Smokey's Security Weblog

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New major version of avast! Mobile Security / Anti-Theft released, v2 in development stage

As you probably will remember, December 2011 I posted a review concerning avast! Mobile Security (AMS) for Android phones, my verdict was (and still is): an excellent Security Suite, also very reliable and provided with a top-notch Anti-Theft module. For reason of the outstanding good test results AMS gained the Smokey’s 2011/2012 Choice Award, this Award will only be granted to the best among the best.

This week avast! company informed me that a new major version of the suite was released, v2, and this new version is in beta stage. They told me also that current stable v1 of the suite wasn’t updated since April 2012 for reason of development v2.

Like I told v2 is still beta but the new features sound very promising and will make the product even better, in this way protecting the user in a more solid way and providing him with additional useful features, time to provide you with a fast survey of v2 beta.

According to avast! company new features are:

* avast! Anti-Theft web portal integrated into the avast! Account
* Network Meter
* avast! widget
* Optimized UI for tablets
* Real-time protection (on-exec scanning) of apps
* Custom rules and log in the firewall
* The shield control UI to fine-tune on-access security setup
* avast! SiteCorrect for the Web Shield
* Scanning of incoming messages
* SMS/Call filter wildcards
* Greyscale notification icon

Adding all these new features to avast!’s already superb security suite will make it (again) the best security suite for android phones there is, and will put it again on top of all available suites. V2 beta avast! Mobile Security and avast! Anti-Theft are downloadable on avast! Forum, keep in mind that (like with all beta’s) use will be on your own risk. If you have the intention to download and install the beta please read the beta support thread before installing, in this way knowing what problems you can expect and current development stage of the beta.

To me it’s not clear v2 final will remain free, at the moment pricing info isn’t available.

System Requirements v2 beta avast! Mobile Security

Operating Systems Supported:

- Android 2.1.x
- Android 2.2.x
- Android 2.3.x
- Android 3.x
- Android 4.0.x
- Experimental support for Android 4.1.x

Links

- Review v1 avast! Mobile Security for Android phones: http://smokeys.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/review-avast-mobile-security-for-android-phones/
- About the Smokey’s Choice Awards: http://smokeys.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/about-the-smokeys-choice-awards/
- Downloadlinks v2 beta avast! Mobile Security and avast! Anti-Theft / v2 beta Support Forum: http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=101642

August 11, 2012 Posted by | Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Downloads, Malware, Phishing, Toolbarware, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Webroot SecureAnywhere…. just an over-Inflated Bubble?

Isn’t it amazing how at once there is a superb anti-virus, smashing all competitors, established vendors included? The Anti-Virus Holy Grail so to speak, doing a fantastic job of keeping customers PC’s free of malware, this in contradiction of these competitors? At the same time an AV with great support, prepared to listen to customers and helping them in an adequate way, and also being realistic when it regards shortcomings (however see this as a joke… an AV Holy Grail that doesn’t have any shortcomings).

Don’t look any further, don’t try any other anti-virus…. but be smart and buy NOW the 2012 Super AV: Webroot SecureAnywhere.
Competitors are selling crap,anyway, this is Webroot’s opinion, so don’t hesitate and only be satisfied with the Best of the Best: WSA (Webroot SecureAnywhere).

Of course it is true what they say about other AV vendors, please don’t call this bashing, it’s just business, okay?! Yells like “Takes up 96% less space than Kaspersky”, “Uses 97% less memory than McAfee”, “Scans more than 3x faster than Kaspersky”, “Takes up 99% less space than McAfee”, “Uses 92% less memory than Norton”, “Installs 131x faster than McAfee”, “Scans nearly 4 times faster than Norton”. The Webroot website is overwhelmed with such yells, there is hardly room left to tell the customer some (true) facts about WSA. Personally I really like this Webroot yell: “Webroot vs.Symantec is like David vs. Goliath. Only this David has a much faster, lighter, easier-to-manage slingshot”. This all is dramatic pure for sure, a climax that can’t be beaten by anyone.

I can hardly imagine that there are people believing the Webroot PR yells, after all yelling is Webroot’s trademark. OTOH they are true masters of it…. hence making it very convincing.

It starts at the very bottom with a Webroot Support Forum Helper, a PR expert on his own and also a master in repeating what Webroot employees are saying, then continues with Webroot Support/Quality Assurance Staff yelling to customers they must believe whatever the helper say, (after all, customers are stupid and clearly show their stupidity!!), subsequently we then have Webroot Support Team Staff yelling what a great product WSA is…. and finally we have the Webroot website and Support Forums, the absolute Masters of the Yell.

I admit that WSA is really small in size and fast just like WSA yells at us, however there is also a downside: it does not have the (high) detection rates that several other AV’s have. This is not just a yell from me, AV Testing Organization AV-Comparatives proved it very well: in their Protection-Test March-June 2012 AV Webroot SecureAnywhere 2012 gained the lowest protection rate of just a very disappointing 90,9%. In the test participated by 21 AV vendors/products WSA reached rank 21.

AV-Test.org, also an AV Testing Organisation, have tested WSA too. Talking again about detection rates, products like e.g. AVG’s Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012, AVG’s Internet Security 2012, BitDefenders Internet Security 2012, BullGuard’s Internet Security 12.0, F-Secure’s Internet Security 2012, G Data’s Internet Security 2012 and Kaspersky’s Internet Security 2012 were scoring better than WSA.

There is also issues false positives:

WSA gained the worst score according to AV-Comparatives False-Alarm-Test March 2012. We all know that false positives can really hurt your PC so FP’s can be dangerous just like malware is. When I have to choose between speed/used space and malware detection rates/amount FP’s ….I will choose the latter for sure.

