If you're in the business of offering free antivirus protection, beware of hackers mucking up your website. The Palestinian hacker group known as KDSM Team recently targeted several well known companies, including AVG and Avira, makers of popular free (and paid) security solutions, and defaced their homepages (sort of). Whatsapp, a cross-platform messaging app for mobile devices, was also tagged.
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.
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!
Security firm Avira published the results of a recent consumer survey that sheds some light on the abuse computers users inflict on their PCs. We're not talking about malware, mind you, but actual physical and verbal abuse directed towards our machine servants that we sometimes have a love/hate relationship with. Out of 14,000 polled, 39 percent admitted to cursing or yelling at their disobedient PC out loud. More fun stats after the break.
When Microsoft first announced plans to launch a free antivirus software, Symantec and McAfee met the news with disdainful skepticism, arguing that a free antivirus could never compete with their own products. But Microsoft Security Essentials is now the fourth most deployed antivirus software, according to Opswat's latest antivirus market share report. Opswat has a front-row seat to all the action as its flagship product, the Oesis Framework, is a widely used development kit for managing third-party security applications.
Free antivirus tools are more popular than what the likes of Symantec and McAfee will have you believe. In fact, the four most used antivirus tools are all absolutely free. And free offerings command a very healthy 42% market share.
“Although the true market share of security applications often remains hidden, software vendors will claim to dominate a market based on their sales numbers vs. the reported sales numbers of their competitors,” Opswat said in the report.
Ask any penny-pinching power user what he thinks about non-free security suites, and he’ll tell you it’s a fool’s solution, plain and simple. After all, what’s the point of paying for AV software when programs like AntiVir offer the same protection sans a price tag?
A valid question, so we set out to answer it. We combed through the data available from two well-known independent testing labs—Virus Bulletin and AV-Comparatives—and in both cases, we found that AntiVir historically performs well, boasting high detection rates. So far, so good.
Even better, AntiVir added a bit of basic spyware protection to this year’s version, addressing one of our primary complaints about AntiVir in 2009. Repeating some of the same tests we used last year, this year’s AntiVir did a much better job protecting IE from rogue code and prevented a few other spyware shenanigans, such as altering our host file.
Some would argue that 'Data loss' is the biggest of the three Ds ('Death' and 'Divorce' being the other two). But no matter how you rank them, few things in life are capable of inducing that same gut wrenching feeling you get from realizing you just deleted a group of files you weren't supposed to, or nuked the wrong partition. Oops!
Lucky for you, several companies have stepped up to the plate with programs that promise to recover your data when you can no longer do so on your own. How can that be? Well, whether you deleted a file or hosed an entire partition, your data isn't actually destroyed, Windows just no longer knows where to look for it. Your files remain until their location is overwritten with new data. For this reason, you'll want to install a data recovery app on a separate drive than the one you're trying to recover data from.
We put eight different data recovery apps to the test -- six of them free, and two that will set you back half a C-note -- and we'll tell you which ones are worth your time and, if applicable, your money.