Mobile threat landscape — is Android really safe?

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Emerging mobile threat landscape

We are already seeing the effect. For example, the number of mobile viruses tripled over the past year to now measure 2.6 million by our latest count.

They are facing PUA (potentially unwanted applications) for example. There are also apps that collect a heavy-handed amount of personal data, or others that spam users with unwanted messages and notifications. This is what we call the ‘grey area’ of mobile software. Android users are particularly affected.

Security industry is evolving

Even so, one of the current industry debates calls into question the need for providing mobile security software, such as Android Antivirus, based on the supposedly high level of security in app stores.

At Avira, using complex generic detection algorithms, we have been able to identify a daily average of a few thousand apps containing adware on Android, not to mention several hundred malicious apps that we classify as either PUA or malware.

We recently took for example a sample of 30,000 apps which we define as malicious, PUA, SPR or aggressive adware. Of these apps 13,011 were found on Google play, where 233 were malware and the rest falling into the other threat categories.

Our mission at Avira is to protect users against all threat vectors, whether PC, tablet or smartphone. Given most people now take their devices to work, we also no longer believe the problem fits neatly into a consumer vs. business box. It affects everyone.

The battle against security threats in mobile ecosystems like Android is only beginning. It promises to be larger and more sophisticated than the PC one ever was.

Source : blog.avira.com

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We are growing – both in business results and teams

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As our business grows along with our core mission to protect our hundreds of millions of users across their entire digital lives (e.g., Avira Browser Safety, Avira for Android), we are expanding several teams.

These teams are located in our two German offices, Tettnang HQ and our newest location in Munich, as well as in Bucharest. Our Bucharest subsidiary and R&D centre just this year also celebrated its 10th anniversary.

We are scouting for talented people who can master state-of-the-art technologies like Hadoop, Android or Couchbase. Our recruiting process has gained an extra degree of internationality recently as we begin to draw engineering and business talent from outside of traditional engineering recruiting hubs of Silicon Valley and Europe.

Naturally we are striving to find the best match for each of our openings. For example, our desired Hadoop Engineer should be a database engineer who will be in charge with scaling our mission-critical infrastructure and real-time services that power our consumer applications. Or say we wish to hire a JavaScript expert who will develop exciting new applications of high quality standards, and will ship end-user-facing applications to hundreds of millions of users.

Another position is the Product Manager that will be responsible for launching some of Avira’s most strategic products from vision to feature-section and road-map to a successful start in the market place.

We are also looking for an experienced Machine Learning Engineer who will help us build solutions that enhance the richness and quality of our product utilising machine learning algorithms and other  big data analytics techniques.

Besides growing the company’s current staff, we have the opportunity to build from scratch two new teams. We are building a Mobile Development Team with focus on Android and technologies like Java. Here, we are looking for a dedicated Mobile Development Manager and passionate Mobile Developers that will be responsible for delivering Avira’s Mobile Security Solutions.

At the same time, we are developing a multi-lingual Customer Service Team in order to offer 24×7 support to our global user-community. We want to find technology enthusiasts with knowledge of the following languages: Dutch, Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese. Also, we are looking for a Call Center Operations Manager and a Call Center Business Performance Analyst.

All our openings are detailed on the Avira Career page. Please feel free to check them and spread the word to your network.

 

Source : blog.avira.com

Avira Tech Support : Blog

 

Bitcoin for Beginners: How to Secure your Crypto Wallet

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Cryptocurrencies – as these new virtual online currencies are known – have no transaction fees, no bank fees, no government regulations, and no telltale ways to track them. They are real currency, but stored as encrypted digital keys instead of paper in your wallet.

Unfortunately, the very same characteristics that make cryptocurrencies attractive make them very easy to steal, unless you take extra steps to secure your computers and Internet connections. In this post, we’ll show you how.

Once you have obtained your Bitcoins or other cryptocurrency, there are essentially three ways to store them: 1) in an online wallet; 2) in a software wallet on your PC or mobile device; 3) in a paper wallet that (ironically) you print out. There are a few hardware-based wallets being developed – similar to the tokens you might use to secure PayPal and banking transactions – but they are still new.

Like anything else digital, all of these storage methods can be vulnerable to hackers and malware such as keyloggers. Before cryptocurrencies were invented, only large companies and banks had to worry about sophisticated and targeted attacks on their computer systems – and there have been at least a dozen major hacks on Bitcoin exchanges, results in tens of millions in losses. Now that you can store real money directly on your computer, the Bad Guys have motivation to attack your computer, too.

And because cryptocurrency is not governed by any sort of central bank, a hacked PC, a stolen laptop, or even a hard-drive crash could mean that your digital money is gone. Forever.

