Protecting over 200 million PCs, Macs, & Mobiles – more than any other antivirus

February 28th, 2014

How do I handle files that avast! can’t scan?

howto2_enQuestion of the week: Last week I ran a complete avast! Antivirus scan on my desktop computer and when it finished, it gave me the message that some files could not be scanned because they were password protected.  They all had the extension of .png, so I did a search of all programs by typing *.png and the items that came up were photos our grandson had posted to Facebook from his recent trip to Thailand.

My question is, are the .png files innocuous?  If not, what should I do?  I don’t really like to have files on my computer that Avast cannot scan.

Thanks for your question. This is one that is commonly asked on the avast! Forum, so it’s useful to post the answer here too. Take a look at AVAST evangelist Bob G.’s answer:

Files that can’t be scanned are just that -  files that for one reason or another cannot be scanned. It’s not an indication that those files are suspicious or infected; it simply means that these files need another element before they can actually be opened and examined by avast! Antivirus.

Many programs (often security-related) password protect their files for legitimate reasons. Avast! doesn’t know the password or have any way of using it even if it did. Once the password is supplied by whatever program is using these files, avast! will check the files when they are actually run. If it turns out that something is hidden, avast! will block it. While they are in their password protected state, the files pose no threat to you or your system.

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.

February 27th, 2014

Sex, lies and videotapes aka Celebrity scams

Famous people – movie stars, athletes, politicians -  are the favorite subject matter of scammers. Using modern technologies and communications channels, scammers and social engineers come up with sophisticated methods to trick people and grab their attention. Social channels offer a perfect environment to create buzz, grab users’ interest with shocking content, and eventually make people share the scams themselves! Behind different types of scams stands different motivations; collecting likes (likes farms), spreading malware, or installing malicious applications that will steal your credentials. Whatever  those motivations, the intentions of scammers ain’t for your benefit!

We monitor social media to pick up those dangerous scams, warn our community, and report it to our virus lab. There are plenty of users who still become victims of scammers. We are convinced that it is more efficient to avoid problems, than to fix them.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure ~ Benjamin Franklin

Let’s take a look at a few types of scams and patterns that will help us to recognize them ahead. STOP – THINK – AND DON’T CLICK (YET)

Celebrity_sex_scam“Sex tape” scam 

Celebrities are in the constant spotlight, followed not only by the paparazzi and tabloid magazines, but fans as well, observing every step they take. The more unusual and shocking the story is, the better it sells online. Is there any better way to attract humans’ attention than with sex? If you know of some, please let us know! :) Meanwhile, let’s learn how those scams work and mainly -  how to recognize them!

Red flags:

  • Rouge visuals, shocking copy, and very strong call to actions. If the status contains any of following: OMGYou must watch itLook what she/he has done! NEVER click on this link!
  • Message leads to a shortened URL, so you can not recognize the link that doesn’t lead to any well- known source (celebrity fan pages or blogs, entertainment websites)
  • The hosting server is unknown source

Would you click on the video saying “OMG I can’t believe Rihanna did it with a…” Read more…

February 26th, 2014

Lost your phone? avast! Anti-Theft helps get it back!

Our AVAST mobile security developers labored over an ingenious feature that we hope you will never have to use. Losing your mobile phone may cause you to have a panic attack and cry uncontrollably, but if it happens to you, you can dry your tears because you have tools to find your phone when you install avast! Free Mobile Security with Anti-Theft.

What is avast! Anti-Theft?

avast! Anti-Theft is a separate program included in avast! Free Mobile Security. You can install it at the same time as the avast! Mobile Security product, or later as a separate installation. Its unique capabilities help you recover your phone by controlling it remotely with SMS commands or via the internet by logging in to your AVAST account.

Since Anti-Theft is a stand-alone application, once its launched, it hides itself, making it completely invisible to a potential thief. Read more…

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February 26th, 2014

Why you should join the AVAST Business Partner Program.

Most of you know avast! Antivirus as a free antivirus solution that provides comprehensive protection for consumers. With over 211 million users, including small companies up to enterprise using avast! Endpoint Protection, avast! is the most trusted antivirus protection in the world.

bs3AVAST business product facts:

  • AVAST has over 3,000 business partners worldwide and the number is growing!
  • The avast! Endpoint Protection business line offers products to fit your needs and budget
  • Light, easy-to-deploy and manage with the same award-winning antivirus designed for SMB needs!
  • Our business products are easily manageable, so you and your clients don’t have to be  IT experts to make your business secure!

