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September 27th, 2013

avast! Free Antivirus wins VB100 award

vb_award_enAVAST Software, maker of the most trusted antivirus in the world, avast! Free Antivirus, has achieved a VB100 award in the latest Virus Bulletin VB100 comparative review. 

The VB100 award is given to those products that detect 100% of viruses “in the wild,” using the freshest malware sample sets available, as well as samples not previously seen. In this round, the testers also used a range of items including a wide selection of educational software, designed for use either in schools or in home-teaching environments. avast! Free Antivirus scored 100% for each malware set tested.

“The core sets were dealt with flawlessly, easily earning Avast a VB100 award for this month’s efforts,” said the Virus Bulletin experts conducting the test.

The second standard measured is the number of false positives generated when scanning. A false positive warning happens when a file is erroneously tagged as a virus or malware, when in fact the file does not possess such malicious code and is not a virus or malware. avast! Free Antivirus had zero false positives and got a perfect score on both standards showing it has what it takes to handle newly emerging malware and accurately detect previously unknown malware.

Speed and performance measures are also taken and avast! Free Antivirus earned the highest Stability rating, Solid: No issues observed, as opposed to Stable, Fair, or Buggy.

The Virus Bulletin annual conference, the premier technical event of the antivirus/security industry, will be held the first week in October in Berlin. AVAST will be attending, so we hope to see you there.

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+.

 

September 16th, 2013

AVAST just gave away a new tablet! You could win too!

Congratulations to Steve L. from the USA who won Round 1 of the AVAST #SecurityTip contest being played now on the AVAST Facebook page. He answered this question about helping kids stay safe when they are using their home or school computers:

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Steve’s answer covered some of the basics that every computer user should remember:

#SecurityTip 1) Never share personal information with strangers online. 2) Never share or reuse your passwords.(Ask parents for help to make a good one that you can remember) 3) Never click on links in emails from people you don’t know and try to make sure the people you do know actually sent you the links in emails from them.

The first prize for best answer was a Nexus 7 II tablet and a 1-year license for avast! Mobile Premium. Five participants also won a 1-year license for avast! Internet Security after gathering the most votes. Congratulations to:

  • Ghazala S. from Oman
  • Muhammad H. from Pakistan
  • Maira A. from Pakistan
  • Imran R. from Pakistan
  • Kamil R. from Pakistan

Check out the best of Round 1 that were highlighted on our Facebook page in this blog post.

Round 2 begins today

Round 2 has just started, and this week a new Nexus 4 smartphone is up for grabs. Head over to the Facebook app and answer this question about keeping your mobile devices safe,

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August 29th, 2013

How schools can save big with AVAST Free for Education

Keeping kids safe while they are online is a major concern for educational institutions from schools to libraries to museums. Schools in the United States spend a lot of money on education technology—it was estimated at $56 billion dollars in 2012. That’s about $400 per student per year. A portion of that is earmarked for security software and support. In fact, an average school district pays over $14,000 for antivirus protection. Because of declining budgets, 5 percent of schools can’t even afford this protection.

AVAST gives away Security Software for FREE

 

AVAST offers avast! Endpoint Protection Suite software for FREE to schools, universities, libraries, and other educational institutions in the USA (and its territories). The award-winning security software is available for up to 30,000 devices, can be centrally installed and managed, and also protects servers – all at no cost to educational institutions. It’s free, and there is no catch or hidden surprises.

You can find out more information here: www.avast.com/education

In the same way that avast! Free Antivirus gets shared between family and friends, we ask you to share with anyone that could benefit from this program. This fun infographic is a great way to do it!  :)

edu01-w600

 

 

August 27th, 2013

Linux Trojan “Hand of Thief” ungloved

A new threat for the Linux platform was first mentioned on August 7th by RSA researchers, where it was dubbed Hand of Thief.  The two main capabilities of this Trojan are form-grabbing of Linux-specific browsers and entering a victim’s computer by a back-door. Moreover, it is empowered with features like anti-virtualization and anti-monitoring. With the level of overall sophistication Hand of Thief displays, it can be compared to infamous non-Windows threats such as the FlashBack Trojan for MacOsX platform discovered last year or Trojan Obad for Android from recent times.

