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March 7th, 2014

Google Play: Whats the newest threat on the official Android market?

Official app stores are the primary sources to finding and downloading apps. Experts advise users to stay within the official app stores as they are approved ecosystems, which are widely recognized as safe. But are these sources really trustworthy? Some experts, however, claim that “Android malware is non-existent and security companies just try to scare us. Keep calm and don‘t worry.“ So which is it?

We’ve already blogged about plenty of threats that sneak onto your device from trusted sources, but here we have a really fresh one, one that  is still undetected by other security vendors. An Application called Cámara Visión Nocturna (package name: com.loriapps.nightcamera.apk), which is still available in the Google Play Store as I am writing this post, is something you definitely don’t want to have on your Android device.

Blg1

Starting with the application’s permissions you might notice there are some unusual requests for an app that should be able to work only using your camera.

    <uses-permission android:name=”android.permission.CAMERA” />

Read more…

March 7th, 2014

A conversation with AVAST women – Part 1

IWD2014

Some of the talented women of AVAST.

AVAST Software is officially a great place to work. One of the reasons it’s so enjoyable here is because of the women we work with. Like most technology companies, AVAST is male-dominated. Our male colleagues are the best at what they do, but since International Women’s Day is on Saturday, March 8, some of the women of AVAST sat down together to have a chat about women in technology, careers, daily challenges, and who inspires us. This is part 1 of that conversation.

Coffee and conversation

DEBORAH Thanks for joining in on the Women’s Day conversation. Most of us had a winding career path that lead us to work for this great technology company. What were some early experiences with technology that influenced your career?

tin-can-string

How do you send text messages?

CAROLINE I’ve always been proud that I’m one of the first people to try new technologies.  I remember when I was working for a subsidiary company of recruitment juggernaut, Monster.com, that I was one of a handful in our 200+ employee office to jump right on email when it was being introduced.  And some 17 years later, look where email has us now? Everyone uses it – a business mainstay.
MAGDA I worked at Cisco in the past, and I was really amazed by the media which allows you to communicate. My first interview was done via Telepresence, and I was really excited about how easy it was to just connect anytime without spending hours on a plane.
CAROLINE  As well, during my time at Porter Novelli – a global public relations firm – I was part of the team that championed and recognized the power of the web (the Internet had only come about in the mid-90s).  Websites were big business for PR firms back in the day – we wrote copy, designed the look and feel, advised on messaging, etc.
MARCELA My background is pure social, and when I was offered a role in an IT Company 8 years ago, I worried about how I can learn and understand an IT technical world. It took a few years of listening, Googling, and studying to catch up on core technical things to be able to understand and see the whole picture but it was definitely worth it.
MAGDA Working in technology gives you a lot of useful and interesting skills, which you can apply in your private life as well.

DEBORAH The curiosity and creativity you describe seem to be a trait among pioneers, women and men, in any field. What technologies do you ladies use today that allows you to express who you really are? Read more…

March 6th, 2014

Who owns the Cyber-World?

Who owns the (cyber) world: GIRLS!

female expert

Well, maybe not exactly (YET), but the female presence and expertise should not be underestimated! :)

I bet you heard of  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. When the movie came out, we published a fun blog post about the main character, Lisbeth Salander, who was a problematic, but brilliant female hacker. In fact, in the cyberworld among gray and white hackers, those good ones who help to disclose security gaps, are filled with women, for example: Raven Adler, Gigabyte or  Joanna Rutkowska.

So let’s take a look on the cyberworld from the security perspective. Inspired by the following article, I figured out how many women are actually knowledgeable cyber security experts. Breaking stereotypes, like Adeanna Cooke, former Playboy model and hacker, women have broken into the geeky world that seems to be male dominated. Women are not only exploring different IT specializations, but exceeding as world class experts as white hackers, journalists, bloggers, speakers, consultants, virus analytic, developers,  all fighting cyber-crime. Strong, intelligent, all of them are great experts (and since we also love social media), we would like to recommend you to

Follow female security experts on Twitter

  • Erin Jacobs @SecBarbie
  • Charlie Osborne @ZDNetCharlie
  • Natalie Sambhi @SecurityScholar
  • Katie Moussouris @k8em0
  • Beth Pariseau @PariseauTT
  • Helena Edelson @helenaedelson
  • Aliya Sternstein @Aliya_NextGov
  • Kim Komando@kimkomando
  • Jennifer J. Minella @jjx
  • stacythayer @stacythayer
  • Mary Landesman @marylande
  • Patricia Rykiel @ComputerTweety

AVAST Software is also proud of its Ladies. You will find women across different departments of the company starting from the accounting , HR, support, sales, marketing.  But among us there are real security experts: Jana and Barbora, Analysts from the avast! Virus Lab; Alena, a developer focused on providing new technologies in the Virus Lab Systems;  and Jenefer from the Quality Assurance department, testing avast! solutions. All of them work as professionals in a very male environment delivering security solutions to the AVAST users.

