A flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) 6, 7 and 8 could allow hackers to take control of a Windows-based computer if the user browses to a malicious website. Security Advisory 2794220 was issued over the weekend and soon after a team blog reported that, “We are only aware of a very small number of targeted attacks at this time. This issue allows remote code execution if users browse to a malicious website with an affected browser. This would typically occur by an attacker convincing someone to click a link in an email or instant message.”
Microsoft has made a temporary fix available for the zero-day vulnerability until it can deliver a formal patch.
Be particularly careful if you are using versions 6, 7 or 8 of the IE browser. Versions 9 and 10 are not affected by the vulnerability. Check which version of IE you’re running by opening IE, click the Help question mark icon on the right and choose About Internet Explorer. To upgrade an older version of IE, go to Start > Control Panel > Windows Update.
We recommend switching browsers for a more secure one like Google Chrome. In addition to being more secure than IE 8, it is also faster and supports HTML 5, giving you a better browsing experience. Download free Google Chrome here.
Avast! is the first free antivirus software to be offered in the Windows store after being tested and passing the rigorous requirements for Microsoft® Windows® 8 operating system compatibility. Avast! Free Antivirus earned the coveted compatibility certification and the right to display the “Windows 8 Compatible” logo.
“Avast has a track record of receiving Microsoft Windows certifications, and Windows 8 is not an exception,” said Ondřej Vlček, Chief Technology Officer of Avast. “Having avast! in the Windows store provides Windows users with a certified PC security solution that is far better than what they would have with the pre-bundled Windows Defender antivirus previously known as Microsoft Security Essentials.”
Windows Defender is basic virus and malware protection that provides similar protection, uses the same antimalware engine, and has a look akin to Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). Performance tests by AV-Test, a respected antivirus software testing lab, show that avast! Free Antivirus has notably surpassed that of MSE in all 2012 monthly Real-World tests. While it does a good job on common widespread malware, as do most good brands, MSE lacks the cutting edge protection against new unknown “zero-day” attacks of which avast! Free Antivirus excels in detecting.
Earning the certification gives avast! Free Antivirus the right to display the “Windows 8 Compatible” logo after passing Microsoft’s technical requirements for compatibility and reliability with Windows 8.
“The logo is an indication that the app has been developed and fully tested to work great on a given platform. Because of all the innovations in Windows 8, getting the logo this time was not simple, but getting it early on shows a clear dedication of my team to our users, making sure they can start moving to this new exciting platform immediately,” said Vlček.
Windows® is a trademark of the Microsoft group of companies.
This past weekend, Microsoft splashed TV advertising for it’s new Windows 8 operating system during college football games in the U.S. and on TVs in 42 other countries. Despite the initial thrust, an AP survey of 1,200 adults in the U.S. showed over half hadn’t heard of the new OS, and those that had some knowledge of it showed little interest in buying a new laptop or desktop computer running on Windows 8.
We did our own survey of over 350,000 computer users across seven languages (English, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, and Czech) before the launch and found that most expect the new Microsoft Windows 8 operating system to be safer, but only 8% of respondents said they will buy a new computer any sooner because of it. Read more…
According to study by NSS Labs (here), avast! Internet Security and 3 other security products out of total 13 tested protect users against Microsoft vulnerability withing XML Core Services and against vulnerability in IE 8 (IE8 has approx. 15% share). Both exploits were patched by Microsoft in June and July respectively but users who failed to update are of course at risk. A good news for avast! Free Antivirus users… you have the same protection against those exploits as users of the paid-for avast! Internet Security suite.
PS: having everything up-to-date and patched is of course one of the golden stay-secure-rules.
The Duqu malware has raised the specter of Stuxnet II, with some in the security community claiming that this new Trojan is a reverse-engineered copy of Stuxnet – the infamous malware that may have sold more newspapers than it damaged nuclear centrifuges. Unlike Stuxnet, Duqu is designed to steal data from the targeted organization, not just destroy equipment. First noticed this summer, Duqu self-destructed after 30 days, than vanished again into cyberspace.
On Tuesday, Microsoft unveiled more details about the future Windows 8 operating system at the BUILD developer conference in Anaheim, California and we could not miss out on this event! Avast has always been able to fully operate on every future Windows OS starting at the public Beta version and our users can rely on us regarding Windows 8.
Microsoft is going to redesign the classic Windows 95 interface and prefer a new “Metro” user interface which is optimized exclusively for touch-screen tablets. It will appear the same on laptops and desktops, too.
They will ship only one Windows version which will run on all Windows 8 PCs: Desktops, laptops, tablets, cell phones, big screens, and small screens. No more separated OS versions like in the past (see Windows and Windows CE/Windows Phone variants). Every desktop application should now support both interfaces – and so will avast! Read more…
For those who have not visited our AVAST office in Prague, I need to explain that we are located south of the historic center in a business-like area with the standard attire: modern office buildings, couple of ‘skyscrapers’ (well, a Czech version of skyscraper with 27 floors), good restaurants, shopping centers and so on. Lots of businesses and banks have their headquarters here. It is really nice.
Among others, Microsoft happens to have its office right in front of our office windows. Of course we don’t spend our working time staring from the windows – most of the time we are actually staring at Windows – nevertheless, the latest development at the Microsoft building is too big to be missed. Microsoft is REBRANDING! Read more…
As many of you many know, Microsoft released their free security product earlier this week. Called MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials), it is a replacement for their One Care Product. It has been interesting reading the press coverage and the reaction from competitors. Some declare it will transform the security business and solve all security problems. Some equate it to a bad movie sequel. And some think it is Shakespearean—”Much Ado about Nothing”. Read more…