Get AVG Internet Security 2011 Free One Year License

Quite recently, we told you about the new AVG 2011 Antivirus which is of course free to use. However, AVG also provides users with a more comprehensive security suite in the form of AVG Internet Security 2011.

AVG Internet Security 2011 Free

However, that product is not for free and requires users to pay. If you are sad about that, here is something that will make you glad you read us. AVG is giving out a Free one year license of the AVG Internet Security 2011 suite to users. The one year subscription for this suite is priced at $54.99 so you are saving quite a bundle there.

To get a free license of the AVG Internet Security 2011 suite, visit this link and fill out the form. You can then download the product and start using it. AVG will send you a license code that is good for one year which you can then use to register the software.

If you might want to try out other Antivirus, take a look at some of the Free Antivirus we have covered in the past. Many of those provide users with comprehensive online security software which are definitely worth using.

(h/t Jatin Sapra on )

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2011 is Now Available

avg-logo On September 28th, AVG announced the release of their 2011 suite of anti-virus and anti-malware programs. Included with this release is the ever popular free edition of AVG Anti-virus and the free LinkScanner application.

Even though AVG’s offerings have slipped some in the AV testing results, it’s still a great option for protecting home PCs. The addition of the LinkScanner, which warns you about your current web pages, bad links in web pages and risky links in email, seriously improves your chances of staying trouble-free.

As an added bonus to the entire web community, AVG has also unveiled AVG Threat Labs, a search engine which gives short reports on the safety of any web site or link.

A quick look at AVG Anti-Virus Free edition:

While installing, watch out for AVG’s offer to install a toolbar and change your home page to Yahoo. I said no to that. Be sure to uncheck those check-boxes if you feel the same way.


Next, be prepared to wait. After the initial agreements, AVG will download about 130mb of data, to finish the install. With lots of others downloading the same data, you may not get a good download speed. I was definitely bored at this point.

After the download and install, the last screen will ask for your name and email address. If you are shy, you could type anything you want in there. You’ll also want to be aware of the very last check-box, which is set to allow AVG to collect anonymous information to help them improve the product. Uncheck it if you are paranoid.

Finally, here’s your first peek at the new AVG interface.


As you can see, the main two functions, Scan and Update, are on the left. Naturally, a free product is an opportunity to advertise, and you’ll see an Upgrade button and a large ad at the bottom. I don’t mind, but some people might.

I’m not going to go into any details on how to use AVG, it’s like most other anti-virus apps. Install it, do a few scans now and then, but mostly forget about it until a problem pops up.

AVG LinkScanner

During the installation of the anti-virus, I choose the Quick Install method. If you choose to customize your installation, you can select not to install some of the services such as LinkScanner. In previous versions of LinkScanner, there were some problems in certain web browsers, but those issues have been largely fixed. I recommend allowing it to install with the anti-virus. You can always disable it later if needed.

If you are using some other anti-virus product, you can install LinkScanner all by itself. There’s also a version for the Mac now.

Here’s what AVG says about the LinkScanner:

LinkScanner ® keeps you safe wherever you go online by actively checking links and web pages in real time the only time it matters – before you click that link. LinkScanner ® also places safety ratings next to your search results, allowing you to assess the safety of a site before visiting it.

The service it offers is similar to that offered by McAfee’s SiteAdvisor and WOT (Web of Trust), which I also recommend. I don’t believe it’s necessary to run more than one of these at a time, so pick one and try it out.

Once you start seeing link ratings in a web search, you’ll understand how it can keep you out of trouble.


download AVG Free Download AVG Anti-Virus 2011 Free Edition

download LinkScanner Download AVG LinkScanner

arrow-right-double Visit AVG Threat Lab to find out if sites or links are risky

Techie Buzz Verdict:

AVG’s free anti-virus products have always been good. However, due to recent results in AV testing, I’ve lost some of my faith in it. It’s still good, but not as good as some of the other free AV applications. However, the LinkScanner tool and the new AVG Threat Lab site have my hearty recommendations.

