AVG Releases Far-Reaching Protection with Internet Security 8.0

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- AVG Technologies, a leading provider of Internet Security software, today released AVG Internet Security 8.0, the latest version of its flagship suite for consumers and SMBs. AVG 8.0 delivers a significant number of new benefits to users designed to deliver enhanced protection against the latest web-borne threats without sacrificing the product's signature efficiency and unobtrusiveness.

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ — AVG Technologies, a leading provider of Internet Security software, today released AVG Internet Security 8.0, the latest version of its flagship suite for consumers and SMBs. AVG 8.0 delivers a significant number of new benefits to users designed to deliver enhanced protection against the latest web-borne threats without sacrificing the product's signature efficiency and unobtrusiveness.

"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, CTO 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 LinkScanner real-time safe searching and surfing technologies obtained through our acquisition of Exploit Prevention Labs in December 2007."

"The nature of online threats has changed from script kiddies to more organized 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."

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 customization of the product.

"The new safe search and safe surf 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 firewalls, anti-virus and internet security products cannot stop," said J.R. Smith, CEO of AVG Technologies. "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."

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 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.

Changing Security Landscape Calls for New Security Measures

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 to make some kind of statement.

Starting in the late '90s, the rise in adware and spyware marked the appearance of a new kind of threat, one in which the creators were motivated by profit more than notoriety and bragging rights.

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.

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 legitimate websites such as the U.S. Better Business Bureau and the National Baseball League.

"The rapid rise of Web exploits threatens to undermine the very fabric of Internet trust," said Roger Thompson, chief research officer at AVG and the founder and former CTO of Exploit Prevention Labs. "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 an otherwise-legitimate web site. 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."

AVG 8.0: Tough on threats. Easy on you.

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 effectively yet unobtrusively, minimizing 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.

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. Following is a summary of new and improved features:

— New Anti-Exploit Technology – AVG 8.0's patent-pending safe surfing and safe searching technology is designed to protect users of Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers against drive-by downloads from poisoned web pages and to flag dangerous search results in Google, Yahoo and MSN search engines. — New Web Shield – Complementing the safe surfing and searching 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. — 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. — New User Interface – Enables more intuitive and efficient operation for novice and advanced users alike. — New Anti-Rootkit – This new component removes and protects against rootkits, an especially pernicious form of malware that can give cybercriminals high-level control over infected computers. — New Firewall – The all-new AVG firewall is designed to protect computers against unauthorized access from internal and external networks as well as direct hacker attacks. — Improved Anti-Virus -Provides improved detection of hidden viruses, faster scanning, and more intuitive scheduling of scans. — Improved Resident Shield – Provides enhanced on-access scanning with the ability to scan multiple file-open requests simultaneously. — Anti-Spam – Brings faster performance to minimize email processing time and ensure prompt delivery of messages

Availability and Specifications

The single user version of AVG Internet Security 8.0 will ship on February 28, 2008 and will include one year of unlimited signature updates, program updates, and technical support. AVG 8.0 supports computers running 32-bit and native 64-bit Windows operating systems.

The product can be purchased and downloaded from http://www.AVG.com, and is available in the US through national retailers such as Wal-Mart, Amazon, NewEgg and other major chains, as well as through a network of independent software resellers. AVG products are also available to North American resellers via a distribution agreement with Ingram Micro.

Network versions will also be available on February 28, 2008 which incorporates centralized deployment, configuration, reporting, and remote management of single-user systems.

A single user version of AVG 8.0 Internet Security will cost $54.99, including one year of unlimited signature updates and program updates; a two-year license is $79.99.

About AVG Technologies

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 computer users 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).

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.

SOURCE AVG Technologies

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