Avast! Antivirus is the most trusted and popular antivirus in the world and a leader among worldwide antivirus vendors. “With nearly 200 million customers in 43 languages — a staggering 1 million users in 38 different countries — it is used by more people than rivals AVG Technologies, Symantec and McAfee combined,” wrote Jon Swartz in a recent USA Today article.
Data from the October report by OPSWAT shows that AVAST leads overall in worldwide product market share for antivirus and encryption applications. Microsoft Security Essentials is the only other vendor that comes close.
“Avast has held its own in the hotly contested consumer-security market – it ranks in the top five, based on market share, in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific – because of a fiercely loyal user community,” said Heidi Shey, security analyst at Forrester Research. “Fans, especially for a consumer product, go a long way. Avast users have even volunteered to help translate their product into different languages as a result.”
Microsoft makes an unusual suggestion
Microsoft admitted earlier this month that “Windows users should install antivirus above and beyond its own Security Essentials,” describing its protection as merely a “baseline” that will “always be on the bottom” of antivirus software rankings. Lifehacker comments on Microsoft’s announcement saying, Microsoft’s new approach means you’re best off using a third-party tool in your arsenal, like our current favorite, Avast.
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“Who wouldn’t want to have more likes on their Facebook page?” This is the motivation of a very trivial code to get more likes, but while other methods usually comprise of adding better content or advertising, this one is a bit easier, and much dirtier. Why not show the like button directly beneath your mouse cursor as you browse a website, make it invisible, and move it as you move your mouse?
The only thing the victim has to do is click; if they are logged in to Facebook, they will automatically like the Facebook page. And of course, it is not only about the number of likes, but each like means the victim will get all the information about this page on their news feed (until they unlike the page), and all friends will also see that you like it – so why not check it out themselves?
This method is possible due to Like Button, a social plugin for Facebook, made by Facebook developers. It is used properly on many legitimate sites, but when combined with CSS hiding and JS moving, the victim has no other chance. If you want to know how to minimize the impact of such tactics, or if you are more into technical details, read on.
Malware samples received in the avast! Virus Lab Wednesday show that a spoofed email which looks like it has been sent from AVAST is spreading widely. Fortunately, AVAST detects this malware as Win32:Malware[Gen] and has been blocking the virus since 12:45 pm yesterday.
The email’s subject header says, “Your Order details and Additional information,” and the email message contains standard text that is sent when a person purchases a license from AVAST. The message includes an order number that is not authenticated and does not exist in the AVAST database.
The sender’s email address is email@example.com. This is a fake email address and was not created by AVAST. The email contains an attachment titled avast-Antivirus-Order-Details.
Our worldwide CommunityIQ sensors automatically detected and provided information to the avast! Virus Lab about these suspicious files, and the new threat was detected and neutralized immediately. So far, our virus lab has received 12,500 malware samples.
Avoid this attack by downloading the new avast! Antivirus 2014 for free.
The Czechs love their beer. Monks living in the region started brewing in monasteries just a few centuries AD. The Czechs gave the gift of Pilsner to the world back in the mid-1800s, and ever since then citizens have supported their own industry by consuming more beer per capita than any other country in the world. These days, Czechs drink on average about 161 liters of beer per person each year. Not surprising when bottled beer is cheaper than bottled water!
“Beer is known to free up your brain for creative problem solving,” said Jindřich Kubec, Director of Threat Intelligence, “and since AVAST has some of the highest detection ratings of any antivirus out there, it shows that we are doing lots of “problem solving.”
Back in the day, refined sugar came in unwieldy big blocks that had to be sawed at, hacked, and cut through. This physical effort resulted in numerous boo-boos and aching fingers holding onto dainty tea cups (Czechs don’t always drink beer ). One day, the wife of Jakub Kryštof Rad, the man who ran the local sugar refinery, grew tired of having to bandage her appendages every time she wanted a little sweetener. She asked him why he couldn’t package sugar in a more manageable size for teacups. Mrs. Rad inspired her husband to create what we know today as sugar cubes.
“Speaking of sugar,” said Vladimir Saur, Traffic Manager at AVAST, “every day someone brings chocolate to the office, and we are living proof that dark chocolate improves brain function. Well, only when our boss leaves us at least a little bit!”