On a final note, my wife is a loyal AVG user and it’s always kept her safe. If you’ve been using AVG, and it’s been working well for you, there’s no reason not to upgrade to the 2011 version right now.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

President Obama Denounces Iran and China for Internet Censorship but Wants to Intercept Encrypted Data

Internet censorship is an issue everywhere in the world currently. Recently, the Indian government allowed Blackberry for a temporary business. However, the condition is not ideal in US as well. While President Obama condemns China and Iran for a closed and censored Internet policy, he too is following their footsteps in internet censorship.

The matter here is two-fold. Firstly, the MPAA (the one that got its website hacked) has raised a bill and is passing it soon to make it a law. This will allow ISPs to block user domains that use too much of file sharing and copyright infringement. However, the exact details of the bill are unknown and a bill of this nature seems to be too abstract.

Secondly, we have the government itself, which wants to track users sending encrypted content and read them. This would include encrypted traffic from Blackberry, Facebook and Skype.  President Obama is willing to present the bill next year.

This can have serious privacy implications and  James X. Dempsey, vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology  has remarked,

They are really asking for the authority to redesign services that take advantage of the unique, and now pervasive, architecture of the Internet. They want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function.

This can help Law enforcement gather better amounts of data from P2P networks. However, this law will affect the privacy and innovation factors adversely.

Twitter Attacked Again

Just a day after Google’s social network Orkut was ravaged by the “Bom Sabado” worm, Twitter has possibly fallen victim to a XSS (cross-site scripting) attack.

Details are scarce at the moment, but the gist of the matter is that you should strictly avoid clicking links in any tweet that begins with a WTF. If you do, then be prepared for a barrage of embarrassing messages like these being tweeted out from your account:


The attack has already claimed high profile tweeps like Robert Scoble and Zee.

via CoveringWeb

Update 1: Twitter has issued a statement that states, “A malicious link is making the rounds that will post a tweet to your account when clicked on. Twitter has disabled the link, and is currently resolving the issue.”

Update 2: Twitter is now saying that they have fixed the exploit and are in the process of removing the offending Tweets. While Twitter succeeded in nipping the problem in the bud through their quick response, this attack comes just five days after a major XSS vulnerability resurfaced in its web interface. Twitter clearly needs to do a better job at plugging the holes.

Kaspersky: Stuxnet Worm Has Nation-State Support

The Stuxnet worm, which we covered in two previous articles, is continuing to make headlines. Sophisticated malwares are nothing new. Just last year, we saw the Conflicker, which used exceptionally smart techniques to avoid disinfection. However, Stuxnet is a different beast all together.

“I think that this is the turning point, this is the time when we got to a really new world, because in the past there were just cyber-criminals, now I am afraid it is the time of cyber-terrorism, cyber-weapons and cyber-wars,” said Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder and chief executive officer of Kaspersky Lab.

The worm has been confirmed to have caused extensive damage to Iran’s nuclear facilities, and is being currently analyzed by US security organisations. It has also been found in Siemens systems in India, Indonesia, Pakistan and elsewhere. Stuxnet is unique because of its ability to identify a facility’s control network and wreck it. “This malicious program was not designed to steal money, send spam, grab personal data, no, this piece of malware was designed to sabotage plants, to damage industrial systems”, stated Eugene Kaspersky.

The origin and exact purpose of Stuxnet is still a mystery. “One of our hardest jobs is attribution and intent,” said Sean McGurk, director of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC). The worm, which exploits four separate 0-day (previously unknown) vulnerabilities, is being dubbed as a working and fearsome prototype of a cyber-weapon.