Like I admitted before, WSA is really fast….. but regrettably not when regarding a full scan on demand, for example. Despite following Webroot’s promise: “After initial scan, full system scans typically take two minutes or less”. What Webroot don’t tell us is that a full scan will factually take hours. Furthermore, in my opinion they shouldn’t offer a ‘Full scan’ possibility at all to the customer if they are opinion it’s an unnecessary tool. After all their official POV is:

An actual full scan of the computer will both take hours in most cases and is also completely unnecessary for protecting the computer with WSA.

I clearly see here snake oil tactic of Webroot, with the aim to retain the claim of whopping fast scanning and at the same time putting other anti-virus vendors in a bad spotlight.

Webroot Inc. is also a damned well organised merchandising machine…. That they are heavily promoting their products on the Webroot (Prevx) support forums is fine, nothing wrong with that. The trick is to do the same on other forums without being provided with the spam label.

So how does the trick work? Almost every forum thread where a malware issue is discussed or advice is asked for on what AV to use…. will be provided with an urgent encouragement to use WSA. Surprisingly it’s almost always a Webroot Support Forum Helper encouraging the thread reader to do so. Final touch is then given by Webroot Support Team, praising the Webroot Support Forum Helper for his great advice and again encouraging the reader to use WSA. Finally the thread will end with a survey of where to obtain WSA good deals, the survey will be mostly offered by an anonymous user. I call this ordinary spam.
Common exception: if the thread is going ‘wrong direction’, Webroot Support Team is clever and don’t show up at all, instead the WSA Support Forum Helper will starting a tirade to the messenger of the ‘bad news’ and maintain the tactic to shoot the messenger by calling him e.g. a troll. This kind of ‘support’ can hardly be called decent and customer-orientated.

Summarizing:

I don’t say Webroot SecureAnyWhere is a bad product, but it need much improvement.
I don’t say PR is condemnable, I just don’t like Webroot’s business practices.

Furthermore,

I don’t like the way they provide support.
I don’t like the way the customer is treated.
I don’t like it when a product with very bad detection rates and lots of false positives is praised into AV heaven, please keep in mind there are better AV’s.
Last but not least, I don’t like spam.

July 22, 2012 Posted by | Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Malware, Phishing | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

About the Smokey’s Choice Awards

Smokey's 2011-2012 Award

Like the Smokey’s Security Weblog Hall of Shame Awards, the Smokey’s Choice Award has the sole purpose to improve users experiences and interests. Where the intention of our “Hall of Shame” is to achieve a change of mind in positive way and improvements in behavior and procedures by the Awardees, the Smokey’s Choice Award will be granted to security (related) products that has proven to be the very best quality software available on the market. Issue ‘real security’ and ‘serious improvement’ should have highest attention of security vendors, this all in customer’s interest. The  Smokey’s Choice Award is our acknowledgement of products of outstanding quality and effectiveness, in this way we honor exceptionally well software development by some vendors which results in such top-notch products no matter it concerns free software or paid products.

All Smokey’s Choice Awarded software is thoroughly tested/reviewed, in the decision to provide a product with the Award we also include a judgment concerning the price of the software compared with the competition and what will be offered for the price. Only when we are fully convinced about quality, effectiveness and price / performance, a product will be granted the Smokey’s Choice Award. Hence we highly recommend all software provided with the Award.

Currently following products are provided with the Smokey’s Choice Award:

- avast! Mobile Security Android (recent test/review here)
- F-Secure Internet Security 2012
- MBAM – Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
- Symantec Norton Internet Security 2012
- VIPRE Internet Security 2012
- WinPatrol ‘Scotty’

Again our congratulations to all Awarded vendors!

Smokey

December 30, 2011 Posted by | Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Review avast! Mobile Security for Android phones

TEST ENVIRONMENT

Testing period: 2011-12-10 / 2011-12-24
Phone: Samsung Galaxy S Plus (SGS+) non-rooted and rooted
OS: Android Gingerbread 2.3.5

ABOUT THE APP

Avast! Mobile Security for Android phones is an full featured Anti-virus and Anti-Theft security application for Android phones. It can protect your phone against malicious apps, hackers, infected-URLs and thieves.

Operating Systems Supported

Android 2.1.x
Android 2.2.x
Android 2.3.x

Hardware Requirements

Any phone capable of running a supported system.

Security Features

Antivirus: Performs on-demand scans of all installed apps and memory card content, as well as on-access scans of apps upon first execution. Options for scheduling scans, virus definition updates, uninstalling apps, deleting files, or reporting a false-positive to our virus lab.

Privacy Report: Scans and displays (grid) access rights and intents of installed apps, identifying potential privacy risks, so you know how much info you are really providing to each app.

SMS/Call Filtering: Filter calls and/or messages from contact list using set parameters based on day(s) of the week, start time, and end time. Blocked calls redirect to voicemail, while blocked messages are stored via filter log. Also possible to block outgoing calls.

App Manager: Similar to Windows Task Manager, it shows a list of running apps and their size (MB), CPU load, used memory, and number of threads and services – with an option to stop or uninstall.

Web Shield: Part of the avast! WebRep cloud, the avast! Web Shield for Android scans each URL that loads and warns you if the browser loads a malware-infected URL.

Firewall: Add a firewall to stop hackers. Disable an app’s internet access when on WiFi and 3G and roaming mobile networks. (Works only on rooted phones.)

avast! Anti-Theft Module Features

App Disguiser: After downloading avast! Anti-Theft, user can choose a custom name that disguises the app (e.g. call it “Pinocchio game”) so that it is even harder for thieves to find and remove.

