The second half of 2011 got off to a great start for AVAST Software (even if it was rough in terms of Prague’s “summer” weather, which been more like an out-of-place autumn). We began the third quarter with a record 165 million user registrations and (not long after launching our avast! Free Antivirus for Mac beta) in July we launched our new business security line. As for what’s next, CNET’s Seth Rosenblatt give a preview of our other upcoming security solutions here.
In other news, research by the AVAST Virus Lab uncovered an alarming trend in Adobe Reader version usage and a surprising percentage of Microsoft XP-based rootkits.
Our Virus Lab's study showed that 60% of Adobe Reader users are not using a current and updated version, leaving them unnecessarily open to exploits. Here are a few media outlets that reported on our findings:
As for the Windows rootkit vulnerabilities, the common belief that Windows 7 is immune against rootkits simply isn’t true. As well, Windows XP plays host to a surprising share of rootkit infections, a situation that many industry experts have since covered and weighed in on (here are a few articles on our research):
It’s good to remember that many OS, browser, or application vulnerabilities have more to do with the “economy of scale” than with inherent design flaws. Hackers and/or other cybercriminals tend to go after that which yields to them best possible results (your personal information and other sensitive data), and thus they prefer exploiting weaknesses in the most widely used products. Keep your software versions current, updated, and be aware that these changes happen for a reason – typically, to patch problems that have developed in earlier versions.