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Archive for January, 2014
January 31st, 2014

AVAST polls its U.S. community of users and more than 45,000 come through with their Sunday prediction

It’s cold in New Jersey but football fever is HOT with only two days before the Big Game and showdown between the two championship teams.

Who will win?

AVAST has joined in the football hysteria by leveraging its vast number of users across the U.S. to help us determine a winner.

Denver or Seattle?

We posed this question early in the week and more than 45,000 people have since cast their vote.

The result?

Denver vs Seattle

“AVAST has built a large community of people based on its sharing our free and premium antivirus software products, so we turned to our users to help us predict a winner and our AVAST friends in the U.S. responded with gusto,” AVAST product manager, Martin Zima, said.

The result is consistent with current polling predictions which place Denver ahead of Seattle for a win on Sunday but not so consistent with picks from furry friends Teddy Bear and Eli who have made accurate choices in the past.

Denver has many formidable players, the spotlight of course on quarterback Peyton Manning. Richard Sherman has been the darling of Seattle and arguably the number one defensive player in the league.

Some say the outcome for Sunday will be down to the weather and which side best handles the inclement conditions.

Here at AVAST‘s headquarters in Prague, we know all about competing in the face of snow, sleet and rain.

AVAST wishes both teams good luck on Sunday, and we look forward to a great game.

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January 31st, 2014

How to use avast! Mobile Security: Privacy Advisor

howto2_enAt AVAST we work hard to improve your security and privacy. Mobile malware is increasing. If you aren’t yet convinced that this is an issue, please read the latest blog from the avast! Virus Lab, How are you doing Mr. Android?

Nowadays, besides the traditional way to get money – sending premium SMS – the collection of personal info and browsing habits are also trending. How do cybercrooks monetize this data? Managing the ads that are shown in your smartphone or tablet, suggesting apps, sending offers by email or displaying them in-apps.

If you use avast! Mobile Security, then you can run a Privacy Advisor scan to categorize all the apps in your device:

  • Collect location information: Because of their nature, some apps need to capture your location. These would be GPS navigation tools, outdoor sports tracking and weather apps, for example. Some of them do it for statistical reasons. However, the majority of them do it just to customize local (targeted) ads.
  • Collect device or mobile network information: Some apps use the device info for developer and statistical reasons. Your mobile network info is also captured.
  • Collect user behavior data inside the app: This data are mostly useful for the developers as they adjust and customize their own apps according to their customers’ use, and to separate free from paid features.
  • Show in-app banner advertisements: This is an annoyance. Impatient users could drop the use of the app due to this kind of ad.
  • Show in-app full-screen advertisements: This is a huge annoyance and if it occurs, it is an invitation to uninstall the app. This is why the developers only show them a few times while the app is running Read more…
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January 30th, 2014

AVAST expands its SMB portfolio.

Text written in cooperation with Magdalena Kuberacka 

AVAST Software is a well known brand thanks to its multi awarded avast! Free Antivirus. However, AVAST is much more than just a great free antivirus solution you probably use on your home computer. Our avast! Business Solutions present portfolio of products designed especially for the Small and Medium Business and offered both online and through our advanced network of business partners representing our brand locally.

AVAST expanded its SMB portfolio and products compatibility.

Starting from January, avast! Endpoint Protection compatibility now includes full support for all Microsoft Windows versions from Windows XP through Windows 8.1. This means that small and mid-sized businesses don’t have to compromise on security, while using a mix of older PCs with the latest Windows tablets, touchscreens and convertible Windows 8.1 devices.

The avast! Business Solutions portfolio has recently expanded to include avast! SecureLine VPN, providing safe public hot-spot connection. This solution is both conveniently packaged and favorably priced, from 5 PCs and up, to fit the needs of small and medium businesses. This solution is offered exclusively via AVAST Business partners. Read more…

January 29th, 2014

AVAST team at FETC 2014 conference in Orlando.

While most of the AVAST team is located in freezing Prague, some of us are enjoying sunshine in Florida. The AVAST Free for Education team is excited to be attending FETC 2014 in Orlando, Florida for the first time! Check out the preparation progress and don’t forget to follow AVAST on Instagram and stop by at the Booth 356!

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AVAST Free for Education team is FREEking awesome!

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Getting ready: booth 356 already looks pretty!

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Why pay for Antivirus, if you can get one for free? Read more…

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January 29th, 2014

How are you doing Mr. Android?

First of all, I would like to shift your attention a bit backwards. No worries! This is not a history lesson or something from the ancient past.  Rather, I would like to share with you folks some Android statistics from the last two years. Hopefully, it will give you a better idea about which malware is spread around the most. By the way, if growth of Android malware was on the stock exchange and you had invested some money in it, you would have become a billionaire a few months ago. So let’s check out some graphs!

cumulative samples 2

In the first graph you can see how many samples we have to process in our databases. It shows dates between 2010 through the end of 2013. Pretty nice growth, isn’t it? By the end of 2013, we had almost 800,000 unique suspicious Android samples which we had to process and cover in VPS updates.

detections

In the second graph, you can see the TOP 10 detections of malware families we have seen during the last half of the year. The majority are fake applications or data stealing apps. This group of malware can really easily mess up your device. Data which is mined from these apps can be used against you. Last year, I blogged about a few examples which we saw infecting devices – but that was just a piece of a bigger pie.

