Malware samples received in the avast! Virus Lab Wednesday show that a spoofed email which looks like it has been sent from AVAST is spreading widely. Fortunately, AVAST detects this malware as Win32:Malware[Gen] and has been blocking the virus since 12:45 pm yesterday.
The email’s subject header says, “Your Order details and Additional information,” and the email message contains standard text that is sent when a person purchases a license from AVAST. The message includes an order number that is not authenticated and does not exist in the AVAST database.
The sender’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a fake email address and was not created by AVAST. The email contains an attachment titled avast-Antivirus-Order-Details.
Our worldwide CommunityIQ sensors automatically detected and provided information to the avast! Virus Lab about these suspicious files, and the new threat was detected and neutralized immediately. So far, our virus lab has received 12,500 malware samples.
Avoid this attack by downloading the new avast! Antivirus 2014 for free.
In one of our previous posts we wrote about browser extensions and their possibly unwanted effects on our customers’ computers. Browser toolbars have been around for years, however, in the last couple of months they became a huge mess. Unfortunately, lots of free software comes with more or less unwanted add-ons or browser toolbars.
These are quite annoying because they may:
- Change your homepage and your search engine without your permission or awareness
- Track your browsing activities and searches
- Display annoying ads and manipulate search results
- Take up a lot of (vertical) space inside the browser
- Slow down your browser and degrade your browsing experience
- Fight against each other and make normal add-on handling difficult or impossible
- Become difficult or even impossible for the average user to fully uninstall
Maybe you have already become a victim of unwanted browser toolbars. avast! Browser Cleanup was developed exactly for this reason; to help our customers identify and get rid of unwanted browser toolbars and add-ons. It is integrated in avast! 2014 and is also available as a stand-alone product on various download portals for use by friends without installed avast! Antivirus. Now, about 7 months after the initial release of avast! Browser Cleanup together with avast! Antivirus 8, it’s time for a review of the results. Read more…
In the 25 years that AVAST has existed, the goal has always been to protect people’s valuable data, residing on computers and mobile devices, from cybercrooks. Today, after all those years of experience gained from protecting nearly 200 million devices, we are proud to introduce our strongest, most effective product, the new avast! 2014.
“The new avast! 2014 delivers on our commitment to provide faster, better protection to the market,” said AVAST Chief Executive Officer Vincent Steckler. “It’s the culmination of 25 years of research and the experience of protecting nearly 200 million devices – by far more than any other antivirus product.”
AVAST Software co-founder, Eduard Kučera, introduced free antivirus protection years ago because he believed that all computer users deserve protection from harmful threats, and that computer safety should not be a luxury only a few can afford. AVAST has never strayed from the vision of offering a high-end antivirus product for free while building a wide user base. This user base now comprises the largest crowdsourced data pool in the world.
Community IQ – The largest crowdsourcing in the world
Protection starts with award-winning AVAST technology, but is amplified and improved by the feedback that our huge user base supplies. AVAST uses crowdsourced analysis called Community IQ to identify and isolate malware found in suspicious files and programs. Nearly 200 million devices worldwide automatically detect and report blacklist and whitelist applications and websites, along with tens of thousands of people who regularly provide us with vital information and feedback through the avast! user forum each day.
These enormous channels of communication give AVAST a distinct advantage in terms of the technical data we are able to use. Our users quickly send information to our Virus Lab experts who immediately start tracking the scope and severity of viruses. The analysis results provide the basis for “streaming updates” that we send to our global user base.
Continuous streaming updates
All that information sent from our Community IQ, allows the avast! Virus Lab to send streaming updates around the clock. These nearly instantaneous updates are malware detection “signatures” as well as advanced detections numbering in the hundreds per day.
“avast! 2014 is a big step forward,” said AVAST Chief Technology Officer Ondřej Vlček. “We now stream more than 250 micro-updates to active devices each day to improve zero-day detection and prevention. By protecting the most devices we have the best insight into the threat landscape, and that translates into better protection for our users.”
The 2014 version is available in four consumer variations – avast! Free Antivirus, avast! Pro Antivirus, avast! Internet Security, and avast! Premier – and in more than 40 languages. AVAST also provides world-class protection for businesses and mobile devices.
The Czechs love their beer. Monks living in the region started brewing in monasteries just a few centuries AD. The Czechs gave the gift of Pilsner to the world back in the mid-1800s, and ever since then citizens have supported their own industry by consuming more beer per capita than any other country in the world. These days, Czechs drink on average about 161 liters of beer per person each year. Not surprising when bottled beer is cheaper than bottled water!
“Beer is known to free up your brain for creative problem solving,” said Jindřich Kubec, Director of Threat Intelligence, “and since AVAST has some of the highest detection ratings of any antivirus out there, it shows that we are doing lots of “problem solving.”
