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Tag: Spotlight on security

The balance between performance (low speed-impact) and real-time detection

security

In the past, a common complaint about antivirus programs was that they had a major impact on system performance, i.e. made the PC run more slowly in everyday use. Nowadays, anti-virus products use different optimization techniques to reduce system impact and disruption of everyday tasks.

In this blog post we want to answer the question as to whether any of the performance-enhancing measures taken by anti-virus vendors might have an impact on products’ ability to detect malware under some circumstances. To this end, we checked whether anti-virus products consistently detect malware in specific scenarios.

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Uninstalling antivirus programs: challenges and solutions

Have you ever tried to remove a program from your computer, and found that bits of it were left behind? If so, you will realise that not all uninstallers remove their programs completely, and that the leftovers can cause problems like error messages and wasted disk space. In the case of antivirus programs, which are deeply integrated into the Windows operating system, an incomplete uninstallation can be particularly problematic. It might be impossible to install a new AV program if its installer finds traces of the previous product. So, if you need to remove one AV product in order to install a different one, the issue of AV uninstallation becomes important.

In a test commissioned by the German PC Magazin (Ausgabe 06/2022), AV-Comparatives recently carried out an uninstallation test of 16 popular consumer antivirus programs (PDF version available here).

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AV-Comparatives tests Anti-Virus Software protection against the Hermetic Wiper malware

Hermetic wiper malware

Austrian IT-security testing lab AV-Comparatives has tested protection against the recently-emerged Hermetic Wiper malware.  

The data-wiping malware has been used in international targeted attacks. Its aim is not to steal money or data, but simply to make victims’ computers unusable. To do this, it abuses the services of a legitimate company that makes disk partitioning software. This type of utility can create, modify and delete the data storage areas (partitions) of a computer’s system disk. Hermetic Wiper makes (unauthorised) use of this useful utility program to corrupt the system disk’s boot information, meaning that the computer cannot start up. The malware then overwrites the partitions on the disk, making the data on them unreadable, even if the disk is transferred to an uninfected computer.  

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Norton and Avira Ethereum Mining: Why Are AV Vendors Offering Crypto Services?

security

Avira and Norton are now offering customers the ability to mine cryptocurrency – for a fee.

Both AV vendors have introduced a new service which can mine Ethereum whenever a user’s computer is sitting idle. Customers will then be able to deposit any Ether their computer has mined into their own crypto wallet after giving NortonLifeLock, owner of both Avira and Norton, a 15% share of the proceeds. The crypto-mining services offered by both vendors are very similar, with the same rules applying to both Avira Crypto and Norton Crypto.

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AV-Comparatives Explains the Implications of Takeovers in the IT-Security Industry

security

In recent years, there have been many acquisitions of security software manufacturers. This article considers the implications of such takeovers, with regard to cybersecurity, consumer choice and other factors. AV-Comparatives notes that their test results can help uncover any technical changes resulting from AV-vendor acquisitions.

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AV-Comparatives welcome UK guidelines on auto-renewal by antivirus vendors

security

The UK Government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently published guidelines for antivirus software vendors with regard to auto-renewal of subscriptions. These Compliance Principles advise security software vendors who sell to UK consumers how to avoid falling foul of British consumer protection laws. Austrian AV test lab AV-Comparatives supports the principles behind the CMA guidelines. 

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Spotlight on Security: AV-Comparatives offers advice on choosing Android AV apps

security

This blogpost offers users assistance in selecting a suitable antivirus product for the Android platform. Eight of this year’s products qualified for certification, by reaching a malware protection rate of at least 99%, with less than 10 false positives, and a battery drain of less than 8%. In the Android 2021 test report, AV-Comparatives gives an overview of the general security-related components, which are summarised in the additional feature list. 

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Spotlight on Security: Digital Stalking Roundup

security

Digital stalking uses specialized malware, called stalkerware, to gain access to functions of a smartphone, tablet, or PC. The software allows the stalker to listen to and record phone calls, view stored photos and files, activate the camera, read all types of message, log keystrokes and track the victim’s location via the device GPS functionality. Stalkerware thus spies on every action. However, it is most probably not something that you have accidentally installed yourself, but is secretly installed on your device by someone who has access to this. Therefore, as a victim of digital stalking, it will probably only become noticeable when the perpetrator misuses private knowledge for their own purposes.

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Spotlight on Security: Malware and Anti-Malware for Apple Silicon

security

In late 2020, Apple started selling laptop, desktop and all-in-one Mac computers with a new type of ARM-based processor, called the M1. It is expected to be the first in a whole new range of such CPUs, collectively known as Apple Silicon. The change from Intel processors is believed to be partly so that Apple had complete control of their entire manufacturing process. However, the new M1 processors bring a number of technical improvements as well.

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Spotlight on Security: Why independent IT-security testing labs are important to enterprise security

security

If you’re looking for an endpoint protection product to secure your business network, there is a wide variety of solutions available. These include endpoint security (antivirus), and endpoint protection and response systems, which allow you to detect, analyse and respond to suspicious programs, processes and events. How can you select the right enterprise product for your needs? Independent testing labs are the best place to start – here’s why.

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