Orkut Gets Flooded with ‘Bom Sabado’ Scraps

If you are amongst the few who still give a damn about Orkut, you might have noticed something fishy going on over the past few hours. A large number of users are randomly flooding their friend’s scrapbooks (Orkut’s equivalent of Facebook Wall) with the following message:


It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the “Bom Sabado!” messages are automatically generated by a script. However, it is not clear if this is simply a script exploiting vulnerability in Orkut, or have the accounts sending the automated scraps been compromised.

If you are amongst those affected, it’s highly recommended that you follow the steps highlighted below:

  • Switch to the “older version” of Orkut.
  • Log out of Orkut.
  • Clean your browser’s cache and cookies.
  • Log in and change your password and security question.

If you haven’t been affected yet, it is strongly advised that you avoid Orkut until the issue has been resolved. I managed to trigger the same exploit while researching this article. Recently other high profile websites like Twitter and YouTube also fell victim to XSS attacks.

This is a developing story; we will update this topic as soon as we learn more. In the meanwhile, stay tuned to Techie Buzz and don’t forget to share your experience, if you have also been affected.

Update 1: The worm appears to have originated in Brazil, where Orkut is still exceptionally popular. Many of the affected users are noticing the Brazilian flag on their status messages. Additionally, the word ‘Bom Sabado’ means ‘Good Saturday’ in Portuguese, which is the official language of Brazil. We are still awaiting an official response from Google.
Update 2: ‘Bom Sabado’ is now trending on Google.


Update 3: Google has finally responded. An update posted on the official forum claims that the ‘Bom Sabado’ bug has been contained.

We’ve contained the “Bom Sabado” virus and have identified the bug that allowed this and have fixed it.
We’re currently working on restoring the affected profiles.

However, we are seeing new variants of the worm (such as ORKUT 3XPL0!T5) appear, which suggests that the underlying vulnerability is yet to be plugged.

Update 4: Google has officially confirmed that the attack did not lead to any compromised user account information. For more information check our follow-up post.

Kaspersky: Opera’s Community Website Is Being Used to Distribute Malware

MyOpera – Opera’s official community website, is being misused to distribute malwares, according to a researcher at Kaspersky Labs.

My-OperaThe Norwegian browser maker allows anyone to sign up and host photos, upload files, publish blogs, participate in discussions and more at myOpera. Unfortunately, the ease of creating an account is being exploited by malware developers to host PHP based IRC botnets on myOpera.

In the recent past, malwares were discovered on Mozilla and Google Code’s servers also. Although I am still awaiting an official response from Opera regarding the security measures they currently have in place, by Kaspersky’s own admission, the problem isn’t very widespread. Dmitry Bestuzhev, the expert from Kaspersky who made the discovery, has so far found less than hundred malwares hosted on myOpera, which has more than 5 million registered members.

Incidents like this goes on to prove that staying careful alone can’t always protect you. XSS vulnerabilities in popular websites like Twitter and YouTube, HTML injection attacks in popular blogs and untrusted files on community websites like myOpera are just some of the techniques being used by malware creators to fool even savvy internet users.

What is the Best Free Online Virus Scanner?

[Windows Only]

security-high-2 The other day, I was reading a newsletter from Windows Secrets. At one point, Fred Langa recommended three different online scanners for detecting malware. He said Three free sites to try are: McAfee’s Freescan, Trendmicro’s HouseCall, and Symantec’s Security Check.

Fred is a trusted source to me. I’ve been reading PC advice from him since years ago, when he wrote the Langa List newsletter. However, I decided to try out Fred’s recommendations, because I’ve never been a big fan of online scanners. If there’s a good scanner out there, I want to know about it.

McAfee Freescan

First, I took a look at McAfee’s service. The foremost objection that I had to this service, is that it requires Internet Explorer. It also runs as an ActiveX application, which is another thing I’ve never liked. The scan seemed to be slow, but it seems to do a good job of detecting infections.

The last item that I believe it fails in, is that it can only detect infections. It cannot remove them. I wouldn’t waste my time here again.