Back in the day, refined sugar came in unwieldy big blocks that had to be sawed at, hacked, and cut through. This physical effort resulted in numerous boo-boos and aching fingers holding onto dainty tea cups (Czechs don’t always drink beer ). One day, the wife of Jakub Kryštof Rad, the man who ran the local sugar refinery, grew tired of having to bandage her appendages every time she wanted a little sweetener. She asked him why he couldn’t package sugar in a more manageable size for teacups. Mrs. Rad inspired her husband to create what we know today as sugar cubes.
“Speaking of sugar,” said Vladimir Saur, Traffic Manager at AVAST, “every day someone brings chocolate to the office, and we are living proof that dark chocolate improves brain function. Well, only when our boss leaves us at least a little bit!”
As unique as a fingerprint
CSI fans will dig what 19th-century physician and scientist Jan Evangelista Purkyně revealed in his work in physiology. His discovery that all human fingerprints are unique and his subsequent classification of fingerprint patterns advanced criminology and forensic science. A century later, Czech scientist Jan Janský learned that human blood could be classified into four distinct groups, which led the way to the A-B-O system we use today.
“Just like Sherlock Holmes hot on a the trail of a “whodunit” mystery, the researchers in the avast! Virus Lab follow clues to discover what malware does, why it does it, how to classify it, and most importantly, how we can stop it,” said Filip Chytrý , avast! Virus Lab researcher.
Mick Jagger lights up the castle
You will think you have entered a fairy tale when visiting the Czech Republic. With over 2,000 castles, the country has the highest density of castles, ruins, chateaux, and villas in the world. The most significant of them all is the Prague Castle, the largest medieval castle in Europe.
“One of the attractions to working for our great company, is its location. Prague is a fairy-tale city with magical beauty,“ said Marcela Římalová, Senior Worldwide Recruiter for AVAST Software. “After the Velvet Revolution, The Rolling Stones were invited by President Havel to play a concert. They noticed that the Prague Castle was dark at night, so they graciously paid for it and four of its grand halls to be illuminated. It’s a view we still enjoy today.”
avast! Free Antivirus
Powered, no doubt, by Czech beer and chocolate, Pavel Baudiš, a young researcher at Prague’s legendary Mathematical Machines Research Institute came upon a sample of the Vienna Virus on a floppy disk. After he wrote a program to remove it, he showed it to his friend and colleague Eduard Kučera and, together they started what’s now the world’s most popular and trusted antivirus software. AVAST Software is celebrating its 25th anniversary soon and launching the newest version - avast! 2014.
“When we started this company behind the Iron Curtain in 1988, we could not imagine that it would grow to protect more computers worldwide than any other firm,” said Eduard Kučera and Pavel Baudiš, founders of AVAST Software, “No one can say what the next 25 years will bring. But one thing is certain, the AVAST team – now spread over several countries – is talented, energetic, and committed to making sure that everyone in the world has access to computer security that works.”
Part time job available for a Social Media Community Manager
In March 2013, we started “hunting” for social media agents. A few months later we have our A-social media team of six specialists, covering the following languages: English, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Polish, German, and Czech. We are however still missing the “Inspector Clouseau” who could help us to grow, engage, and communicate with our French speaking community across social media channels.
Do you blog, comment, respond, post, chat, like, re-tweet, add to circles, pin…? Do you monitor what’s hot on social media in your language? Do you have 2 hours a day that you can fully dedicate to AVAST social media? Can you be the eyes and ears of AVAST in your country as if your own reputation depended on it?
We seek a highly motivated individual with experience and fanatical passion for blogging, micro-blogging, and community participation to simply communicate with AVAST followers in your mother tongue. You will help us approach new users in your country, so we can spread avast! Free Antivirus across the globe!
This is a part time position – at least 10 hours a week
That will not happen to you
Most AVAST users take their devices with them to school and work, so we asked for security tips for people on-the-go. Congratulations to Bruno V. from Brazil who wrote the winning tip:
To spend the day with no worries in the rush of daily tasks you need to have the following:
By accessing sites and emails never forget to log off the user account to leave.
Never go to unknown links to check for new information, the rush at the moment you can access places where you usually do not enter.
When doing a search, be wary of information and programs that promise many things without much effort.
Have a program to secure permanent protection, accurate and reliable. In short, have AVAST installed on your computer!
While you take care of your routine, AVAST cares for you!
AVAST protection without worries! 24 hours of dedication to its main asset, you!
Some tips were quite practical, like this one from Val A. of the Philippines:
#1. In rainy days, use Waterproof bag when on the go
#2. Secure the laptop , tablet, smartphone with a password before login (don’t share your password with everyone)
#3. Avoid gadgets in direct sunlight (this is one of the basic protocol)
#4. Disconnect Bluetooth every after use
#5. Don’t let others borrow your laptop, tablet or smartphone specially those whom do you never meet before.
