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AVG Releases Far-Reaching Protection with Internet Security 8.0

  • 28 February, 2008 10:10

<p>"Today's Internet is like the Wild West of old. While it's packed with new and exciting places to go and things to do, it's also rife with hidden threats. AVG 8.0 delivers solid, reliable protection against these sophisticated web-borne threats that can infect computers without the user even needing to click a link," said Karel Obluk, Chief Technology Officer of AVG Technologies and the chief architect behind AVG 8.0. "The nature of the Internet threat landscape has changed dramatically, yet most conventional security solutions are still fighting yesterday's battle with their narrow focus on viruses and spyware. AVG 8.0 expands upon our traditional strengths in anti-virus and anti-spyware with the integration of the new LinkScanner real-time safe surfing and safe searching technologies obtained through our acquisition of Exploit Prevention Labs in December 2007."</p>
<p>"The nature of online threats has changed from script kiddies to more organised criminal efforts," says Brian Burke, Program Director, Security Products at IDC. "Consumers and businesses would be well advised to consider real-time protection against drive-by downloads and other infective methods that require no user interaction."</p>
<p>In addition to the LinkScanner web exploit protection, other significant new benefits include faster scanning performance through a multi-threaded scanning engine that leverages the latest multi-core hardware; protection against rootkits and system intrusion; security for MSN and ICQ instant messaging; and detection of infected file downloads. The completely redesigned user interface makes it easy for novice users to benefit from comprehensive out-of-the-box protection while enabling more advanced users to perform extensive customisation of the product.</p>
<p>J.R. Smith, CEO of AVG Technologies, said, "The new safe surf and safe search technology in AVG 8.0 enables us to offer the only true real-time protection against web threats on the market today; the type of threats traditional firewall, anti-virus and Internet security products cannot stop. Real-time detection of these threats is essential, as poisoned web pages may only be infective for a matter of hours, after which the perpetrator moves on to another site. Other products on the market offer web protection based on databases of sites that may or may not have contained some kind of malicious content at some time in the past. The LinkScanner technology we acquired with Exploit Prevention Labs enables us to, unlike the competition, scan search results, web links and web pages in real-time to ensure they are safe before they are opened, which is the only time that really matters - before the user is potentially exposed. In other words, we can stop threats before they become a problem for people."</p>
<p>An example of why real-time web page analysis is so important to both site owners and visitors was described by AVG Chief Research Officer and expatriate Australian Roger Thompson in his blog (http://explabs.blogspot.com) on February 25, 2008. The website of the St Kilda Football Club, a major Australian Rules football club, was being reported by Google as a site that 'may harm your computer'; while the site was likely hacked at some time in the past, it is clean now, yet anyone searching for the club's website using Google will be blocked from reaching the site.</p>
<p>Changing Security Landscape Calls for New Security Measures</p>
<p>The security threats faced by Internet users today have changed significantly over the past decade. Ten years ago, the primary threats facing computer users were viruses and email-propagated worms. These threats were often created by thrill-seeking hackers out to prove their programming prowess or make a statement.</p>
<p>Starting in the late '90s, the rise of adware and spyware marked the rise of a new kind of threat, where the creators were motivated by profit rather than notoriety and bragging rights.</p>
<p>AVG security researchers, led by Karel Obluk, Roger Thompson and Petr Odehnal, were among the first in the industry to note the subsequent increase in more aggressive and dangerous threats that manifested themselves as drive-by downloads — delivery of malware that required no user interaction beyond visiting a particular web page. These threats were clearly designed to steal personal information, track user movements and actions, acquire bank account or credit card data and other digital assets, all in an effort to make money.</p>
<p>These exploits initially targeted security vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system and the Internet Explorer browser, and have now expanded to target common, less frequently patched utilities such as WinZip and QuickTime. The latest distribution channels include hosted Internet applications such as search engines, social and advertising networks and even legitimate web sites such as those of ten clubs in the Australian Football League competition.</p>
<p>"The rapid rise of web exploits threatens to undermine the very fabric of Internet trust," said Roger Thompson. "Five years ago, if you visited web sites for pornography or illegal file sharing, you expected to run across adware and spyware, but you seldom had reason to fear legitimate web sites. Today, the situation has changed. Google, Facebook and MySpace - some the Internet's most popular and trusted destinations - are increasingly the unwitting distributors of drive-by downloads."</p>
<p>AVG 8.0: Tough on threats. Easy on you.</p>
