Certifi-Gate: Open door to access millions of Android devices Without permission

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The recent glut of Android vulnerabilities hasn’t reached the end. Yet another one has popped up on the platform of choice for hundreds of millions of users. Recently, a mobile research team at Check Point Software Technologies documented under the code name ‘Certifi-gate’ an array of vulnerabilities hidden in the layer between mobile Remote Support Tool apps (mRST) and system privileged areas on an Android device. In some cases, mRST apps are preloaded on devices by cellular operators and/or vendors to ensure they can provide their customers faster and more efficient technical support for their devices, when and if needed; but these support plug-ins can also be installed later from Google Play.

An attacker could build a malicious application to masquerade as the original remote supporter with system privileges on the device, and therefore obtain untethered and silent access to highly sensitive resources like storage, contacts, photos, geo-location, microphone etc.

Am I at risk?

Avira Vulnerability Checker app is designed to accurately detect whether your device is susceptible to a host of exploits, including the newly-discovered Certifi-gate.

In seconds after install you will have a clear indication whether you’re safe or not.

How can I protect myself?

If test above turns positive, then:

  • If your device came preloaded with the troublesome support plugin, it’s impossible to remove the affected components or to work around. The advice here is to make sure that your device always runs on the latest Android version that’s crafted for it. If this is already the case, you should contact your device manufacturer to receive information regarding security updates.
  • If the remote support plugin that puts you at danger was „retrofit” by you, make sure this is up to date. If it’s already running the latest version, we encourage you to uninstall it until its maker builds in the patches that closes down the vulnerability.

On top, we insist on adopting these prophylactic measures as a natural practice for your mobile digital life:

  • Use a mobile security solution. Avira offers one of the most efficient and robust security & mobile antivirus products, for free: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.avira.android
  • Examine carefully each application before installing it to make sure it’s legitimate, and only install apps from trustworthy sources, such as Google Play.

Source : blog.avira.com

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Our Avira Browser Is Looking For A Name!

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Heard about our newest product? If not, you’ll want to meet:

The Avira Browser

We’re not reinventing the browser. We’re leveraging our 30 years of expertise to select the best tools for you; we combine them, maintain them and optimize them. The end result? Comprehensive internet security complete with end-to-end encryption and real-time cloud scanning – for free. The Avira Browser.

There’s one thing missing though … A catchy name. And that’s where you come in.

Here’s your chance to name a browser!

Even cooler than naming a star after your favourite aunt, you get the chance to name a browser that will be used by millions … And if that’s not enough, the top three ideas get a FREE license to Avira Antivirus Pro and a cool Avira T-Shirt (your aunt would love that, too).

To participate just mail us your idea for the Avira Browser name until August 14th at: contest@avira.com. Make sure to write the name in the subject line – you can leave the body of the e-mail empty.

Finally, we´d like to advise you that – by participating in this contest – you accept the terms and conditionswhich can be found here.

May the inspiration be with you!

Source : blog.avira.com

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Big Giveaway: Share Your Internet Security Story!

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Everyone who has ever been online most likely had some kind of encounter with online security. Perhaps you’ve lost some (or even worse all) of your data or your device was invaded by an especially persistent virus. There are more than enough dangers out there! But fear no more: Sticky Password partnered with us and other companies to offer anyone who shares one of their true stories about encountering a danger like that the opportunity to win a cool security bundle – which by the way includes Avira Antivirus Pro!

The best thing: participating in the giveaway is rather easy: Send your story to mystory@stickypassword.com. That’s it. Now you only need to hope that you’ll be one of the lucky winners. The best thing about? Even if you don’t win you can help others by anonymously sharing your experiences and learning moments.

Are you not sure whether your story qualifies? Take a look at an example:
One winner of the giveaway shared some tips he has used when helping resolve “hundreds (maybe thousands) of computer problems for friends, family, and a host of clients. What can absolutely help is learning and following a set of behaviors with your PC, and knowing what a scam looks like.” His tips include: “Have a place [or someone who you can trust] to get questions answered: the dumbest question is the one you never ask.” and “Install some sort of ad-blocking software, or learn how to tell whether or not a popup is a legitimate message.”

Source : blog.avira.com

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Avira Offers PRIVATE WiFi Encrypted VPN in new bundle

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Users who purchase the new bundle will be fully protected against malware and data theft. Our Antivirus Pro is built upon some of the most cutting-edge antivirus technologies available, allowing millions of users around the world to no longer worry about malware.

PRIVATE WiFi Encrypted VPN completes the package perfectly, as it provides users with a personal VPN (Virtual Private Network) to automatically encrypt data transferred over any WiFi network.