So take these minimum precautions to protect yourself:

  1. Secure your PC and mobile devices – To prevent keyloggers, spyware, backdoors and other vulnerabilities that allow hackers in, be sure to install antivirus on every computer and mobile phone that connects to the Internet. Consider also using safe-search and a browser extension, to avoid stumbling onto dodgy websites.
  2. Secure your Internet connection – Make sure the firewall on your network router is active, or activate the VPN (Virtual Private Network) feature in Avira’s security software. And don’t trade cryptocurrencies on a public Wi-Fi hotspot! Or if you use an iPhone, consider using a personal VPN app like Private WiFi.
  3. Back-up your (encrypted) data – Be sure to use a backup service that encrypts your data in-transit as well as at rest. Services such as DropBox can be secured with two-factor authentication.
  4. Protect your passwords (and paper wallets) – Use common sense and don’t let others see your passwords. Paper wallets for cryptocurrencies contain your private key (usually in the form of a QR code that any reader can decode), and if stolen will let the thief use your digital currency just like cash.

Even if you don’t plan to use Bitcoin for your next purchase, you probably have a lot of sensitive information on your computer or smartphone that is worth securing just as if it were cash. So take a few minutes to review your security. You’ll be glad you did.

Source : blog.avira.com

Avira Tech Support : Blog

Avira Answers – a community for Avira’s 100M users

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It all began in 1988, from our bold desire to combat cyber-threats that were targeting computer users all around the world. It was plain back then that this was going to be a continuous effort, where we had to constantly stay one step ahead of the culprits devoted to sabotaging cyberspace. Passion, data and user-centricity were the hallmarks of Avira, which have remained engrained in our corporate culture to this day.

Within years, our passion was rewarded by the trust of hundreds of thousands of users. It was then that we knew our vision should be scaled up, hence our commitment to providing best-in-class security to the world, for FREE. It was a courageous decision business-wise, but we felt very strongly that this should be our path.

The living proof stays in the cutting-edge technologies we have embedded in our security solutions that cover the most popular platforms out there: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and notable browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

What’s our secret? It’s the power to protect 100 million users around the globe, the knowledge to succeed at it, and the passion to love doing it.

Going the extra mile

We always fostered direct communication with our users and kept an open dialogue with them through our Customer Advocacy team. We listened to our customers and found out they were often calling in our support department for problems unrelated to Avira products. These problems ranged from missing software to obsolete applications and misconfigured hardware.

It was late 2012 when we decided to go the extra mile: help our users fix the problems they were confronting with, even if their challenge had nothing to do with malware. We knew the problem – help millions of users fix hundreds of unique problems, daily, in areas where we might not even have an expertise. What we did know is this: there are 100 million users worldwide bound together by the red Avira umbrella, confronted with millions of diverse and largely unique problems. It became clear to us that crowd sourcing could help us improve our customer service levels. If only there was a common place where one could put a question to the community. In September 2013, we proudly launched Avira Answers.

Looking back, our plan was accurate: Avira Answers has been a resounding success and supports thousands of user interactions per month.

Avira Answers is not just another Q&A forum. Sporting a state-of-the-art user experience, it is highly optimized for rapid knowledge transfer. What makes it unique is the knowledgeable community ready to answer diverse questions, varying from complex computer troubleshooting to purchasing advices. No matter the topic, we help you get your questions answered.

So next time you have a question, or just want to make the world a better place by sharing your knowledge, or simply want to hang out with our passionate community, we’re looking forward to welcoming you.

 

Source : blog.avira.com

Avira Tech Support : Blog

Avira Antivirus Pro: Best-in-class protection for your digital life

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Great news everyone: If you were looking for a great Antivirus to protect your digital life you are at the right place.

Independent testing authority AV-Comparatives has awarded our Avira Antivirus Pro its highest “Product of the Year” award. Antivirus Pro won the renowned testing laboratory’s top Advanced+ score in all seven specialized tests conducted throughout 2016, leaving other products trailing. The award proves that Avira Antivirus Pro offers the best-possible protection against online threats such as malicious websites, ransomware, Trojans, spyware, and other types of malware.

Outstanding results in all tests

AV-Comparatives tested 19 Windows-security products, analyzing protection capabilities against malicious software, impact on PC performance, whether the program confuses with ‘false positives’ (blocking apps by mistake), and more. Over the course of 2016, Avira Antivirus Pro achieved top results in every test, also scoring points for ease of installation and user-friendly controls.

In addition to the Product of the Year award, Antivirus Pro took an additional four awards at AV-Comparatives: two Silver Awards for Real-World Protection and Malware Removal, and two Gold Awards for File Detection and Performance.

