China Using Freebie Flash Drives to Spy on Britain [Espionage]

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UK security agency MI5 has issued a warning regarding freebie flash drives and cameras. Apparently Chinese spies are handing them out to UK businessmen in hopes of infecting their computers with trojans and gaining access to corporate secrets.

Of course old-fashioned methods—sex and money—are still being used as well, but it seems that few people expect an innocent gadget gift to contain danger in the form of a trojan or malware. After all, why else would a security agency’s 14-page report be focusing on this espionage approach more than it did on other tricks?

I guess it’s time for me to become a bit more paranoid about the pile of flash drives I picked up at CES. [Times Online via IEEE]

Note: Pictured flash drive is not a known spy and belongs to Gadget_Guru






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Avast Free Antivirus 5.0 Adds Behavior Monitor, Heuristics Engine, and Improved Performance [Downloads]

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Windows only: The newest version of the popular Avast Antivirus is finally available for download. It’s lighter, faster, and more feature-filled than ever, bringing a new behavior shield, heuristics engine, and code emulator to keep you protected at all times.

Apart from its far easier-to-navigate interface, Avast has a few new features that make it hard to turn down. Its new code emulator can emulate a suspicious executable’s code, isolated, for use in its new heuristics engine, designed to detect malware that would otherwise be undetectable with normal definitions—in other words, spotting malware by learning what the code does. If you use the pro version, you also get their new sandboxing feature for even further protection.

Apart from the new features, Avast has also lowered scanning times as well as the resources necessary to scan and update—a common issue with antivirus programs that are always running in the background. If you’re already an Avast lover (and many of you are), you can either wait for the program to update itself in the near future or go download 5.0 straight from Avast. If you’ve tried Avast and turned it down before, it may be worth another look—you may find that its former cons (such as the difficult-to-use GUI and resource use) are now more up to your standards.

Avast Antivirus is a free download, Windows only.







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