A detailed analysis uncovers the following structure of the initial file with all parts after the dropper being encrypted (hexadecimal number displays starting offset of a block):

handofthief_scheme

Read more…

August 22nd, 2013

avast! Mobile Premium: The Ultimate in Mobile Security

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More than 25 million Android smartphone and tablet users protect their precious devices with AVAST’s free security app. Today, we are happy to provide even more awesome features in our new premium version, avast! Mobile Premium.

The security of data on mobile devices is a growing concern. Over a quarter (26%) of mobile phone owners have lost their phone or had it stolen, and that means that photos, contacts, and personal information, and in a growing number of cases-  company data, is exposed to crooks. This data loss is exacerbated because nearly 50% of US smartphone owners do not back up their content.

avast! Mobile Premium can help you recover your lost phone and data with superior back-up and anti-theft technology.

Erect an invisible fence around your phone

Geo-Fencing is one of the clever anti-theft features of avast! Mobile Premium. You set up a perimeter, for example, around the coffee shop, and choose some actions like setting a loud alarm. If a sticky-fingered thief tries to take your phone outside of the perimeter when you are distracted by your mocha latte, the alarm goes off, or the phone is locked. Gotcha! Read more…

August 21st, 2013

Do you know the difference between antivirus and anti-malware?

ku-bigpicIn an article explaining the differences between antivirus and anti-malware, and which tools protect you from both, Lifehacker recommends that you install their favorite, avast! Free Antivirus. AVAST “scans for as much as possible, and has an on-access scanning engine that protects you from threats while you surf the web, install applications, and open files.”

Viruses, Malware, and Trojans…Oh, My!

The name “Antivirus” became popular over a decade ago, when computer viruses were making headlines and being featured on nightly news broadcasts. Consumers became aware of the term, therefore marketers adopted it to describe the protection security software offered.

“Today viruses are the minority when it comes to malware,” explains Jiri Sejtko, Director of the AVAST Virus Lab. “More common than viruses is malware like Trojans, Worms, Backdoors, Exploits, Adware, and PUP (Potentially Unwanted Programs), which can include communication clients, remote desktops and password revealers, just to name a few.”

Cybercrooks are driving the change. Back in the day, it was enough for a hacker to have his ego stroked by playing practical jokes, but the diversity of the early market and platforms kept early viruses from spreading far and wide.

“The focus of online criminals has shifted and therefore malware has changed, “ said Sejtko. Read more…

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August 16th, 2013

AVAST Total Support for 24/7 assistance

Keeping your personal PC safe and secure is our top priority, so if you ever find yourself in need of assistance with issues related to avast! Antivirus, we are here to help. AVAST Total Support is 24/7, toll-free support in English and Spanish, so if something should go wrong with Avast, like you need a license file resent, or advice on an error message,  we have you covered.

We provide free telephone support for the following issues with your avast! Antivirus software :

  • Installation of AVAST productstotal support
  • Errors/problems during AVAST installation
  • Basic configuration
  • Inserting the license
  • AVAST update issues
  • Error messages for AVAST products

Currently, the toll-free number is US only,  1-866-951-7679, but you can also visit avast.com/support  to submit a support request or check out our FAQs. The AVAST forum is a great place for information too.  In the near future, we will be expanding AVAST Total Support. We’ll let you know when it happens. :-)

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 FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Instagram.

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August 5th, 2013

PC Backup Tips: What, Where, When, and How

backup_imgAVAST Evangelists’ share tips about backing up your PC.

This time of the year – summer in the Northern Hemisphere – is the time to enjoy yourself while traveling. You  want to protect those precious photos and videos that you take of your children or friends having adventures. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s winter. For students, it’s time to do a little computer housekeeping that was avoided during the year. Backing up your PC is not hard, and the tips you get here from the most active Evangelists on the 300,000 member AVAST Forum community will have you backing up your PC with ease.

