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Posts Tagged ‘security’
September 6th, 2013

What’s Hot on Social: Security and privacy update

Millions of users access social networks every day in order to share, engage, and look for information as well as entertainment. The transparency of social networks come with a risk and we very often expose ourselves to hackers and scammers that can take advantage of information we share. Social platforms constantly improve security and privacy settings, to deliver a safe experience to the users, but who has time to follow all this news? Well, you can relax and rely on us. AVAST specialists are here to deliver this information in an accessible way.

Last month we prepared a security and privacy update following the most important changes on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Check what has changed since than to enjoy a secure social media experience!

shutterstock_113587513Facebook updated its Privacy policy   

At the end of August, Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan published an official blog post, as a response to rumors and extensive discussion on the company’s Data Use Policy. One of the biggest concerns were related to how Facebook displays our data to its clients advertising on the social network. Currently pages can target us even by our name.

Advertisers may also be able to reach you on Facebook using the information they already have about you (such as email addresses or whether you have visited their websites previously).

#AVASTtip: There is not much space for us users to really influence it, but Facebook is open to user feedback. If you would like to comment or express your opinion, you can do it here .

Read more…

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August 27th, 2013

Linux Trojan “Hand of Thief” ungloved

A new threat for the Linux platform was first mentioned on August 7th by RSA researchers, where it was dubbed Hand of Thief.  The two main capabilities of this Trojan are form-grabbing of Linux-specific browsers and entering a victim’s computer by a back-door. Moreover, it is empowered with features like anti-virtualization and anti-monitoring. With the level of overall sophistication Hand of Thief displays, it can be compared to infamous non-Windows threats such as the FlashBack Trojan for MacOsX platform discovered last year or Trojan Obad for Android from recent times.

A detailed analysis uncovers the following structure of the initial file with all parts after the dropper being encrypted (hexadecimal number displays starting offset of a block):

handofthief_scheme

Read more…

August 14th, 2013

AVAST detects and blocks 100% of Zeus Trojans in Banking Security Test

MRG Effitas certificationavast! Internet Security detects and blocks 100% of the world’s most malicious Zeus Trojan strains.

The Zeus Trojan is the most prevalent type of financial malware. Zeus infects a user’s computer and lies in wait until the user logs on to a banking website. Once that occurs, it attempts to steal the user’s bank account information, passwords, and other personal information. This summer Zeus made its way to Facebook, showing how it can evolve to avoid detection and circumvent countermeasures employed by banks and security vendors.

This dangerous Trojan is detected by avast! Antivirus. In a recent simulation for MRG Effitas Online Banking / Browser Security Assessment Project,  avast! Internet Security prevented the simulator from capturing user data and detected and blocked results for the 100 Zeus samples, all from live URLs. The same top-rated antivirus and anti-malware protection is available in all AVAST products, including avast! Free Antivirus.

Protect your online identity while securing your sensitive online financial transactions by using avast! Internet Security.

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 FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Instagram.

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August 7th, 2013

Top mobile phone apps snoop into your business

mobile apps1It’s easy and fast to download apps to your smartphone. They do everything from identify a song you just heard to turning your phone into a flashlight. But there are secrets lurking beneath the fun apps. See how knowledgeable you are about the risks associated with free and paid apps for your smartphone. Answer the question, then read on to check if you were right.

1. Which is riskier?

  • Free mobile phone apps
  • Paid mobile phone apps

If you chose free mobile phone apps, then you are correct. Overall, 83% of the 100 most popular apps are associated with security risks and privacy issues, according to a new analysis by Appthority. The interesting point this study make is that these aren’t just any old apps, these are the games, productivity, and communication tools created by major publishers like Disney, Entertainment Arts, and Rovio. Analysts also found that paid apps aren’t as safe as you think. While 95% of free apps exhibited at least one risky behavior, so did 78% of the top paid apps.

TIP: avast! Free Mobile Security identifies potential privacy risks, by scanning and displaying access rights and the intent of your apps, so you know how much info you are really providing to each app. Read what Consumer Reports says about avast! Free Mobile Security.

 

2. Which is safer?

  • Apple’s mobile ecosystem
  • Android’s “open” platform

Read more…

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August 6th, 2013

What’s hot on social: security and privacy update 2

Millions of users access Social Networks every day in order to share, engage, and look for information as well as entertainment. The transparency of social networks come with a risk and we are very often expose ourselves to hackers and scammers that can take advantage of information we share. Social platforms constantly improve security and privacy settings, to deliver a safe experience to the users, but who has time to follow all this news? Well, you can relax and rely on us. AVAST specialists are here to deliver this information in an accessible way.

Last month we warned you against the  four sneakiest Facebook scams. Now we have a summary of the latest security and privacy related news. Check it out and enjoy a secure social media experience!

_fb_icoNew, secure https connection on Facebook

At the end of July, Facebook announced that it will migrate all users to the https connection.  HTTPS - Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is a communication protocol primarily used to ensure a safe internet connection. For Facebook users, this means a safer experience, when communicating between a browser and Facebook servers.

Facebook first offered it to users in 2011, as an optional setting. However from now on it will be a default one, so the good news is that you don’t have to change any settings.

Now this is what you will see in your browser, when accessing Facebook.

HTTPS connection

 

New anti-bullying features on Facebook

During the last week of July, Facebook announced that,

Child psychologist Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, is working with Facebook to develop what he says is the first emotionally-intelligent bullying prevention system on a social network.

