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Archive for April, 2013
April 30th, 2013

avast! Antivirus gets cameo role in Movies vs. Life viral video

A YouTube video called Movies vs. Life compares scenes embellished with movie magic to their real-life equivalents. We like to think that an avast! Antivirus cameo during a computer hacking scene (pay attention around 0:22 seconds) is one of the reasons that this hilarious video has gone viral. ;-)

A round of applause from avast! to French comedy troupe Golden Moustache for producing this funny video.

Make sure you turn on captions for the English subtitles.

April 29th, 2013

High profile site scares users

We come across a plenty of malware reports every day. Sometimes we have to deal with some special cases, where a respected vendor is involved. This time it was the Dell driver download site.

Download site

Download site

Read more…

Categories: analyses, Virus Lab Tags: ,
April 26th, 2013

Recommend avast! and earn premium protection for free

Once you start using avast! Free Antivirus, you quickly realize what a quality product it is and want to share it with your family members and friends. We have created an easy way for you to recommend avast!, and at the same time earn points toward a free 1-year license of avast! Internet Security.

The steps are pretty easy.

First, you need a my.avast! account. If you don’t have an account it is simple to create one.  All you need is an email address or Facebook login. Go to to create yours now or open the avast! program and go to the “Recommend” tab.  I’ll tell you some benefits of having an account at the end of this post.

Once you have a my.avast! account, you can recommend avast! Free Antivirus using your very own special download link. Share this link with friends or family easily through your social networks or email.

recommendation program icons

Your special link will look similar to this one,

You can get your own link in two places:

1. Your my.avast account web page:

2. The avast! user interface – Click on the avast! icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen, then click the Recommend tab. It will look like this:


Once your friend installs avast! from your link and starts using it, a credit is counted toward your my.avast! account. When you reach 7 friends, you can download your free Internet Security license. If you have lots of friends, you can keep going – 14 friends, you get a 2-year license; 21 friends, you get a 3-year license.

Benefits of having a my.avast account

  • You can register any avast! free product which you have installed and which requires registration
  • You can remotely control your mobile devices on which avast! Mobile Security is installed
  • You can track the basic data about all your connected devices (program/virus database version, activity log, etc.)

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 and Google+.

Categories: General Tags: ,
April 24th, 2013

Auschwitz survivor seeks twin brother by “going viral”

Jolli - child survivor A7734 from Auschwitz, 4.5 years old at liberation. Born in 1940.

Jeno (Jolli) – child survivor A7734 from Auschwitz, 4.5 years old at liberation. Born in 1940.

Seventy-three year old Menachem Bodner lost his twin brother Jeno (Jolli) 68 years ago when the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated.  He knows only one thing about his brother:  The Auschwitz ID number tattoed on his arm -  A 7734. With the help of his grandchildren and genealogist Ayana KimRon, Mr. Bodner is now using Facebook to aid in the search. When Mr. Bodner described his unlikely social media campaign he said, “I’m like a virus!  I will go viral and spread the message until I do find my brother.”

And that gave us, the most popular antivirus company in the world, an idea…

AVAST has 180 million users across the globe, and we speak to them every day in the form of our pop-up notification that tells of a virus database update. What if we could use our massive ability to crowd-source and help Mr. Bodner’s message “go viral” by telling our users about his search? Maybe, just maybe, someone among our 180 million users can provide a clue to Jeno’s fate.

Please follow the Facebook page dedicated to finding Mr. Bodner’s long-lost twin brother, A7734. If you have information that could help find Jeno, please share it there.

Categories: General Tags: , ,
April 22nd, 2013

Is one search engine safer than another?

Question of the week: Since I have been using avast! I have been conscious of staying secure online. Does it matter which search engine I use? Is one safer than the other?

Thanks for using avast! to protect your computer. Yours is a great question, but maybe not one that people consider when thinking about the security of their system.

A recent 18-month study by the German Security firm AV-TEST Institute revealed that search results about breaking news stories, like the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon, frequently contain malicious links. People seek news quickly and they click on the links at the top of results without stopping to consider their safety or reliability. PCs without reliable security software soon become infected.

Google search is safer than Bing

AV-TEST evaluated about 40 million websites and found that Google is the safest way to search if you want to avoid malware. It’s rival Bing delivered five times more malicious websites in search results than Google. Yandex, Russia’s popular search engine, performed even worse than Bing delivering 10 times as many infected websites as compared to Google. This chart shows the results from Yandex, Bing, Google, and Blekko.

