Recently, one paid fake AV app notched up over 10,000 downloads
There has been an alarming surge in malware targeting Android in recent years. According to one estimate, the platform accounts for 97 percent of total mobile malware. Under the circumstances, it makes sense to use an antivirus app — especially if you happen to use a lot of apps downloaded from sources other than the Play Store. While we’d love to tell you which AV apps to use, it is not something we’re going to indulge in at this point. Instead, let us tell you about the type of AV apps you should definitely avoid.
Android is by far the biggest target of mobile malware
Security firm Kaspersky says it has logged 10 million dubious Android applications to date. It comes down to a numbers game for cyber criminals, and since Android is the most popular mobile operating system on the planet -- market research firm Canalys estimates that Android accounted for 80 percent of smartphones shipped in 2013 -- it attracts the most attention from malware writers.
Security firm discovers a pair of malicious apps in Google Play that try to exploit Windows' AutoRun feature.
Do you talk to your PC? If so, be careful what secrets you share with your system, you never know who might be listening. We're not being paranoid here, Security firm Kaspersky has discovered a pair of malicious programs in Google Play that are designed to infect PCs, where it then gets busy tapping into the audio system so that it can record the victim. The sound files are then sent to the malware's author. What's the point?
Microsoft has suffered through more than a few security embarrassments over the years, but at least according to Kaspersky Labs, the Redmond based software giant is back in control. The security researchers have named the top 10 offending companies/products, and for once, Microsoft has been knocked off the list thanks to improvements in Windows 7 & 8. Automatic update mechanisms are citied as the top reason for the high profile exclusion, and have indeed done an amazing job of keeping hackers at bay.
Want to see the top 10 worst offenders? Hit the jump to see the list.
The folks at Kaspersky just dropped us a line to let us know about its new Kaspersky One security product. As the name implies, Kaspersky's goal is to provide universal security for multiple devices with a single offering. That includes PCs (desktops and laptops), smartphones, and Android-based tablets.
It's probably safe to assume that the vast majority of Maximum PC readers aren't on the fence about whether to go with a Windows machine or a Mac OS X rig for their next system. But maybe you've been mulling a move to Linux because you fear Windows just isn't secure enough. A new Kaspersky report should put your mind at ease.
The security gurus over at Kaspersky crunched some numbers and determined that cybercriminals are spending big bucks promoting the TDSS botnet, TDL-4. In just the first three months of 2011, TDL-4 has helped infect more than 4.5 million computers around the world, requiring an investment of around a quarter of a million dollars from cybercriminals, Kaspersky says.
Reading like a clichéd script from a technological thriller, the son of a high profile software security firm has reportedly been kidnapped. Ivan Kaspersky, the 20-year-old offspring of security Yevgeny Kaspersky, was walking through a factory area in Moscow's northwest on the way home from work earlier this week when he was taken. Those responsible for the kidnapping are demanding a ransom of 3 million euros (about $4.3 million), according to The Moscow Times.
Fake antivirus software masquerading around as the real deal is quickly becoming one of the oldest (and most used) tricks in the malware manual, and for good reason. It's easy to dupe less savvy computer users, especially as these bogus programs have become adept at looking the part. The latest one making the rounds is a false AV scanner called Antivirus 8.
"Over the last few days, we received numerous reports of computers infected with fake antivirus (scareware)," Roel Schouwenberg, senior antivirus research for Kaspersky, wrote in a blog post. "The name of this particular culprit is Antivirus 8."
According to Schouwenberg, fake pop-ups related to the bogus application were appearing on users' systems while not actively using their PC. Instead, they were running as soon as ICQ began fetching/displaying new ads. As Schouwenberg explains it, malware writers went through the trouble of setting up servers that appear to be related to actual retail products, so to outsiders (like Kaspersky) looking in, it appears the 'store' was simply the victim of an attack and the dirty ads keep rolling.
"By making it look like their server got compromised, the criminals can claim it isn't them who's responsible for distributing the malware," Schouwenberg explains. "But rather someone else who hacked their server to spread malware. The ad distributor is very likely to simply give them a warning, which gives these criminals at least one more shot at infecting more machines."
How it works isn't really important here, as none of this is going to matter to inexperienced users in the first place. Instead, now might be a good time to remind family and friends -- the ones who seem to ring your number every couple weeks with a new computer problem -- not to fall for fake AV scams.
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.