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: https://smokeys.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/review-avast-mobile-security-for-android-phones/
– About the Smokey’s Choice Awards: https://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

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

– o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o -o –

– 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

– o – o – o – o – o – o – o – o -o –

– 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, Norton Internet Security, 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, Norton Internet Security, 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:https://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

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

    – 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

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

    – 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

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

    – 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

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

    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

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

    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, Norton Internet Security, 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

    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

    Smokey’s Security Forums now on ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’

    To keep up with technology and as additional service to the community, from now on you can keep up with the latest posted and/or reproduced on Smokey’s Security Forums on Facebook and Twitter.

    Smokey’s on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Smokeys-Security-Forums/151174745864
    Smokey’s on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SmokeysSecurity

    New content will be added regularly.
    Feel free to ‘Become a Fan’ or to ‘Follow’.  🙂

    August 15, 2009 Posted by | Advisories, Alerts, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Bundleware, Friends, Malware, Phishing, Recommended External Security Related Links, Toolbarware, Vulnerabilities | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Profound Malwarebytes’ (MBAM) Anti-Malware Scanner Review

    Test organization: Softpedia | Ionut Ilascu, Editor, Software Reviews
    Date: 2nd of June 2009
    Version reviewed: Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware 1.37

    Program description

    Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware is a full-blown anti-malware program that can be considered the next step in the detection and removal of malware. It uses a new technology that was especially designed to quickly detect, deter and destroy any malware that could reside in your computer.

    Features

    – Malware scanner
    – Malware remover
    – File unlocker
    – Threat quarantine
    – Quick and full system scan
    – Ignore list
    – Logging

    The test results

    The Good

    Easy installation, fast scans, daily updates, detects what other security software misses, ease of use, light footprint on system resources and it can be used free of charge; these are the very attributes of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware.

    The application can cohabit with other anti-malware products, thus adding another layer of defense against threats. Although there is a paid version that includes real-time protection, the free one does not prevent the user from removing the nasties.

    The Bad

    Its database contains signatures mostly for threats that evade most of the security products on the market, so it cannot yet be used as the only protection for the system.

    The FileASSASSIN tool has not quite reached full maturity and has yet to learn to unlock files before removing them. In our testing Unlocker did a better job.

    The interface should be improved aesthetically given the trends soon to be set by the upcoming Windows 7 and even the current Vista.

    The Truth

    One seldom meets an application that can do what others can’t. In our case Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware proved that it could discover what others missed. It does not provide the most complete signature database and it may not protect against the largest pool of malware, but it works great as a “wingman” for the security app you decide to use. Thus is enforces better protection and keeps you safe from some of the less known threats on the market.

    You can try it for free and scan the system from time to time using the quick option to scan for the most common types of malware. It won’t take long and system resources will be used responsibly.

    Extended/full review: Softpedia

    June 2, 2009 Posted by | Advisories, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Bundleware, Downloads, Friends, Malware, Phishing, Recommended External Security Related Links, Toolbarware | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

    AV-Comparatives Review DefenseWall HIPS: 100% Detection Score

    Past week the acknowledged testing organization AV-Comparatives published a comprehensive DefenseWall HIPS test/review.
    The program is the most important product of SoftSphere Technologies, a company primarily active in the field of information security and its mission is to develop reliable means of protection against existing and future threats, such as viruses, spyware or rootkits.

    AV-Comparatives tested the software on 100 current Malware Samples (Adware, Spyware, Viruses, Trojan Horses, Backdoors, etc.) that were not detected by other major Anti-Virus products at time of testing. All the samples were detected or executed as being untrusted or without compromising the system. Excellent test result: a protection rate of 100%!

    My congratulations to SoftSphere Technologies, this result underline again that DefenseWall HIPS is a top-notch Host Intrusion Prevention System.

    Please keep in mind that the software should be regarded as being a supplement to an Anti-Virus product and not as a replacement.

    The full review is available in English and German language.