Protection on the move with your personal VPN

“Avira and PRIVATE WiFi Encrypted VPN have a common mission: to offer people best-in-class digital protection, wherever they are. In a world with increasing mobility, we decided to provide our customers with protection on the move: our German engineered antivirus that fights against all types of viruses, combined with a professional encryption service that prevents any phishing attacks from happening” said Thorsten Bruchhaeuser, EVP Sales and Business Development at Avira.

With all the hidden dangers encountered by users accessing public WiFi hotspots, it has become essential for users to add an extra layer of protection for their sensitive data. A VPN will encrypt Internet traffic and protect the users’ WiFi connection from prying eyes and hackers. No attacker will be able to intercept the signal anymore and grab sensitive data out of “thin air”.

Alok Kapur, President and Chief Operating Officer of PRIVATE WiFi said “We are excited to join forces with Avira in creating a complete protection bundle. Users who purchase the package will be in possession of the best weapons to fight against all types of digital attacks and they will no longer have to worry about their private data ending up in the hands of others without their consent”.

Our new product bundle from Avira will be distributed via its partner network globally and will be available both in German and in English.

 Source : blog.avira.com

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The Avira Online Essentials Dashboard: what’s essential about it?

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Nowadays, taking care of your digital security is no longer reduced to downloading an antivirus program to your personal computer and hope not to catch any viruses while surfing the web. Your digital life has become an extension of all your most important daily activities and you now have to worry also about things like the photos and videos stored on your mobile devices or your email account being breached. Not to mention, how do you protect your close ones when IT isn’t exactly their cup of tea?

Avira Online Essentials: Your dedicated dashboard to manage your security across multiple devices

What if we told you that we can grant all our users access to a dashboard that allows them to manage the security level across all the devices they own and for as many users as they wish? This dashboard is real, it’s called Online Essentials and it is truly…essential, see it for yourself in the video below.

The Avira Online Essentials dashboard gives you an overview of the security applications installed on all your devices and helps you do so for other users as well. You won’t have to worry anymore about your mom’s antivirus expiring without you knowing, it has never been easier to help her keep her computer’s protection up-to-date.

Surfing the web is also safer now that Avira has integrated the Browser Safety feature in the Online Essentials dashboard. You just have to make sure to install our browser extension and we’ll keep you away from malicious websites. To get any worries related to phishing attacks off your mind, we added the Identity Safeguard feature to the menu, so that you can be the first to know about data breaches that may have an impact on your email account.

You’ll enjoy being able to protect and manage your computer, tablet and smartphone’s security in one single place but wait, there’s more. In case you have trouble locating your mobile device, the anti-theft feature helps you find it, block it or even wipe all personal data stored on it remotely. This way, you make sure to prevent any unauthorized access to your private information. A full data report on your device can also be exported from the dashboard to help the police find your stolen smartphone or tablet.

There’s a lot of other cool stuff you can do directly from the Online Essentials dashboard, like organizing a remote connection session in case you need to take over the control on one of your devices from distance.

The best news about the Avira Online Essentials dashboard? It’s free for all Avira users! Register now and unlock all the cool features: http://www.avira.com/en/avira-online-essentials.

Source : blog.avira.com

Avira Tech Support : Blog

Employee Testimonials: 29 Years of Avira

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A company builds its success on quality products & services brought to people by talented, dedicated employees. We are no exception to that rule, the Avira employees being…simply awesome.

We are lucky enough to count among Avira employees people who have been with the company for 9, 10 or even 18 years. Despite the fact that some of them were just kids when our business was in the process of being created, when the moment came, they joined Avira and their time spent here rewarded them with beautiful memories and unforgettable successes. The company thrived simultaneously, becoming the chosen Antivirus provider for millions of users around the world.

Source : blog.avira.com

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Is Government Malware unstoppable?

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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.

Protection against government malware

In this context, we would like to remind our users that Avira is a founding member of IT Security made in Germany and we pride on providing our customers a guarantee of Quality and Reliability.

We thus committed ourselves, among other things, to:

  • Exclusively provide IT security solutions no other third party can access.
  • Offer products that do not cause the transmission of crypto keys, parts of keys or access recognition.
  • Eliminate vulnerabilities or avoidance methods for access control systems as fast as possible once detected.

Additionally, we would like to clarify our standpoint on malware developed by government. Whenever we discover a new piece of malware, we are adding detection for this for all of our customers, regardless of the source of the malware. It is the case for recently discovered Regin as well, since our Antivirus products already detect all known Reging samples.

We strongly believe that no malware is unstoppable, not even government malware. Users need to make sure that they are protecting all of their digital devices with the latest technology, keeping their operating system, 3rd party applications and of course their antivirus software up-to-date.

