Author Archives: Avast Blog

[Sarcasm Alert] New (In)dependent tester awards CIA-graded certification

Selecting the right security solution to protect your devices isn’t always an easy decision to make – whether you’re a consumer or a larger organization. Luckily, there are many independent testing laboratories who do their job at testing security products well, so end customers have a way to compare and select a solution that suits their needs best. It’s not often we see a new kid (tester) on the block. 

How AI outsmarts cybercriminals

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is the hottest new trend that’s been around for years. While that may sound like an oxymoron, there’s a reason the buzz around AI and its subset, machine learning, hasn’t quieted down and is likely to continue for a long time. It’s uniquely critical in our fight against the ever-growing number and variety of cyberthreats and vital to our ability to scan for and remove malware.

WannaCry WannaBe targeting Android smartphones

Avast is now detecting mobile ransomware, which we will refer to as “WannaLocker” from now on. The ransomware is targeting Chinese Android users. WannaLocker’s ransom message screen may look familiar to you and that’s because it looks just like the WannaCry ransomware screen, the ransomware that spread like wildfire around the world mid-May. Another interesting aspect is that WannaLocker encrypts files on the infected device’s external storage, something we haven’t seen since Simplocker in 2014.WannaLocker ransom message.jpg

Patching could have minimized WannaCry impact, now worst ransomware outbreak in history

WannaCry (AKA WanaCrypt0r, WCry, Wannageddon or another day of cyberinfamy), which marries ransomware with worm-type spread targeted at Microsoft Windows operating systems, is the “the worst ransomware outbreak in history.” But according to Jakub Křoustek, a lead on Avast’s Threat Intelligence team, it could easily have been avoided through proper patch management. The attack, which began on May 12, has cost victims as much as $4 billion.

Avast blocked WannaCry ransomware more than 1 million times in 150 countries worldwide

While the WannaCry ransomware outbreak wreaked havoc on computers around the globe, Avast’s Threat Intelligence team worked around the clock to protect our users. In fact, our team had been tracking an early version of WannaCry since February, well before the first widely detected strain that debuted on Friday, May 12, at which point we detected more than 10,000 infections per hour as it began to spread worldwide.

Avast blocked WannaCry ransomware 250,000 times in 120 countries worldwide

While the WannaCry ransomware outbreak wreaked havoc on computers around the globe, Avast’s Threat Intelligence team worked around the clock to protect our users. In fact, our team had been tracking an early version of WannaCry since February, well before the first widely detected strain that debuted on Friday, May 12, at which point we detected more than 10,000 infections per hour as it began to spread worldwide.