“We are extremely happy and proud that Avira Antivirus Pro was crowned Product of the Year,” said Alexander Vukcevic, Director Avira Virus Labs. “We are constantly enhancing Antivirus Pro to tackle emerging threats, and to offer our users the best-possible protection. This award from AV-Comparatives demonstrates once again that our approach is working.”

Wait for it – there is more!

But that’s not all: In addition to that our Antivirus Pro was also able to win AV-TESTs Best Repair Award for most effective PC malware removal and repair – again!

“Other brands didn’t come close to matching Avira’s ability to protect against hundreds of malware attacks in a variety of tests throughout the year. Avira Antivirus Pro was not only effective at ridding Windows systems of infections, but was also the best at healing afflicted files, even after any contamination by malware”, said Andreas Marx, CEO of AV-TEST. “Avira Antivirus Pro proved itself dependable in the event of a successful malware attack, assisting users in saving infected files.”

 

Source : blog.avira.com

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Antivirus Pro for Mac wins AV Comparatives’ Approved Security Product award

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Antivirus Pro for Mac has been recognized by AV Comparatives for its malware-stopping ability together with its simple and straightforward operation. We won the Approved Security Product award as part of AV Comparatives’ annual Mac Security and Review. This independent test measures how AV software is able to detect and stop a selection of malware for both the Mac and Windows operating systems. By testing malware detections for both operating systems, AV Comparatives has ensured that a protected Mac will be able to stop the major malware types and not simply pass it on to an unprotected Window device. Antivirus Pro for Mac stopped 99.1% of the malware samples related to MacOS platform and 100% of the current sample-set for the Windows platform.

Antivirus Pro for Mac wins AV Comparatives’ Approved Security Product award

Detection and simplicity get recognized

Antivirus Pro comes with all the necessary detection abilities. The AV Comparative reviewers described it as a “simple, straightforward, and easy-to-use antivirus.” Their favorite Avira component was the help feature that explained the interface controls with an overlay.

Ready for Fruit flies and more

Mac’s reputation as a highly secure platform has taken a dint this year with the uncovering of the Fruitfly malware. Fruitfly variants are capable of stealing screenshots and keylogging user activities. The malware is reported to have operated for several years, although at a limited level.

It’s a question of threats and detection. The past months have demonstrated that Macs are indeed vulnerable to focused malware attacks. And the latest test results show that Avira Antivirus Pro for Mac is fully prepared for detecting any malware that comes down the pipeline. — Alexander Vukcevic, Head of Avira Virus Labs

The 2017 recognition reconfirms Avira long-time reliability after AV-Comparative 2016 annual review was granting the Antivirus Pro for Mac the same award.

 

Source : blog.avira.com

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How Virus Hunters Catch The Bad Guys (Part 1)

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Using similar techniques to traditional police investigation, the APL is responsible for detecting malicious attacks and arresting the spread of malware. In a cyber environment, live bait becomes honeypots—fake targets made to attract cyber criminals. Big data analysis replaces interrogations as millions of data points are analyzed and visually represented to determine behavioral patterns. Forensic analysis is just as clinical: viruses are carefully dissected in post mortem analyses.

The end result? An average of 130,000 malicious files and more than 20,000 infected websites are detected and tracked every single day. Several million connections per minute to our servers are made to push real-time counter-measures to our users’ computers and mobile devices.

Ever wondered how viruses are identified as soon as they are created?

This article is Part 1 in a series, which explores the world of virus hunting. In Part 1, we look at how Avira’s virus hunters gather clues about how malware operate. Parts 2 and 3 will explore how the Protection Lab analyzes that information and formulate counter-measures to malware, which are being developed in real-time.

Where Hackers Hang Out

The Avira Protection Lab gathers information about malware – and about the hackers who create them – by infiltrating hacker chat rooms, monitoring poisoned websites, and collecting forensic samples of malicious code to reverse engineer them. How we infiltrate chat rooms is our well-guarded secret, but the primary method of collecting code samples to reverse engineer is well known: ‘honeypots.’

Honeypots, Honeynets & Honeyfarms

Honeypots are regular computers, unprotected and connected to the Internet. Hackers regularly scan IP addresses across the Internet looking for vulnerable computers like these, and they have automated tools to penetrate these machines and look around for banking documents, passwords, address books, or any other information that could be sold to spammers and other hackers en masse. Often they leave a keylogger (records keyword strokes) and back doors (remote access) so they can continue to harvest new passwords and credit card data, and turn the computer into a botnet or spam relay.