    Links:

    AV-Comparatives Softsphere DefenseWall HIPS Review
    SoftSphere Homepage
    SoftSphere Technologies Support Forums

    May 29, 2009 Posted by | Advisories, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Malware, News, Recommended External Security Related Links, Toolbarware | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

    [UPDATED] Comodo Software Removed from Softpedia due to Adware/Spyware issues with CIS

    Kudos to Softpedia! After reading their statement concerning Comodo Software, I can only tell Softpedia from this place: you have my full support. Pre-ticked boxes that will provide the user with crapware (adware/spyware) during the install of software is simply not done. It is sneeky behavior. Even worse, CIS – Comodo Internet Security install third-party software (SafeSurf), irrelevant to the main product’s functionality, without leaving room for option. Very indecent, especially because CIS is security software. This kind of software should protect the user, not to fool them with premeditation.

    Softpedia article:

    Stefan Fintea, Software News Editor
    28th of April 2009

    As all our regular users know, programs awarded by Softpedia with the 100% Clean and 100% Free awards have been thoroughly checked by our team of editors and passed several tests. Aside from the fact that all programs on Softpedia are scanned with world-renowned security products, all awarded programs are installed by our team and checked for any spyware or adware components.

    We make sure the program doesn’t fall under any of the six cases mentioned on our adware definition page. Please be advised that this definition is our creation and has not been “borrowed” from an online or offline source. It was created by our team of specialists to ensure that it covers all cases that may result in the legitimate dissatisfaction of our users. Therefore, if we find adware in a program it will be listed accordingly, regardless of the license it’s listed under on the producer’s website.If the application has been found free of viruses/spyware and neither the installation process nor runtime experience reveal any unpleasant surprises, the program receives the 100% Clean award or, if it’s free for both personal and commercial use, the 100% Free award.A program will not receive any award (or even be published on Softpedia) if it’s impossible to successfully pass through all of the above steps. But if it is possible, as you can see, the rules are very strict and no exception will ever be made. If a program fails to pass the adware test, it will be immediately marked as Adware, regardless of its popularity, developer or current user rating on Softpedia.Now that we’ve cleared this up, you might be asking yourselves ‘OK, but what does this have to do with Comodo?” Well, if you had searched Softpedia for Comodo in the past week, you would have surely noticed that the company’s flagship programs were no longer listed on Softpedia.This was not our decision, of course, but let’s start with the beginning.On April, 15th, Softpedia received an official cease and desist letter from the Comodo legal team requesting us to “discontinue all references on Softpedia identifying CIS as adware” within seven days, because Comodo Internet Security is not adware.The first thing we did was, of course, to double-check the license, but, as we’ve tried explaining to the Comodo team, CIS is indeed adware.Why? Well, for starters, because the installer attempts to change both the browser’s homepage and search engine. As if that wasn’t a good enough reason, the setup also offers to install SafeSurf. Here’s what the official Comodo letter states: “SafeSurf is optional and does not display unsolicited advertisements on a user’s computer, nor does it hijack browser settings or perform search overriding or home page changing without the user’s consent.” Aside from the fact that SafeSurf is a component that the program (CIS) does not require to fully function, therefore it alone would be a good reason to mark CIS as adware, this utility also installs Ask Toolbar without asking for the user’s permission. This type of behavior is clearly not the one described in the Comodo email and could be easily classified as spyware (since adware would imply prior user consent).

    Update: It was brought to our attention that users installing SafeSurf are informed in the utility’s EULA regarding the inclusion of Ask.com software in their browser. Informing the user that third-party software irrelevant to the main product’s functionality will be installed without leaving room for option is not, by far, normal behavior. That would practically imply that producers can force users into installing any third-party software or changing their homepage or search engine and get away with it, because a notification was made in the EULA. Furthermore, the graphic provided in the setup window is clearly deceiving as it does not show the Ask.com toolbar that is installed along SafeSurf.

    Well said Softpedia, I have nothing to add.

    Interesting read: “Current Practices of IAC/Ask.com Toolbars by Benjamin Edelman”

    Softpedia invite you to provide their article with your opinion here.

