it, how to classify it, and most importantly, how we can stop it,” said Filip Chytrý , avast! Virus Lab researcher.

Mick Jagger lights up the castle

You will think you have entered a fairy tale when visiting the Czech Republic. With over 2,000 castles, the country has the highest density of castles, ruins, chateaux, and villas in the world. The most significant of them all is the Prague Castle, the largest medieval castle in Europe.

“One of the attractions to working for our great company, is its location. Prague is a fairy-tale city with magical beauty, said Marcela Římalová, Senior Worldwide Recruiter for AVAST Software. “After the Velvet Revolution, The Rolling Stones were invited by President Havel to play a concert. They noticed that the Prague Castle was dark at night, so they graciously paid for it and four of its grand halls to be illuminated. It’s a view we still enjoy today.”

source: http://www.praguewelcome.cz/en/

source: http://www.praguewelcome.cz/en/

 

avast! Free Antivirus

Powered, no doubt,historic-avast by Czech beer and chocolate, Pavel Baudiš, a young researcher at Prague’s legendary Mathematical Machines Research Institute came upon a sample of the Vienna Virus on a floppy disk. After he wrote a program to remove it, he showed it to his friend and colleague Eduard Kučera and, together they started what’s now the world’s most popular and trusted antivirus software. AVAST Software is celebrating its 25th anniversary soon and launching the newest version -  avast! 2014.

“When we started this company behind the Iron Curtain in 1988, we could not imagine that it would grow to protect more computers worldwide than any other firm,” said Eduard Kučera and Pavel Baudiš, founders of AVAST Software, “No one can say what the next 25 years will bring. But one thing is certain, the AVAST team – now spread over several countries – is talented, energetic, and committed to making sure that everyone in the world has access to computer security that works.”

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+.

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September 27th, 2013

avast! Free Antivirus wins VB100 award

vb_award_enAVAST Software, maker of the most trusted antivirus in the world, avast! Free Antivirus, has achieved a VB100 award in the latest Virus Bulletin VB100 comparative review. 

The VB100 award is given to those products that detect 100% of viruses “in the wild,” using the freshest malware sample sets available, as well as samples not previously seen. In this round, the testers also used a range of items including a wide selection of educational software, designed for use either in schools or in home-teaching environments. avast! Free Antivirus scored 100% for each malware set tested.

“The core sets were dealt with flawlessly, easily earning Avast a VB100 award for this month’s efforts,” said the Virus Bulletin experts conducting the test.

The second standard measured is the number of false positives generated when scanning. A false positive warning happens when a file is erroneously tagged as a virus or malware, when in fact the file does not possess such malicious code and is not a virus or malware. avast! Free Antivirus had zero false positives and got a perfect score on both standards showing it has what it takes to handle newly emerging malware and accurately detect previously unknown malware.

Speed and performance measures are also taken and avast! Free Antivirus earned the highest Stability rating, Solid: No issues observed, as opposed to Stable, Fair, or Buggy.

The Virus Bulletin annual conference, the premier technical event of the antivirus/security industry, will be held the first week in October in Berlin. AVAST will be attending, so we hope to see you there.

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+.