Avira antivirus review: Firewall, phishing and identity protection

German company Avira is owned by Norton LifeLock, the firm that also puts out the Norton 360 range of security software. Avira isn’t, however, Norton repackaged under a different name – the Avira software has been around since before the company was taken over, dating back to 1986 and H+BEDV Datentechnik GmbH. You can see why they settled on the name Avira.

There is a completely free version of Avira, known as Avira free security, with an upgrade path to three subscription products for Windows, Mac, and mobile platforms. The first is Avira antivirus pro, which nets you antivirus protection that covers removable drives you plug into your PC, real time protection that runs in the background, blocking of known malware websites, data and identity protection, and a cloud-based AI agent that stops emerging threats from infecting your PC.

The next tier is Avira internet security, which costs more and includes everything from antivirus pro plus a software updater and password manager. At the top is Avira prime, which costs a lot but can be installed on five different devices, and adds PC tuning tools and an unlimited VPN to the Internet security features. The VPN, password manager, software updater and PC tuneup tools can all be subscribed to separately.

However, that free version we mentioned earlier is actually very good. It offers real time protection as well as hard drive scanning, you get a 500MB/month bite of the VPN, identity protection, some PC tuning tools, a firewall, and protection from phishing attacks. There’s a software updater and PC cleaner. It installs plugins on your browser (Chrome, Opera, Edge and Firefox) to cover your online shopping trips, and generally feels like something they’d be mad to give away for free.

However, the reason they give it away becomes clear when you actually try to use it. It will happily scan your PC and report back on what’s wrong with it, including outdated apps, tracking cookies, and unwanted files taking up space. It will even fix some of it for you. If you want your apps updated, or any of the other services chosen to live behind the subscription, you’ll need to pay up. This is, we discovered, the only way to get a free trial of…


Week in review: Strengthening firmware security, Help Net Security: XDR Report released

Here’s an overview of some of last week’s most interesting news, articles and interviews:

Help Net Security: XDR Report has been released
The topic of this inaugural report is extended detection and response (XDR), an emerging technology that has been receiving a lot of buzz in the last few years.

Apache OpenOffice users should upgrade to newest security release!
The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has released Apache OpenOffice 4.1.11, which fixes a handful of security vulnerabilities, including CVE-2021-33035, a recently revealed RCE vulnerability that could be triggered via a specially crafted document.

Apple fixes iOS zero-day exploited in the wild (CVE-2021-30883)
With the newest iOS and iPad updates, Apple has fixed another vulnerability (CVE-2021-30883) that is being actively exploited by attackers.

Microsoft patches actively exploited Windows zero-day (CVE-2021-40449)
On October 2021 Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has fixed 71 CVE-numbered vulnerabilities. Of those, only one was a zero-day exploited in attacks in the wild (CVE-2021-40449) and three were publicly known before the release of the patches.

How do I select a SASE solution for my business?
To select a suitable SASE solution for your business, you need to think about a variety of factors. We’ve talked to several industry professionals to get their insight on the topic.

REvil/Sodinokibi accounting for 73% of ransomware detections in Q2 2021
McAfee released a report which examines cybercriminal activity related to ransomware and cloud threats in the second quarter of 2021.

Strengthening firmware security with hardware RoT
Hackers are growing smarter and more sophisticated in their attempts to avoid detection. With IT security and visibility efforts still largely focused higher in the stack at the application layer, bad actors are seeking to breach systems further down the stack at the firmware level.

Remote work exposing SMEs to increased cybersecurity risk
Remote working is leading to increased cybersecurity risks for SMEs, a research from ServerChoice shows. The research, conducted with 1,000 business leaders at SMEs, found that changes in working patterns are resulting in infrastructure being left…


US House panel examines Arizona election review effects

They called former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who served as a go-between Senate Republicans and the contractors they hired to review the ballot count, election machines and computer software, to testify. Bennett said that while the recount showed that Biden actually picked up some votes, there remain unresolved issues involving voter registration, mail-in ballots and computer security.


UK police vow to review any new phone hack evidence against Dubai ruler

Issued on: Modified:

London (AFP)

British police on Tuesday promised to review any new evidence of phone hacking linked to Dubai’s billionaire ruler, after a London court said he had authorised the use of spyware against his ex-wife and her legal team.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum approved the use of Pegasus software against Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein during their bitter child custody battle in the British capital, the High Court said.

The developments are potentially damaging for the 72-year-old sheikh, who is also vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Britain’s royal family.

Dubai is a key UK ally in the Gulf while Sheikh Mohammed, owner of the Godolphin stables, shares a passion for racehorses with Queen Elizabeth II and the pair have often been photographed together at meetings.

The High Court said he gave his “express or implied authority” for the phones of 47-year-old Princess Haya and others to be hacked with the software, which is only available to governments.

Judge Andrew McFarlane said the sheikh was “prepared to use the arm of the state to achieve what he regards as right”, noting the surveillance of at least six phones was attempted.

– ‘My texts are all visible’ –

London’s Metropolitan Police said specialist detectives launched an investigation last year into “multiple allegations of crime(s)”.

They included “unauthorised access and interception of digital devices and offences contrary to the Computer Misuse Act relating to six complainants”.


Officers spent five months conducting “significant” inquiries and collaborating with law enforcement partners, but the probe was closed in February.

“All lines of inquiry were explored as far as possible,” the Met said, noting that at the time there were “no further investigative opportunities”.

“We will of course review any new information or evidence which comes to light in connection with these allegations,” it added.

Princess Haya’s lawyer Fiona Shackleton, a baroness and member of the upper chamber of parliament — the House of Lords — for the…