The Four Ws of Backup

What to backup: Types of documents and data. The first suggestion from our evangelists is that you organize your files into intuitive folders that are easy to find and easy to backup. Establish priorities. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.

  • Decide which things you don’t want to lose… Documents, spreadsheets, email account details, registration keys, address book, bookmarks, photos, etc. If you identify what’s important to backup first, not only is it easier to do the backup task, but you also avoid increasing your internet traffic with big files that do not need to be restored. Read more…
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August 1st, 2013

Malicious Bitcoin Miners target Czech Republic

Single BitcoinToday we are going to talk to those of you who use Bitcoin digital currency to pay for a variety of goods and services – along with a warning about yet another source of Bitcoin miners – the sharing services. You may think that if you avoid cracks and keygens while browsing the web you will be safe. Well, we would recommend that you reconsider that position. Recently we found that on the uloz.to file sharing service someone uploaded a lot of fake files containing Bitcoin miners!

Bitcoin Mining service

First a little background for the uninitiated: Bitcoins can be obtained by trading real currency, goods, or services with people who have them or alternatively, through mining. The mining process involves running software that performs complex math problems for which you’re rewarded a share of the income. There are a finite amount of Bitcoins to be had, and mining for them can be compared to extracting gold or diamonds from the earth. The more you get, the fewer there are to be had, so it becomes increasingly harder and more expensive. Here’s a descriptive article about mining.

Bitcoin mining services such as bitminter.com use shared computer resources of their users to mine new Bitcoins. In order to participate, the mining users have to create an account and then register their computers (workers) with the service. Then they simply run the Bitcoin miner program provided with their credentials on as many computers as they have. In the end, if they had enough computation power and time they might end up with a few Bitcoins.

It can be expected that some people will not be satisfied just using their own machines so they will try to use the computing power of unsuspecting victims. And that’s exactly what the authors of this malware are doing: They use hardware that does not belong them to generate more money.

It’s not a Bitcoin problem; it’s a people problem

We must stress that there’s nothing wrong with Bitcoin or its mining services. The problem is that some greedy people are misusing them.

Some of them can be seen on the following image.  The word “cestina” means that the file should contain Czech localization of the referenced program. All of them contain a hidden feature, and sometimes the name is a complete fabrication. For example, The-Night-of-the-Rabbit-cestina.exe contains a crack for Call of Duty 4. Notice too, that all these files have an elevated popularity; no doubt a result of tampering. Some downloaders already suspect something fishy about these files.

Uloz.to malicious filesWarning comment on the sharing server.

Read more…

July 31st, 2013

Join the avast! Mobile Security Beta test

app_locking-premiumWould you like a sneak-peek into avast! Mobile Security version 3, avast! Anti-Theft and the debut of a new product, avast! Backup? We are looking for advanced users to participate in the avast! Mobile Security Beta test starting today. This Beta test will run for a full week in which time you can give us valuable feedback that we can incorporate into our product before going public to millions of users.

Here’s how to join the Beta test

  • Sign up on the dedicated avast! Mobile Beta Testers Google Plus community
  • Click the product links on the right under ‘About this community’ and sign up as tester for our Beta program
  • Within 24 hours of the beta launch, you’ll see upgrades to avast! Mobile Security and avast! Anti-Theft in the Google Play Store. Our new product, avast! Backup will also be available to install from Google Play.
    !! Note that avast! Anti-Theft Advanced users (users who installed from our servers instead from Google Play) will need to send their IMEI to holzner at avast dot com to get their Anti-Theft client upgraded to the Beta version !!
  • In order to get your free premium test license, open any of our apps and click on the “Go Premium” button
  • Click on the “Voucher” button to the top right of the screen
  • Enter AVASTBETATEST as the voucher code
  • Get your free beta test license (valid until end of August)
  • Deliver your feedback to the avast! Mobile Security forum

This release incorporates a premium line on top of our free offering. You can learn more about the features on the avast! Mobile Security forum.

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 Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.