What might be strange in the second graph is that four of the top ten have something to do with SMS sending. That means they are able to steal your money using SMS messages. That’s probably the most common way for mobile cybercrooks to quickly steal money. For malware programmers, it is really easy to access those parts in devices and send premium messages.

I hope that even skeptics will agree that protecting your device from malware threats is necessary these days. :) Try avast! Mobile Security for free.

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 FacebookTwitter and Google+. Business owners – check out our business products.

January 28th, 2014

avast! SecureLine protects your Android or iPhone from cybercriminal surveillance

post-enEven with precautions like complex passwords, limiting what you share on Facebook, and avoiding banking on unsecure WiFi networks, we know now that our online  searches, websites we visit, and emails we send can easily be snooped on by cybercrooks. Public WiFi at the local coffee shop or airport is convenient, but it’s not safe. Cybercrooks can easily access and steal your personal data when you connect to these unprotected networks.

“Unfortunately hacking isn’t a complicated process – there are tools available online that anyone can easily use to steal personal data,” says Ondrej Vlček, Chief Technology Officer at AVAST. “We created avast! SecureLine VPN to allow users to browse the web anonymously and safely, especially while using open WiFi.”

AVAST has offered a VPN service with all of AVAST’s free and premium products. Now we have avast! SecureLine for Android and updated for iOS devices, so you can securely use your PCs, smartphones, and tablets on unsecure WiFi networks while traveling or in your favorite cafe. Read more…

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January 28th, 2014

Data Privacy Day at AVAST

Tuesday, January 28 is Data Privacy Day, an international effort to empower and educate people to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint. Here at AVAST, we will take the whole week to talk about privacy, and how we can make the protection of privacy and data a greater priority in our lives.

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Make sure you take the My Privacy IQ quiz to test your knowledge (and maybe win a free license and avast! teddy.)

What is the difference between privacy and security?

While privacy and security overlap in certain ways, they are distinct concepts. Security is defined as “freedom from danger or risk” and “precautions to guard against crime, attack, etc.” You use antivirus software to help protect against a security breach or having your personal data stolen by cybercrooks.

Privacy is “the state of being free from intrusion or disturbance in one’s private life.” This summer, we saw how closely connected these two concepts are when Edward Snowden revealed, through a security breach, how big data companies were complicit with the NSA snooping into normal people’s private lives.

Read more…

January 27th, 2014

Essentials packing list for FETC attendees

The AVAST Free for Education team is excited to be attending FETC 2014 in Orlando, Florida for the first time! As part of our preparations we’ve been making an essentials packing list, which we thought we’d share with you…

boothPersonal essentials

  • Comfy spring clothes We checked the weather report and were excited to see that it’s going to be warmer than the snow we have in Europe at the moment. No winter coats for us.
  • Suitable shoes We know that there will be plenty of walking and standing, possibly some skipping too (depends on our mood), super comfy shoes are one of our “must-have” items!
  • DEODORANT The days at the conference will be long, so we want to smell our best at all times!
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste We don’t want to scare any of our booth visitors off and plan on showing off our pearly whites as much as possible.
  • Passport/Identification We won’t name names, but we’ve seen first-hand how an out of date passport can pretty much render you useless for an international business trip :)
  • Currency Maybe you don’t have to worry about converting your money, but we sure are looking forward to carrying around some green “Benjamins” (okay, maybe more like some “Andrews”, and “Alexanders”)
  • Itinerary We’ve downloaded the FETC app, which we think is especially useful for planning your exhibition schedule (don’t forget to put booth #356 on your schedule!)

Conference essentials Read more…

January 27th, 2014

Malformed FileZilla FTP client with login stealer

Beware of malformed FileZilla FTP client versions 3.7.3 and 3.5.3. We have noticed an increased presence of these malware versions of famous open source FTP clients.

The first suspicious signs are bogus download URLs. As you can see, the installer is mostly hosted on hacked websites with fake content (for example texts and user comments are represented by images.)

web_01 web_02 web_03

 

Malware installer GUI is almost identical to the official version. The only slight difference is version of NullSoft installer where malware uses 2.46.3-Unicode and the official installer uses v2.45-Unicode. All other elements like texts, buttons, icons and images are the same.

The installed malware FTP client looks like the official version and it is fully functional! You can’t find any suspicious behavior, entries in the system registry, communication or changes in application GUI.

The only differences that can be seen at first glance are smaller filesize of filezilla.exe (~6,8 MB), 2 dll libraries ibgcc_s_dw2-1.dll and libstdc++-6.dll (not included in the official version) and information in “About FileZilla” window indicates the use of older SQLite/GnuTLS versions. Any attempt to update the application fails, which is most likely a protection to prevent overwriting of malware binaries.

about_windows

Read more…

January 27th, 2014

What is your Privacy IQ? Take our quiz and find out!

AVAST Software is proud to be a champion of Data Privacy Day, celebrated every year on January 28th. We encourage you to make protecting privacy and data a greater priority. Read on to find out if you are a Privacy Pro!

Find out if you are a Privacy Pro or if you need to learn more to protect your personal information online by taking the My Privacy IQ Quiz. Take the quiz here, by submitting your answers, as a comment to this blog post. The first 5 participants who will answer all questions correctly win avast! SecureLine VPN for Android or iOS or an avast! teddy bear. Alternatively you can enter a quiz at our Facebook here. Quiz ends on Monday, February 3rd 

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My Privacy IQ quiz

 

1) Do privacy policies guarantee that your information will be kept private?

A. Yes

B. No

Read more…