Read more…

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August 5th, 2013

PC Backup Tips: What, Where, When, and How

backup_imgAVAST Evangelists’ share tips about backing up your PC.

This time of the year – summer in the Northern Hemisphere – is the time to enjoy yourself while traveling. You  want to protect those precious photos and videos that you take of your children or friends having adventures. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s winter. For students, it’s time to do a little computer housekeeping that was avoided during the year. Backing up your PC is not hard, and the tips you get here from the most active Evangelists on the 300,000 member AVAST Forum community will have you backing up your PC with ease.

The Four Ws of Backup

What to backup: Types of documents and data. The first suggestion from our evangelists is that you organize your files into intuitive folders that are easy to find and easy to backup. Establish priorities. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.

  • Decide which things you don’t want to lose… Documents, spreadsheets, email account details, registration keys, address book, bookmarks, photos, etc. If you identify what’s important to backup first, not only is it easier to do the backup task, but you also avoid increasing your internet traffic with big files that do not need to be restored. Read more…
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July 18th, 2013

Six reasons to use avast! SecureLine VPN when traveling

Whether on business travel or vacation, you don’t want to worry about the security of your devices when you connect to the internet. Using a WiFi network in a café, airport, or hotel is a serious security risk that requires additional protection to secure your data and computer.

avast! SecureLine VPN is now completely integrated into all of AVAST’s free and premium products. Here’s the top 6 reasons why you should use avast! SecureLine VPN:

1. Hides your data from thieves – avast! SecureLine VPN encrypts your public WiFi communications. That means that someone snooping on you will see a bunch of gibberish instead of your email, files, passwords, etc.

2. Keeps eavesdroppers from listening to your VOIP calls – avast! SecureLine VPN makes your voice or video conversations through the internet using Skype or Viber, for example, safe and secure by encrypting your conversation. This allows you to talk to people without fear of being eavesdropped on by cybercrooks, your ISP, and even the government! Read more…

July 8th, 2013

Security tips from AVAST Forum Evangelists

The AVAST forum is one of our largest and most active communities, with more than 300,000 users. The most active people on the forum are called Evangelists. They spend a great deal of their free time answering user questions and helping to sort out issues of all kinds. You can meet them on the AVAST forum, where you can get assistance and support any time.

forum evangelists

Because of the Evangelists’ extensive experience and knowledge, we asked them to share their top tips on maintaining a secure computer or device. Here are their main tips:

  • Keep Windows and all other programs up-to-date (especially browsers and avast! Antivirus) and use only official sites for updating. For more convenience, you can use the avast! Software Updater feature to do it. Avoid P2P, cracks, patches and pirated software. On Android, use Google Play as the app source.
  • Don’t be a happy clicker, especially on social media sites and while installing programs. Always install programs via the custom mode and read the screens before clicking next. If something looks fishy, it probably is.
  • Take care about the sites you visit, knowing that legitimate websites can also be hacked. Use avast! SafeZone for web browsing whenever possible, especially while using online banking.  AVAST also provides a full isolated environment called avast! Sandbox.
  • Use different and strong passwords: Numbers, upper and lower case letters, symbols, etc. avast! EasyPass could help you manage this.
  • Keep your anti-malware protection always on, for instance, while gaming and installing programs. Community games are usually safer than the supposed official games you find online. Take extra care – or avoid completely – free public cheats for multiplayer games, especially downloaded from third party URLs.
  • Be alert for social engineering scams and emails. Do not open attachments from an unknown sender. Remember that not everyone is really your friend. Always use common sense.
  • Have backup strategies: When, what, local and remote. Remember: Better safe than sorry. AVAST offers an online backup solution too.
  • Use a firewall that manages the access of applications to the internet. Take care on open WiFi hotspots. At home, be sure to use strong WiFi passwords.

Special thanks to our AVAST forum members who have contributed these tips: Bob, Charyb, Essexboy, Omid, George Yves, Iroc, Donovan, Polonus, Ylap, Mac, Para-Noid, Coolmario, Dwarden and Jeffce. If you ever have a question, please log on to the AVAST forum and ask. Our forum evangelists are happy to assist you.

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 Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.

May 29th, 2013

Twitter introduces a new security feature: login verification

tw_infoUsers of social networks save and share huge amount of data and become a favorite target of potential attacks. Therefore we, at AVAST Software educate You about online security and how to protect your privacy on social media. Check  a new security feature, introduced recently by Twitter.

With a growing amount of new users and increasing numbers to log in, Twitter decided to introduce a new feature. Login verification is another security level, preventing from compromising email phishing schemes, as well as breaching of passwords.

How does it work?

Read more…

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May 2nd, 2013

Massive U.S. cyberattack planned by Anonymous

anonymous OpUSA

Source: http://www.bankinfosecurity.com/

“In the cross hairs of anonymous”

The hacktivist group Anonymous announced phase one of a massive cyberattack, called Op USA,  on U.S government and banking websites scheduled for next Tuesday, May 7. The White House, the NSA, and the FBI are included on a list of high profile government targets, and 133 financial institutions including the Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citibank are listed as banking targets.

Communicating through Pastebin on April 21, an Anonymous spokesperson stated, “Anonymous will make sure that this May 7th will be a day to remember.” They wrote that the reason for the attack is “…multiple war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan…”.

Anonymous posted a list of targets and mapped out the method of attacks writing, “You can not stop the internet hate machine from doxes, DNS attacks, defaces, redirects, ddos attacks, database leaks, and admin take overs.” Read more…