We’ll be interviewing them in the next few days in celebration of International Women’s Day. Come back to the AVAST blog, and read about them. Meanwhile, say hello on Twitter to some of our great ladies!

AVAST ladies:

  • Alena V. @alenkacz (virus lab)
  • Deborah Salmi @deborahsalmi (social media)
  • Julia Szymanska @Dzulaya (social media)
  • Anna Shirokova @AnnaBandicoot (social media)
  • Marina Ziegler @Marina_Z (PR)
  • Caroline James @cazjames (PR)
  • Dominika Kalasova @DKalasova (PR)

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.

 

March 5th, 2014

How to reinstall the avast! Endpoint Protection client

howto2_enRecently we started a new corner in our blog, SMB/Business, to talk about the avast! business product line. We will focus on topics which are come up during our conversations with resellers and their clients.

Today we will present a quick guide to answer this question:

How can I correctly reinstall the avast! Antivirus client?

Whether you’ve used avast! Antivirus for a long while, manage a large organization, or simply installed the wrong product,  it is imperative that you understand the correct uninstallation procedure before installing a different avast! Antivirus product.

The following guide will help you through the process.

  1. 1.  Navigate to add/remove programs, and uninstall the relevant avast! Antivirus product.
  2. 2.  Download avastclear.exe from here, and save it to your desktop.
  3. 3.  Start Windows in safe mode. (Safe mode is an operating mode that uses only the most fundamental driver and application set required to start the operating system.)

Windows XP, Vista, 7

To get to safe mode in Windows XP, Vista or 7 –  Restart your machine, and continuously tap the F8 key. You will then be presented with an Advanced Options Menu, where you can chose to boot from safe mode.

Windows 8

To get to safe mode in Windows 8 –  Go to the start screen and type Advanced into the search field. When the search results appear, click the settings category and navigate to the Advanced startup options screen.  Clicking restart now will take your computer directly to the advanced startup mode, from there click troubleshoot, then at the startup settings menu press F4 to enable safe mode. Your machine will then restart to safe mode.

  1. 4.  Open the avastclear.exe file you downloaded, and navigate to the root of the previous installation directory. Ex: C:\Program Files\AVAST Software.
  2. 5.  Click remove and restart your machine.

endpoint

Using the add/remove programs in Windows is not always 100% effective

Enjoy our business solutions! To find more information about SMB products, please follow this link: http://www.avast.com/business

For our existing business partners we also offer products training, which can be found here: http://avast.enterprisetube.com/

Ask a question on the User Forum

Thousands of avast! Antivirus users as well as avast! team members gather on the popular forum to help users-in-need with their questions. It helps to read the rules and practice polite netiquette at all times.

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.

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March 3rd, 2014

Fake Korean bank applications for Android – part 2

In February, we looked at the first part of the fake Korean bank application analysis along with Android:Tramp (TRAck My Phone malicious Android application), which uses it. In this blogpost, we will look at another two Android malware families which supposedly utilize the same bunch of fake Korean bank applications. At the end of this article, we will discuss the origin of malware creators.

Analysis of Android:AgentSpy

It is interesting to search for references of bank applications package names – KR_HNBank, KR_KBBank, KR_NHBank, KR_SHBank, KR_WRBank. One reference goes to a malicious application called Android:AgentSpy. The infection vector of this application was described by Symantec, contagio mobile and Alyac. We will not delve into details, we will just mention that the malicious application is pushed to a connected mobile phone via ADB.EXE (Android Debug Bridge). The uploaded malicious file is called AV_cdk.apk.

Android:AgentSpy contains activity MainActivity and several receivers and service CoreService.

BootBroadcastReceiver

Monitors android.intent.action.BOOT_COMPLETED and android.intent.action.USER_PRESENT and if received, starts CoreService. It also monitors attempts to add or remove packages – android.intent.action.PACKAGE_ADDED and android.intent.action.PACKAGE_REMOVED.

CoreService

1) Calls regularly home and reports available connection types (wifi, net, wap), IMSI, installed bank apps

2) Regularly polls C&C and responds to the following commands

sendsms – sends SMS to a given mobile number

issms – whether to steal received SMS or not

iscall – whether to block outgoing call

contact – steals contact information and upload them to C&C

apps – list of installed bank apps

changeapp – replaces original bank applications with fake bank applications

move – changes C&C server

PhoneListener receiver

Moniors new outgoing calls. If android.intent.action.NEW_OUTGOING_CALL is received, information about the outgoing call is sent to C&C.

Config class

Contains C&C URL, name of bank packages (String array bank), name of fake bank packages (String array apkNames). It also contains reference to conf.ini configuration file.

koreanbanks_agentspy_config

Analysis of Android:Telman

One more Android malware family, which uses fake bank applications is called Android:Telman. Similarly to Android:Tramp and Android:AgentSpy, it checks for installed packages of the above mentioned banks. Read more…

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…

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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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