    Update, 3th of January 2009

    This is interesting: by coincidence I noticed today that Softpedia removed their article regarding CIS (Comodo Internet Security) and also all comments on it. We can only guess for the why of this Softpedia trash action, but I don’t like this  suprising hide action at all…

    I traced reactions of the Softpedia community on the trash action: http://board.softpedia.com/index.php?showtopic=10428

    Interesting comment of one of these people, he wrote in bold so it seem he is not happy at all with the Softpedia ‘we-didn’t-wrote-anything-action’:

    “Why did Softpedia remove all the pages, dedicated to this topic? I know that Comodo IS has been re-listed again on Softpedia, but all the articles ARE to be and should have been archived, but NOT simply deleted – the way Softpedia did.
    Now I can’t comprehend whether the information and conclusions, issued by Softpedia’s staff can be trusted or, may be, that is a way of blackmailing software developers? I still don’t understand why all the articles with negative claims towards Comodo were removed from Softpedia. It’s abnormal – Softpedia has outraged our rights for information. Would be grateful for explanation from the Softpedia’s representatives.”

    FWIW, a recent post on DSLR attented me again on the issue Comodo/Softpedia, thanks folks for waking me up!

    Additional Update, 3th of January 2009

    Here the opinion of loyal Comodo Trooper Endymion on the issue, posted May 06, 2009 in the Comodo forum:

    “How nice for softpedia to withdraw some far-fetched claims. (ATM it should be still possible to read the previous revision form google cache before it will be wiped out.) Guess they still forgot to mention that there are other criteria for adware other than the ones which Softpedia Awards are based on and likewise that eventual FPs about legitimate toobars are usually corrected by many AV vendors.Nevertheless they made at least an attempt to remove some mistakes.”

    and Comodo Chief Melih’s reaction on it:

    “That was after our 2nd legal letter we sent this week!We asked them to remove all the statements that were defamatory. They seem to have a habit of changing stuff without explanation. Its very underhanded to change stuff and pretend that it didn’t exist and without explaining why they changed it.”

    A certain darkwraith007 provide the Comodo community subsequent with his POV:

    “[at] Comodo Devs:You have lost my respect. Be glad that your product comes without a monetary cost. I may still be needing to use it if only until Steve Gibson finishes his firewall (whenever that is) and it gets put to the test. Hopefully it’ll be free, but that’s doubtful.I can’t believe there’s so much back and forth between the meaning of this word and that word and so forth.PEOPLE DO NOT WANT THE ASK.COM TOOLBAR OR OTHER CHANGED BROWSER SETTINGS, DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?I hope you all can understand that and repair the reputation you have tarnished among your users. I miss the days of the Kerio Personal Firewall…now its a paid product. >_>If you respond to crticism of your product by sending legal letters, then perhaps I’m not wanted here.”

    Stay tuned!

    April 30, 2009 Posted by | Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Bundleware, Downloads, Friends, Malware, News, Recommended External Security Related Links, Toolbarware | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Official Jetico Inc. Support Forums have new URLs

    Like you have read here, I have migrated my board Smokey’s Security Forums to SMF – Simple Machines Forum baord software.

    For technical reasons it wasn’t possible to use the URLs of the “old” board anymore, so all forums on my board have new ones.

    – Index Smokey’s Security Forums: http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums

    – HijackThis & OTListIt2 Log Analysis and Malware Hunting, Removal & Cleaning (English language): http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums/index.php/board,5.0.html and in German – Deutsch language: http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums/index.php/board,205.0.html

    Concerning the Official Jetico Inc. Support Forums please update these bookmarks also:

    – Jetico Personal Firewall v2 Support Forum: http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums/index.php/board,51.0.html
    – Jetico Personal Firewall v2 Knowledge Base: http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums/index.php/board,60.0.html
    – Jetico Personal Firewall v2 Bug Reports: http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums/index.php/board,63.0.html

    – Jetico Personal Firewall v1 Support Forum: http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums/index.php/board,52.0.html

    – Jetico BestCrypt for Windows Support Forum: http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums/index.php/board,70.0.html
    – Jetico BestCrypt for Linux Support Forum: http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums/index.php/board,152.0.html
    – Jetico BCVE BestCrypt Volume Encryption Support Forum: http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums/index.php/board,75.0.html

    – Jetico BCArchive Support Forum: http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums/index.php/board,73.0.html

    – Jetico BCWipe for Windows Support Forum: http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums/index.php/board,138.0.html
    – Jetico BCWipe for UNIX Support Forum: http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums/index.php/board,153.0.html

    Support, Help and advice will only be provided to registered board members.
    You are invited to register (for free) here.

