" Jeremy Matthews "

Panda Cloud Antivirus Beta now Windows 8 Compatible

Panda Security announced a new beta of its popular cloud-based consumer antivirus service Panda Cloud Antivirus, version 1.9.2. The beta, which will be the last version before the final release of Panda Cloud Antivirus 2.0, is fully compatible with Windows 8 and incorporates a new smart community-based firewall. 

Panda Cloud Antivirus 1.9.2 fixes several bugs found in version 1.9.1 released in August 2011. It also incorporates a new, improved firewall with an intrusion detection system (IDS) and better rule configuration settings. Finally, the new version offers better malware detection and disinfection capabilities, lower impact on system performance and includes Google Toolbar.

“This beta version is the final step before the long-awaited 2.0 version of our free, cloud-based solution,” explained Jeremy Matthews, Country Manager of Panda Security Sub-Saharan Africa. “It includes all the improvements suggested by our user community in order to minimize intrusiveness and provide maximum protection with the least impact on PC performance. Panda Cloud Antivirus has always stood out as being one of the lightest solutions on the market, and we continue to provide it with a lighter footprint in each new version”.

“Making Panda Cloud Antivirus and our 2012 consumer solutions compatible with Windows 8 Release Preview was important to ensure that users of Microsoft’s new operating system benefit from the best protection against malware,” Bustamante said.

For more information and to download the free beta, please visit: http://blog.cloudantivirus.com/2012/06/04/panda-cloud-antivirus-beta-1-9-2/

The Digital Dangers of LinkedIn

While South Africans are obsessed with physical safety, the hacking of LinkedIn has shown how oblivious we are to cyber crime, writes Thalia Randall.

Wednesday saw a major victory for the online hacking community: six million encrypted passwords were successfully “stolen” from LinkedIn and published on a Russian website, along with an open invitation for hackers to decrypt the data.

The experience left many of South Africa’s 1.6 million LinkedIn users scurrying for virtual “cover”, as they changed their passwords to pre-empt a personal security breach.

According to Panda Security country manager Jeremy Matthews, it also highlighted something about South African internet users: a naive “carelessness” about our security measures online.

“As South Africans, we’re very conscious of physical security and traditional crime. But [what we don’t realise] is that there is as much danger in the the online world as there is in the physical one,” he said.

National oblivion, he stated, happens because South Africans are not “conscious” of our “shift from the physical to the digital”.

This leads to a naivete that makes us more vulnerable to virtual attack, he said.

The weakest link

And public vulnerability is a hacker’s biggest opportunity.

Illustrative of this is the second wave of online-intruder-opportunism that saw hundreds complaining on Twitter on Thursday. Fake emails bearing the LinkedIn logo invited users to enter their new password after clicking on a link.

Unaware that LinkedIn’s Vicente Silveira has indicated that “there will not be any links” in the authentic directive email from the company, many users unwittingly provided their new passwords to further would-be invaders.

But according to Matthews, the problems stemming from this “would not have been so bad if people had better passwords”.

“People need to learn the necessity of password management. Digital security is part technology, part management,” he said.

Robert Fall, a web application developer in Cape Town, explained the knock-on effect of poor password management.

“If someone has used the same password on another account, the intruder would now be able to gain access to both,” he said.

“People may say ‘if someone gets access to this silly little blog, I don’t really care’. But what they don’t realise is that if someone accesses that blog, then they know your email address, and then they could re-set the password to your internet banking,” added one of Fall’s colleagues.

“Basically everything you have online is linked to your email address. Once hackers have access to that, your entire online personality is at risk.”

How to up our virtual ante

According to Fall, one way to avoid becoming an easy target is to use a “strong” password.

Strong passwords contain a combination of letters and digits, and are not related to anything personal about the user.

“If you posted the name of your dog on facebook, and also put it as a password question on gmail, you are at risk,” he said, explaining how easy it is to unwittingly link a password with personal details that are publicly available.

Another way, he said, is to have separate passwords for each account – thus limiting the damage to only one account if a hacker ever did invade.