Stealth Mode: Once anti-theft is enabled, the app icon is hidden in the app tray, leaving no audio or other trace on the target phone – the app is ‘invisible’, making it difficult for thieves to detect or remove.

Self-Protection: Extremely difficult for thieves to remove (especially on rooted phones), Anti-Theft protects itself from uninstall by disguising its components with various self-preservation techniques. On rooted phones it is able to survive hard-resets and can even disable the phone’s USB port.

Battery Save: Anti-Theft only launches itself and runs when it needs to perform tasks. This preserves battery life and makes it very difficult for thieves to shut it down.

SIM-Card-Change Notification: If stolen and a different (unauthorized) SIM card inserted, the phone can lock, activate siren, and send you notification (to remote device) of the phone’s new number and geo-location.

Trusted SIM Cards List: Establish a ‘white list’ of approved SIM cards that can be used in the phone without triggering a theft alert. You can also easily clear the trusted SIM cards list, to leave the one present in the phone as the only trusted one.

Remote Settings Change: A setup wizard guides the user through the installation process on rooted phones by either writing directly or by generating an update file. No command-line knowledge is necessary to install Anti-Theft rooted. Also supports upgrading the app.

Anti-Theft SMS Remote Features

Remote Siren: Option to sound a loud siren, which returns always to maximum volume if thieves try to silence. This siren sound can also be customized (e.g. record own siren sound or select siren sound from file).

Remote Lock: To protect your data, phone can be locked remotely and then cannot be accessed again without entering the password specified by the user.

Lock Phone Settings Access: Enables remote locking of the phone’s App Manager and/or phone settings.

Remote Display: Remotely send a customized message to locked or non-locked phone display (e.g. with a reward for its return).

Remote Locate: Remotely locate phone via GPS, WiFi, or mobile network – for maximum accuracy. Can locate either once or continuously (GPS can be auto-enabled on all rooted phones or non-rooted phones from Android 1.6 to 2.2).

Remote Memory Wipe: Remotely trigger a full, permanent wipe of all phone data (e.g. contacts, call log, SMS/MMS, browser history, apps, email accounts), including reliable, physical wipe of all memory cards from Android 2.2 on (limited functionality on older versions).

Remote Calling: Remotely have the phone call you elsewhere with screen blackened, so that thieves cannot see it. This way you can listen to the phone’s surroundings.

Remote Forwarding: Remotely activate/deactivate option to forward or copy call data and/or SMS messages to another device. Call data goes to remote device, but not the call itself. SMS messages, however, are forwarded in their entirety (“CC” copies also to original device).

Remote “Lost” Notification: Remotely send a “Lost” command to trigger same actions as SIM card change (e.g. phone lock, siren, or USB lock). “Found” command deactivates “Lost” command.

Remote SMS Sending: Remotely trigger phone to send an SMS to another phone. That way, if you forget the phone somewhere, you can reply nonetheless to incoming calls or SMS messages.

Remote History: Query the call log, contacts, and SMS messages remotely (with each forwarded as a separate SMS message, but able to be filtered).

Remote Restart: Reboot the phone by SMS command, which will lock the phone by asking for the SIM’s PIN code. (Works only on rooted phones.)

Low Battery Notification: Phone is able to send low battery notification to a secondary device.

Remote Settings Change: All of the Anti-Theft settings can be changed remotely.

THE REVIEW

To receive full protection by the app your phone should be rooted: the build-in firewall only works with rooted phones, and the Anti-Theft module will only be hard reset proof also on a rooted phone. We all know the discussions why to root and why not, personally I will not advise anybody to do such. It will weaken your phone’s build-in security mechanism, violates the warranty and there is also the risk of bricking the device.

Personally I’m also opinion that serious (security orientated) companies like avast! shouldn’t suggest/advise their customers to root their device, regrettably avast! factually does. OTOH the application will only be able to show it’s full potential on a rooted phone, keep in mind that a mobile OS has it’s limitations hence a security program can  only protect the customer in the best imaginable way when the phone is rooted. Summarizing there’s a contradiction that can’t be solved in a satisfying way.

Before installing the app please consider the cons and pros of rooting, these are mentioned before. Consider also that the app (of course) also can be installed on non-rooted devices but such will limit the possibilities of the app. If your phone is already rooted there is nothing to consider, install the app and enjoy it’s great possibilities and very good protection against malware, hackers, infected URLs and thieves.

Installing

Is straight forward, download/install the app from Android Market. After installing you are able to download/install the Ant-Theft module. During install the app will request several times Superuser permissions, please grant all these requests. Anti-Theft module will also demand to allow downloading from unknown sources, you must enable this option in your phone. Don’t worry about all mentioned/demanded settings, during install the app and Anti-Theft module will do all the necessary concerning phone settings and permissions, just grant all requests and you have nothing to care about at all.

The Menu’s

Are clear, structure is well organized and leaves no room for misunderstandings. Main menu of the Mobile Security suite contains chapters Virus Scanner, Privacy Adviser, Application Management, Web Shield, SMS and Call Filter, Firewall, and finally access to the Anti-Theft module. At the moment you access this module for the first time setup is peace of cake, the module will point out demanded settings, after completing you are done.

Anti-Theft module

Is the best part of the Security suite, and highly sophisticated. It can lock and send notification to remote device of the phone’s new number and geo-location when there’s a SIM-Card change. App Disguiser and Stealth Mode to make the module invisible to thieves. Remotely phone control by sending SMS commands, the list of possible commands is huge. They can lock the device, erase content, activating a siren, aso aso, to much to mention. An automatic weekly check of the module is possible, the check can also be done manually. An issue of criticism: avast! should offer (e.g. on their site) a survey of all possible remote SMS commands, at the moment such is not available.

