Free antivirus software closes the door on open-source support
We somehow missed this one when it was first announced, but Avira, makers of the popular free antivirus software named after itself, is discontinuing AV solutions for Linux systems on June 30, 2016. Products to be discontinued include Avira AntiVir Professional Linux, Avira Server Security Linux, and Avira Free Antivirus Linux. Avira Endpoint Security and Avira Business Security Suite will both still be offered indefinitely, though without Linux support.
Valentine's Day is for lovers, as the saying goes, and Microsoft spent the day showing Google just how much it cares. A faulty security update pushed out alongside several other patches yesterday caused Internet Explorer to incorrectly flag Google.com -- yep, the most visited website in the universe and the homepage of scads of users -- as being a severe threat called Exploit:JS/Blacole.BW. Oops!
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.
Java’s ubiquity combined with its propensity to stay out of date on a large chunk of its install base makes it an ideal target for hackers. This is enough to ensure that whenever the subject of third-party software vulnerabilities crops up for discussion Java is somewhere at the top of the ensuing list of those most vulnerable. According to the latest volume of Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report, Java was responsible for the largest number of attacks in the first half of 2011.
Launched over two years back, Microsoft Security Essentials has established itself as one of the best free security apps out there. In this time, two versions of the free anti-virus have been released to mostly positive reviews. Our own reviews of MSE are a point in case. Now Microsoft is laying the groundwork for the release of the tool’s next version.
Mighty funny timing, Microsoft. Just yesterday, we reported that Google’s Chrome browser was threatening to overtake Firefox in the coming months thanks to soaring usage rates caused, in large part, by FF and IE defectors. Then, this morning, Internet forums are awash with rage because a new update to Microsoft’s Security Essentials and ForeFront AV software began calling Chrome a Trojan and erasing it from users machines. Coincidence? Yeah, it probably is. But that still doesn’t change the fact that users are pissed.
Perhaps you've heard that Windows 8 will ship with built-in antivirus software. Don't fret if you're just now learning this, Microsoft did a great job bombarding the media with information about its next major OS at its BUILD conference, and retaining it all on first pass is asking a lot. Nevertheless, this is a big announcement, and one that can't be sitting well with third-party AV vendors. Security firm Sophos has a message for them: "Too bad, sucka!"
Let us start with the obligatory disclaimer that if it's been a few years since you've played with a Norton product, things are very different than what you remember them to be. Starting with Norton's 2009 Antivirus and Internet Security Suite products, the emphasis has been on performance, both in terms of picking up malware and leaving a small system footprint, and it's been that way ever since (we've awarded Norton two 9 verdicts in our past three annual antivirus roundups). Now Norton will try and keep its revamped reputation intact with the release of its 2012 security products.
Security vendor Globalshareware announced the launch of Avast Pro Antivirus 6.0 with an improved antivirus and anti-spyware engine. Globalshareware says it paid particular attention to upgrading the heuristic engine, which scans for previously unknown viruses, spyware, and other forms of malware. There's also a new sandbox mode that will run potentially exploitable or suspicious programs in a virtual environment to contain an outbreak from spreading to the OS.
A part of us wishes Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 came bundled with its own aluminum foil deflector beanie, because it’s the only thing missing from what’s otherwise the ultimate package for paranoid PC users. Put another way, running Kaspersky is like sitting in a panic room behind a three-inch steel-frame door with multiple deadlocks, and toting a sawed-off shotgun just for good measure. Do you see where we’re going?
Out of the box, Kaspersky comes ready to throw down with any malware feeling froggy enough to jump. Almost as if trying to prove a point, Kaspersky wouldn’t even allow us to visit our synthetic spyware site (www.spycar.org) until we configured the web module to chilax and let us poke our head into suspicious web portals. Not that it mattered, because Kaspersky was unfazed by each of Spycar’s attempts to hijack our browser and simulate other malicious behavior.