Yesterday [2011-04-11] a number of my clients called in the afternoon me in regards to some antivirus related activities on their computers. Something really weird was going on on all computers. Avast was flagging most of the websites as infected. There was nothing going on the PCs and even after a ran the AVAST scan and a couple of other anti-malware scans and did not find anything the website were kept on being blocked.
Luckily, after a definition upgrade on one of the PCs (by the way done by the CEO of the company) the issue was resolved. My clients use the Small business Server and Standard suites so the updates on the workstations was done almost within a few minutes simultaneously on all of the computers after which everything went back to normal.
It really took about a couple of hours between noticing a problem and solving it. I consider this is not as bad as it could have been.
I’m a bit surprised how quick Avast responded to the problem, solved the problem and also posted a blog describing it.
“Virus definition update 110411-1 contained an error that resulted in a good number of innocent sites being flagged as infected. Generally, all sites with a script in a specific format were affected.
Our virus lab staff discovered the problem quickly after releasing the bad update and immediately started working on a fix. The fix was released about 45 minutes after the problematic update and has version number 110411-2. Anyone who still has this problem is kindly asked to manually update the definitions to the latest version, e.g. by right-clicking the avast taskbar icon (the orange (a) ball), and selecting Update -> Engine and Virus Definitions.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. As this typically only affected remote sites (and not local files), simply updating to the latest definitions should completely solve the issue (no local files have been quarantined).” – Avast blog said.
This is not an ordinary virus and not all anti-virus programs can catch it. When this virus gets into the computer it can not be stopped.
It a new bread of virus called malware. This malware controlled by a “cyber brain,” it gets into your computer, sets up a an environment inside of your PC, and then starts stealing your most important information.
“Even the safest surfers can be subjected to this sick scheme. One minute you’re minding your own business, the next you get a message that your computer is infected, and if you don’t pay $59.99 for what’s supposed to be Microsoft anti-virus, your computer stops working. But as one local couple found out, paying that fee doesn’t fix anything, in fact it makes matters worse.”
Photo credit: Avast!
RAGUE, Czech Republic – While industry testing shows that avast! Free version 5.0 handily beats most paid-for antivirus products, AVAST Software is pushing the envelope even further with the new avast! 6.0 – launching today.
“With our new avast! 6.0 Free Antivirus, we’ve added advanced capabilities that aren’t in any mainstream AV product. Once again, we are providing a free antivirus that often exceeds the protection offered by other paid-for products,” said Vince Steckler, CEO of AVAST Software. “In these tight economic times, there is no reason for people to keep paying for the overpriced AV that they have on their computers.”
There are six good reasons why computer users should remove antivirus products such as Norton or McAfee and install the new avast! Free Antivirus 6.0.
Based on a survey conducted by Barracuda Networks, spam level was down by about 50% in the second half of 2010. However the there was a 55% rapid increase in malicious software.
Barracuda Networks chief research officer Dr Paul Judge said that the shift towards search engines and social networking sites means fraudsters are now focusing on those areas of the internet.
“The research community must continue to build innovative defences and the industry must make efforts to increase the deployment rates of those defences,” Dr Judge added.
Source: http://www.ihotdesk.com/article/800461987/Malware-could-be-replacing-spa Ihotdesk.com
Avast Free Antivirus 6.0 gets 9.0 editor’s ranking at Cnet.com
Avast made great strides in its previous update. Version 5 set the stage for the modern, massively popular and free security suite with a new interface that ditched a quirky, late-’90s jukebox style for a more polished look. Easier to navigate, it also became easier to add new features.
Make no mistake, Avast 6 adds features both big and small. Some that had previously only been available to paid upgrade users are now free for all versions and newer features have been seamlessly added to the interface experience. If you’re familiar with Avast 5, upgrading to Avast 6 won’t be that big of a leap.
Photo credit: Avast!
