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Archive for July, 2012
July 25th, 2012

International Technology Upgrade Week

How many times have you seen a prompt to update software on your computer? How many times have you ignored it, and then got worried or annoyed because it kept reminding you? You are not alone in your procrastination. A full 40% of adults surveyed by Skype say they don’t always update software on their computers when prompted to do so. More than half said they needed to see a prompt between two and five times before they download and install an update.

Skype conducted the survey in preparation of International Technology Upgrade Week. We support them in spreading the word about why it’s important to keep software in top condition – having the latest security updates being the most important reason.

One of the ways cybercrooks get malware into your system is through exploiting programs that are old or not up-to-date. Most programs, like avast!, send out regular patches and updates, but a quarter of those surveyed said they don’t clearly understand what software updates do, and an equal percentage don’t understand the benefits so updates don’t get done and vulnerabilities persist. Read more…

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July 24th, 2012

67,000 Mobile Phones Predicted Stolen During London Olympic Games

An estimated 67,000 mobile phones are likely to be lost or stolen during the Olympics in London, according to research from security firm Venafi. With the influx of visitors to London starting this week, Venafi extrapolates that a total of 214.4 terabytes  - the equivalent of 200 million books full of data  -  will be lost during the course of the 2012 Olympics.

The risk of losing data, much of it valuable and often-regulated business data, is tremendous. “There’s been an explosion of corporate data available to users from their mobile devices. This is a real danger and one that is often overlooked,” said Gregory Webb, Venafi Vice President of Marketing.

“People don’t consider or take action to protect the vast volumes of information they carry and have internet access to. With the ever-shrinking boundaries between work devices and work-enabled personal devices, lost or stolen smartphones and other mobile devices that fall into the wrong hands place companies and business data at tremendous risk.”

Even if you are not attending the Olympics, you can protect your mobile phone from theft by downloading avast! Free Mobile Security, our full-featured anti-theft and anti-malware app for Android smartphones. With special “stealth” and remote-access features, including lock, wipe and siren, as well as an abundance of remote text commands, smartphone users are protected against the loss or misuse of their device. Together with anti-malware features to keep online threats at bay, avast! Free Mobile Security is the most full-featured security app available.

Avast! Free Mobile Security is completely free.  You can get your own avast! Free Mobile Security here.

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July 20th, 2012

avast! Free Antivirus Outperforms Competitors in Independent Test

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 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.

July 16th, 2012

“avast!, you little minx…”

Early Monday morning in the quiet AVAST Software headquarters office in Prague, we walked bleary-eyed to the coffee machine for our morning jolt. To our surprise, the peacefulness of the morning was broken by delighted laughter coming down the hallway. Curious that someone could be so cheery this early, we followed the sound and discovered our colleague reading this extraordinary email from a student in New Zealand. It made our day, so we decided to share it with you. Here it is:

“I’m going to set the scene, I’m a 20 yr. old student from New Zealand and as with many fellow students the purse string are quite tight. Day by day I watch my Norton antivirus warn me, “1 week until subscription ends,”  “4 days until subscription end,” 3, 2, 1…. 0. I’m vulnerable from all sides; my platoon has abandoned me deep in enemy territory. Norton Scum! I trusted them, but it turns out they’re only concern was the slim funds in my bank account. I can’t be forking out cash willy nilly, I eat rolled oats 4 meals out of 5. You’re not getting my money Norton, you have to pry it from my cold dead hands!

Deserted. Alone. The Viruses and malware creeping ever closer by the second… what can I do? Stop the aimless wandering through the internet that my generation has taken to so well? I think not. Determined to press on I continue, ever aware of the knot in my throat and the diminishing speed of my laptop. Then, as if a World Wide Web guardian angel had heard my prayers – AVAST! –  Clouds part, sunbeams shine down like golden pillars supporting the heavens themselves. A 1-year antivirus free for the little man, for the struggling student, the single mother, the small business owner. You sir/madam have restored my faith in humanity, you’re not like the rest of them -  those bloody beaked vultures, owned by greasy handed suits getting their daily warm fuzzies from the sight of their bank digits, you know (Norton!).

So, I commend your charity, if avast! antivirus was a person, we would get along (even more so if avast! was a slender twenty something of the female variety), I would possibly buy you a drink in a bar, invite you back to my dingy flat and enjoy your refreshing character with nothing but the upmost respect that you deserve.

