Do you know the notion “machine war”? If you’re a fan of the Matrix movie trilogy then probably, yes. It denotes the fictional rise of artificially intelligent machines against the human race and their violent conquest of human beings. We want to apply a similar dominance of computationally powerful machines, not to create a population of slaves, but against numerous malicious Android packages that wildly proliferate on unofficial markets.
The idea of malware detection with no human interaction appeared earlier on our blog. In a fundamental article about AVAST research activities by AVAST’s COO, Ondřej Vlček, he effectively described the technologies we employ to deal with Windows threats. Two techniques have been mentioned explicitly, Malware Similarity Search and Evo-Gen, both working with Windows PE file format. Sometimes the latter form of detection technique is denoted as weak automated anti-malware heuristic.
The main effort is to reach two slightly conflicting qualities at the same time: The robustness, which means that suggested methods cover as many threats as possible; and simplicity, so that the methods are easily implemented in AVAST’s mobile security solution. The search for balance between those qualities is assisted by lessons learned from automated heuristic for Windows PE executables.
The Avast Research Lab is where some of the Avast’s brightest brains essentially create new ways of detecting malware. These are either features inside the product (such as FileRep and autosandboxing, including all of its recent development) as well as components that run on our backend – i.e. things that users don’t necessarily see but that are equally important for the overall quality of the product.
In fact, working on the backend stuff takes up more of their time these days, as more and more intelligence in Avast is moving to the cloud and/or is being delivered in almost real time via the avast! streaming update technology. Read more…
avast! Free Antivirus outperformed multiple free and paid-for antivirus products in AV-TEST’s analysis of thirty-one consumer and business internet security products. The test, which concluded in June, included familiar names in the antivirus sector. Even a well-known paid-for ‘Internet Security 2012’ product which sells for $79.99 a year, was bested by AVAST Software’s free antivirus product.
Both home-user and corporate products analyzed by AV-Test.org cover a range of metrics, including protection against ‘real-world’ zero-day malware attacks, detection of a representative set of malware discovered in the last 2-3 months, false positive rates, and scanning speed. avast! Free Antivirus detected 100% of widespread and prevalent malware (such as viruses, worms or Trojan Horses), and its cumulative score earned it the top spot for overall performance among competitors.
AV-TEST uses specially developed processes to examine products in accordance with the high standards of the IT security field. The aim of the research work carried out by AV-TEST is to directly detect the latest malware, to analyze it using state-of-the-art methods and to inform consumers of the results obtained.