For Matthews, the public must realise that “just because you have an anti-virus or a firewall installed, it doesn’t mean you are safe.

What we need is human firewalls!” he said. Part of Matthews’ suggested “human fire-walling” is making sure that users do not share passwords or discuss sensitive information within earshot of others.

In spite of his belief that people are far more aware of security risks today than they were a year ago, Matthews said “we [still] need to up our game, both at a corporate level and a personal level.”

“As a South African, I might have electric fencing and security beams – and that’s all well and good – but I still need to be careful who I answer the door to,” he said.

How to reset your LinkedIn password. Click here

Check if you LinkedIn account has been hacked. Click here

(Source: Mail & Gaurdian)

The era of cyber warfare

Below is the link to the article “The era of cyber warfare” which was featured in the iWeek magazine on the 18 April 2012. Panda Security ZA Country Manager, Jeremy Matthews gave his thoughts on cyber warfare and what companies should do to avoid security holes.


Mac gets Panda Antivirus Corporate Edition

–       The new corporate solution protects Mac computers and servers

–       In 2010, 308 vulnerabilities were discovered in Mac OS X, 67% of these were classified highly critical

Global IT vendor Panda Security has announced the launch of Panda Antivirus for Mac Corporate Edition. The new solution, for Mac desktops, laptops and servers, delivers complete protection against all types of malware able to affect Mac OS, Mac OS X, Windows and Linux, protecting users not just against threats designed specifically to target the Apple platform, but also preventing Mac users from transmitting malware for other operating systems.

“Many companies, universities and other organizations now operate with a diverse network topology including Mac servers and workstations operating alongside Windows systems” says Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations. “In these environments it is very important not just to protect against specific threats that target Apple platforms, but also against those Windows threats that can be transmitted via Mac and infect all systems.”

Panda Antivirus for Mac protects against all types of threats in near real-time. It can also scan Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod, thereby ensuring that if any of these devices is carrying malware, they won’t infect other similar devices or the Mac computer or server.

It is also designed specifically not to impact performance, as it operates silently taking advantage of available resources or low workloads.

The antivirus scans folders, files and email, detecting and eliminating or blocking all types of threats initially designed for Windows, but which also affect Mac. These threats include Trojans, spyware, keyloggers, adware, hacking tools, botnets, dialers, scareware and other Macro viruses.

2010: A turning point for Mac security

In 2009 some 34 vulnerabilities were detected in Mac OS. This figure rose to 308 in 2010, with 67% of these vulnerabilities classified as highly critical, indicating that any attacker could take remote control of unpatched systems, among other actions.

“2010 has been an intense year for threats” says Luis Corrons, technical director of Panda. “We have collected over 20 million new examples of malware, and the figure continues to rise. Every day our laboratory receives some 63,000 new threats. Regarding Mac, we’ve seen an increase in the number of threats designed specifically for this platform, although there are many more that can affect corporate Mac users: all Office macro viruses, for example. And there are other types of threats which all Mac users are exposed to, such as phishing, or vulnerabilities in popular programs including browsers, PDF readers, etc.”

Price and availability

The solution is available from February 2011 for R208* per license for workstations, servers and the administration console (12 months with full services, for license ranges between 100 and 199 seats).

For more information go to: http://www.pandasecurity.com/enterprise/solutions/mac-corporate-edition

*Price at rate of exchange

 About Panda Security

Founded in 1990, Panda Security is the world’s leading provider of cloud-based security solutions, with products available in more than 23 languages and millions of users located in 195 countries around the World. Panda Security was the first IT security company to harness the power of cloud computing with its Collective Intelligence technology. This innovative security model can automatically analyze and classify thousands of new malware samples every day, guaranteeing corporate customers and home users the most effective protection against Internet threats with minimum impact on system performance. Panda Security has 61 offices throughout the globe with US headquarters in Florida and European headquarters in Spain. In 2006, Jeremy Matthews founded Panda’s local subsidiary in Cape Town, opening the international vendor’s first presence on the African continent.