Malware Detection Rates

Around 79% (PCSL Mobility Security Product Test and Certificate For Android April 2012). Anti-virus can be updated automatically or manually.

Device Battery Impact

No notable battery impact: very low power consumption.

Price

Free. Despite the fact the Suited passed beta stage and is now Final, accordingly to the vendor they currently don’t plan to charge customers for it at all. It’s amazing this free product provides several useful and important features not offered by similar products of the competition, paid products included.

THE VERDICT

The Security Suite works flawlessly on my non-rooted as well rooted smartphone (SGS+), nevertheless the verdict must be separated into two parts: one part concerning the software installed on non-rooted phones, the other part on rooted devices.

Part 1: non-rooted phones.

On an ascendent rating scale of 1 to 5 I rate it with a 4. Reasons: no firewall, and Anti-Theft module not exercising it’s full potential (anti-theft hard reset protection). Hence on non-rooted phones I partially recommend avast! Mobile Security for Android, nevertheless the app offers decent protection.

Part 2: rooted devices.

On an ascendent rating scale of 1 to 5, I rate it with a 4,5.  An excellent Security Suite with tons of possibilities, everything is working just fine. An also very reliable Suite with a top-notch Anti-Theft module. I can recommend this Suite unconditionally to everybody with an already rooted Android device, despite the moderate malware detection rates to me it’s without any doubt the Best Android Security Suite there is. The overall exceptional good impression of the software on rooted phones and results of my tests is reason to provide avast! Mobile Security for Android phones on rooted phones with the  Smokey’s 2011/2012 Choice Award.

NOTES

- at the moment no web interface, vendor informed me this will change in the beginning of 2012.

LINKS

- avast! Mobile Security on Google play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.avast.android.mobilesecurity
- avast! Anti-Theft SMS commands overview: http://www.avast.com/en-us/free-mobile-security#commands
- avast! Mobile Security vendor site: http://www.avast.com/free-mobile-security
- avast! Support Forum: http://forum.avast.com/index.php?board=49.0
- PCSL Mobility Security Product Test and Certificate For Android April 2012: http://www.pcsecuritylabs.net/document/report/PCSL_Mobility_Security_Product_Test_and_Certificate_For_Android_201204_English.pdf

QR code Google play Avast! Mobile Security:

QR code avast! Anti-Theft SMS commands overview:

REVIEW UPDATES

2011-12-25: review supplemented.
2011-12-26: recommendations added.
2011-12-28: app beta status removed because in the meanwhile the Suite is now Final.
2011-12-28: vendor contacted me to discuss parts of the review. Vendor had some valid points hence I adjusted the review concerning these points. This is also the reason I adjusted the rating for the Suite on non-roooted phones: was a 3 on a rating scale from 1 -5, is now a 4.
2011-12-30: link to Anti-Theft SMS commands overview added.
2012-03-11: QR codes added.
2012-30-04: applied Malware Detection Rates from PCSL Mobility Security Product Test and Certificate for Android April 2012.
2012-05-01: Malware Detection Rates from PCSL Mobility Security Product Test and Certificate For Android April 2012 are reason to adjust the score for rooted devices, was a 5, is now a 4,5

2012-08-11: New major version avast! Mobile Security / Anti-Theft released, v2 in development stage: http://smokeys.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/new-major-version-of-the-avast-mobile-security-anti-theft-released-v2-in-development-stage-2/

- o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o -

Smokey's 2011-2012 Award
Note: Awarded is avast! Mobile Security for Android on *rooted* phones
Despite the Award I don’t encourage nor recommend to root phones

December 24, 2011 Posted by | Anti-Spyware, Phishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Norton 360 v5.1.0.29 (patch 5.1) released – ENGLISH ONLY

Symantec/Norton released Norton 360 v5.1.0.29 (patch 5.1). Note: the patch is currently available to ENGLISH users ONLY. Norton will release the patches in other regions soon. You can also receive the update by running LiveUpdate and download the update. A reboot will be required.

All downloads are originating directly from the Symantec/Norton servers, for security reasons I strongly advise only to download from these vendor servers.

Fixes and improvements patch 5.1

This patch contains many changes and fixes from the previous version. Some of these changes include:

- Added Firefox 4 Support
- Added New TidSrv detection & notification
- Improved Activation Process
- Corrected an issue where your product may report a loss of subscription days after upgrading from a previous version.
- Added performance improvements for IE 9 plugins.
- Fixed some Registry Cleaner hangs that may have previously occurred.
- Online Backup & Restore fixes for very large (> 4GB) files.
- Fixed compatibility issues with 3rd party software such as Corel Paint Shop Pro & Max SEA.

Downloadlinks full version / update / trial / Norton 360 v5.1.0.29 (patch 5.1)

- Norton 360 Standard edition English version 5.1: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/N360/US/2011/5.1/ESD/N360-ESD-18-6-0-29-EN.exe

- Norton 360 Premier edition English version 5.1: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/N360P/US/2011/5.1/ESD/N360-PREMIER-ESD-18-6-0-29-EN.exe

May 12, 2011 Posted by | Advisories, Alerts, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Downloads, Malware, Phishing, Vulnerabilities | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Norton Internet Security 2011 and Norton Antivirus 2011 v18.6.0.29 (patch 18.6) released – ENGLISH ONLY

UPDATE May 12, 2011: Norton 360 v5.1.0.29 (patch 5.1) released – ENGLISH ONLY

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

Symantec/Norton released v18.6.0.29 (patch 18.6) Norton Internet Security 2011, Norton Antivirus 2011 and Norton Internet Security Netbook Edition 2011.  Note: the patch is currently available to ENGLISH users ONLY. Symantec/Norton will release the patches in other regions soon. You can also receive the update by running LiveUpdate and download the update. A reboot will be required.