Source : blog.avira.com

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Airplane WiFi – Secure surfing or danger for onboard electronics?

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The “fasten your seatbelts” signs turn off and you can finally recline, fold down the tray table, and switch on your notebook or tablet. Many airlines now even offer WiFi access in the cabin, so you can surf the Internet, post to Facebook, and write emails without restriction. Hard to believe, given that it wasn’t long ago that you couldn’t even leave your cell phone switched on during the flight. So, is it safe and secure to use WiFi and portable devices? There are two major aspects to this question:

  • First, whether airplane systems are secure, even though WiFi radio waves are used to communicate and passengers have access to the digital infrastructure aboard the airplane.
  • And second, whether passengers’ devices are also safe and secure, as they share the airplane WiFi network with all other users in the cabin.

Hacking airplane systems

A clear answer can be given to the first question, at least at the moment: Yes, the airplane is still safe and secure. The radio waves are irrelevant to the onboard electronics in terms of power and frequency, as the cockpit and internal technology have to be able to cope with completely different types of possible interference. In addition, there is no potential risk of airplane systems being hacked into. Every airplane manufacturer separates the in-flight entertainment and WiFi systems from the critical airplane systems. Furthermore, they use data and signal formats to communicate, which are incompatible with Ethernet; they also don’t use the TCP/IP protocol. Frequently, additional security functions are integrated into the systems, such as specific transmitter restrictions and extremely strict time intervals, within which data must be exchanged between communication partners. And even if there was a widespread failure of the electronics system, irrespective of what measures are taken to deal with it, all flight-critical systems have a mechanical backup – cable controls and hydraulic systems instead of servos and electronic actuators.

This doesn’t mean, however, that airplanes are immune to potential security loopholes. Researchers are repeatedly discovering weaknesses in various systems, such as those involved in satellite communications, which could theoretically be exploited. By exploiting this bug, false positioning data can be transmitted to the airplane while in flight causing a change of course; however, other experts have given the all-clear. Even if a person were able to exploit this security loophole, the pilots themselves could just simply make a course correction. Other means of communication are available in each passenger airplane which allow verification of positioning data and flight plans. On top of this, the flight-control center would also spot each course change and alarm the pilots.

The statistical probability of mounting such attacks successfully is far below the other typical causes of failure, technical or human error, which are also rare. Airplane manufacturers also want to save costs and are trying wherever possible to integrate standard IT components that transfer and process data using standard IT formats.

Airline operators have set out countless operational cases where digital data would improve services, shorten ground times, and resultingly save costs. Whether over the short term or long term, manufacturers will eventually meet these requests and integrate an ever greater amount of standard IT equipment into airplanes. Hopefully the security measures will be tightened to meet the aviation industry’s more stringent requirements.

Security measures above the clouds

So how about the information on your notebook or tablet? WiFi access aboard an airplane is just like a standard public hotspot – no difference from the one in the airport or at Starbucks. Those who use the WiFi network share the wireless network with all other users. Whether airplane manufacturers integrate specific security measures in their switches and routers is information that currently only they know. For this reason exactly, the same security measures that are also suitable at Starbucks or in the airport should apply: Either you encrypt all data traffic using a virtual private network (VPN), which companies usually install on professional users’ devices anyway, or you encrypt each app’s data. In the case of email, this can be done using encryption programs like Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), EnigMail or GnuPG. For browser-based communications, it can be achieved using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, usually identifiable by the little padlock icon in the address bar. Plug-ins for many browsers can also take care of this automatically if required, such as HTTPS Everywhere for Firefox and Chrome. Naturally, the internal firewall should be enabled on each device and the latest version of a security software solution such as Avira Antivirus Pro, Avira Internet Security Suite or Avira Free Antivirus should also be installed and active.

Source : blog.avira.com

Avira Tech Support : Blog

Your holidays start on the Internet: tips for booking vacations online

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Everything is possible online nowadays: reading newspapers, ordering books and clothes, flirting, checking out recipes – and of course booking vacations online. Hotel comparison sites are immensely popular, every airlines offer online booking services, and instead of combing through endless travel-agency brochures, you now simply visit Expedia, Opodo or Travelocity. While it’s all very easy and convenient, it isn’t without its risks. Whether it’s a dodgy low-cost website which goes bust before your vacation starts or a seemingly harmless invoice attached to an email which is infected with a virus – at Avira we find that a little caution goes a long way.

Many problems with online booking stem from legal issues. In some instances, the difference between provider, organizer or contracting party is not clear to the customer. In case of questions and complaints, it is important to know whom to contact. Whether you can even make any claims and how easy that is differs immensely depending on the location of the company you signed the contract with. On top of that, costs often aren’t as transparent as they could and should be, with hidden additional transfer costs or trip-cancellation insurance suddenly selected on the final page before the last confirmation click without it ever being mentioned beforehand.