Avira’s virus hunters monitor these hacker intrusions and learn as much as they can about criminals’ tools and intentions. To increase the likelihood of being discovered and hacked, they set up rows of these honeypots on virtual partitions (called ‘virtual machines’). To avoid the liability of the infected honeypots being used to harm others — what is known as ‘downstream liability’ — the honeypots are usually set up in a honeynet behind a firewall that allows all Internet traffic to come in, but none to go back out. The whole operation is called a honeyfarm.

Of course, hackers monitor the forwarding of log files, keystroke captures, and outbound traffic. So Avira has developed a number of ways to mimic such activity so that they can gather as much information as possible from the honeypot without the hackers detecting fake activity.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is the Achilles Heel of Antivirus security: we can stop malware code from executing on your machine, but we can’t stop you from clicking on something you shouldn’t. Nigerian banking scams, Ransomware (like Cryptolocker and CryptoDefense), Spear-phishing and other successful scams all rely on of social engineering in combination with malware technology.

Social engineering is the art of convincing a computer user to willingly divulge passwords, social security numbers, and other personal identity information that can be harvested and sold to others, or held as ransom for immediate payment. Social engineering can also be used to convince users to download fake anti-virus software (which does exactly the opposite of protecting you) or to visit fake banking websites where you unwittingly enter your account numbers and passwords.

While Avira’s virus hunters can’t prevent you from spilling important information to someone pretending to be a Microsoft Tech Support engineer, we can help you identify patterns in social hacks and more easily recognize scams.

In Part 2 of this series, we’ll explain how Avira’s engineers tackle the enormous daily volume of malware samples using big data analysis to automatically develop counter-measures.

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Source : blog.avira.com

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Raise the fun potential with Avira Game Booster

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Gaming is fun, but the cost can be substantial. Thanks to the ever rising hardware requirements of new games and the emergence of new technologies like VR (virtual reality) a new PC is needed every couple of years. While a new machine is a great thing, it’s also a significant expenditure. Instead of just plunking down the money why not squeeze better performance out of your existing machine and give yourself more time to save for that next generation gaming beast?

Since its emergence in the 1950s as a fringe phenomenon, gaming has gone mainstream. From Atari ST or Commodore 64 back in the beginning to retro consoles such as the Nintendo Famicom and finally the PC with its ever evolving hardware:  The majority of households nowadays include at least one gamer. Statistics range from those saying  60% of U.S. households have at least one person regularly playing video games to others stating that 42% of Americans are gamers. Either way, it’s a big business – and a huge conflict between a gamer wanting the ultimate machine and those other family budgetary priorities.

Introducing: Avira Game Booster

Avira Game Booster is there to solve this conflict. With just a single press of a button, users can get a better gaming experience out of their machine. By closing background applications and unnecessary services as well as optimizing network settings, Game Booster ensures a smooth gaming experience.

Raise the fun potential with Avira Game Booster - in-post Add new game

How Game Booster works its magic

Game Booster is part of the acclaimed Avira System Speedup. Once a user has decided on their choice of game, performance is a couple clicks away. The user simply starts Game Booster via the control panel, adds the chosen game, and then clicks “Boost and Play”. The selected game will remain in Game Booster’s list for the user’s convenience.

Raise the fun potential with Avira Game Booster - in-post

Game Booster starts working its magic as soon as the game has been started. This includes closing unneeded background applications and services (for example, Microsoft Office and other business apps) to free up valuable processing power and RAM. Apps can also be whitelisted to stay open.

Go the extra mile with Ultra Boost

To further improve loading times, users can choose Ultra Boost. This paid feature creates a virtual drive in the RAM to create an extra performance boost. Once the game is closed the PC will be restored to its previous state, restoring closed programs and removing the virtual drive.

Raise the fun potential with Avira Game Booster - in-post Ultra Boost

Play games like they are meant to be played

Battlefield 1 lag, GTA 5 stuttering, and The Witcher 3 FPS drops might just be solved by the extra power one can achieve with Game Booster. So why not use the boost and make sure even the most performance hungry games will start up faster and run smoother?

 

The ultimate gaming experience is just one click away – get it now! Avira Game Booster is available as part of Avira System Speedup and both the free and premium version can be downloaded from the Avira website.

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Source : blog.avira.com

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Raise the fun potential with Avira Game Booster

avira_blog_in-post_raise-the-fun-potential-with-avira-game-booster

Gaming is fun, but the cost can be substantial. Thanks to the ever rising hardware requirements of new games and the emergence of new technologies like VR (virtual reality) a new PC is needed every couple of years. While a new machine is a great thing, it’s also a significant expenditure. Instead of just plunking down the money why not squeeze better performance out of your existing machine and give yourself more time to save for that next generation gaming beast?