The AVAST Partner Program

The AVAST Partner Program team has prepared rewarding programs for our business partners. New partners are welcomed with a special package to help them grow their business with AVAST immediately.

We have a great partner program for AVAST resellers, providing sales leads, project support as well technical support and training. Our aim is simple; provide best-in-class products with a best-in-class engagement model. We want to keep it simple, effective and fun ~ said Peter Baxter AVAST VP – WW Channels & Corporate Products. For more follow this link.

contact usInterested in joining AVAST?

It‘s easy!  Just fill in a partner application form, and we will take care of the rest. One of our team members will contact you within 2 business days and get you on your way to being an official AVAST business partner.

What are the next steps?

After the resellers agreement has been finalized, our sales representative will get in touch with you and agree on the next steps at your convenience. Shortly after the registration we will invite you for welcome training where you will learn more about our Endpoint Protection  solutions and our business model. Read more…

Categories: SMB/Business Tags:
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February 26th, 2014

Mobile Security: Your best protection is constant protection

IMG_20140225_122105

avast! doesn’t stop the NSA, but it helps you BE COOL about it

More than one billion people nowadays use smartphones devices and this number is growing rapidly. With the growing numbers of mobile users accessing the internet on Android smartphones and tablets, and iOS iPhones and iPads, the number of mobile threats and attacks is rising progressively.

Mobile users store sensitive data, and engage in online banking operations, exposing devices to the modern mobile threads. You need constant protection. Not even these big names were immune from attack: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s smartphone was hacked; Rovio, creator of popular game Angry Birds, reported that the personal data of its customers might have been accessed by U.S. and British spy agencies;  and recent news of other leaky phone apps have caused people to look for ways to protect their private mobile communications.

Unprotected WiFi presents a real and present danger

Edward Snowden’s recently leaked documents revealed that the Canadian government’s intelligence agency, CSEC, collected data from travelers who connected to unprotected WiFi at Canadian airports. Read more…

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February 24th, 2014

AVAST demonstrates everyday security techniques at Mobile World Congress!

MWC2014Mobile World Congress (#MWC14) starts today in Barcelona, Spain! It’s an exciting and must-visit event for the entire mobile industry, and of course, the AVAST mobile security team is participating.

Between February 24th-27th, visitors to AVAST booth – 5K29 in Hall 5 will learn how to stay safe from spying eyes and rampant security flaws including Apple’s recent exploit. We have prepared an interesting program, including live previews of all avast! SecureLine VPN and avast! Mobile Security features.

At the booth, the multi-lingual team will educate visitors  about how AVAST’s various security products (for PC, Android, and iOS) can protect you from malicious programs regardless of origin or type, including malware from governments and official institutions. Products on display are:

avast! Secureline VPN

Visitors will learn how to use avast! Secureline VPN to anonymize public WiFi browsing.  SecureLine is effective protection against hackers and spies accessing personal data and browsing activities as well as the threat of “man-in-the-middle-attacks” from the recent Apple SSL encryption bug.

avast! Mobile Security

The AVAST team will teach you how to use avast! Mobile Security to protect your Android devices from spies and hackers, avoid data loss, as well as defend against device theft, and malicious programs – including spy-agency malware that is whitelisted by others.

avast! Anti-Theft

The team will also explain how avast! Anti-Theft works. You will learn how to view the location of a lost or stolen phone, activate an alarm, delete personal data to prevent unauthorized access, and even take photos of any thief and record their voice in order to recover a stolen device.

For the press

Journalists interested in speaking to an AVAST expert at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, can meet up with our Security Experts.  To arrange a meeting, contact our PR manager Marina Ziegler via email at ziegler@avast.com or tweet her at @Marina_Z.

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February 24th, 2014

avast! SecureLine VPN protects you from the Apple Exploit

A major Apple security flaw allows cybercrooks and spies to grab personal information like email, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data. Apple confirmed researchers’ findings that the same SSL/TSL security flaw fixed with the latest iOS 7.0.2 update is also present in notebook and desktop machines running OS X.

Please apply the patches as advised in this post.

It is clear that we need constant protection to cover flaws that will always exist; flaws that we are not even aware of. Reuter‘s reported that

The bug has been present for months, according to researchers who tested earlier versions of Apple’s software. No one had publicly reported it before, which means that any knowledge of it was tightly held and that there is a chance it hadn’t been used.

But documents leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden showed agents boasting that they could break into any iPhone, and that hadn’t been public knowledge either.