Low-cost portal or not, no operator offers its services for free. The cheaper the offer, the greater the risk that the small print conceals hidden costs. Free hotel room? Perhaps a minimum stay is involved, or you need to pay service and agency costs. Extremely cheap flight and accommodation? There may be compulsory shopping trips planned involving visits to carpet makers, jewelers, and leather factories.

Internet transactions always involve risks – even if they have become safer over the years. You should always transfer money over an encrypted connection. For that, the online travel agent has to offer a SSL-secured Web session. Operators usually make a specific point of mentioning this at the virtual checkout, but you can also tell the session is encrypted by the little padlock icon or the different color of the Web browser’s address bar. This type of encryption is extremely secure and cannot be cracked without a reasonable amount of effort – effectively meaning no risk is involved.

However, other risks are beyond the user’s control. Hackers often manage to crack the websites of legitimate online travel operators. In 2005 the Japanese tour operator Club Tourism had to admit that hackers had stolen the information of over 90,000 customers. In 2009 a website in the USA which government officials use to book travel was compromised. And only in April 2013 Traveltainment, a subsidiary of the Amadeus Group, had to concede that hackers had broken into its servers and stolen the personal details, including payment information, of an unknown number of customers. This theft caused harm when customers opened their emails containing phishing software which the thieves were able to send as they knew the customers’ email addresses and booking details. A comprehensive security software solution like Avira Antivirus Pro offers protection against such attacks and should therefore be a staple on every computer.

Source : blog.avira.com

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Online dating is the latest trend – But is it also safe and secure?

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The Internet is new territory, apparently. To government officials perhaps, but not when it comes to finding a partner. According to a study, 30% of relationships begin online[1]. And many of those are made to last offline: in 2013 16.4 % of all new partnerships in Germany began with the couples flirting online[2]. It’s great when things work out with the neighbor, but just as searching for a partner in the supermarket, bar or swimming pool isn’t without its risks, the online world has its pitfalls too. Take untruthful profiles for example. “Men make themselves taller, women younger”, that’s what a former product manager of Yahoo Dating said summarizing her experiences. These sorts of little white lies are relatively harmless as they’re easy to spot on the first date. It gets more difficult when something doesn’t add up about the job, and the chosen one doesn’t turn out to be a doctor after all, but unemployed, in debt, and on the hunt for some funding.

Cyber scammers have created an entire industry from people’s desire to be together. The “romance scammers” search the lonely hearts sites specifically for woman with whom they initially email and call for weeks at a time to establish trust only for them to then ask for money for medical treatment, medication for mom, a trip to their sweetheart’s country or whatever it may be. The meet-up itself isn’t risk-free either. Blackmail through secretly or openly filmed sex tapes has already happened more than once, just like alleged pregnancies which nobody will ever find out about if the victim contributes to the abortion costs. While this is dramatic, generally the worst thing those who flirt online have to fear is enduring an endlessly boring evening on the first date.

Here are a few simple tips that will help guard against both dangers – criminality and boredom. On the first date, meet in public and never at your home. Tell a friend, relative or your parents where you will be and arrange for them to call you at a set time so you can give them the all clear. By the way, you can also use the call to your advantage to fake an emergency and escape a boring date early.

Spam messages from those looking for love can also end up in your mailbox through no fault of your own, and people who date online are more likely to open the wrong attachment by mistake. Not every jpg image is what it appears to be, and those ominous-looking Word, PDF, and PowerPoint attachments from romance-seeking Natashas from Belarus are also best sent directly to the recycling bin. The latest version of a comprehensive antivirus software solution like Avira Antivirus Pro, Avira Internet Security Suite or Avira Free Antivirus blocks viruses, worms and Trojans and, in the best case, also evaluates websites before you click them. This minimizes digital dangers and searching for a partner online doesn’t lead to additional risks.

You should, however, pay particular attention to potential risks posed by revealing personal information. Even if endlessly long email conversations over many weeks are rather counterproductive, you should not be forthcoming with your personal information. Before you give your address and telephone number to the person you’ve been messaging, you should be absolutely sure that you won’t regret it. It’s a good idea to have a throw-away email address you only use for dating purposes. Another good tip is to stay completely within the dating provider’s web environment as it usually doesn’t allow real identities to be inferred from online identities. Above all choose the dating provider cautiously. Services you pay for sort at least some chaff, in the form of joke or fake profiles, from the wheat. All the best for your next date

Source : blog.avira.com

Avira Tech Support : Blog