    Regards,

    Smokey

    April 7, 2009 Posted by | Advisories, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Bundleware, Downloads, Friends, News, Phishing, Recommended External Security Related Links, Toolbarware, Vulnerabilities | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Safe Computing and Preventing Malware Infections

    The current outbreak of the polymorphic worm Downadup, aka Conficker and Kido, and all its variants make very clear that many users don’t act in a responsable and secure way. After all, at the moment 9 (nine) million PCs are contaminated by that worm for reason of a missing Microsoft Security Update for Windows (KB958644). At the same time numerous users don’t posses safe computing and surfing habits, ignore standard precautions, haven’t the slightest idea how to prevent malware and in case they have a PC contaminated by malware they are trying to clean the PC by themselves or by self-declared “security experts”. Keep in mind that malware cleaning/removal isn’t a job for amateurs, it is a dedicated job for well trained and full qualified malware hunters.

    Safe computing/surfing and preventing malware is a matter of education. Only well educated users have the reasonable possibilty to remain “clean”. The sole aim of me and my staff on Smokey’s Security Forums is to fulfill this aim by providing the user for free with Education, Support, Help and Advice, and in case the PC of the user is infected by malware to offer malware cleaning/removal by real security experts: comprehensive trained, full qualified HJT/OTListIt2 Analysers/Malware Hunters.

    Some basic rules for safe computing, related links at the end of this post:

    – Activate the automatic update function in Windows. Always accept and install all updates offered by Microsoft.
    – If you don’t like automatic updates, consider to use the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA). MBSA is an easy to use free tool that helps individuals, small and medium businesses to determine their security state in accordance with Microsoft security recommendations and offers specific remediation guidance. It will improve your security management process by using MBSA to detect common administrative vulnerabilities and missing security updates on your computer systems.
    – Always install all Service Packs offered by Microsoft.
    – Educate and protect yourself, e.g. by visiting my board and reading the FAQs, How-To’s and Advisories concerning Safe Computing and Preventing Malware.
    – In case your PC is infected by malware, adware or any other undesired badware or nasties visit my board to get rid of such crap. Only full qualified HijackThis & OTListIt2 Log Analysers/Malware Hunters will care about these infections and help you in a professional way, of course for free, to get rid of it. Note: only registered board members will receive malware removal/cleaning help, registering on my board is also for free.

    Update 2010-14-03: Guests allowed to post on Smokey’s for Log Analysis and Malware Removal help

    Links

    Smokey’s Security Forums
    FAQs, How-To’s and Advisories concerning Safe Computing and Preventing Malware
    HijackThis (HJT) & OTListIt2 Log Analysis and Malware Removal/Cleaning Assistance and Services
    Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) Frequently Asked Questions
    Download Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

    Safe computing!
    .

    asap1
    Smokey’s Security Forums is Site Member ASAP

    January 17, 2009 Posted by | Advisories, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Bundleware, Downloads, Friends, Phishing, Recommended External Security Related Links, Toolbarware, Uncategorized, Vulnerabilities | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    The tendency of (pre-checked) toolbars

    At the moment there is heavy discussion on various boards alleging that Grisoft AVG have included the Yahoo Toolbar with their new Security Suite.

    It is obvious that money is all that count for several software houses, moral isn’t available anymore. It is a shame that even well respected security companies provide their (paid) software with these toolbars.

    March 9, 2008 Posted by | Bundleware, Friends, Recommended External Security Related Links, Toolbarware | , , , | Leave a comment