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Archive for February, 2013
February 28th, 2013

Live demo of Avast 8



Don’t miss our LIVE presentation of the new avast! Free Antivirus version 8! We’ve just released it today and this is your chance to be one of the first to see what avast! version 8 is all about.

We will be broadcasting our Hangout, live from Prague, Czech Republic, starting at 7 PM EST on February 28th (today). There are several ways you can view it:

  • Add Avast to your Google+ circles, and we’ll post the link there. RSVP to our event and you’ll get the link automatically.
  • You will also be able to watch it live on the avast YouTube channel.
  • Just before we go live we will post a link to our avast Facebook page . When you see it, CLICK IT, and please be sure share with your friends!

Watch our video invitation.


We look forward to seeing you there.

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February 25th, 2013

Malware Attacks

Make sure you friend Avast on Facebook so you won’t miss our original comic strip, MALWARE ATTACKS!!. Here’s a quick catch-up in case you missed the first installment -

We meet unfortunate aliens fleeing their embattled home world in search of help against the evil Malware Empire. The fate of their planet rests on their success.

Malware Attacks!! part 1

Illustrated by Daniel Coca López


Alien visitors come to Earth seeking help from Avast against the evil Malware Empire.

Malware Attacks!! part 2



The desperate aliens visit Avast headquarters to ask for help to defeat the evil Malware Empire. Just like 177 million Earthlings who use Avast to protect themselves, the aliens find what they are looking for.

Malware Attacks!! part 3


Armed with avast! Free Antivirus 8, the aliens race back to their home planet. Victory against the evil Malware Empire is assured.

Page_4 Final


Thanks to avast! Free Antivirus 8, the galaxy is once again protected against Malware. Our heroes are awarded with the medal for bravery, and avast! 8 takes its place of honor in history.

Page_5 Final


Protect your world with avast! 8. From avast! Free Antivirus to our newest top-tier suite, Avast Premier 8, it can all be found on

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February 18th, 2013

Does size matter?

They say size doesn’t matter… however, at Twitter it actually does! :) How can you express yourself, knowing that you MUST use no more than 140 characters? How can you tell everything about Avast and still fit within this number? How can you respond to Avast users knowing this limitation? Well, by setting up and communicating daily via our avast! Twitter account, we have accepted this challenge and now we have one for you…  But before we get there, let me tell why you should start following us on Twitter.

Read more…

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February 15th, 2013

The Race to the Top (of the Software list)

Beat Opera graphPeople love lists. Lately, I’ve seen lists for 7 Ways to Look Younger, Worst Dressed at the Grammys,  and our favorite, Top 5 Facebook Software Pages.

Late last year, as the number of fans on our popular Facebook page increased, Julia, my fellow Queen of the avast! FREEks, and I noticed that we were quickly gaining on a very famous name in the software category. This software royalty has been around for decades. No matter what you think of it now, it’s a cornerstone of just about everyone’s internet experience, so we watched with astonished glee as our number of supporters and fans edged closer to their number. In December, our awesome avast! Community overtook …you ready for it? Internet Explorer!

We felt like Lady Gaga taking the First Lady of Pop crown from Madonna!

Dear avast! Antivirus users, this small triumph means that our avast! Facebook page is now #4 on the Top 5 Facebook Software Pages list. Our competitive spirit is up, and now we set our sights on the #3 position in the software category. Our next hurdle is a popular browser with 300 million users.  It should be a piece of cake; we’re only 1 million fans behind. ;-) All we need to do is rally together and we can…


Beat Opera 2So if you already have a Facebook profile, please like our avast! Facebook page.  When you see how much fun we have there (and there is some fun planned for the launch of avast! 8), I hope you will share avast! with your friends too.

Let the race begin!

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February 14th, 2013

Malware: Dollar Equals Tilde Square Brackets

Recently we encountered a very suspicious piece of code on some Joomla-powered webpages. The code looks as if garbled and without any special meaning, and starts like this:


Upon closer observation, several strange things are to be noted. First, there are no alphanumerical symbols to be seen in any part of the code. Second, on the line before this code starts, there is actually an HTML tag indicating a start of Javascript code (<script>), preceded by 37 tabs. Therefore, when opening an infected file in a text editor, one cannot normally see the starting tag, because it is shifted all the way to the right. To be able to see it, you either have to horizontal scroll, or have word wrap on. The same trick is performed with the script closing tag as well. Why would anyone try to hide these tags? The answer is simple, to trick people into thinking this is not actually a Javascript code.

