Takeovers in the IT-Security Industry

I just sow a post by AV-Comparatives called  “AV-Comparatives Explains the Implications of Takeovers in the IT-Security Industry” The entire article is very interesting and it is worth reading. And it is also objective and valid as well! Great job, AV-Comparatives! What made me write this post is the graphic at the end of the post (courtesy of AV-Comparatives):   I became immediately nostalgic  when I sow that it starts with 2003, the acquisition of GeCAD by Microsoft. I was there when this happened! For those who don’t know, I started my career in cybersecurity in 1999 at RAV Antivirus, produced until 2003 by GeCAD. I was in the industry when all these M&A happened and I was actually working with some of them when they were acquired. I am still working with some of them. 😉 Of course, the most interesting one was Avira being acquired twice in 12 months. I was no longer working as an employee of Avira, but I was working with Avira in 2020, when it was first acquired. I don’t know if these acquisitions are the only ones that happened in the AV industry, but this list it is for sure the most complete…

“Independent” support hotlines and how to deal with them (updated: who is in the picture?)

I got contacted by “Anatha anatha”, a support specialist ( :))) – can’t stop laughing) who is offering “free” support to Avira Antivirus customers. As the description says, they are “an independent Support Provider for Avira Antivirus” and they have a free telephone number (+ 49-800-181-0338) for all customers in Germany. A simple search for that number gives you: A LOT of activity online. There are videos on Youtube, there are pictures on Flickr and there is even a website: http://www.supportaviranummer.com If you look at this website, it is half in German and half in English. Yes, they even have a Refund Policy : http://www.supportaviranummer.com/refund-policy.html So, if it is “free”, why is there a refund policy? 🙂   If you look at the whois information, you see that it is actually owned by an Indian company “Y.E.C.A. COMPUTERS”: Registrant Name: Y.E.C.A. COMPUTERS Registrant Organization: Y.E.C.A. COMPUTERS Registrant Street: 111, SHIVPURI, PATEL NAGAR, NEAR CENTRAL BANK OF INDIA Registrant City: Kanpur Registrant State/Province: Uttar Pradesh Registrant Postal Code: 208007 Registrant Country: IN Registrant Phone: +91.8081810673 Registrant Phone Ext: Registrant Fax: +91.8081989024 Registrant Fax Ext: Registrant Email:  The domain is fresh: Creation Date: 2018-03-30T14:28:49Z Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2019-03-30T14:28:49Z     So, why are they doing that? Are there also such services for other AV producers? Let’s see: http://supportsymantecnummer.com/ : NO http://supportbitdefendernummer.com/ : NO http://supportkasperskynummer.com/ : NO http://supportmcafeenummer.com/ : NO … well … I guess Avira deserves special attention.     As for the nice lady…

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Quoted on Softpedia.com: Bogus eFax Corporate Emails from Craigslist Carry Malware

Cybercriminals are using a combination of social engineering tactics to trick users into opening malware-spreading emails. Avira experts have come across emails that appear to come from Craigslist, but sent via eFax Corporate. The messages, which have nothing to do with either Craigslist or eFax, inform recipients that they’ve received a 24-page fax. However, researchers have discovered that the attachment is not a fax, but an HTML file which contains a maliciou… (read more) via Softpedia News – Security Blog http://news.softpedia.com/news/Bogus-eFax-Corporate-Emails-from-Craigslist-Carry-Malware-324157.shtml

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A further step into achieving Windows 8 compatibility

As previously announced, we continue to improve the compatibility with Windows 8 of our products. We have started yesterday the rollout of a new update for all our products in version 2013 which improves the compatibility with Windows 8 even more. Avira Free AntiVirus build 2890 Avira AntiVirus Premium 2013 build 2890 Avira Internet Security 2013 build 2890 Here’s an extract of the new features of this update: The popup with the warning displayed at the beginning of the Avira setup when running on Windows 8 has been removed Windows Defender is now deactivated on Windows 8 after Avira installation was successfully completed The products register and integrate with Windows 8 Action Center according to Microsoft’s requirements Avira application binary files are built with more security features enabled Product updates are now integrated into regular detection updates and all product update specific configuration options were removed Please run a product update to get the latest version available. If you like to download the installation packages, you can find them on our website.   Sorin Mustaca Product Manager via Avira – TechBlog http://techblog.avira.com/2012/12/11/a-further-step-into-achieving-windows-8-compatibility/en/

