Avira

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Avira Operations GmbH & Co. KG
Native name
H+BEDV Datentechnik GmbH
Type Kommanditgesellschaft
Industry Computer software
PredecessorAntiVir PersonalProducts
Avira
H+BEDV Datentechnik  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Founded Germany (1986)
FounderTjark Auerbach
Headquarters,
Key people
Travis Witteveen CEO
Products Security software
Number of employees
500+ [1]
Parent NortonLifeLock
Website www.avira.com

Avira Operations GmbH & Co. KG is a German multinational computer security software company mainly known for their antivirus software Avira Free Security (formerly known as Avira Free Antivirus and Avira AntiVir). Avira was founded in 2006, but the antivirus application has been under active development since 1986, through its predecessor company H+BEDV Datentechnik GmbH. As of 2021, Avira is owned by American software company NortonLifeLock, after being previously owned by investment firm Investcorp.

The company also has offices in the United States, China, Romania, and Japan. [2]


Technology

Virus definition

Avira periodically "cleans out" its virus definition files, replacing specific signatures with generic ones for a general increase in performance and scanning speed. A 15  MB database clean-out was made on 27 October 2008, causing problems to the users of the Free edition because of its large size and Avira's slow Free edition servers. Avira responded by reducing the size of the individual update files, delivering less data in each update. Nowadays there are 32 smaller definition files that are updated regularly in order to avoid peaks in the download of the updates. [3]

Its file-by-file scanning feature has jokingly been titled "Luke Filewalker" by the developers, as a reference to the Star Wars media franchise character "Luke Skywalker". [4]

Advance heuristic

Avira products contain heuristics that proactively uncover unknown malware, before a special virus signature to combat the damaging element has been created and before a virus guard update has been sent.

Heuristic virus detection involves extensive analysis and investigation of the affected codes for functions typical of malware. If the code being scanned exhibits these characteristic features it is reported as being suspicious, although not necessarily malware; the user decides whether to act on or ignore the warning.

ProActiv

The ProActiv component uses rule sets developed by the Avira Malware Research Center to identify suspicious behavior. The rule sets are supplied by Avira databases. ProActiv sends information on suspicious programs to the Avira databases for logging.

Firewall

Avira removed their own firewall technology from 2014 onwards, with protection supplied instead by Windows Firewall (Windows 7 and after), because Windows 8, and later the Microsoft Certification Program, forces developers to use interfaces introduced in Windows Vista. [5]

Protection Cloud

Avira Protection Cloud (APC) was first introduced in version 2013. It uses information available via the Internet (cloud computing) to improve detection and affect system performance less. This technology was implemented in all paid 2013 products. APC was initially only used during a manual quick system scan; later it was extended to real-time protection.

Partners

Avira offers its antivirus engine in the form of a software development kit to implement in complementary products. Strategic and technology partners of Avira include Canonical, CYAN Networks, IBM, intelligence AG, Microsoft, novell, OPSWAT, Synergy Systems and others.

On 4 September 2014, Avira announced a partnership with Dropbox, to combine Avira's security with Dropbox's "sync and share" capabilities. [6]

Tjark Auerbach, the founder of Avira sold almost 100% stakes of the company to the Investcorp Group of Manama (Bahrain) in April 2020. [7] [8] The stakes were reportedly sold at a price of 180 million dollars. The Investcorp Group has invested in several other firms from the cybersecurity sector in the past.[ citation needed ] The directors of Investcorp Group belong to several royal families of Middle East countries like Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, etc. However, 20% of its total ordinary and preferred shares are owned by the Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Group since 2017. The UAE also serves as the headquarter of a cybersecurity firm discredited for its involvement in human rights abuses against activists, dissidents arrested for criticizing the monarchy; conducting cyber offensives against FIFA officials, and the ruler of Qatar; and the surveillance over Jamal Khashoggi. [9] The chairman of the Mubadala Group owns an institute called ECSSR or the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies & Research, which allegedly influenced German academics to gain soft-power and impact policies in the conflict of interest of the UAE. [7]

On December 7, 2020, NortonLifeLock announced acquisition of Avira for approximately US$360 million from Investcorp Technology Partners. [10] The acquisition was closed in January 2021. [11]

In February 2021, BullGuard joined Avira as part of NortonLifeLock. [12]

Products

Windows

Avira Free Antivirus
Avira Internet Security 2012.png
Avira Internet Security 2013 in Windows 7
Initial release1988
Stable release
Windows

15.0.44.143 (March 11, 2019;3 years ago (2019-03-11) [13] )

iOS

6.12.0 (February 14, 2022;5 months ago (2022-02-14) [14] )

Android

7.12.3 (February 8, 2022;5 months ago (2022-02-08) [15] )

mac
1.19 (December 4, 2019;2 years ago (2019-12-04) [16] ) [±]
Operating system Windows 7 and later
Type Antivirus software
License Freemium

Avira offers the following security products and tools for Microsoft Windows: [17] [18]

OS X

Android and iOS

Avira offers the following security applications for mobile devices running Android and iOS:

Avira Mobile Security for iOS
Free edition for iOS devices, such as iPhone and iPad. [28]

Other products

Avira Prime is compatible with Windows, OSX, iOS, and Android operating systems and related devices and is available to consumers in 5- and 25-device editions, dubbed "Avira Prime" and "Avira Prime Unlimited" respectively. [30] [31] Subscriptions are in 30-day and 1-year increments. [30] [31]

Discontinued platforms

Avira formerly offered free antivirus software for Unix and Linux. That was discontinued in 2013, although updates were supplied until June 2016. [32]

