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October 16th, 2013

Fake email spoofs AVAST

Malware samples received in the avast! Virus Lab Wednesday show that a spoofed email which looks like it has been sent from AVAST is spreading widely. Fortunately, AVAST detects this malware as Win32:Malware[Gen] and has been blocking the virus since 12:45 pm yesterday.

The email’s subject header says, “Your Order details and Additional information,” and the email message contains standard text that is sent when a person purchases a license from AVAST. The message includes an order number that is not authenticated and does not exist in the AVAST database.

The sender’s email address is noreply@avast.com. This is a fake email address and was not created by AVAST. The email contains an attachment titled avast-Antivirus-Order-Details.zip. The attachment is a file that includes two file extensions – *.PDF.EXE – which is malware.

Our worldwide CommunityIQ sensors automatically detected and provided information to the avast! Virus Lab about these suspicious files, and the new threat was detected and neutralized immediately. So far, our virus lab has received 12,500 malware samples.

Avoid this attack by downloading the new avast! Antivirus 2014 for free.

October 15th, 2013

25 years in the making – avast! 2014

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In the 25 years that AVAST has existed, the goal has always been to protect people’s valuable data, residing on computers and mobile devices, from cybercrooks. Today, after all those years of experience gained from protecting nearly 200 million devices, we are proud to introduce our strongest, most effective product, the new avast! 2014.

“The new avast! 2014 delivers on our commitment to provide faster, better protection to the market,” said AVAST Chief Executive Officer Vincent Steckler. “It’s the culmination of 25 years of research and the experience of protecting nearly 200 million devices – by far more than any other antivirus product.”

AVAST Software co-founder, Eduard Kučera, introduced free antivirus protection years ago because he believed that all computer users deserve protection from harmful threats, and that computer safety should not be a luxury only a few can afford. AVAST has never strayed from the vision of offering a high-end antivirus product for free while building a wide user base. This user base now comprises the largest crowdsourced data pool in the world.

Community IQ – The largest crowdsourcing in the world

Protection starts with award-winning AVAST technology, but is amplified and improved by the feedback that our huge user base supplies. AVAST uses crowdsourced analysis called Community IQ to identify and isolate malware found in suspicious files and programs. Nearly 200 million devices worldwide automatically detect and report blacklist and whitelist applications and websites, along with tens of thousands of people who regularly provide us with vital information and feedback through the avast! user forum each day.

These enormous channels of communication give AVAST a distinct advantage in terms of the technical data we are able to use. Our users quickly send information to our Virus Lab experts who immediately start tracking the scope and severity of viruses. The analysis results provide the basis for “streaming updates” that we send to our global user base.

Continuous streaming updates

All that information sent from our Community IQ, allows the avast! Virus Lab to send streaming updates around the clock. These nearly instantaneous updates are malware detection “signatures” as well as advanced detections numbering in the hundreds per day.

“avast! 2014 is a big step forward,” said AVAST Chief Technology Officer Ondřej Vlček. “We now stream more than 250 micro-updates to active devices each day to improve zero-day detection and prevention. By protecting the most devices we have the best insight into the threat landscape, and that translates into better protection for our users.”

The 2014 version is available in four consumer variations – avast! Free Antivirus, avast! Pro Antivirus, avast! Internet Security, and avast! Premier – and in more than 40 languages. AVAST also provides world-class protection for businesses and mobile devices.

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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May 3rd, 2011

5 Questions with Michal Krejdl (Senior Virus Analyst)

avast! Virus Lab… I once went to their floor accidentally, thinking it was my floor – it was dark and scary, and so I quickly turned and ran out. These folks are like mad scientists, practicing alchemy in white laboratory coats that are stained with hard-drive smoke and smell of burnt ones & zeros. They’re mostly nocturnal like cyborgian vampires and yet they’re always awake, online and available for ‘chat’ or email, even in daylight.

Or at least that’s partly the stereotype I had when I started at AVAST. After meeting and talking with a few “virus guys” at a company party, I realized they’re like every other department here… but just a little more reclusive… and thus maybe a ‘typical’ IT crowd. See here for yourself, as this interview is with a guy whose blog posts get a lot of traffic (even though someone of my IT ‘capabilities’ rarely understands anything he writes about). –Jason Mashak

Michal Krejdl (Senior Virus Analyst)

1. You started at AVAST about 6 years ago, while still attending university – what was it like already working for a top antivirus provider while still a student?

I was a young chemistry student (which seems removed from IT, but even AVAST co-founder Pavel Baudis studied the same subject, at the same university :)) with no previous job experience or references. Most of the aspects of IT (including reverse engineering, programming in various languages, cryptography, etc.) were my hobby, and thus it was no problem to work for ALWIL [former name of AVAST Software, until 2010]. I had no clue what the business was about – it took me roughly a year to fully understand how a two-person project could become a successful company Read more…

February 18th, 2011

Finding the virus, finding the cure

The main role of antivirus being of course to catch viruses, borrowing computer terminology from the human environment is fitting… virus spreads from machine to machine, infecting them just like a flu. And just like in the case of influenza or other virus-type diseases, knowing the virus is the first step to a cure.

In the case of computers, it gets slightly complicated, because while nature presents a new influenza subtype about once a year and only now and then does it really get out of hand, virus creators are getting much faster at “turnaround” in their development of new viruses. Read more…