One of the leading antivirus security firms in the world has found an ally today, after they announced that they are offering its security products for home PC protection.
Kaspersky Lab announced that the company and Sony have agreed to consolidate in a joint venture that would make Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus program the stock security protection for Sony Vaio devices in America.
This exclusive agreement will give customers premium protection during the first weeks of setup. A 30 day subscription to Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 will come with the Sony Vaio packages in the United States, Latin America and Canada starting May 2012.
Kaspersky is the world’s third largest security vendor. Their products usually earn high rankings from independent security evaluations and security analysts. Kaspersky Internet Security earned a 4.5 out of 5 star rating in an evaluation done by CNET and was awarded the “Product of the Year” last year by AV-Comparatives.
Kaspersky Lab president Steve Orenberg said, “We are genuinely thrilled with the opportunity to work with the Sony Vaio team and its incredible lineup of consumer computing devices. For years, Sony has been the gold-standard of consumer electronic quality and consumer experience, and at Kaspersky Lab, we pride ourselves on delivering the same quality and experience to our own customers.”
Did Sony make the right decision by choosing Kaspersky?
Now may be a good time to click the update button to your anti-virus software. A couple of weeks ago, while trying to locate and identify a very illusive viper/wiper program that has been infecting Iranian computers, Kaspersky Lab has detected something even larger and more threatening than described. The malware, currently dubbed as “Flame”, is speculated to be another step towards cyber-war.
The malware has been named after a common name in its modules “flame_props”. This malware has been said to be 20 times larger and more complicated than a previous Cyber-war tool named Stuxnet. Stuxnet and Duqu were two of the cyber-war weapons that were launched around 2009 and 2010. These malware were considered monsters of their time. Stuxnet apparently took at least half a year for Kaspersky Lab to analyze and it may take at least 10 years to bust Flame open. These malware ran rampant in Iranian computers and sought to gather data and destroy infrastructure.
Flame has been recorded to be infecting several countries in the Middle East, with Iran as the leading target. The size and scope of Flame’s targets seem to reflect that this is again another Government-backed cyber assault, with goals of espionage in mind. Flame has been reported to be gathering data and even deleting data from target systems. Even the spread of the malware is well controlled and remained undetected for 2 years and maybe even longer. The scope of attack and similarities to Stuxnet rules out independent acts of cyber criminals.
In Kapsersky’s statement, Flame infects its targets by installing a small compressed file into the drive, then further downloads and deploys up to 20 modules that allow the attacker to perform several tasks, taking virtual control over the affected systems. The total size of the toolkit reaches 20 MB, compared to the 500 KB of Stuxnet. The plug-ins can be deployed and turned off at will by the attacker, including well controlled deployment into USB hosts, making the malware harder to detect. It even has the ability to completely wipe itself from a computer, further making it difficult for large anti-virus firms like Kaspersky Lab to detect and analyze. Someone is definitely in the steering wheel of this ride. Flame is a malware that has grown exceedingly complicated compared to its predecessors. Who knows how many more of these are in the wild, still running undetected?
So what can this malware do? Nearly every recording and data gathering capacities of you computer is at its employ. Kaspersky Lab reports that Flame can effectively use your computer’s microphone to record conversations. It can view your keystrokes. It can browse all your data and communications in the internet. It can even use the Bluetooth device of your computer and access other devices in its coverage, gathering personal information, like names and phone numbers. It can choose who to infect and when is the best time to strike. It has all the makings of an espionage tool. No wonder Kaspersky Lab thinks this may very well be a nation’s attack upon another.
This poses a threat not only to the infected countries, but other countries as well who may one day fall on the attacker’s radar. Some can only cry out for the legality of these attacks, as these are basically Government-approved cyber crimes. For this incredibly powerful malware to fall on the wrong hands would be disastrous to the whole internet community. Privacy has become a very sensitive term in the internet, and this privacy may soon be no longer in our control, if stuff like these can be deployed and run undetected for many years. If the government can get away with attacking industries for their data, what is stopping them from spying on each and every one of us regardless of their reasons?
Everybody wants to protect their gadgets from unscrupulous individuals who want to have a piece of your identity. Unfortunately, some of these hackers are smart enough to circumvent the defenses that your anti-virus gives you.
Established anti-virus company Kaspersky Lab has released a new version of its program to shield Android-based tablets from malware attacks that includes theft and identity loss.
This sounds like a good news since security firms and analysts have raised questions about the security of Android apps. Google has been trying to improve security in the Android market when they released Bounce. But the latter still can’t solve all issues because hackers still found ways to circumnavigate the system.
The Kaspersky Tablet Security features:
Remotely lock your missing tablet to secure your personal info
Remotely wipe your sensitive info from you tab
Remotely locate your lost or stolen tablet using GPS, GSM or Wi-Fi and Google Maps
Enable a feature to remotely activate the front-facing camera on your missing tablet and secretly send you pictures of whoever is using your device
Review logs of recent activities
Let’s just hope that this latest software can do all the things that they tell you. 🙂