Bad definitions pop up every now and again in the antivirus world, as evidenced by that boondoggle a few months back when Microsoft's AV started banning Google's Chrome browser as a malicious app. A new set of bad definitions may be the worst whoops! we've ever seen, though; a ProActiv definition update pushed to premium Avira subscribers brought Windows PCs around the world to a halt after incorrectly labeling a bevy of critical processes as malware. Ruh-roh Raggie!
Microsoft Security Essentials has never been the absolute best anti-virus solution out there, but its pretty darn good. It catches the vast majority of the security threats in the wild today, is absolutely free, and is supported by the guys who make the operating system itself so performance is always top notch. Common sense would suggest these guys would be running away with the market share, and in-fact that’s exactly what’s happening. A software development and service company by the name of OPSWAT published a report this week based on the findings of their AppRemoval tool, and it shows Microsoft gaining ground at a rapid pace.
Selecting an Internet security suite is a lot like plodding through a Choose‑Your‑Own‑Adventure book. Remember those? The path of the protagonist was entirely up to you, and if those books taught us anything at all, it’s that every decision carries with it potentially devastating consequences. The same thing applies to your choice of antivirus software, only the repercussions of malware are real, and if a shoddy security suite fires off a blank and leaves you exposed to danger, there’s no flipping back the pages for a do-over.
That’s where we come in. We’ve called to arms a gnarly collection of security suites with the roughest, toughest reputations around. We’re also including three popular no-cost AV solutions to find out how they compare. Flip through the pages to get started, and if we miss one you think should have been included, let us know—we’ll run stand-alone reviews of even more AV apps in the future.
Earlier today we told you that Microsoft Security Essentials was being accused of killing Chrome, and now we have the details. Turns out Redmond totally messed up on this one. Security Essentials was indeed removing or blocking Chrome on many users’ PCs. After scrambling for most of the day, Microsoft has a fix available.
When AVG’s Anti-Virus Free Edition 9.0 didn’t make the cut of our AV roundup in May, a football stadium full of readers let us know of the injustice. We’re not really surprised by this, considering that AVG was once the hands-down favorite among free virus scanners. At one time heralded for both its excellent detection rate and small footprint, AVG has since fallen out of favor somewhat, partly because of its perceived bloat, but also because competitors’ AV products have stepped up their game. So where does that leave AVG today?
You and your home PC play hard – and sometimes, work hard. While you can grab some shuteye every night, and bid your PC goodbye when you head out the door for work, there's no need to give your PC half the day off. From scheduled FTP downloads to converting digital photos and more, here are the ten best ways to keep your PC busy so it won't miss you when you're gone. Downtime be damned!
April Fools' Day might be all fun and games for some, but if you manage to fall prey to the Conficker worm, it's no laughing matter. As reported earlier this month by our very own Mark Soper, the third version of Conficker (Conficker.c) is set to wreak havoc tomorrow, April 1st. Here's what you need to know.
What is Conficker?
Conficker is one of the nastiest computer worms in recent history to go on the warpath against Windows-based PCs. First surfacing in October, 2008, Conficker targets Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2 Beta, and even Windows 7. To date, Conficker has infected over 9 million PCs, shut down French and British military assests, and prompted a $250,000 reward from Microsoft for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the worm's creators.
What Does it Do?
The first two versions of Conficker -- variants A and B -- exploit a vulnerability in the Server Service on Windows-based PCs to take advantage of an already-infected source computer. Once infected, the worm goes to work exploiting the network hole, cracking administrator passwords, prevents access to security websites and services for automatic updates, disables backup services, erases recently saved documents, and among other things, also leaves you vulnerable to other infected machines.
What Happens Tomorrow?
One of the scariest things about Conficker, including Conficker.c, is that its full potential isn't known. Come tomorrow, those infected might be prompted to buy fake sofware products, or it could start monitoring your keystrokes to lift sensitive information like banking passwords. Files could end up deleted, or it might transform your computer into a zombie PC while staying under the radar. Whatever it ends up doing, it won't be good, and you need to take proper precautions right now.
Join us after the jump to find out how to avoid infection, or what you can do if it's already too late. **Now with April 1st Update!**