AVG is introducing AVG LinkScanner as a free standalone product to protect users against random, invisible online threats.
The company says that on any given day, some two million web pages are poisoned by hidden threats. And every day, 60 percent of those threats shut down or move to a different destination on the web – which makes real-time link scanning very important for end users.
Any type of site can be affected, from a small business to a government department to a major brand-name company. If a user simply visits one of these poisoned web pages they don’t even need to click on anything to get into real trouble, to lose their credit card details, their ID or other valuable information or files. Regular anti-virus software alone cannot protect against this type of threat.
AVG LinkScanner gives users an additional real-time layer of protection on top of their existing security software. It works by looking at the web page behind a link or a web address typed into a browser and analysing whether it harbours a threat. If it does, then AVG LinkScanner stops the user from downloading that page.
AVG LinkScanner also applies this targeted analysis of web pages to search results from Google, Yahoo! and MSN. Whenever users search using these search engines, they will see safety rankings for all ‘organic’ search results. In addition, the AVG LinkScanner will scan users‘ bookmarks as well as links contained in instant messages and emails before they open them to ensure the links are safe.
“The Web has become the primary distribution mechanism for viruses (and other malware), drive-by downloads and other stealthy web threats which represent vast majority of attacks,” said AVG Technologies CTO Karel Obluk. “So we’ve evolved our product range to put greater emphasis on combating this more insidious and dangerous form of attack. AVG LinkScanner is at the front line of this additional protective layer. By making this layer freely available, it’s our goal to give users the confidence to always feel safe when they go online.”
AVG’s ‘neighborhood watch’ approach to AVG LinkScanner research also increases the product’s ability to provide relevant protection to users. The LIVE Intelligence Network has for the past five years focused solely on this area of evolving threats through the combined resources of:
• a global team of expert human researchers and a network of ‘hunting pots’
• an intelligent filter for known and suspected threat distribution sites and mechanisms
• automated threat encounter feedback, ensuring focus on real-world threats that affect real users
AVG LinkScanner aggregates intelligence gained through these three channels, correlates it in real time, and integrates it back into the threat analysis process to continually improve user protection.