Tag Archives: mobile security

Smart but not secure?

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In today’s digital world, we are literally surrounded by IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Manufacturers of toys, furniture, cars, and medical tools add appeal to their products by including “smart” features. (Even bottle manufacturers sell smart, connected water bottles!) Unfortunately, in this rush to get smart devices to market, there’s a critical component that is all too often an afterthought: security.

Why IoT devices lack security

With no regulations around smart-device security, manufacturers are left to create their own proprietary standards for communication. You can imagine the consequences. Consider a toaster manufacturer, now producing “smart toasters.” Beyond enabling your mobile device to fine-tune the browning levels, now the manufacturer also has to consider how to protect those toasters from hackers?! It’s easy to see how basic principles of modern security can be often neglected, causing unprotected products to get shipped out to consumers who are eagerly awaiting their next “connected” device.

A game of cyber cat-and-mouse: Preview of Avast IoT presentation at MWCA

Constant pursuit. Near captures. Repeated escapes. Hackers and their targets seem to be caught in this unending loop of cat-and-mouse action. The hackers pursue incessantly, and while their targets may sometimes escape, at other times they’re not so lucky. How can we change the game?

New research reveals increased mobile threats

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Avast unveiled new data today that shows a 40% surge in cyberattacks on Android smartphones and tablets. We have addressed these concerns with updates to both Avast Mobile Security & Antivirus and AVG Antivirus mobile apps, now combining the best of each brand’s mobile threat-detection technology in one strong engine.  More data will be released next week during Mobile World Congress Americas. Check back here for an update on mobile cybercrime.

Real-time threat intelligence at Avast

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Meet our Network Operation Center. Its main display is an enormous world map that constantly receives new information about malware threats from over 400 million sensors around the globe. The map displays points of light, representative of the cities in which our protected users reside. (User location is approximated from their IP addresses.) The info this map receives essentially arrives in real time, or within four seconds. When a threat is detected, we immediately take action to identify and block the cyberattack. This aggressively proactive defense is necessary, and it’s made possible using AI-based and machine learning technology—what we call “next-gen cybersecurity.”

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

Avast Mobile Security Pro now includes Avast Anti-Theft

At least 2 million smartphones are stolen every year in the US alone. Meaning that chances are, you or someone you know will have to deal with this in 2017. And that’s not even counting the number of people who lose phones. Admit it — you’ve misplaced your phone in the last month, haven’t you?

Mobile spyware uses sandbox to  avoid antivirus detections

We recently came across mobile malware that uses a sandbox, like the malware that posed as dual instance and took advantage of VirtualApp, to steal user’s Twitter credentials. We suspect that cybercriminals are once again using a sandbox to try to avoid antivirus detection.   

‘Can you hear me?’ robocalls put consumers on alert [infographic]

I fell for it the first time I answered a call. A friendly female voice hesitated, then giggled the line, “Can you hear me?” After I answered, “Yes”, it took me a few seconds to realize I had been fooled. It wasn’t a silly girl with a bad connection calling me on behalf of Disney Vacations – I had just been targeted by a robocaller. By then it was too late.