As unique as a fingerprint
CSI fans will dig what 19th-century physician and scientist Jan Evangelista Purkyně revealed in his work in physiology. His discovery that all human fingerprints are unique and his subsequent classification of fingerprint patterns advanced criminology and forensic science. A century later, Czech scientist Jan Janský learned that human blood could be classified into four distinct groups, which led the way to the A-B-O system we use today.
“Just like Sherlock Holmes hot on a the trail of a “whodunit” mystery, the researchers in the avast! Virus Lab follow clues to discover what malware does, why it does it, how to classify it, and most importantly, how we can stop it,” said Filip Chytrý , avast! Virus Lab researcher.
Mick Jagger lights up the castle
You will think you have entered a fairy tale when visiting the Czech Republic. With over 2,000 castles, the country has the highest density of castles, ruins, chateaux, and villas in the world. The most significant of them all is the Prague Castle, the largest medieval castle in Europe.
“One of the attractions to working for our great company, is its location. Prague is a fairy-tale city with magical beauty,“ said Marcela Římalová, Senior Worldwide Recruiter for AVAST Software. “After the Velvet Revolution, The Rolling Stones were invited by President Havel to play a concert. They noticed that the Prague Castle was dark at night, so they graciously paid for it and four of its grand halls to be illuminated. It’s a view we still enjoy today.”
avast! Free Antivirus
Powered, no doubt, by Czech beer and chocolate, Pavel Baudiš, a young researcher at Prague’s legendary Mathematical Machines Research Institute came upon a sample of the Vienna Virus on a floppy disk. After he wrote a program to remove it, he showed it to his friend and colleague Eduard Kučera and, together they started what’s now the world’s most popular and trusted antivirus software. AVAST Software is celebrating its 25th anniversary soon and launching the newest version - avast! 2014.
“When we started this company behind the Iron Curtain in 1988, we could not imagine that it would grow to protect more computers worldwide than any other firm,” said Eduard Kučera and Pavel Baudiš, founders of AVAST Software, “No one can say what the next 25 years will bring. But one thing is certain, the AVAST team – now spread over several countries – is talented, energetic, and committed to making sure that everyone in the world has access to computer security that works.”
One of the most anticipated anti-malware conferences of the year is being held this week in Berlin, Germany. AVAST Software is proud to be there among 370 of the most knowledgeable specialists from the security industry. AVAST experts will be speaking every day, plus we are proud sponsors of the beer bar for all conference participants.
Today, Jindrich Kubec, the avast! Virus Lab’s Director of Threat Intelligence, along with Eric Romang, will be presenting Big bang theory of CVE-2012-4792, a forensic & detective model that describes the early development of the watering hole campaign which was active this past winter, and targeted the energy industry, governments, non-profit organizations, and human rights websites.
On Thursday, Milos Korenko, Marketing Director, will talk about AVAST’s freemium model, from our FREE antivirus products for PC, Mac, and Android, to our Free for Education program launched in the US market, in The best things in life are free.
Wrapping up the conference on Friday, Pedram Amini, of Jumpshot by AVAST, will be participating in a panel discussion about nation-state sponsored cyberwar and cyber-espionage in Collateral damage in the age of cyber-warfare.
BREAKING NEWS from Filip Chytry live at the conference: AVAST won the first match set of the IT security football table international championship against Sophos 2:0, 6:1, 6:2. Cross your fingers, and wish us a luck in next round scheduled at 6:00pm CET.
AVAST Community: Without YOU, we would be nothing
There is no exaggeration in this statement. The AVAST Community keeps helping us by sharing security Tips, supporting each other on the AVAST forum, helping to translate our product, most importantly, by recommending our products.
You also helped us create the great communities across social media. Every day thousands of AVAST users gather on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to praise the AVAST products, ask us questions, request support, or simply share your AVAST stories. It is extremely valuable for us to receive your feedback, positive or negative. Positive comments stimulate and motivate us for further hard work; negative one helps us to improve our service and products. Following our blog from January 2013, we would like to share with you some of the messages we have received lately on social media.
Tell us your AVAST story, and we will share it with our Community. Thank you all!
Protection: AVAST helps to find lost mobile devices
It’s free: AVAST allows you to control your expenses, without compromising quality
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.
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:
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,
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!
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):