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A flaw in Kaspersky Antivirus allowed tracking its users onlineSecurity Affairs

A vulnerability in the Kaspersky Antivirus software, tracked as CVE, had exposed a unique identifier associated with its users to every website they have visited in the past 4 years. The exposure of this identifier allowed visited websites and commercial third-party services to track users online. The bad news is that users might have been exposed to cross-site tracking even if they have blocked or deleted cookies. Kaspersky Internet security solution injects a remotely-hosted JavaScript file directly into the HTML code of every web page visited by its users to check if the page is blacklisted for some reason i.
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A flaw in Kaspersky Antivirus allowed tracking its users online

Phishing Protection Results Chart The four independent testing labs I follow all include Kaspersky in their regular test reports. Kaspersky earned the highest possible score in all but one test by every one of the labs; the exception was just one notch below the top. Bitdefender also got one near-perfect score and the rest perfect. Both scored 9.

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Kaspersky didn’t fare as well in my hands-on malware protection test, but when results don’t jibe, I defer to the labs and their dozens of researchers. The best score against my current malware collection is 9. Tested with my previous sample collection, Norton also scored 9. One way to fend off malware attacks is to make sure the malicious software never reaches your computer.

In my malicious URL blocking test, Kaspersky prevented the browser from even visiting over 80 percent of the dangerous URLs, and wiped out a few malware downloads that got past the URL filter.

Kaspersky’s score of 89 percent is good, but almost a dozen competitors have done better. Phishing websites don’t host malware; they just trick users into giving away their login credentials. Kaspersky proved extremely effective, using heuristic detection to foil frauds too new to be blacklisted. Bitdefender and Trend Micro came very close, with 99 percent protection. The System Watcher component aims to detect malicious activity, including ransomware activity , in processes missed by the main real-time antivirus.

To test this feature, I disabled real-time protection and launched a collection of real-world ransomware samples. A couple samples took no action, perhaps because they detected Kaspersky. System Watcher caught all the other file-encrypting ransomware samples, and also nabbed the uncommon disk-encrypting Petya ransomware. One screen-locker sample did manage to lock up my test system, but pressing Kaspersky’s lock-breaker key combination defeated it.

When you boot from the rescue disk’s alternate operating system, Windows-based malware has no power to resist. It’s worth noting that Bitdefender Antivirus Plus makes the process a lot easier. You just select Rescue Mode and reboot. There’s no disk to burn or USB to prepare. You can use MB of secured connectivity per day on each device, and the VPN chooses the server you’ll use.

Please read our review of the VPN for full details. Bitdefender’s product line offers a very similar VPN arrangement, with MB and no server choice for free, or unlimited bandwidth and choice of servers for a premium.

It’s no surprise that the two are similar, since both are backed by the server network of AnchorFree Hotspot Shield Elite.

We have dinged Hotspot Shield in past reviews for some iffy privacy policies. Both Bitdefender and Kaspersky put severe limits on the user info they share with AnchorFree. Vulnerability Scan People write software. People aren’t perfect. Ergo, software isn’t perfect. Malware coders look for ways to exploit vulnerable code in popular programs.

Once an exploit comes out, the program’s designers work feverishly to patch it. And if you ignore the patches, you’re hosed. Kaspersky’s vulnerability scanner, notably absent from the free product, looks for missing security patches in the operating system and in browsers and other popular programs.

On my test system, after a lengthy scan it found eight OS vulnerabilities and two in applications. I am disappointed that the output is a simple, static list of applications. The software updater that comes with Avira Total Security Suite not only finds available updates, it installs them automatically.

The same is true of Avast Premier. Note, though, that these two are the top tier suites in their respective product lines—lesser products don’t include automation.

The list of operating system vulnerabilities didn’t include any missing Windows updates, which makes sense because I keep my test systems fully updated.

What it did show was a list of settings that make for poor security. Several involving Autorun showed the status “Strongly recommended to fix” or “Recommended to fix. If for some reason you don’t like the effect of the fix, you can view fixed items and roll back any that don’t suit you.

The free product includes a scan that overlaps this one, to some extent. Called Microsoft Windows Troubleshooting, it finished in a flash and reported some of the same Autorun problems. Browser Configuration Check This scan very specifically diagnoses problems with Internet Explorer beyond the fact that you’re using IE.

Once you’ve used it, a second option becomes available to roll back any changes you made. After a very quick scan I saw some results, in a kind of tree format, all under the heading Problems That Can Be Fixed.

Consulting the help system, I learned that one might see headings for problems recommended or strongly recommended to be fixed. Note that this same scan appears in the free product. Privacy Cleaner As you surf the web and use your computer, you accumulate a trail of activity traces.

A snoop could learn a lot by examining your browser history, cookies, recent file lists, and so on. If that possibility worries you, the Privacy Cleaner component, also present in the free antivirus, can help. At the start, this component does warn that its cleanup could cause some inconvenience. For example, clearing out cookies can wipe out your saved settings for websites that use them. On my test system, the scan finished in a flash and listed dozens of activity traces.

As with the browser check, it divided them into strongly recommended actions, recommended actions, and available actions, with all items in the first two categories checked off. The recommended actions included clearing cookies, history, and temp files for Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Opera. Firefox is present on the system, but didn’t appear in the list. It also suggested clearing the temp folder, and wiping the cache and temp files used by Flash Player.

Cleanup went quickly. On completion, it pointed out the option to roll back changes, which could be handy. That didn’t happen this time around, but you can run the troubleshooter at will to check for any malware-created damage. This scan follows the pattern of offering strongly recommended, recommended, and available fixes.

On my test system, its advice duplicated the Autorun-related items from the Vulnerability Scan. I’m thinking that Kaspersky should merge all these overlapping scans into one. Impressive Scores Kaspersky Anti-Virus gets the very highest scores in all the tests from all the labs that we follow, and it comes with a feature-limited version of Kaspersky’s VPN.

The core antivirus technology is the same as what’s in Kaspersky Security Cloud Free, but the paid edition includes scanning for vulnerabilities and the ability to get direct tech support by phone or live chat. Still, the free edition is looking pretty good. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus scores just as high as Kaspersky with the labs, and it packs enough useful bonus security features to almost qualify as a suite.

Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus uses behavioral detection along with a journal-and-rollback system that can reverse malware damage.

And while McAfee AntiVirus Plus doesn’t score quite as high, it lets you protect every device in your household. From the dozens of available antivirus products, we’ve picked these three, along with Kaspersky Anti-Virus, as Editors’ Choice antivirus tools. Kaspersky Anti-Virus.

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Phishing Protection Results Chart The four independent testing labs I follow all include Kaspersky in their regular test reports. Kaspersky earned the highest possible score in all but one test by every one of the labs; the exception was just one notch below the top. Bitdefender also got one near-perfect score and the rest perfect. Both scored 9. Kaspersky didn’t fare as well in my hands-on malware protection test, but when results don’t jibe, I defer to the labs and their dozens of researchers.

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