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Quoted on Softpedia.com: Penny Stocks Spam Influences Trading Volume Once Again, Experts Find

Security experts from Avira warn users that penny stocks spam messages are making the rounds once again in an attempt to convince recipients into investing with a certain company. The latest messages – entitled “It Should Resume Uptrend,” “It Becomes Our Latest Double,” “The best is yet to come” or “This is Ready to Explode” – read something like this: “GT_R L is the Hottest stock of the last week. We … (read more) via Softpedia News – Security Blog http://news.softpedia.com/news/Penny-Stocks-Spam-Might-Influence-Trading-Volume-Experts-Find-308368.shtml

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Quoted on Softpedia.com: Avira 2013 Upgrades are Free of Charge

Avira launched the 2013 product line back in late September. Now, the German company kicks off an upgrade campaign to the newest versions. As an incentive for the users to make the move, Avira is offering the upgrade free of charge. In order to proceed with updating to the most recent versions users have to receive the message in the picture above. Avira 2013 introduces protection components that cover social networking activity by scanning uses accounts for Facebook, Twi… (read more) via Softpedia News – Security Blog http://news.softpedia.com/news/Avira-2013-Upgrades-are-Free-of-Charge-298494.shtml

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How to check if your DNS Server was hacked

Post initially published in Avira Techblog. You must have heard already about the already “famous” malware DNSChanger which manipulates the DNS settings of the computer in order to silently direct the users to malicious websites. FBI and others took action against this malware and in November 2011 have managed to break the botnet. According to FBI, more than 4 million computers were affected world-wide. The thieves manipulated DNS entries in order to block antivirus programs and the operating systems to update delivering this way even more malware on users’ computers. The DNSChanger malware was used also to redirect users to rogue servers controlled by the fraudsters, allowing them to control users’ web activity and generate income through online advertising. When FBI shut down the botnet, they also replace the servers which were directing to malicious domains with valid DNS servers. So, if the botnet is shut down why all this trouble? FBI will deactivate those new valid DNS servers on March 8, 2012. If your computer was infected at some point in time and it was using one of the DNS servers which are now controlled by FBI, after March 8, it will no longer be able to make any DNS…

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Some tips for Shopping Online safe

  The source is an article I wrote for the Avira press release : http://www.avira.com/en/press-details/nid/528/news/consumers-concerns-online-shopping-safety Here are the tips:   I recommend that consumers watch for a few things in order to not become a victim of the online fraudsters: Always check that the connection to the online store where the payment is done is secured. This can be observed first if the URL is starting with “https” and second if a small lock is present in the top left corner of the browser in the URL field (in Chrome) or the name of the website is written in a colored rectangle(in Firefox,IE). If the web browser gives any warnings about the security certificate of the website, then do not proceed to purchase anything from that website. If you don’t know the website you plan to buy from, always check its reputation first. Search for comments from other users about that website. Searching for “<website> reputation” usually gives good and relevant results. Give your financial details like credit card data only if the website is properly secured and its reputation is good. Try to choose payment methods which don’t require payment upfront. If PayPal is an option, choose that whenever possible….

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Improve your Security #3: Online Protection

It is usually said that those who are behind a hardware router are protected from any danger. This is true in regard to the connections that come from outside but it is not true for the dangers which come from inside the local network. We must not forget that most of threats are landing on users’ computers via email or web traffic (either drive-by downloads or web bugs and exploits). Thus it is important to use multiple layers when it comes to online protection. For the sake of simplicity, I separated the protection layers in three areas: External area, Network and Personal area. Read the entire article in the Avira TechBlog : Improve your Security #3: Online Protection

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Improve your Security #1: Complex passwords aren’t always better

I have published the first article in this series in the Avira Techblog here :http://techblog.avira.com/2011/01/31/improve-your-security-1-complex-passwords-arent-always-better And, as a confirmation of what I wrote, I found this article on CIO Magazine: Apple and Google will kill password If I could only offer them a hand 🙂 Actually, I could do something in this direction by creating a tool inside Avira Premium Security Suite which manages all passwords for a user in a safely manner.

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