The new NIS/NAV/NIS Netbook Edition 2011 v18.6.0.29 as offered for download in this blog can be installed over the top of existent version (18.5.0.125), the update will not deliver any problem, all previous 2011 settings will remain unaltered after the update. The update will be accomplished within 1 minute, reboot is required. All downloads are originating directly from the Symantec/Norton servers, for security reasons I strongly advise only to download from these vendor servers.

Fixes and improvements patch 18.6

- Added Firefox 4 Support
- Added New TidSrv detection & notification
- Improved Activation Process
- Corrected an issue where your product may report a loss of subscription days after upgrading from a previous version.
- Added performance improvements for IE 9 plugins.
- Fixed compatibility issues with 3rd party software such as Coral Paint Shop Pro & Max SEA.

This patch also contains fixes from previous patch 18.5. Some of those changes included:

- Fixed an issue where Norton Insight might falsely report 0% trusted when Performance Monitoring was disabled.
- Fixed an issue with the Activity Map might not update when Smart Definitions are enabled.
- Improved instances where the Norton AntiSpam Toolbar might be erroneously disabled (or “grayed out”) in Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Outlook 2010.
- Corrected an issue where “Custom UI Runtime Error in Norton AntiSpam Outlook Plugin” might display when using Microsoft Outlook.
- Fixed an issue where the option to “run” an executable was missing from a File Insight/Download Insight window.
- Corrected an issue where Idle Full System Scans would show report inconsistent amounts of Scanned Files.
- Fixed an issue where Full System Scans would not run continuously, including when the machine is left idle.
- Fixed an issue where the Norton Product may display “Subscription Expired” after updating from a previous version.
- Fixed Internet Explorer crashes that were due to Intrusion Prevention.
- Performance Enhancements were made on the Norton Toolbar for Internet Explorer 9 Beta.
- Enhanced Settings migration when updating from an older version.
- Usability and Performance improvements to the support experience.
- Added better Norton AntiSpam support for Microsoft Outlook configured with multiple accounts.
- Corrected a few instances of 8504 errors that may appear when the Norton product is launched.
- Fixed a Registry Leak issue that may occur during shutdown.

Downloadlinks full version / update / trial / Norton Internet Security 2011, Norton Antivirus 2011 and NIS Netbook Edition v18.6.0.29 (patch 18.6)

- Norton Antivirus 2011 English version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NAV/US/2011/18.6/ESD/NAV-ESD-18-6-0-29-EN.exe

- Norton Internet Security 2011 English version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NIS/US/2011/18.6/ESD/NIS-ESD-18-6-0-29-EN.exe

- Norton Internet Security Netbook Edition 2011 English version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NISNE/US/2011/18.6/ESD/NIS-NETBOOK-ESD-18-6-0-29-EN.exe

May 9, 2011 Posted by | Advisories, Alerts, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Downloads, Malware, Phishing, Vulnerabilities | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

[HOW TO] Block All Location Records Stored on your iPhone – Protect your Privacy

In the meanwhile we all know (anyway, it’s big in the news) Apple seriously abuse your privacy rights by collecting location data on every Apple iPhone and iPad running on iOS 4.x, including GPS longitude and latitude coordinates along with the timestamp, and regularly transmits that data to itself via nearby Wi-Fi networks. To perfect their condemnable spy system, information gets copied to your computer as a part of iTunes sync, it will be synched with the Apple server every time you sync the involved consolidated.db file.

There’s a way to stop Apple’s spying efforts, according to IT Central Blog, I will quote them:

You can block all location records stored on your iPhone by using a new jailbreak tweak available in Cydia. The name of this tweak is Location Blocker. After you have installed this tweak on your jailbroken iPhone it will allow you to block locations from storing any information about cell location, your past locations, and WiFi location. Simply follow the steps posted below to install this tweak on your iPhone.

How to Install Location Blocker on iPhone

STEP 1. First you have to start Cydia.
STEP 2. Now you have to go to Manage – > Sources -> Edit -> Add the following URL source: http://cydia.pushfix.info/
STEP 3. Now simply click on “Add Source”.
STEP 4. Tap on Done and then tap on the Added Source after the Source is verified and updated.
STEP 5. Now search for Locationd Blocker.
STEP 6. Now simply tap on Install button to install Locationd Blocker.
STEP 7. Tap on Confirm button to complete the installation.

Thanks IT Central Blog for this How-To!

Keep in mind you will need to have jailbroken iPhone to install this tweak, how-to’s are mentioned here.

There is another tweak available to stop Apple from tracking you: ‘Untrackered’. Difference between Untrackerd and Location Blocker: Location Blocker tweak removes all location information while Untrackerd tweak runs in the background and doesn’t remove all location information. Location Blocker not only delete the past data but also block iPhone to record data going forward.

If you want to use Untrackered instead of Location Blocker, Untracker How-To here.

If you don’t have a jailbroken iPhone or iPad, the best you can do is encrypt your backups when you sync with iTunes.

Keep in mind, by jailbreaking your device you are at a higher risk of installing something that may be risky.

Article sources: IT Central Blog, Solid Blogger, Genius Geeks, BBR/DSLReports, Business Insider

April 23, 2011 Posted by | Anti-Spyware | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Norton Internet Security 2011 and Norton Antivirus 2011 v18.5.0.125 (patch 18.5) released

UPDATE May 9, 2011: Norton Internet Security 2011, Norton Antivirus 2011 and Norton Internet Security Netbook Edition 2011 v18.6.0.29 (patch 18.6) released – ENGLISH ONLY

UPDATE May 12, 2011: Norton 360 v5.1.0.29 (patch 5.1) released – ENGLISH ONLY

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Symantec/Norton released v18.5.0.125 (patch 18.5) Norton Internet Security 2011, Norton Antivirus 2011 and Norton Internet Security Netbook Edition 2011 (Stable/Official Release).

