When I was checking my Facebook News Feed this morning, I found this message.
It seems one of my friends was very excited because Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, was scheduled to give away 4.5 million shares of Facebook stock at midnight. To enter this lottery-like giveaway, all you had to do was copy and paste the message to your own news feed. The message, and variations like it, go on to say that the winners will be announced live on today’s Good Morning America. Read more…
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Seasons Greetings!
All of us at Avast raise our glass in a toast to all of you, the global community of people who help us keep cyberspace secure. You motivate us everyday, and we wish you the happiest of holidays and a New Year full of joy, peace, and security. Cheers!
Avast Wi-Fi Finder saves your data and roaming fees by locating safe and reliable connections.
Everyone loves free Wi-Fi. You can surf the web, check your email or newsfeed, make Skype video calls across the world, or stream games, movies, and music – without eating up your data plan. That’s a great deal! Or is it?
The problem with free Wi-Fi hotspots is they can’t be trusted to be safe and keep your data secure. Cybercrooks can eavesdrop on your conversations and even break in to steal personal information.
When you need to find safe Wi-Fi, use Avast Wi-Fi Finder
Our new mobile app, Avast Wi-Fi Finder, lets you instantly search for available networks on the map or browse through a list. Wherever you are in the world, you can always find a safe connection, because after a successful beta test, we launched the app with nearly 800,000 networks in our database. The more people who use Avast Wi-Fi Finder, the bigger and better that database will become.
Be aware that cybercrooks send “special” offers via fake email campaigns during the holiday season.
The holiday season is a time for decorations, cheerful music, shopping, spending time with loved ones, and unfortunately, for cybercriminals hoping you will fall for phishing scams.
“Cybercriminals use the same tactics they always do, but target people more during the holiday season with “special” offers via fake email campaigns. These fake email campaigns can trick people into downloading malware and/or can trick people into giving attackers their personal information”– Jan Sirmer, senior malware analyst at Avast.
We decided to take a look at a few recent examples of malicious emails, more specifically their email subject lines and the email addresses they were sent from. Our goal was to see how cybercriminals are taking advantage of the holiday season.
Here’s what you should look out for:
The Fake Holiday Offer
Whether it be membership offers or special shopping deals, be cautious of the offers you receive around the holidays by email. Some of them might be too good to be true and are fake or some may come from trustworthy businesses whose email accounts have been hacked. Here is an example:
‘CHRISTMAS OFFERS.docx’ From: “Nicole*” <Nicole@fitfunfitness.co.uk*
This could be a tempting offer, especially if your upcoming New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. The original email address belongs to an actual business owner, lending credence to the scam. Unfortunately, cybercriminals understand this and misuse business email addresses, such as this, to send out phishing emails to customers, because they know customers trust the business and there is a better chance they will fall for the scam.
Traveling can be stressful, but even more so during the holiday season. AAA projects that the number of year-end holiday travelers in the U.S. will top 100 million for the first time on record. Nearly one in three Americans will travel this holiday season and more than 100.5 million are expected to travel than 50 miles or more from home.
The one thing you really want to make sure you protect while you travel is your smartphone. Not only may you have your boarding pass on your smartphone, but more importantly, the hardware is expensive and it most likely contains a plethora of personal data.
There are two main ways your phone could be compromised while traveling, especially during the holidays: physical device loss and network threats.
Have an anti-theft app installed
Airports and train stations will be bustling with people, you may have to dash to catch a flight or make a pit stop during a long car ride. In all of these situations, your phone is at risk –physical risk. Pickpockets prefer to work in high density areas, and it’s easy to lose things like your phone when you’re in a rush.
Not very long ago, in a galaxy not far away, a group of cybercriminals decided to take advantage of the Star Wars effect to spread malware among the most impatient fans.
A lot of people cannot wait to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and that’s something cybercrooks know. That’s why a lot of links that theoretically allow the download of the new movie of the popular saga appeared. As many of you can imagine, those links do not include the films, the only thing they include is malware! An idea worthy of Darth Vader!
By using some retailer’s apps to make your holiday wish list, more people than just Santa Claus can see your list. In fact, it may be accessible to anyone over the Internet!
America’s most popular retailers collect more information about you via apps than you may be comfortable with.
Recently, the Avast Security Warriors began looking into shopping apps to see what your favorite retailers know about you. They found that these apps, like many other apps out there, collect data and request permissions that are unnecessary for their app to function properly.
Initially, we were curious to see what retailers wanted to know about their customers based on the data they collect. We randomly chose apps from the following retailers: Home Depot, J.C. Penney, Target, Macy’s, Safeway, Walgreens and Walmart. In this blog post, we focus on Target and Walgreens.
You’re making your list and Target is checking it twice!
If you created a Christmas wish list using the Target app, it might be accessible to more people than you want to actually receive gifts from. The Target app keeps a database of users’ wish lists, names, addresses, and email addresses. But your closest family and friends may not be the only ones who know you want a new suitcase for your upcoming cruise!
Internet-connected toys gather data on the user and have weak security compared to other computer products.
Digital devices and toys like cameras, smartwatches, and tablets may be on your child’s Christmas wish list. But more parents are having second thoughts about placing these items under the tree, because Internet-connected toys gather data on the user and have weak security compared to other computer products.
6 million children’s accounts taken by a hacker
This weakness was made very public during the Black Friday shopping bonanza, when a Hong Kong-based digital toy company called VTech lost databases of more than 6 million children and almost 5 million connected parental accounts to a hacker.
By putting the databases together the hacker was able to retrieve personally identifiable information like children’s names, ages, and genders, and even pictures and chat logs were found. Parents’ names, email addresses, secret questions and answers, IP addresses, encrypted passwords, and mailing addresses were also accessed. Supposedly the breach did not include credit card or financial account information exposure.
No one should have to choose between security and the latest technology. At Avast, it’s important to us that we support our valued business customers and create innovative features that keep businesses secure and ahead of the bad guys.
That being so, Avast is happy to announce that our Avast Endpoint Protection and Server Security products are now fully compatible with Windows 10!
How you can get the compatibility update
To get the latest and greatest functionality of these products, you simply need to run the program update. Then, you’re all set to go! After upgrading to the latest version of your program, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy using our award-winning business solutions together with Windows 10.
Visit our website to learn more about Avast business security solutions and the benefits they can bring to your business.
David Vávra is our team’s talented Google Developer Expert (GDE) for Android. Throughout this autumn, he attended a collection of valuable Android conferences. In this post, David walks us through his experiences and outlines his most interesting takeaways from the conferences.
Droidcon Stockholm (September 3-4)
Droidcon Stockholm was a two-day event held in Debaser Medis, a classic rock club in Stockholm. As you might imagine, it proved to be an interesting venue for a tech conference! The organization was a little more “punk” than most other conferences, but the conference was still jam-packed with talks containing strong content and served as a great opportunity to network with fellow industry professionals. Fun fact: Czech beers are quite popular in Stockholm. We visited a place where they served five different Czech beers on tap.
One talk that I found to be especially useful discussed building Android SDKs from Fabric, a platform for mobile developers from Twitter. It was also interesting to take a closer look at Spotify’s automated testing environment in a talk Sustainable test automation. As for me, my presentation at the conference dealt with Android TV development. All the Droidcon talks can be found here.