#6. Please. Read the User Manual, Guidelines, Safety and precautions of your laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Thanks to all our Facebook fans who shared their security tips with us. These are valuable suggestions for cyber awareness (and rainy days) that we will continue to share with others. Bruno won Round 4 of our #SecurityTip contest and receives a Nexus 7 tablet and a 1-year license for avast! Internet Security. Five participants also won a 1-year license for avast! Internet Security for getting the most votes for their tip. Congratulations to:
- Celedonia S. from Peru
- Postolachi D. from Romania
- Alejandro C. from Mexico
- Abdul W. from Pakistan
- Reginald R. from Indonesia
During this month, we’ll talk more about cybersecurity with AVAST experts and share tips that you can adopt and share. For all the latest news, fun and contest information, please visit our blog often and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
On September 30th, Facebook introduced changes on the New Graph Search. Currently available only on desktops, it will be rolled out in phases. Since its release in January 2013, Graph Search has gone through a great transformation. Users are now allowed to search for status history, images, check-ins, comments - basically anything. The goal is to provide users with enhanced search options, so they can find interesting information without leaving the social network.
How does Facebook Graph Search work?
The top search bar works similarly to a browser search engine. The exception is that it searches within Facebook itself and requires specific search commands to make your search successful. For example, imagine you are a passionate bowler. You would like to set up a bowling team, however you don’t know any fellow bowlers in your hometown. Now you can log in on Facebook and search using the following search terms:
People who checked in at Bowling Alleys in Los Angeles, California
You will see all your friends who may have gone bowling without your knowledge, as well as other people, you may or may not know, who checked in. You can interact with them and, for example, establish a Facebook Interest group, to finally create your dream bowling team.
Another example: You love to travel and you would like to investigate places you are planning to visit ahead. Search for:
Images taken in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
to preview all public pictures of the place you want to visit. Moreover you can see the comments, recommendations, and tips from others. A final example:
TV shows my friends who live in Dallas, Texas like Read more…
AVAST Free for Education is proud to sponsor some of the featured sessions at this years EDUCAUSE, which will be taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center, in Anaheim, California from Tuesday, October 15th until Friday, October 18th.
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education through the use of information technology. The association organizes an annual conference whose target group is higher education IT professionals. Just one week remains until this big event, and we are ready for it!
Myself, Stephanie King and my colleague, Che Johnson, will be attending the event and are looking forward to meeting everyone and to answering questions regarding the Free for Education program. We will be located at the Anaheim Convention Center, Level 3, Ballroom C, on Thursday, October 17th. We hope that our sponsorship will make educational IT professionals aware of the possibility they have to save money with our business-grade security product, which has the same features and performance as paid ones, but is unique in that it is FREE!
To sum it up: If you are a university professional, come to get more information about program, as well as some AVAST Free for Education materials. If you are journalist, stop by to learn more about our program and help us to spread the word about this unbeatable offer. And Corey E.P., as a US school district, you are eligible too. Find out more at at our Free for EDU website You can also apply there. It’s easy and fast.
Hope to see you there!
Yesterday, several companies had their websites hijacked by pro-Palestinian hackers. We can confirm that there was also a hacker attempt against the AVAST site – we assume from the same group – but we took immediate steps and therefore were able to contain it.
According to published reports, the hacked companies’ accounts, used to manage their DNS records at their vendor, Network Solutions, have been reset. This allowed the hackers to take control of the websites in question. It’s unlikely that any of the sites that were attacked lost control of any of their own servers, so customer data most likely was not compromised.
“We ourselves received a notification from Network Solutions saying our email had been changed. We knew we had not requested that so we immediately took action and changed our passwords, which protected us,” said Vincent Steckler, AVAST CEO
Stay cyber aware when company accounts get hacked
Hackers have been busy recently– Adobe announced on Thursday that it has been the target of a major security breach in which sensitive and personal data about millions of its customers have been put at risk.
If you get a notification from an online provider that your email address or a password was changed – no matter if it’s from your bank, an online shop, or any other online site – and you didn’t request these changes, you need to take steps to protect yourself by immediately changing your passwords for these sites.
Compared to Windows, Mac users have been relatively free from malware attacks. But cybercrooks are just as aware as antivirus vendors of the behavior of users and their false sense of security and their habit of browsing the internet without security software. You only have to read this blog to learn that cybercrooks are adapting Windows malware for use on their Mac counterparts.
AVAST aces malware detection test
Over 300 malware samples and 35 applications were used to measure the effectiveness of products built specifically for Mac in a recent SecuritySpread.com test. Multiple machines running different operating systems were used to ensure the reliability of the test, and for real-world results, Macs that are used every day for a range of tasks from web development, media center, movie editing to gaming were included. avast! Free Antivirus for Mac had the highest detection rate among them all. The results can be found here.
The Security Spread test was done with avast! Free Antivirus for Mac 7, but in preparation for the official public release of Mac OS X 10.9, aka Mavericks, avast! Free Antivirus 8.0 has been released. The changes are mostly under the hood, and it requires version 10.6.8 or newer. Download it here.