Monday, September 11, 2006

Evildoers safely detected

The virus definition file of Avira AntiVir now includes 500,000 computer viruses and harmful programs.

Tettnang, 11 September 2006 – Subdued party mood in the security lab of Avira: This week the producers of the virus definition file from the popular virus protection AntiVir have added the 500,000 identity. For this, Avira has one of the most comprehensive virus detection databases on the antivirus market.

The record denotes a sad development as the number of new malware has been increasing permanently in the last years. In the 80ies there were practically only the classical viruses that had one’s sights on computers and networks. After that completely new harmful programs began to circulate in form of backdoors and Trojans. In this way, passwords and keyword inputs were spied for the first time.

In 2001 the virus authors concentrated on the exploitation of vulnerability to guarantee the largest possible spreading of so-called Internet worms. Only one year later they already represented 80 percent of the yearly virus emergence. One of the most popular harmful programs of this kind was the worm Sober, which occasionally represented five percent of the worldwide email emergence.

Professionalization in all areas: In 2004 the organized crime discovered the destructive power of malware and used bot networks with thousands of computers, the so-called “Zombie Computers”, for its criminal intrigues. Those were abused in order to coordinate systematical DDoS attacks on the Internet or to spread spam as well as phishing messages. Some months later the first Trojans “Banker” and “Bancos” were sighted. Those were used systematically in order to spy personal bank data of the user.

The emergence of phishing emails showed that there still was an easier way. Like this, over 80 percent of the new threats have theft as an objective nowadays. The authors use those to generate and spread large quantities of diverse variations.

The virus emergence increased with every new threat: While the number of new malware was around 1500 in June 2004, it increased by nearly 500 percent within only one year. In June 2006 it even increased 14 times, i.e. around 1,400 percent in comparison to 2004.

In order to protect your customers against new and unknown threats, Avira specially stresses on a proactive detection. In this way, the proactive protection was strongly improved in the last months for the specially developed AHeAD technology. The heuristic and generic detection rate specially proves its worth in the area of the Trojan downloader and dropper the same as on entire family roots, for example on a reliable Sober, Bagle or Feebs detection. A heuristic specialized on HTML exploits has also been added.

If malware can be detected with the AHeAD technology, it will be identified additionally by means of the virus definition file at a later point in time. In this way it can be guaranteed that previously unknown variations of a malware can be detected correctly and removed correctly from the relevant system.

The detection performance of highly complex polymorphic and metamorphic viruses was also strongly improved and proved especially reliable. This showed the August test of AV-Comparatives, where Avira achieved an excellent scanning result (www.av-comparatives.org).

About Avira

Avira is a worldwide leading supplier of self-developed security solutions for professional and private use. With more than twenty years of experience, the company is one of the pioneers in this field.

The security expert has several locations in Germany and partnerships in Europe, Asia and America. At its headquarters in Tettnang near Lake Constance, Avira is one of the region’s largest employers with more than 180 employees. Worldwide more than 250 persons are employed and their work regularly wins awards. Avira AntiVir Personal, used by millions of private users, represents a significant contribution to security.

Avira’s national and international customers include renowned corporations listed on the stock exchange but also educational institutions and public authorities. In addition to protection of the virtual environment, Avira also provides for more protection and security in the real world by supporting the Auerbach Foundation. Established by the founder of the company, the Auerbach Foundation promotes charitable and social projects as well as the arts, culture and science.

Company Contact:
Avira
Adela Kohl/Gernot Hacker
Lindauer Str. 21
D-88069 Tettnang
Telefon: +49 (0) 7542-500 0
Telefax: +49 (0) 7542-525 10
Email: press@avira.com  

Press contact:
Jacklin Montag
LEWIS Global PR
Tel.: +49 (0) 89-17 30 19 19
Email: antivir@lewispr.com  

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.