Symantec Security Check

Next, I tried out Symantec’s service. You might be more familiar with their well known Norton security products. My initial impression of Symantec’s scanner suffered a big drop because it also requires Internet Explorer. However, I was impressed by the nice looking interface.

As nice as it looks, it can only detect malware, and you’re out of luck if you expect it to actually fix any problems. Adding to that, it gave me one false detection on a piece of software which I know is completely safe. Clicking on the Fix Nowbutton only sends you to Symantec’s site to read all about their premium anti-virus software.

The final failure that keeps me from returning, is that it told me that my computer had no antivirus software, even though I was using Microsoft Security Essentials. Hmmm, nice sales tactic, but it only works on foolish people. (Sorry! I mean those less knowledgeable about PCs.)


TrendMicro Housecall

At last, TrendMicro has unchained itself from Internet Explore. It works in any browser, and the scanner is offered as an installer EXE file. The scanning is typically slow, just as I saw with the other two services. However, another bright spot is that it can actually FIXsome of the problems it finds. Housecall is actually a service I could recommend.

The only drawback is that you have to save the installer file, or go back to the website if you want to scan with it in the future.



Of these three services, Housecall won easily. Some time back, I also reviewed ESET online scanner and it was just as good as Housecall, maybe better. Check it out.

I would only recommend an online scanner like these as a follow-up after cleaning a PC that was badly infected. Typically, I depend on MalwareBytes to clean up serious infections. If your current antivirus and antimalware software has failed, it’s not likely an online scanner will do you any good.

On the other hand, scanning with an online service like these won’t hurt, and it could pick up something your current software has missed. There are also several other online scanners that I haven’t tried yet. Do you use any online scanners that you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

Top Countries Where Internet Is a Risky Business

Internet came as boon for making communicating with people easier. Communication took a new dimension with emails and instant messaging. However, Internet also has its own perils with Viruses, Spyware and Malware being a regular threat for PCs.

Online PC Security

Some of these threats are pretty serious considering that they can snoop in on your personal information including your financial accounts. According to a recent study by AVG, which looked at data from 100+ millions PCs in 144 countries, it found that several countries had a high chance of being affected by Internet threats.

Also See: Online Security Tips | Free Antivirus | Free Anti Malware | Free Anti Spyware | Online Security

According to the reports, Turkey is the most riskiest country to surf the web with 1 in 10 Internet users being affected. After Turkey, web users in Russia (1 in 15), Armenia (1 in 24) and Azerbaijan (1 in 39) suffered high rates of attacks. Surprisingly United States is part of the top 10 riskiest countries with a 1 in 48 chance of getting hit by Viruses.

Sierra Leone was one of the safest countries for using Internet with 1 in 696 chances of getting affected, followed by Niger with 1 in 442 and Japan with 1 in 403. The Global average of getting attacked was 1 in 73, with North America being more susceptible with a 1 in 51 chance and Europe being much better with 1 in 72 chances.

Surprisingly Asia (including Asia Pacific) had a rate of 1 in 102 with India having a rate of 1 in 56.9 computers being affected. Pakistan and Bangladesh had a chance of 1 in 47.6 and 1 in 41.2 respectively.

According to AVG spokesperson, Roger Thomson:

First of all, it is safe to say that in every country we surveyed, a minority of users account for a large proportion of attacks. However, there are a number of reasons why our statistics might show Web surfers in the region as disproportionately risky.

Some of it may be down to a tendency to access semi-legal or illegal download sites, while some of it probably is down to being less cautious when it comes to sharing links and files online.

Another factor is the popularity of Internet cafes and people generally sharing computers.  This in particular should serve as a wake-up call to people using a public machine or borrowing a friend or colleague’s to go online.   When accessing web-based services like email, be sure to log out and close the browser when you have finished your session.

Finally the key point is that all these web attacks were successfully caught and stopped by ourselves. Even the global average of facing a 1 in 73 attack on any given day does not present great odds if averaged out across a year. Hence the importance of making sure that your computer really does have the right anti-virus software installed.