<p>Over the last several years, AVG has earned a reputation among computer users as a provider of security solutions that are tough on threats, but easy on the user. Key to this is AVG's relentless dedication to producing software that operates unobtrusively, minimising the use of system resources. This results in a security solution that does not slow the computer down, enabling users to focus on the professional or leisure pursuits for which they intended the computer to be used. Thanks to AVG's state of the art technology and dedication to customer service, the company now protects over 70 million computers worldwide.</p>
<p>With AVG 8.0, AVG raises the bar further by providing improved protection against traditional threats such as viruses, spam, spyware and Trojans as well as new protection against emerging threats including web exploits, drive-by downloads, phishing and rootkits.</p>
<p>The following is a summary of new and improved features:</p>
<p>. New LinkScanner Anti-Exploit technology - AVG 8.0's patent-pending LinkScanner safe surfing and safe searching technology is designed to protect users of Internet Explorer and Firefox web browsers against drive-by downloads from poisoned web pages, and to flag dangerous search results in Google, Yahoo and MSN search engines.</p>
<p>. New Web Shield - Complementing AVG 8.0's LinkScanner safe surf and safe search technology, the new Web Shield module scans files during download or exchange over ICQ or MSN instant messaging to ensure they are safe and free of malicious content. It also protects against infected files while using online chat.</p>
<p>. New High Performance Scanning Engine - AVG has reengineered the scanning engine from the ground up to tackle viruses and spyware in a single pass, delivering improved performance and speed through support for multi-core computers, reduced system resource requirements and streamlined maintenance.</p>
<p>. New User Interface - Enables more intuitive and efficient operation for novice and advanced users alike.</p>
<p>. New Anti-Rootkit - This new component removes and protects against rootkits, an especially pernicious form of malware that can give cyber criminals high-level control over infected computers.</p>
<p>. New Firewall - The all-new AVG firewall is designed to protect computers against unauthorised access from internal and external networks as well as direct attacks from hackers and cyber criminals.</p>
<p>. Improved Anti-Virus - Provides improved detection of hidden viruses, faster scanning and more intuitive scheduling of scans.</p>
<p>. Improved Resident Shield - Provides enhanced on-access scanning with the ability to scan multiple file-open requests simultaneously.</p>
<p>. Anti-Spam - Brings faster performance to minimise e-mail processing time and ensure prompt delivery of messages.</p>
<p>Pricing, Availability and Specifications</p>
<p>AVG Internet Security 8.0 is scheduled to ship on 28 February 2008 and is priced at A$101.95 for a two year, single user license including unlimited signature updates and program upgrades. A special 3-pack licence offer for AVG Internet Security 8.0 covering up to 3 PCs for two years is also available for A$123.25. This includes free telephone support during Melbourne business hours, backed up by free 24/7 technical support by e-mail.</p>
<p>AVG Internet Security 8.0 is available singly and in multi-license packs for 2, 3, 5 and 10 PCs, with a licence period of 1 or 2 years. AVG 8.0 supports Windows computers running 32-bit and native 64-bit Windows operating systems.</p>
<p>The product can be purchased and downloaded from www.avg.com.au, and is also available in Australia and New Zealand through a network of more than 1400 independent software resellers.</p>
<p>Network versions of AVG 8.0 will also be available on 28 February 2008, enabling centralised deployment, configuration and reporting, plus remote administration, of all networked PCs across an organisation.</p>
<p>###</p>
<p>About AVG Technologies</p>
<p>Founded in 1991 and headquartered in the Czech Republic, AVG is a leading international developer of Internet threat protection solutions for consumers, SMBs and small enterprises. AVG protects more than 70 million computers around the world. The company has regional offices in North America and the United Kingdom, and employs some of the world's leading experts in Internet security, specifically in the areas of threat research, analysis and detection. AVG's award-winning products are distributed globally through resellers and over the Internet as well as via third parties through Software Developer's Kits (SDK).</p>
<p>AVG investors include:
• Enterprise Investors (http://www.ei.com.pl/english/index.php), based in Poland;
• Benson Oak (http://www.bensonoak.com/en/praxe.html), based in the Czech Republic; and
• Intel Corp's venture arm Intel Capital (http://www.intel.com/capital/) based in the US.</p>
<p>About AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd
www.avg.com.au</p>
<p>Based in Melbourne, AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd is the Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific distributor of the AVG range of Anti-Virus and Internet Security products. AVG solutions provide comprehensive real-time protection against everything from viruses, spam, spyware, adware, worms, Trojans, phishing and exploits to cyber-criminals, hackers, scammers and identity thieves. The AVG products, which are active on more than 70 million PCs worldwide, provide outstanding technical solutions and exceptional value for home, small to medium business and enterprise clients. AVG provides always-on, always up-to-date protection across desktops, servers and e-mail in the home plus corporations, government agencies, utilities and educational institutions.</p>
<p>AVG (AU/NZ) has over 1400 resellers across Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific.</p>
<p>For more detailed information please contact:</p>
<p>Lloyd Borrett AVG (AU/NZ) 03 9581 0807
Shuna Boyd BoydPR 02 9418 8100</p>

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