Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Avira warns: sport events are a paradise for cyber criminals

The days when hackers and spammers spread their harmful and nasty content by email is in the past. During the international sporting events Avira recommends users to be particularly careful.

Tettnang, 3 June 2008 – When soccer fever is rife in Europe and the fans are cheering for their countries at the Olympic Games, cyber criminals have been in their starting blocks for some time. Popular mass events such as the European Football Championship or the Olympic Games are perfect occasions for online criminals to spread undesired content. “The Internet is the most important source for information when we want current news and sport results”, explains Tjark Auerbach, founder and CEO of Avira. “Commercial spam emails that are bound to special events such as the EM 2008 or the Olympic Games, are rapidly spreading.“

Spammers have other methods to spread harmful code besides sending infected emails, for instance through Instant Messaging (Spim), Weblogs, SMS or fake services to optimize search engines (Spamdexing). Another threat for users are websites that take advantage of vulnerabilities from older software to infiltrate Trojans”, adds Mr. Auerbach. “We call these drive-by-downloads. Avira’s integrated WebGuard and the heuristic module which has special protection against websites, comprehensively protects the user from these dangers.”

Avira’s heuristic module reports HTML files and script files that include encrypted information with suspicious functionality and offers reliable protection against drive-by-downloads. The analysis is based on the composition of the file, on the order of significant code sequences and on special bahavior samples. Suspicious functionality can be, for instance, the download of Trojans, linking to other infected sites, spying on the user or faking relevant bank content. “Because of the repeated attacks on web servers, the owners should examine their websites for vulnerabilities“, recommends Auerbach. “Users should preserve a natural level of caution and distrust and never open attached files or links from dubious senders.”

About Avira

Avira protects people in the connected world – enabling everyone to manage, secure, and improve their digital lives. The Avira umbrella covers a portfolio of security and performance applications for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. In addition, the reach of our protective technologies extends through OEM partnerships. Our security solutions consistently achieve best-in-class results in independent tests for detection, performance, and usability. Avira is a privately-owned company that employs 500 people. Its headquarters are near Lake Constance, in Tettnang, Germany, and the company has additional offices in Romania, India, Singapore, China, Japan & the United States. A portion of Avira's sales support the Auerbach Foundation, which assists education, children, and families in need. For more information about Avira visit www.avira.com.