Study Statistics

Risky Surfing – the top 10 list (the chances of getting attacked, 1 in X)

  1. Turkey   1 in 10
  2. Russia   1 in 15
  3. Armenia  1 in 24
  4. Azerbaijan   1 in 39
  5. Bangladesh   1 in 41
  6. Laos   1 in 42
  7. Vietnam   1 in 42
  8. Portugal 1 in 43
  9. USA  1 in 48
  10. Ukraine  1 in 48
  11. Pakistan 1 in 48

Safe surfing, the top ten list

  1. Sierra Leone   1 in 696
  2. Niger   1 in 442
  3. Japan  1 in 403
  4. Togo 1 in 359
  5. Namibia 1 in 353
  6. Belize 1 in 302
  7. Madagascar 1 in 283
  8. Mozambique 1 in 264
  9. Zambia 1 in 262
  10. Slovakia 1 in 254

What are the average chances of getting attacked, by continent

  • Globally – 1 in 73
  • North America – 1 in 51
  • Europe – 1 in 72
  • Asia (including Asia Pacific) – 1 in 102
  • Africa – 1 in 108
  • S America – 1 in 164

Indian sub-continent

  • Bangladesh – 1 in 41.2
  • Pakistan – 1 in 47.6
  • India – 1 in 56.9
  • Nepal – 1 in 57.5
  • Afghanistan – 1 in 105.2

You can view a downloadable image of the threats map by visiting this link and view the entire report on the threat index at the AVG blog.

Image Credit: Technollama

BrowserLinux Now Offers Chrome Browser

chrome-ico In December of last year, we told you about BrowserLinux, a very small operating system that has one basic purpose, providing a web browser. The older versions contained only Firefox, but now you can get versions which use Firefox or Google Chrome. That’s good news for those of us who prefer Google’s web browser. At this point you might be wondering why you’d want to use BrowserLinux. Below are a few details that might convince you to give it a try.


Size matters

How would you like to run an entire operating system from a 128mb flash card or USB thumb drive? With BrowserLinux, it’s quite easy to do. It’s offered as a Live CD (ISO file) download and is less that 80mb in size. You could burn the ISO file to a CD, but SD cards and USB sticks are so easy to carry around. Here’s an easy way to create a bootable flash or USB drive.

Your PC is unchanged

Since BrowserLinux was designed to run only as a Live CD (or bootable flash/USB), you don’t have to worry that your PC will get messed up. No matter what OS is already installed, BrowserLinux won’t make any changes to it.

Infection Free

The bad guys don’t seem to care about Linux. While Windows operating systems get infected by the thousands every day, it’s very unlikely you’ll find a website or email attachment that can infect your BrowserLinux system.  If something weird happens, you can simply shut down without saving by killing the power. Any problems you had during your surfing won’t be there the next time you reboot. That makes it almost bullet-proof and an ideal system to take with you on the road.

Public Library or Internet Cafe

This might also be a good OS for Public Libraries or Internet Cafes to use. All they’d have to do it take out the hard drive, slip in a Live CD and set the BIOS to boot from CD. No changes could ever be made to the PCs that are set up that way. With so many cool web applications and online office suites available, who needs the hassle of installing, constantly updating, and paying for buggy software like MS Office. Finally, BrowserLinux will run fine on older PCs. That makes a computer running from this Live CD, the ultimate low cost, maintenance free system.


The developer of BrowserLinux says:

If you want an operating system for editing movies, writing letters or printing spreadsheets: don’t use Browserlinux. Browserlinux is for browsing the web.

The most difficult task to getting this OS on the web is connecting to a Wifi network. However, even that’s no big deal. All you have to do is hit the Menu button, choose Network, then choose Wireless. It will scan the area for Wifi hotspots you can connect to.


Highly Recommended

If you have your own tips on using Linux or it’s problems, be sure to comment below or email me.