Sharing and the fine art of stopping malware

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There are an array of technical and business issues that have to be solved: What format do the files need to be in? Who pays for the bandwidth? And the list goes on and on.

Regardless of these technical issues, there are a number of advantages to sharing – particularly for the average computer user. This user – let’s call him Joe Six-Pack – gets much faster and deeper information about any potential threats than if he kept news of his malware misadventures all to himself.

Just from the perspective of Avira, cooperation has its organizational costs – but brings clear benefits down the road.

Avira was one of a “Gang of Five” security companies that set up MUTE, the Malware URL Tracking and Exchange back in 2008.

Avira web developers were volunteered by the company and shared their expertise to set up the backend infrastructure for the group’s members to combine and share their collections of malicious web addresses. The initial outline of Avira’s system specs could be placed on four PDF slides. Today, the system is far more complex and requires a whopping 44 slides to describe its operations. And that is not all of the sharing. Avira also founded VIREX, a web-based application for helping security analysts organize their bits and pieces of malicious code, clean samples, and URLs. Yes, Avira is proud of its sharing efforts.

But you could still ask, what does Avira get out of its investment in sharing — addition to fresher bits of malware? I can think of two primary benefits.

1. Greater back-office expertise in coordinating data flows.
2. Experience in collaborative working outside of the company environment.

Put these two advantages together and there is a third one:

3. Avira expertise that can fit under the banner of other companies as an OEM product.

That is exactly what we have done with the recently announced Lavasoft deal. We’ve licensed our new  Avira URL Cloud (MURL) and program classification service (AUC) to Lavasoft and they’ll  use this to beef up the security levels in their Ad-Aware Web Companion.

Sharing is a good thing – whether in a real or a virtual sandbox.  It makes life a better, richer, and yes, more secure experience.

Source : blog.avira.com

Avira Tech Support : Blog

Regin: Is Government Malware Stoppable After All?

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What is Regin?

According to Virus Bulletin, we are looking at a multi-staged threat (like Stuxnet) that uses a modular approach (like Flame), a combination that makes it one of the most advanced threats ever detected. Researches show that Regin has been used in espionage campaigns for the last 6 years. This sophisticated backdoor Trojan affects Microsoft Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7 and it is able to take control of input devices, capture credentials, monitor network traffic, and gather information on processes and memory utilization.

Regin mainly affects companies, research institutes, governmental organizations, and individuals who have access to networks of special interest. This is why Avira has worked together with the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) to add new Regin detection routines to the widely implemented and proven tool Avira PC Cleaner.

How can the Avira PC Cleaner help me?

The tool can now detect the identifiable elements of Regin and remove them from the infected system. “PC Cleaner came about as a result of the German anti-botnet “botfrei.de” initiative which is backed by the BSI. The software was also further developed with the support and know-how of the BSI. Users now have an easy-to-use tool available to them which can track down Regin malware”, explains Dr. Dirk Häger, head of operational network defense at the BSI. If PC Cleaner detects Regin, the affected system can be cleansed and the relevant files quarantined. Even after a successful system cleanup, it is worthwhile running further scans to make absolutely sure that Regin has not infiltrated other areas of the network. This also makes PC Cleaner an early warning tool. If Regin is detected, affected organizations should definitely think about taking further steps to protect their IT infrastructure.

The really unique feature about Avira PC Cleaner is that it doesn’t need to be installed. This means there are no conflicts with other vendors’ antivirus solutions installed on the computer. As such, PC Cleaner gives users the chance to get a second opinion. This is why it is also called a 2nd opinion scanner, although it isn’t a replacement for a fully-fledged antivirus solution. As a result, PC Cleaner is ideal for detecting Regin and for checking the computer for any other malicious software. It is based on the proven malware detection capabilities of Avira antivirus solutions of which there are millions of installs.

Source : blog.avira.com

Avira Tech Support : Blog