Like before, I installed the new NIS 2011 v18.5.0.125 over the top of my existent version (18.1.0.37), also this time the update was no problem, all previous 2011 settings remained unaltered after the update. The update was accomplished within 1 minute, reboot was required.

Note: all downloads are originating directly from the Symantec/Norton servers, for security reasons I strongly advise only to download from these vendor servers.

Fixes and improvements

- Fixed an issue where Norton Insight might falsely report 0% trusted when Performance Monitoring was disabled.
- Fixed an issue with the Activity Map might not update when Smart Definitions are enabled.
- Improved instances where the Norton AntiSpam Toolbar might be erroneously disabled (or “grayed out”) in Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Outlook 2010.
- Corrected an issue where “Custom UI Runtime Error in Norton AntiSpam Outlook Plugin” might display when using Microsoft Outlook.
- Fixed an issue where the option to “run” an executable was missing from a File Insight/Download Insight window.
- Corrected an issue where Idle Full System Scans would show report inconsistent amounts of Scanned Files.
- Fixed an issue where Full System Scans would not run continuously, including when the machine is left idle.
- Fixed an issue where the Norton Product may display “Subscription Expired” after updating from a previous version.
- Fixed Internet Explorer crashes that were due to Intrusion Prevention.
- Performance Enhancements were made on the Norton Toolbar for Internet Explorer 9 Beta.
- Enhanced Settings migration when updating from an older version.
- Usability and Performance improvements to the support experience.
- Added better Norton AntiSpam support for Microsoft Outlook configured with multiple accounts.
- Corrected a few instances of 8504 errors that may appear when the Norton product is launched.
- Fixed a Registry Leak issue that may occur during shutdown.

Important Symantec Corporation Statement

The issues that some users were experiencing where the Norton product would lock up after installing the 18.5 update was due to a definition that was applied after 18.5 was installed. Symantec have since corrected that definition and the issue will not occur.

Downloadlinks full version / update / trial / Norton Internet Security 2011 and Norton Antivirus 2011 v18.5.0.125 (patch 18.5)

- Norton Antivirus 2011 English version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NAV/US/2011/18.5/ESD/NAV-ESD-18-5-0-125-EN.exe

- Norton Internet Security 2011 English version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NIS/US/2011/18.5/ESD/NIS-ESD-18-5-0-125-EN.exe

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- Norton Antivirus 2011 French version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NAV/FR/2011/18.5/ESD/NAV-TW-30-18-5-0-125-FR.exe

- Norton Internet Security 2011 French version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NIS/FR/2011/18.5/ESD/NIS-TW-30-18-5-0-125-FR.exe

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- Norton Antivirus 2011 German version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NAV/GE/2011/18.5/ESD/NAV-TW-30-18-5-0-125-GE.exe

- Norton Internet Security 2011 German version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NIS/GE/2011/18.5/ESD/NIS-TW-30-18-5-0-125-GE.exe

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- Norton Antivirus 2011 Dutch version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NAV/NL/2011/18.5/ESD/NAV-TW-30-18-5-0-125-NL.exe

- Norton Internet Security 2011 Dutch version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NIS/NL/2011/18.5/ESD/NIS-TW-30-18-5-0-125-NL.exe

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Downloadlinks full version / update / trial / Norton Internet Security Netbook Edition 2011 v18.5.0.125 (patch 18.5)

- Norton Internet Security Netbook Edition 2011 English version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NISNE/US/2011/18.5/ESD/NIS-NETBOOK-ESD-18-5-0-125-EN.exe

December 29, 2010 Posted by | Advisories, Alerts, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Bundleware, Downloads, Malware, Phishing, Recommended External Security Related Links, Toolbarware, Vulnerabilities | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

PCWorld Labs / AV-Test.org tested 13 security suites

Intro by PCLabs

It’s no longer enough for antivirus software to scan files on your PC. You need someone looking over your shoulder and telling you whether it’s safe to click that link; whether the popup for that software update is legitimate; and whether that download from your favorite social network is actually a tool created by organized criminals for stealing your personal information. You need an all-in-one Internet security suite capable of identifying, blocking, and cleaning up after a wide array of malware.

We examined 13 security suites for this story. To handle our expanded Internet security testing, PCWorld contracted for the services of AV-Test.org, a respected security testing company. We looked at traditional signature-based detection (which indicates how well products can block known malware) and at how well the suites cleaned infections and blocked brand-new, live malware attacks.

In many respects, the suites we looked at produced closely bunched results, but they did vary in the efficacy of their protection and in the extra features they offered. Ultimately, we picked Symantec’s Norton Internet Security 2011–the most balanced of the suites–as our overall winner.

Source / full tests: http://www.pcworld.com/article/214618/battle_of_the_security_superpowers.html

Tested Security Suites

  • Symantec Norton Internet Security 2011
  • Kaspersky Internet Security 2011
  • BitDefender Internet Security 2011
  • PC Tools Internet Security 2011
  • G-Data Internet Security 2011
  • F-Secure Internet Security 2011
  • Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2011
  • Panda Internet Security 2011
  • Eset Smart Security 4.2
  • Avira AntiVir Premium Security Suite
  • Comodo Internet Security 2011 Complete
  • McAfee Internet Security 2011
  • Webroot Internet Security Essentials 2011
  • December 28, 2010 Posted by | Advisories, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Bundleware, Malware, Phishing, Recommended External Security Related Links, Toolbarware | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Top-notch F-Secure Anti-Virus 2011 [1-PC, 1-Year] for FREE

    Information provided by the vendor:

    F-Secure Anti-Virus 2011 protects your privacy online.