Read more…

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February 13th, 2013

Avast antivirus 2012 trial? No, just a scam

I don’t know what kind of curiosity leads people to the dark corners of the internet, when they want to obtain a new version of antivirus software. It’s somehow irrational to find security software at insecure places. But…. it happens.

FP submission

FP submission

As you can see, the file name is Avast_Antivirus_2012_Trial_Verion.exe – but it is definitely not a proper setup released by us. Here are some facts, that are worth remembering:

Read more…

February 8th, 2013

Malware infects Android and Windows at the same time

Android & WindowsThousands of new malwares come to our virus lab daily. The target could be both Android devices and Windows computers. They’re being detected under the Android:Ssucl-X name. The malwares are being spread through false apps to free up memory of the devices and enhance their performance. They were available at Google Play as Superclean (published at January 3rd and got 4,5 stars with more than one thousand installations) or DroidCleaner, both from Smart Apps developer. Both apps were not blocked by the protection system of Google Play, although they were removed some time after that. They still could be available for download in smaller stores.

When installed, the apps ask for a group of permissions from sending SMS to enable the WiFi network, handle the owner personal data including SMS, photos, contacts, GPS coordinates and also any data or file in the SD card!

After installed in the Android device, the apps download files to the SD card (autorun.inf, folder.ico and svchosts.exe). When the device was connected to a computer as an storage mass media (USB), the file svchosts.exe could be automatically executed in the computer, spreading the infection. Once in the system, the malware could activate the microphone and store the surroundings audio, encrypt it and send it to a FTP remote server.

The infection scheme is old, but the infection migration from mobile devices to the computer could be a new headache. The better would be stay protected by avast! Free Antivirus in the computer and avast! Free Mobile Security in the Android devices.

Some technical info about these malwares:
SHA-1: 183d694cc6b1565fce318531b56a6e9ce9f79149 – MD5: 89d71ec272778910941d2cd28a4cf776
SHA-1: 2853d37fbc729cd43ab7d12b5899edda9e59693e – MD5: f5546f1d7e5cd2b43cb81197d85ac0d3
SHA-1: 30e0b93c36afca1da5db5e11ba0b5f00a8401c7d – MD5: c293bc5cd1101b5b648b9ba92edf1994

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
February 5th, 2013

Safer Internet Day 2013

SID 2013Today teachers and students celebrate Safer Internet Day in 90 countries worldwide, and across six of the world’s seven continents. This year the theme for the day is Online rights and responsibilities, when we will encourage users to ‘Connect with respect’.

Whether you like to use Facebook, share photos, upload movies, blog, game, play or network, follow a few basic rules to keep yourself safe whenever and wherever you go online. This includes when you connect with your computer, your tablet, your mobile phone, and your games console.

Online Safety Information for Children and Young People

  • Be responsible online – do not hide behind your screen
    Use good ‘netiquette’. This means that you should treat others on the web as you would want to be treated yourself. Don’t let yourself bully or harass someone or create a false identity. 
  • Do not circulate messages, pictures or other material that can be hurtful
    When you share stories, pictures, movies or blogs posts online that normally means that you lose control over it. The information could be there forever and will be there for anyone to see. Read more…
February 5th, 2013

Bicololo virus spreading via webserver errors

In October we wrote on our blog about a spreading Russian Trojan horse named the Bicololo. Since that time, the malware has continued to evolve and spread even further. Nowadays avast! saves several thousand PCs every day from its infection.

Read more…

Categories: analyses, lab Tags:
February 4th, 2013

Tax scams to watch out for: Phishing and identity theft

tax_imgIt’s that time of year again for Americans. You have received your W-2 and are eager to file your tax return, especially if you anticipate a refund. Every year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warns taxpayers to beware of phishing scams used by con artists to steal your identity, cash, and sense of security. This year is no different.

Phishing takes many forms, but usually involves unsolicited email or messages via social media and a fake website that poses as a legitimate site. The danger is that if you follow the link the scammers provide, you could end up with a malware infection, such as a Trojan that logs your keystrokes and allows a hacker to gain access to your bank accounts, or you could provide valuable personal and financial information that exposes you to identity theft. Here are some recent examples:

Classic phish: Last tax season, a bogus email warned recipients they would be penalized up to $10,000 for not filing their taxes by a false deadline of January 31st. They were instructed to follow a link which went to a phony site that appeared to be the official IRS website. They were asked to provide personal or financial information that could be used by scammers and identity thieves.

Don’t be misled by sites claiming to be the IRS but ending in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. Read more…