130 million users worldwide are using Avast! antivirus as one of the most trusted and recommended solutions for protecting against virus and spyware infection.sing the Free version of the software does not put you at any great disadvantage compared to the Pro version, which is not something you can say for a lot of free anti-virus suites that have paid equivalents.
What is new in Avast! version 6?
* AutoSandbox – avast! 6 can be set to automatically run suspicious software sandboxed (incl. free version)
* avast! WebRep – avast! 6 installs extensions for Firefox and IE9 browsers to display a website reputation rating calculated by a combination of virus lab data, and community input.
* Script Shield – The Script Shield feature is now available in the Free version too.
* Site Blocking – The Free version now also has the Site Blocking feature previously exclusive to Pro
* SafeZone – This Paid-only feature provides a special virtualized environment for sensitive transactions, such as secure online banking.
* Behavior Shield – The avast! Behavior Shield has had stability and compatibility improvements.
* Boot-Time Scan – avast! 6 now lets you set Boot-Time scanning to automatically clean detected threats.
There are a few areas in Windows 7 you need to pay attention to.
Action Center, the home base for your PC’s security. The Action Center in Windows 7 gives you a view of all your PC’s security and maintenance features. Inside Action Center, you can make sure your Windows Firewall is on, your antivirus software is up to date and that your PC is set to install updates automatically.
User Account Control, the security feature that prompts you for permission to install or open programs. If you are your computer’s administrator (in most cases you are), you can click Yes to continue. If you are not an administrator, someone with an administrator account on the computer will have to enter their password for you to continue.
Windows Update. You can set Windows to automatically install “important” and “recommended” updates or to install important updates only. Important updates are for more critical security and reliability issues and recommended updates address noncritical problems.
Windows Firewall, an easy feature to turn on or off and can help prevent hackers and worms from slithering into your computer through a network or the Internet. A firewall can also help stop your computer from sending malicious software to other computers.
Windows Defender, an antispyware software that’s included with Windows 7, runs automatically when it is turned on. Spyware is any unwanted or potentially harmful software that can be installed on your computer without your knowledge any time you connect to the Internet. It can also infect your computer when you install programs using a CD or DVD.
Photo credit: PCMag.com
When the security software encounters an unknown or suspicious process the AutoSandbox feature offers to run that process inside a “virtual computer”. The process runs as it normally would, but it can’t make any permanent changes to the actual, physical computer. If the process turns out to be malicious, there’s no harm done.
“Virtualization has the potential to significantly increase user safety, but people have been slow to adopt this technology even when it’s a part of their antivirus package,”, said Ondrej Vlckek, AVAST’s CTO. “AutoSandbox shifts virtualization from being an IT geek specialty to an automatic, easily accessible safety feature for all avast users.”
Vlcek went on to explain that AVAST will be offering this technology to all users, including those using the free product. “With AutoSandbox virtualization,”, said Vlcek, “we’ve created a safe space between the known good and bad content which will make life safer for all avast users.”
Release of AVAST’s 6.0 product line is expected in the first quarter of 2011. PCMag will evaluate them as soon as they become available.
ALWIL Software – ALWIL Software is a software company based in the Prague, Czech Republic, that produces avast! antivirus, an acclaimed antivirus program. The program comes in a freeware version for home users and a shareware version that has several additional features.The latest version of avast! includes optional components for protecting popular instant messaging and file sharing programs, and scanning of POP3 email without the need for a special setup of email software (when installed to NT based system).ICSA Labs has certified avast! as a virus detector. avast! has passed several very stringent Virus Bulletin tests, and has a better success rate with these tests than other paid for programs. IB Systems is an official reseller of the Avast antivirus software. A new version of the Small Business Server Suite is now available. Contact us if you have any questions regarding purchasing the Avast antivirus family products.
On January 21, 2011 Twitter was a target of a fake antivirus software which attacked Twitter accounts using Google’s Web access shortening service “foo.gl”. In 2010 as was targeted with a cross-site scripting.
Photo credit: TheNextWeb.com
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