    Fast and easy so you get more out of your computer while staying protected.Fast and easy so you get more out of your computer while staying protected.

    Viruses and spyware don’t always ask for your permission before they install themselves on your computer. Most of today’s malware is delivered silently, via the Web. F-Secure® Anti-Virus™ 2011 is must-have protection, making sure that your system is safe.

    This is what you get:

  • Total protection against viruses and spyware
  • Easy to install and use
  • Instant Protection against new threats
  • Grab this great free offer asap, F-Secure Anti-Virus 2011 is a top-notch AV product.

    How to obtain the free 1 year license

    Visit the facebook promotion page (mentioned below), click “Like” (“Gefällt Mir”) at the right hand top and then enter your name and email address.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bjoerns-Windows-Blog/212088222911?v=app_123121377739575]http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bjoerns-Windows-Blog/212088222911?v=app_123121377739575

    Keep in mind, a facebook account is required to obtain the free license.

    September 26, 2010 Posted by | Anti-Spyware, Malware, Phishing, Recommended External Security Related Links, Toolbarware, Vulnerabilities | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Norton Internet Security 2011 and Norton Antivirus 2011 (Final RTM) released

    UPDATE Dec. 29, 2010: v18.5.0.125 (patch 18.5) Norton Internet Security 2011, Norton Antivirus 2011 and  Norton Internet Security Netbook Edition 2011 released; release info, fixes/improvements and downloads here:http://smokeys.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/norton-internet-security-2011-and-norton-antivirus-2011-v18-5-0-125-patch-18-5-released/

    UPDATE May 9, 2011: Norton Internet Security 2011, Norton Antivirus 2011 and Norton Internet Security Netbook Edition 2011 v18.6.0.29 (patch 18.6) released – ENGLISH ONLY

    UPDATE May 12, 2011: Norton 360 v5.1.0.29 (patch 5.1) released – ENGLISH ONLY

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    Aug. 28, 2010

    Symantec offered today via their download servers Norton Internet Security 2011 and Norton Antivirus 2011 v18.1.0.37 Final RTM. Like I wrote before regarding NIS 2009, same positive words are (even more!) valid for today’s released Norton 2011 AV products: “without any hesitation I highly recommend Norton Internet Security 2011 to all people looking for a top-notch, reliable, easy to use all-in-one security suite.” Of course I also highly recommend NAV 2011: like NIS, great product for an acceptable price.

    I installed NIS 2011 on top of my NIS 2010 , the upgrade was no problem, all previous 2010 settings remained unaltered after the upgrade. The upgrade was accomplished within 1 minute, reboot was required.

    Full version / Upgrade / Trial download links NIS/NAV 2011 Final RTM 18.1.0.37 versions

    - Norton Antivirus 2011 English version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NAV/US/2011/18.1/ESD/NAV-TW-30-18-1-0-37-EN.exe

    - Norton Internet Security 2011 English version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NIS/US/2011/18.1/ESD/NIS-TW-30-18-1-0-37-EN.exe

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    - Norton Antivirus 2011 French version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NAV/FR/2011/18.1/ESD/NAV-TW-30-18-1-0-37-FR.exe

    - Norton Internet Security 2011 French version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NIS/FR/2011/18.1/ESD/NIS-TW-30-18-1-0-37-FR.exe

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    - Norton Antivirus 2011 German version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NAV/GE/2011/18.1/ESD/NAV-TW-30-18-1-0-37-GE.exe

    - Norton Internet Security 2011 German version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NIS/GE/2011/18.1/ESD/NIS-TW-30-18-1-0-37-GE.exe

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    - Norton Antivirus 2011 Dutch version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NAV/NL/2011/18.1/ESD/NAV-TW-30-18-1-0-37-NL.exe

    - Norton Internet Security 2011 Dutch version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NIS/NL/2011/18.1/ESD/NIS-TW-30-18-1-0-37-NL.exe

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    Full version / Upgrade / Trial download links Norton Internet Security Netbook Edition 2011 Final RTM 18.1.0.37, English and German versions

    - Norton Internet Security Netbook Edition 2011 English version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NISNE/US/2011/18.1/ESD/NIS-NETBOOK-ESD-18-1-0-37-EN.exe

    - Norton Internet Security Netbook Edition 2011 German version: http://buy-download.norton.com/downloads/CLT/NISNE/GE/2011/18.1/ESD/NIS-NETBOOK-ESD-18-1-0-37-GE.exe

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    Reviews, tests and awards NIS 2011 and NAV 2011

    - PCMag review Norton AntiVirus 2011: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2368764,00.asp
    - PCMag review Norton Internet Security 2011: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2368876,00.asp
    - CNet review Norton AntiVirus 2011: http://download.cnet.com/Norton-AntiVirus-2011/3000-2239_4-10592477.html
    - CNet review Norton Internet Security 2011: http://download.cnet.com/Norton-Internet-Security-2011/3000-18510_4-10592551.html
    - AV-Comparatives Award Best Anti-Virus Product of 2009: Symantec/Norton
    - PCWorld/AV-Test.org review Norton Internet Security 2011: http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,214625/article.html
    - Chip Online review Norton Internet Security 2011 (German language): http://www.chip.de/downloads/Norton-Internet-Security-2011_16463672.html

    August 28, 2010 Posted by | Advisories, Alerts, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Downloads, Malware, Phishing, Recommended External Security Related Links, Toolbarware, Vulnerabilities | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

    AQMRB – Alliance of Qualified Malware Removal Boards™

    I am really pleased to announce that a new Security Alliance is born: AQMRB – Alliance of Qualified Malware Removal Boards™.