Avast!, you little minx, keep on keeping on. Thanks for the protection, I think I might even upgrade to the full version when my free time is up.

Kind regards and thanks,

B. W.

P.S.) If by any chance you are a “twenty something of the female variety” user of avast! in New Zealand, and would like to meet the author, please write us. Who knows, this could be the start of an avast! matchmaking service! Little minx, indeed… ;-)

Categories: General, Marketing Tags:
July 16th, 2012

Click for me, thanks!

Social sites are great for people who want monetize theirs ideas. But sometimes these ideas are far more sinister.

Over the last few last weeks,  researchers at the Avast antivirus labs in Prague have noticed new attack based on a combination of social sites, fake Flash Players and the promise of illicit videos of well-known Hollywood stars. Read more…

Categories: analyses, lab, Virus Lab Tags:
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July 12th, 2012

VB100 Award for avast! File Server Security

avast! File Server Security for Windows Servers has earned a “Virus Bulletin 100%” (VB100) award from the latest Virus Bulletin comparative review conducted on the Windows 2008 Server R2 platform.

Avast! File Server Security performed extremely well in the test. The program scored high detection rates with zero false positives and demonstrated 100% efficiency when tested against viruses “in-the-wild” and on clean sets. Avast! File Server Security also had excellent scores in the Reactive and Proactive (RAP) test, reflecting its ability to detect and accurately identify newly emerging malware and previously unknown malware samples. Based on the fine performance of Avast! File Server Security, the editor’s concluded that, “a VB100 award is earned without difficulty.” This award follows an April VB100 award for avast! Free Antivirus.

VB100 certification is widely recognized within the industry, with its focus on virus detection rates and scanning speeds, as well as a range of additional tests included in comparative test reports.  Virus Bulletin has carried out independent comparative testing of antivirus products for many years. The testing platform was Windows Server 2008 R2, the server platform from Microsoft released in 2009. Thirty-seven submissions were tested in this round.


July 11th, 2012

Harvester: Beware of simple social engineering attacks

Sometimes, the use of simple scams and well-known brands are used to trick people into giving up login names and passwords.  By making people aware of these scams, we can better protect against the hackers.

You don’t need any obfuscated scripts or blackhat SEO tricks. Sometimes it is as easy as creating a Google document and sending it to trusting users. Anyone can create a simple form without any checks and this can be as a link to This form is seeded at social sites and via emails. The hackers then wait for responses from any visitors.

Read more…

Categories: analyses, Uncategorized, Virus Lab Tags:
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July 9th, 2012

Scam Phone call

Scams involving bogus telephone callers tricking users into divulging private information or parting with money for useless software are not new. However, it is worth reminding people of how the crooks are updating their tricks to better protect the innocent.

We received some emails from our users telling us that they spoke with some guy from ‘Microsoft’ who called to tell them that their computer is  badly infected with malware and need repairs. The ‘Microsoft’ guy convinces the victims to use Ammyy remote administrator software to allow the ‘Microsoft guy’ to  repair the computer. Ammyy remote admin is legitimate non-malicious program but it is a really easy way for scammers to connect to the victims’ computers and convince  them that they are helping.

The crooks then they try to force victims to buy support service. In the first call reported to us they offered a “cheaper” service for only $177.00 plus tax for lifetime support. In the second case, the price had gone up to €300 for 5 years support.

The biggest problem with phone call scams is that the only protection is a common sense. Antivirus can protect against malware from websites and downloads but no software can offer protection when victims allowed access to their computer and are tricked into to paying for fake ‘support & service’.

Categories: analyses, Uncategorized, Virus Lab Tags:
July 5th, 2012

Recommending avast! has its rewards

Our 190 millionth registered avast! user, Julie P. and her friend Steve, were given a free trip to Prague, home base of AVAST Software, in appreciation of Steve’s recommendation. Steve recommended that Julie try avast!, and it turned our better than she expected.

“Since three out of every ten new users come because of a friend, it’s time we also recognize a recommender,” said Vince Steckler, CEO of AVAST Software. “I am pleased we have been able to identify both the 190 millionth registered user and the friend that recommended avast!.”

Julie is a British national living in Spain. She decided to get avast! Free antivirus on the advice of Steve, a helpful retired friend. And when it came time to install avast! on her computer, it was Steve that downloaded and installed it.

“As a recommender and IT helper, people like Stephen have a big impact on AVAST and have helped drive growth last year from 141 million to 189 million registered users,” said Mr. Steckler. Read more…

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