In October, Google announced two contract changes for European Android device vendors. One concerned a minimum security-patch requirement, and the other involved charging a fee for Google services (e.g. Google Play Store). These announcements indicate that many Android smartphones suffer from significant security weaknesses. Let us explain (and prove) why Google’s claims about the effectiveness of their Play Protect service are misleading, to say the least.
Spotlight on security: Politics and cyber security, a troubled relationship
The relationships between various countries in the world are worsening, not only with regard to economic and political issues, but also in the field of cybersecurity. The recent bans on Chinese (such as Huawei) and Russian security products (such as Kaspersky Lab) are examples of the troubled relations between politics and cyber security.
Spotlight on security: The problem with false alarms
False Positives (FPs, also known as False Alarms) are harmless and legitimate programs that are incorrectly identified as malicious by an antivirus program. A false positive can have very serious consequences. In some cases, it will not be possible to run a legitimate program if it is blocked by the security software.
Spotlight on security: Why do AV products score so highly in professional tests?
This question often arises on security-focussed internet forums. Why do antivirus solutions perform worse when tested by amateurs than when tested by professional testing organizations? It seems odd when hobbyist home testers publish tests on YouTube that seem to be a greater challenge to the AV programs than the comparative tests of professional organizations. Despite popular conspiracy theories, there is a logical explanation for these apparently contradictory test results.
Spotlight on security – The end of Net Neutrality?
Normally we post on what security news topped the media. This month’s blog covers the end of the Net Neutrality legislation. Net neutrality was initiated by the Obama administration. Ironically Trump buried both Net Neutrality legislation and media coverage with his historic meeting on neutral grounds with Kim-Jong un. Is Net Neutrality legislation obsolete or has ‘the open internet for all’ just suffered a serious setback?
Spotlight on security: How to recognize email scams
Analysis reports of several sources (US, UK) show that email is and remains the number one delivery vehicle of malware. The reason why email is so popular is because half of the people will open an email of an unknown sender. Email scams play on people’s emotion to trick them into opening emails. In this month’s ‘spotlight on security’ we will explain what psychological tactics scammers use to take you off-guard and lower your fences.
Spotlight on security: three reasons why you should select an Android security app with care and caution
In 2014 an antivirus program called “Virus Shield” was able to earn over 100.000 dollars in less than 10 days. The only thing this fake security app did was to change its icon color and show a progress bar of an imaginary malware scan. After the scan finished it told the user the device was free of malware. Over 30.000 people downloaded the app and gave it a 5-star rating on Google Play Store. Here are three reasons why you should select an Android security app with care and caution:
Spotlight on security: New initiatives on IoT security
On the 25th of May the European Union will effectuate new legislation on data protection and privacy. Both the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and ePrivacy legislation will have a positive impact on data privacy and security. On top of this new EU legislation, both the British and Dutch government have published statements which will lead to additional regulation on IoT security. Will these initiatives force vendors to improve IoT security for home users in general?
Spotlight on security: AV-Comparatives was invited to the European Parliament to speak about a safer Internet for children
With the United States of America making good progress on minimum Internet-of-Things security, we hoped the European Union was willing to listen to our ideas to fast track existing EU plans and programs. On Monday the 6th of November, we were very pleased to get the opportunity to speak to a Member of the European Parliament, who understands the issues of digitalisation in general, and cybersecurity in particular.
Spotlight on security: New Windows 10 security features
On Tuesday the 17th October, Microsoft started to rollout the ‘Fall Creators Update’ of Windows 10. This second major update in 2017 has some interesting new security features. Microsoft was so generous to give Windows 10 Home users also the added protection of the new Exploit Guard and Controlled folder access. The only catch is that they are built into Windows Defender.