Bitdefender Releases Free Tool to Fend Off Ransomware

Ransomware is a growing vector of attack in recent times and very few are truly safe from it and the potential loss of their personal data. Now antivirus firm Bitdefender have published a free tool that is capable of preventing computers from being infected by some of the most common strains of ransomware including Locky, TeslaCrypt and CTB-Locker.

The Crypto-Ransomware Vaccine works a lot like a biological vaccine of sorts against these types of ransomware, similar to a previous Bitdefender tool that was designed to stop CryptoWall infection. That tool may have been rendered useless by changes to CryptoWall, but the principle of how it works remains effective for other types of ransomware. It works by tricking the ransomware into believing that the system it is targeting has already been infected by the same strain and in order to avoid nested encryption on a single system, many ransomware authors engineer their software to ignore already infected machines.

Of course, it is always best to avoid ransomware in the first place than rely on this tool, and as such it is recommended that users also ensure that their operating system, browsers and other software such as flash player, which is notorious for its vulnerabilities are kept up to date. The tool may be very effectual at defending against a specific set of ransomware, but it is a complimentary measure to users not running a full security suite or wishing to ensure defense from malware as part of it.

KeRanger Mac Ransomware Flaw May Allow Recovery of Files

A few days ago, KeRanger, the first Mac ransomware found in the wild was discovered. Now, according to researchers from antivirus firm Bitdefender, KeRanger turned out to be based on a previous piece of ransomware known as Linux.Encoder, which emerged late last year, targeting Linux-based web servers.

The advantage to this is that Linux.Encoder possessed flaws in its cryptographic implementation for at least the first three versions, which allowed Bitdefender’s researchers to develop tools that could decrypt the files affected by the malware. According to Bogdan Botezatu, senior e-threat analyst at Bitdefender, even the latest version of Linux.Encoder (4), has the same flaws that affected the previous versions.

“The infected Mac OS X torrent client update analyzed by Bitdefender Labs looks virtually identical to version 4 of the Linux.Encoder Trojan that has been infecting thousands of Linux servers since the beginning of 2016,” Bitdefender researchers stated in a blog post published on Tuesday. The result of this is that KeRanger also contains the same broken cryptographic implementation.

Bitdefender is yet to publish a tool able to decrypt KeRanger affected files, however, development of such a tool is under consideration, should the demand be sufficient.

The purpose behind KeRanger still remains to be seen, considering the great lengths that those responsible for it have gone to, including stealing a legitimate Apple developer’s certificate and hacking into a popular and trusted open source project’s website, if the ransomware they were distributing had such a crucial known weakness. Whether a newer, more dangerous version of KeRanger will appear in the future could be quite likely, however, those affected by its current iteration should be thankful that this incident was not more serious.

Bitdefender Is Best Windows 8 Internet Security, AVG is Best Free Security

According to the well respected, comprehensive and independent test of internet security packages, done by AV Test, Bitdefender has come out on top as the best overall internet security package. Bitdefender received 17 out of 18 points, followed closely by BullGuard with 16.5 points and Kaspersky with 16.

The test applies to the Windows 8 operating system only and is the most comprehensive and up-to-date internet security test currently available. The results are probably quite similar to what you’d expect to find on Windows 7 too. So as a general rule if you are looking to invest in Internet Security for your Windows 7 or 8 computer you will get the best protection from Bitdefender.

If we take a look at the freely available internet securities, which a lot of people use because they offer nearly as good protection, we can see AVG Free Edition 2013 does the best scoring 15.5 points. AVG Free is followed closely by Avast Free Antivirus 7.0 with 15 points and Panda Security Cloud Antivirus Free 2.1 with 14.5 points. Microsoft’s free included Windows Defender 4.0 does badly scoring 11.5 with the joint lowest protection score.

Funnily enough some paid Internet Security packages like McAfee, with 12.5 points, Comodo Premium, with 10 points, AhnLab V3, with 10 points and Norman Security Suite Pro 10, with 12 points, all did worse than the three best free Internet Security packages.

So we can pull some conclusions from these tests, which are that if you pick the right paid-internet security (Bitdefender, BullGuard or Kaspersky) packages you can get the best security.However, you can get nearly as good free internet security from Avast or AVG and this is very often better than a lot of paid internet security packages on the market today.

To see the full details of the AV Test Internet Security testing then please visit here.