    Aim of the Alliance is, to provide the user searching for malware remove help with the best available and fully qualified services to remove malicious content from his PC, this all free of charge. Only boards that satisfy an extensive list with demanded qualifications/demands can apply for AQMRB membership, all applications will be thoroughly reviewed and evaluated, this with the aim that only fully qualified boards can join the Alliance.

    About AQMRB

    AQMRB is an Alliance of fully qualified Malware Removal Boards.

    AQMRB main aim is to serve customers searching and asking for malware removal help in the best possible way.

    AQMRB guarantee free professional malware removal help to non-commercial users.

    AQMRB boards offer malware removal help solely provided by staff that are trained and graduated at acknowledged malware removal schools/universities.

    AQMRB is a non-profit, volunteer network of independent Malware Removal Boards, and is not affiliated with any organisation.

    General Info

    More info about the Alliance can be found here: AQMRB
    Boards that have the intention to join the Alliance are invited to look at the home page of AQMRB for demanded qualifications.

    On behalf of AQMRB,

    Smokey, Founder

    July 18, 2010 Posted by | Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Bundleware, Malware, News, Phishing, Recommended External Security Related Links, Toolbarware | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Smokey’s Security Forums offer now OTL (OldTimer ListIt) Log Analysis Help and Support in English, German and Spanish language

    Smokey’s Security Forums is pleased to announce that the board offer now free OTL (OldTimer ListIt) Log Analysis Help and Support Services in English, German and Spanish language. Board visitors with native language English, German or Spanish will now be helped in preferred language, the board have analysers speaking and writing all mentioned languages fluently.

    Like before, all malware removal help & support services on Smokey’s are free. To board guests it is also possible to offer their logs.

    Our current OTL (OldTimer ListIt) Log Analysis Help and Support Forums Survey:

    * English speaking visitors are welcome to post their OTL log here: OTL Log Analysis – Malware, Adware and Popup Removal – Alureon TDSS TDL3 Rootkit Removal Help – System Cleaning

    * Spanish speaking visitors are invited to post logs here: Análisis de registros utilizando OTL – Eliminación de Programas Maliciosos, Programas de Mercadeo y Popups & Limpieza del Sistema Operacional – Ayuda Malware Infeción Rootkit TDSS TDL3

    * German speaking visitors can post their OTL logs here: OTL Log Analyse – Malware/Schädlingen und Adware Entfernung – Popup Bekämpfung – TDSS TDL3 Rootkit Beseitigung

    Smokey’s wish everyone Happy Surfing!

    June 5, 2010 Posted by | Advisories, Alerts, Anti-Spyware, Bundleware, Recommended External Security Related Links, Toolbarware | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    FREE Commercial- and Good Deal Software on Smokey’s Security Forums

    Smokey’s Security Forums have started a new project: Freebies and Good Deal Software. The board have therefore now a new section, divided into 2 sub-forums:

    - Freebies and Good Deals, regarding Security software
    - Freebies and Good Deals, regarding Common Software

    Leader of this new section is Chubb, he will do all the necessary to keep the 2 forums up-to-date. His opinion regarding this kind of software:

    Security solution is an important part of our life. Freebies or discounts can encourage people to try different products and choose their own security solution. Some inexperienced users simply surf unsafely and are facing high risk. Freebies can sometimes help them learn more on using security products. It also helps to combat software piracy.

    We advise to visit these 2 forums every day, to check on the existence of new Freebies and/or Good Deals.

    Happy computing and safe surfing, :)

    Smokey

    February 7, 2010 Posted by | Advisories, Alerts, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Downloads, News, Recommended External Security Related Links | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Zango crapware is back: pushing somebody else’s popular software and bundling crap with it

    Sunbelt Blog | January 29, 2010

    Here’s something they don’t teach in marketing 101: If you’re pushing software that no one wants — like, say, annoying adware — and your downloads are going nowhere, what do you do?

    Answer: you push somebody else’s popular software AND BUNDLE YOUR CRAP WITH IT!

    Remember Zango? It was that irritating adware company that spent years and a million weasel words trying to make its operation seem legitimate. It was fined $3 million in 2006 by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and it unsuccessfully sued anti-virus vendor Kaspersky in Federal Court in 2007 for calling the Zango malcode “malcode?” After several years of sagging revenue amidst a larger collapse of the adware industry, the company finally folded and sold its assets at fire sale prices last April.

    The buyer, Pinball Publisher Network, is still distributing Zango and sadly enough it still offers users nothing of any value, which is why PPN offers Open Office, 7-Zip and Firefox bundled with it. PPN and its affiliates are simply trying to piggyback on those programs and in the process, leech from their value and good name.

    Here’s what its fans get:

    “Hotbar’s toolbar for IE, Outlook/Outlook Express and Word provides FREE access to premium content including weather, paid for by advertising. Based on keywords generated by your browsing, Hotbar shows ads in a separate browser window or a temporary Slider, and toolbar search suggestions. ShopperReports provides comparison shopping offers in a Sidebar. Both run continuously and update automatically. Uninstall easily via Add/Remove Programs.”

    Thanks Sunbelt for informing us! My advice: stay far away from this Zango crapware, same is valid for Pinball Publisher Network. Don’t get be spammed with PPN’s crap…

    Informative wikipedia article regarding the Zango crap: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zango_(company)

    January 30, 2010 Posted by | Advisories, Alerts, Anti-Spyware, Malware, Recommended External Security Related Links, Toolbarware | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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