Security vulnerabilities

In 2005, Avira was hit by ACE archive buffer overflow vulnerability. A remote attacker could have exploited this vulnerability by crafting an ACE archive and delivering it via a malicious web page or e-mail. A buffer overflow could occur when Avira scanned the malicious archive. That would have allowed the attacker to execute arbitrary code on the affected system. [33]

In 2010, Avira Management Console was hit by the use-after-free remote code execution vulnerability. The vulnerability allowed remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of Avira Management Console. Authentication was not required to exploit the vulnerability. [34]

In 2013, Avira engines were hit by a 0-day vulnerability that allowed attackers to get access to a customer's PC. The bug was found in the avipbb.sys driver file and allowed privilege escalation. [35]

Awards and reviews

In January 2008, Anti-Malware Test Lab gave Avira "gold" status for proactive virus detection and detection/removal of rootkits. [36]

AV-Comparatives awarded Avira its "AV Product of the Year" award in its "Summary Report 2008." [37]

In April 2009, PC Pro awarded Avira Premium Security Suite 9 the maximum six stars and a place on its A-list for Internet security software. [38]

In August 2009, Avira performed at a 98.9% percent overall malware detection rate, and was the fastest for both on-demand scans and on-access scans conducted by PC World magazine, which ranked it first on its website. [39] Avira was among the first companies to receive OESIS OK Gold Certification, [40] indicating that both the antispyware and antivirus components of several of its security products achieved the maximum compatibility score with widespread network technologies such as SSL/TLS VPN and Network Access Control from companies including Juniper Networks, Cisco Systems, and SonicWALL.

In February 2010, testing by firm AV-TEST, Avira tied for first place (with another German company) in the "malware on demand" detection test and earned a 99% score in the "adware/spyware on demand" test. [41]

AV-Comparatives gave Avira its Silver award (for 99.5% detection rate) in its "Summary Report 2010." [42]

For 2012, AV-Comparatives awarded Avira with "gold" status for its 99.6% performance in the "On-Demand Malware Detection" category and classified Avira as a "Top Rated" product overall for that year. [43]

In the AV-Comparatives August 2014 "Real-World Protection Test," with 669 total test cases tried against various security products, Avira tied for first place. [44]

AV-Comparatives awarded Avira its "AV Product of the Year" award in its "Summary Report 2016." [45]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Antivirus software, also known as anti-malware, is a computer program used to prevent, detect, and remove malware.

Clam AntiVirus Open-source antivirus software

Clam AntiVirus (ClamAV) is a free software, cross-platfom antimalware toolkit able to detect many types of malware, including viruses. It was developed for Unix and has third party versions available for AIX, BSD, HP-UX, Linux, macOS, OpenVMS, OSF (Tru64) and Solaris. As of version 0.97.5, ClamAV builds and runs on Microsoft Windows. Both ClamAV and its updates are made available free of charge. One of its main uses is on mail servers as a server-side email virus scanner.

ESET NOD32 Computer protection software

ESET NOD32 Antivirus, commonly known as NOD32, is an antivirus software package made by the Slovak company ESET. ESET NOD32 Antivirus is sold in two editions, Home Edition and Business Edition. The Business Edition packages add ESET Remote Administrator allowing for server deployment and management, mirroring of threat signature database updates and the ability to install on Microsoft Windows Server operating systems.

Norton AntiVirus is an anti-virus or anti-malware software product, developed and distributed by NortonLifeLock since 1991 as part of its Norton family of computer security products. It uses signatures and heuristics to identify viruses. Other features included in it are e-mail spam filtering and phishing protection.

Microsoft Defender Anti-malware software

Microsoft Defender Antivirus is an anti-malware component of Microsoft Windows. It was first released as a downloadable free anti-spyware program for Windows XP, and was later shipped with Windows Vista and Windows 7. It has evolved into a full antivirus program, replacing Microsoft Security Essentials, as part of Windows 8 and later versions. Prior to Windows 10, Defender Antivirus was a graphical desktop app. Starting with Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016, however, users manage the Defender Antivirus indirectly through either the Windows Security app or PowerShell. The Defender Antivirus is part of the broader Microsoft Defender for Endpoint offering.

Norton Internet Security, developed by Symantec Corporation, was a computer program that provided malware protection and removal during a subscription period. It used signatures and heuristics to identify viruses. Other features included a personal firewall, email spam filtering, and phishing protection. With the release of the 2015 line in summer 2014, Symantec officially retired Norton Internet Security after 14 years as the chief Norton product. It was superseded by Norton Security, a rechristened adaptation of the Norton 360 security suite.

Windows Live OneCare Discontinued Microsoft security software

Windows Live OneCare was a computer security and performance enhancement service developed by Microsoft for Windows. A core technology of OneCare was the multi-platform RAV, which Microsoft purchased from GeCAD Software Srl in 2003, but subsequently discontinued. The software was available as an annual paid subscription, which could be used on up to three computers.

This is a non-exhaustive list of notable antivirus and Internet Security software, in the form of comparison tables, according to their platform and their operating systems.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus Antivirus solution

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Webroot Inc. is an American privately-held cybersecurity software company that provides Internet security for consumers and businesses. The company was founded in Boulder, Colorado, US, and is now headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado, and has US operations in San Mateo and San Diego, and globally in Australia, Austria, Ireland, Japan and the United Kingdom.

VirusTotal Cybersecurity website owned by Chronicle

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Microsoft Security Essentials Free antivirus product produced by Microsoft for the Windows operating system

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Comodo Internet Security

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Norton, formerly known as Norton by Symantec, is a division of NortonLifeLock that is based out of Mountain View, California. Since being acquired by the Symantec Corporation in 1990, Norton offers a variety of products and services related to digital security. In 2014, Norton's parent company Symantec separated their business into two units. One was focused on security and the other was focused on information management; Norton was placed in the unit focused on security.

References

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