Since its emergence in the 1950s as a fringe phenomenon, gaming has gone mainstream. From Atari ST or Commodore 64 back in the beginning to retro consoles such as the Nintendo Famicom and finally the PC with its ever evolving hardware:  The majority of households nowadays include at least one gamer. Statistics range from those saying  60% of U.S. households have at least one person regularly playing video games to others stating that 42% of Americans are gamers. Either way, it’s a big business – and a huge conflict between a gamer wanting the ultimate machine and those other family budgetary priorities.

Introducing: Avira Game Booster

Avira Game Booster is there to solve this conflict. With just a single press of a button, users can get a better gaming experience out of their machine. By closing background applications and unnecessary services as well as optimizing network settings, Game Booster ensures a smooth gaming experience.

Raise the fun potential with Avira Game Booster - in-post Add new game

How Game Booster works its magic

Game Booster is part of the acclaimed Avira System Speedup. Once a user has decided on their choice of game, performance is a couple clicks away. The user simply starts Game Booster via the control panel, adds the chosen game, and then clicks “Boost and Play”. The selected game will remain in Game Booster’s list for the user’s convenience.

Raise the fun potential with Avira Game Booster - in-post

Game Booster starts working its magic as soon as the game has been started. This includes closing unneeded background applications and services (for example, Microsoft Office and other business apps) to free up valuable processing power and RAM. Apps can also be whitelisted to stay open.

Go the extra mile with Ultra Boost

To further improve loading times, users can choose Ultra Boost. This paid feature creates a virtual drive in the RAM to create an extra performance boost. Once the game is closed the PC will be restored to its previous state, restoring closed programs and removing the virtual drive.

Raise the fun potential with Avira Game Booster - in-post Ultra Boost

Play games like they are meant to be played

Battlefield 1 lag, GTA 5 stuttering, and The Witcher 3 FPS drops might just be solved by the extra power one can achieve with Game Booster. So why not use the boost and make sure even the most performance hungry games will start up faster and run smoother?

 

The ultimate gaming experience is just one click away – get it now! Avira Game Booster is available as part of Avira System Speedup and both the free and premium version can be downloaded from the Avira website.

Our Technical Help Support :- Avira Tech Support | Avira Support NumberAvira Refund.

Source : blog.avira.com

Avira Tech Support : Blog

Avira Beta Center goes Public Beta

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Our Beta Center is going to start the next phase of our overall Avira beta testing process – with a Public Beta. This means that additionally to our awesome Avira Beta Center community members we also will provide access in form of a Public Beta to everyone who’s interested in our latest inventions. Until now we have tested our products in a Closed Beta environment only but we are ready to move forward, offering our Beta products to a broader audience. Already interested?

Public Beta? What is that?

A Public Beta is an Open Beta test where everyone is able to participate. In this program you not only can use our latest cutting-edge technology for free but you also can take part in the development process shaping our future Avira releases. Please keep in mind that Public Beta versions still don’t represent the final product so issues might appear.

What is in for me?

Besides the fact that you will receive the latest Avira technology for use and testing — for free! — the testing of Public Beta products is completely on a voluntary basis. With your participation and by submitting feedback you can directly influence the development of our products.

How do I join?

If you are already a member of our Beta Community you don’t have to register again. If you are new to this you only have to enter your email address here. The signup is completely free and quite simple. As soon as we start a Public Beta test you will be notified via email.

What do you expect from me?

We expect you to use the Public Beta version as usual and monitor any odd behavior or issues that might occur. We might send out surveys on a regular basis to collect your impressions, opinions, and feedback. Thus we expect you to spare a bit of your precious free time to fill out the surveys you will receive.

What is the difference between this and your regular Beta?

Our regular Beta tests are closed Beta tests. This means that the participants are chosen by their technical skills, their system, testing environment, on their interest in different product categories, and their demography. The whole community and the tested products are private and not publicly visible. In a Closed Beta test the participants are in direct contact with our beta team and our developers.

Mostly, in Closed Beta tests the versions are not as stable as for the Public Beta thus the tests should be executed in testing environments only or at least have a fresh backup.


Related article


How exactly do I make the product better?

By participating in our Public Beta tests you already give us some insights on how our products perform in the public. By using it every day, we can get real impressions on how our products work in the real world.

I signed up. Where do I go from here?

After your sign-up to our Public Beta program and as soon as we’re going to launch the next Public Beta test we will get in touch with you via email. All further instructions will be available in that email. Sign up now for the Public Beta community!

Source : blog.avira.com

Avira Tech Support : Blog