Are you having troubles getting Steam to boot up today? If so, the problem might not be with Valve's blockbuster gaming service; the issue could be your antivirus, instead. This weekend, the freebie Avast! antivirus misidentified a Steam component as a nasty little Trojan and sent the executable to the time-out box known as Quarantine as a result. The problem: SteamService.exe was a totally clean file, and Steam won't run without it.
The hardest part about watching a nerd fight is knowing which side to root for. Such is the position we find ourselves in as two security giants squabble over claims the other is making. What started the whole thing was Symantec telling Reuters in an interview earlier this week that it was snatching up antivirus market share from competitor McAfee.
Before you go around scanning QR codes with your mobile device willy-nilly, you should read through AVG's threat report for Q4 2011. In it AVG provides insight and analysis on trending security threats, and highlights in this latest installment include risks of QR codes, stolen digital certificates bypassing security on mobile phones, and the persistence of rootkits.
Two security issues have been identified in McAfee's SaaS Total Protection anti-malware software suite, one of which could allow an attacker to misuse an ActiveX control to execute code and turn affected PCs into spam servers. The other vulnerability involves a misuse of McAfee's "rumor" technology to allow an attacker to use an affected machine as an "open relay," which could also be used to send spam. Fixes for both are coming.
An Indian hacking group known as "The Lords of Dharmaraja" celebrated swiping the Norton antivirus source code from Symantec earlier this month and promptly began releasing fragments to the public before promising to upload the full Monty on January 17, 2012. That's today, but rather than release the source code in its entirety, the hacking group decided now is not the time.
AVG is well regarded in tech savvy circles for serving up generally capable free antivirus software, as well as a line of paid security products with more advanced features. It's a freemium model that's worked well for the company, and because AVG's antivirus software has remained fairly solid throughout the years, it's built a positive reputation for itself, one that might be worth a whole lot of money.
We’ve all seen scareware in action: that especially annoying type of malware that pops up thousands of windows, each shrieking OH NO YOUR COMPUTER HAS UMPTEEN MILLION VIRUSES and extolling users to purchase fake antivirus software (using a credit card, of course). Real antivirus programs like Symantec’s Norton line are designed to ferret out malicious programs like that and kick them to the curb. However, one unhappy user claims that Symantec’s nothing better than a scareware-peddling scammer itself, and he’s slapped the company with a class-action suit for falsely pushing its wares.
Who watches the watchmen? Alan Moore took a long, hard look at that question in the classic Watchmen graphic novel, but today we finally got a firm answer – at least if by “watchmen” you mean “computer security companies.” Symantec got the virtual equivalent of egg in the face after an Indian hacking group going by the name of “The Lords of Dharmaraja” managed to get their digital hands all over the Norton antivirus source code.
If you managed to steer clear of all the security threats in 2011, you're obviously doing something right. From hacked websites and Android malware, to the release of the Zeus trojan source code on the Web and everything else, it's been a busy year in the field of security. As we look ahead to 2012, do you know which threats to watch out for?
We hate to read about job cuts during the holiday season (or any time during the year, but especially now), and McAfee said it was a "difficult decision" to trim its workforce, but ultimately felt that's what needed to be done if the company's going to grow in 2012. The Intel-owned security outfit handed out around 250 pink slips, effectively reducing its workforce by 3 percent.