Overall the number of infected websites represent a small overall percentage of search results. But you need to remember that Google handles 2 to 3 billion search requests worldwide every day. The editors of the study point out, “If this total is factored into the calculations, the total number of websites containing malware found by the search engine is enough to make your head spin!”

Even though the study indicates that Google is the safer bet, all the search engines are pretty safe. As a conscientious user, you just need to be careful what you click on and make sure your programs and applications are up-to-date. Of course, you are already covered by terrific protection – avast! Antivirus! ;-)

Additional information:

Microsoft response to AV-Test- “We show results with warnings for about 0.04% of all searches, meaning about 1 in 2,500 search result pages will have a result with a malware warning on it.  Of those, only a small proportion of malicious links ever get clicked and the warning therefore triggered, so a user will see the warning only 1 in every 10,000 searches. In any case, the overall scale of the problem is very small.”

Yandex response to AV-Test – “Yandex uses its own proprietary antivirus technology to protect users from malicious software,” reads an email from the company. “Yandex marks the infected webpages in its search results in order to notify users of unsafe content. We just notify users of possible consequences and do not block access to the webpage completely.”

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
April 18th, 2013

Is antivirus protection for a smartphone really necessary?

android phones sm

Question of the week: I have avast! Free Antivirus on my computer and I love it, but isn’t antivirus for a smartphone overkill?  I mean, there are not so many threats to a phone, are there?

This is a question being asked by lots of security firms lately, and the answer is a resounding, YES. As smartphones and tablets become increasingly popular, so do threats that target mobile devices exclusively. Two particular studies published lately have pointed to an increase in mobile malware over the past year.

Android is in the bull’s eye

Mobile security firm NQ Mobile states in its study that security threats from mobile malware are on the rise and nearly 95% of it targets Google’s Android platform. Read more…

April 17th, 2013

Make money fast via torrents

Several months ago I wrote a blog post about an adware downloader which after execution downloaded a few adware programs and installed them on the computer, giving no chance for the user to skip or bypass their installation. This time, we will analyze an application, which installs similar types of adware programs on user computers.

We received a file which appeared to be a crack of Pinnacle Studio HD Ultimate. After displaying the initial splash screen, it offers the user to install Pinnacle Pixie Activation 500. After confirmation, the crack is installed, but in addition to the crack, other programs and toolbars unexpectedly appeared on the compromised computer. Pinnacle was not the only target of this kind of attack. Cracks for programs like Sims, Nero, Rosetta Stone, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 were also used in distribution.


Read more…

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April 15th, 2013

WordPress sites hacked

wordpress-logoThere is a nasty botnet trolling WordPress sites trying to log in with the default admin user name and using “brute-force” methods to crack the passwords. Our advice to save your wordpress blog from being hacked is to change admin as the login name to something else and use strong passwords.

Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress, advises the same thing on his blog. He also said to turn on the two-step authentication, which prompts you to enter a secret number you get from the Google Authenticator App on your smartphone. To make as secure an environment as you can, ensure that the latest version of WordPress is installed as well.

“Do this and you’ll be ahead of 99% of sites out there and probably never have a problem,” Mullenweg writes to assure 64 million WordPress users.

April 13th, 2013

Avast and Android Police host International Mega Giveaway

android police avast

You could win 1 of 9 Nexus devices! All you have to do is visit the Android Police contest page and answer this question:

What feature (or features) would you like to see added to avast! Mobile Security?

Visit the Android Police contest page now, read through the description of the contest, and add your answer to the comments section. That’s it! You could win 1 of 9 Nexus devices! The contest begins now and will run for one week, ending on Saturday, April 20th at 12:00AM PT (Midnight)After that, winners will be picked randomly.

Enter now and share with your friends.

Learn more about avast! Mobile Security:

April 12th, 2013

Why we love specifications (not)! Part II

Dealing with file formats is not really enjoyed by us. Usually the format designers haven’t had the security and parsing by foreign applications in mind, sometimes the specifications are hard to get, but, what is worst is the specification which claims something and then the major implementation does not follow it, allowing the bad guys to evade easily our strict parsers (as strict as specified in docs). We’ve already blogged about such problem in the past.

As I dealt with Embedded Open Type (EOT) in the past I have received some undetected samples from my colleague. It was EOT sample mentioned in this blog and some other sample downloaded by her. EOT is a compact form of OpenType font – it uses some special compression based on this specific file format to decrease file size.

Read more…

Categories: analyses, Uncategorized, Virus Lab Tags:
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