It’s very public now, and that means the race is on between cybercrooks to exploit the flaw and Apple to fix it. You are exposed until the bugs are identified by the vendor, a patch is created, and it’s pushed out or you install it. Your vulnerability increases when you use public WiFi Hotspots.

Your best protection is constant protection

ios-vpn (1)

 

It’s precisely because we put ourselves at risk by using free WiFi, and we don’t know when the next security crisis is coming that we need constant protection. SecureLine VPN is that protection. Read more…

Categories: General, Mac Tags: , , , , , ,
February 23rd, 2014

Protect yourself NOW from Apple Security flaw

Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod users: Update your mobile operating system iOS now to patch a serious SSL encryption bug that opens you wide to a “man-in-the-middle-attack,” (MITM)  especially when you use unsecured WiFi, for example at a cafe, hotel, or airport, even at your home. The flaw is “as bad as you could imagine” says one cryptography expert.

What is protected and what’s not

The 7.0.6 update is for all devices that can run iOS 7;  iPhone (4 and later), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad (2nd generation).

The iOS 6.1.6 update is for the iPhone 3GS and fourth-generation iPod touch.

ATTENTION: The bug still exists in Apple’s Mac OS X 10.9.1 desktop operating system and there is no patch for it at this time.

IMG-main-ios-smHow to update your iOS

  1. 1. Plug the device into your computer
  2. 2. Open iTunes
  3. 3. Click the device name
  4. 4. Click the button that says, “Check for update”

The best protection is VPN

This security flaw allows a cybercrook to use an insecure WiFi connection to put a man electronically “in the middle” of the transactions you make on your iPhone or iPad to intercept data.

“The flaw is in SSL, and the easiest way to exploit that is via unsecure/public WiFi,” said Ondřej Vlček, AVAST’s COO told Apple users in San Francisco before the annual RSA conference begins. “avast! SecureLine VPN for iOS can protect against the Apple security bug.”

The MITM attack gives them access to the information you thought was secure like credit card numbers. The best protection is to plug that hole with a VPN product.

How to get avast! SecureLine

avast! SecureLine VPN is available as a monthly or yearly subscription for iOS in the Apple App Store.

Watch this video for more information on avast! SecureLine VPN

 

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.

February 20th, 2014

Don’t be fooled by support scams – get real support from AVAST

support-scam

An old scam has resurfaced recently that we want you to be aware of.  Scammers posing as computer support specialists from AVAST, Microsoft, Symantec, and even name-brand computer makers such as Dell, have been contacting people via email and phone, including AVAST’s Chief Strategy Officer, Glenn Taylor. The cybercrooks claim that they work for the company’s support department and have received notification that the victim’s computer is infected with malware. They offer to verify the problem and convince the target to allow them remote access to the “infected” computer. After some technical shenanigans, the scammer suggests that the victim needs additional software, which they offer as a solution to the “problem.” The solution can cost as much as $300.

“These scammers prey on the trust of innocent people by tricking them into giving access to their computers,” said Taylor. “If you get contacted by someone that claims your computer is broken or infected, then don’t respond. Either delete the email or hang up.”

In 2012, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cracked down on fraudsters posing as technical support personnel from major companies, but the scam is growing again. Enough so that this week New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a warning to New Yorkers Tuesday.

Read more…

February 18th, 2014

#EverythingisGD as Avast sponsors Team FNATIC

FNATIC cover

Video gamers dedicate thousands of hours of training and spend their own money for the best systems as well as skins, upgrades, and items that show the world their persona. They need to know that their hard work and monetary purchases are protected.

AVAST is proud to announce our sponsorship of Team FNATIC in the 2014 eSports season. Their professional video gamers are tops in the world competing for millions in prize money while thousands of fans cheer them on. Read more about the sponsorship.

“We are extremely excited to be partnering with FNATIC,” said Ondrej Vlcek, Chief Operating Officer at AVAST. “This partnership goes beyond just sponsoring a team in the rapidly growing eSports field. FNATIC will be collaborating with us on future products too. We’re thrilled to have such a prominent and well-loved team as our first partner in this area.”

On Monday between 17:00 and 18:30 CET, several of the most popular professional gamers on Team FNATIC had their streaming games interrupted by a TeamView attack. Their PC was remotely controlled, and the player was logged out of their gaming client. A notepad file appeared with the words, “You’ve been hacked. Fnatic, this is game over,” and other messages.

Here’s a video of FNATIC player nOtail experiencing the attack (NSFW due to language):

Read more…

Categories: General Tags: , , , ,
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