 For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/.

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50% of PC’s worldwide infected this January

–       According to data gathered by the free online antivirus Panda ActiveScan, 50% of scanned computers were infected with malware, mostly Trojans

According to Global IT vendor Panda Security, 50% of all computers scanned around the globe in January were infected with some kind of malware. This data was gathered from Panda’s free online antivirus  Panda ActiveScan. As for the most damaging malware threat, Trojans caused the most incidents (59% of all cases), followed by traditional viruses (12%) and worms (9%).

The list of most prevalent malware threats is topped by generic Trojans, followed by down-loaders, exploits and adware. It is also worth mentioning the presence of Lineage, an old Trojan that continues to spread and infect systems.

Thailand, China, Taiwan, Russia and Turkey occupy the top positions in the ranking of countries with the largest number of infections (over 50% of scanned computers infected with malware), while other traditional ‘malware paradises’ like Brazil or Poland have slipped down the list this month.

“We don’t see many significant changes regarding the number of worldwide infections from month to month”, says Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs. “This just reflects the reality of the current situation: Every day we receive some 61,000 new malware samples at our laboratory, and unless you have a solution like Panda Cloud Antivirus whose latest protection technologies provide near real-time protection, it takes too long for traditional solutions to incorporate new malware signatures. This lapse in time leaves users unprotected against new threats”.

“While South Africa doesn’t occupy the top positions with regards to infections, we are seeing a steady increase in the amount of malware aimed at African users”, says Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations. “This malware usually takes the form of money related scams, targeted at new or inexperienced internet users”, he concludes.

More information is available in the PandaLabs blog: http://www.pandalabs.com

For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/

Follow Panda South Africa on Twitter @PandaSecurityZA and Facebook

Twitter targeted by hackers this Christmas

–      Numerous Twitter accounts have been created to spread malicious code through festive messages

–      Every year threats are spread via email and social media using Christmas-themed messages

According to Panda Security, cyber-criminals are exploiting Twitter to spread malware in festive-themed messages. Using methods akin to Black Hat SEO techniques, hackers are taking advantage of trending topics to position malware distribution campaigns. Topics such as “Advent calendar”, “Hanukkah” or even “Grinch”, are among the most popular subjects used by hackers to entice users.

Thousands of tweets have been launched using festive-themed phrases, such as “Nobody cares about Hanukkah” or “Shocking video of the Grinch”, along with short URLs pointing to malicious websites.

Users that click the link will be taken to a page that infects systems with false codecs by exploiting a security hole in PDF files and tries to trick users into downloading a codec that is really a downloader Trojan, which in turn downloads more malware onto the compromised computer.

In addition to subjects related to Christmas, cyber-criminals are using other hot topics to spread their creations, including the Sundance festival, the AIDS campaign and the Carling Cup.

According to Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations, “Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are becoming increasingly popular with hackers because of their ever-increasing number of users, and the ease at which they (the hackers) can post malicious links. That’s why the number of clicks, and therefore infections, tends to be very high.”

Keep your computer safe this Christmas

With the increased risk over the Christmas period, Panda offers users a series of practical security tips for using social media:

1) Don’t click suspicious links from non-trusted sources. This should apply to messages received through Twitter, through other social networks and even via email.

2) If you click on the links, check the target page. If you don’t recognize it, close your browser.

3) Even if you don’t see anything strange in the target page, but you are asked to download something, don’t accept.

4) If you do download or install an executable file and the PC starts to launch messages or behaves strangely, there is probably malware on your computer. In this case, you should check your computer with a free online scanner such as ActiveScan, available at: www.activescan.com

5) As a general rule, make sure your computer is well protected to ensure that you are not exposed to the risk of infection from any malicious code. You can protect yourself with the new, free Panda Cloud Antivirus solution (www.cloudantivirus.com).

“It is important to remember that hackers will take advantage of any big holiday or event, which is why it is important to remain extra vigilant during these times”, concludes Matthews.

For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/.