Tag Archives: Panda

Panda Cloud Antivirus & Firewall Beta 1.9.2 – Ready To Hit The Road

Testing anti-malware applications takes considerable time in order to get to the heart of the matter – does an application work in the “real world?”


Will the application do what an average user expects – does it block malware effectively and efficiently? Particularly new, or emerging, malware threats.

Is the interface crafted in such a way that an average user doesn’t need to digest an instruction manual in order to navigate the application?

Is the application capable of providing adequate protection without stressing system resources?

I’ve been running various versions of Panda Cloud Antivirus – on and off – on a secondary system, since April 2009, and in this extensive testing, Panda Cloud Antivirus has met, or exceeded, all of those requirements. I will point out however – I’m an extremely cautious and aware Internet user.

Since Beta 1.9.2 (release date June 4th), is Windows 8 compatible (which, I’ve been running on my main system since day one of the first release), it’s time to kick the tires. According to Panda – “This new beta version includes better malware disinfection capabilities and even lower impact on system performance.”


Pay particular attention at the Install screen. Once again, you’ll be asked to accept a Toolbar and a change in your Homepage – annoying as hell. Surely we’ve reached the point where developers are more than aware that additional Toolbars installed on a system can lead to problems.

In the past 7 days I’ve tested 15 or more applications (many of which sucked), and each and every one offered a Toolbar – in some cases, in a deceptive manner.

Enough already!!!!!!!!!!!!


The initial download is an installer (not the application) – which explains the following screen.


Following the application download, installation continues seamlessly.


On successful installation, the application will immediately launch into an optimized scan – effectively, a “Quick Scan.”



Scan time: under one minute – 22, 267 files. A dramatic improvement in scan speed over previous versions.

Comparable Quick Scan Speeds:

MalwareBytes: 2 minutes 7 seconds – 190, 557 files.

SUPERAntiSpyware: 2 minutes 3 seconds – 35,173 files.


Panda is obviously convinced that the “more is less” GUI approach, is suitable for most users. Kudos – I couldn’t agree more.


You won’t be left in the dark on questionable items as per the following screen shot – you have the option of blocking any application which you may be unsure of.


The built-in Firewall is reasonably configurable.


You may add – edit –delete rules, as per your preferences and requirements.


In this example I’ve shown the “Edit Rule” screen listed under Factory rules (the presets).

Note: Since Beta 1.9.2 is integrated with Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 Security Center, you have the option of turning off the Firewall component in favor of your existing Firewall.



Overall application advanced settings are readily accessible. I suggest that at least initially, you carry on with the default settings.


Some of the most notable changes implemented for 1.9.2 Beta include the following:

  • New firewall platform for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
  • Intrusion Detection System protection against network attacks.
  • Ability to adapt firewall behaviour by zones.
  • Registration of the firewall component in the Windows Security Center.
  • Deactivation/activation of the built-in Windows Firewall when the Panda Cloud Antivirus firewall is activated/deactivated.
  • New technologies for improved malware disinfection.
  • Improved detection of in-memory malware.
  • Improved disinfection of packed/compressed malware.
  • Improved quarantine management.
  • Process monitor without the URL monitoring.
  • Activity monitor in the main interface window.
  • Last detection show in the main interface window.
  • Added advanced configuration to enable/disable detection of potentially unwanted programs.
  • Added advanced configuration to enable/disable background scan after cache synchronization.
  • Added advanced configuration to enable/disable on-demand scan within compressed archives.
  • Added advanced configuration to exclude elements by extension.
  • Improved scanning architecture and integration with Quarantine and memory scanning module.
  • Integrated new toolbar with Google search instead of Yahoo.
  • Button to hide the promotional banners shown in the main interface.
  • Improved integration with the Windows Security Center for the antivirus component.
  • Improved integration with Collective Intelligence of unknown and new malware samples.
  • Performance improvement to lower system impact when treating files within Explorer and Recycle Bin.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 and Win 8.

Download at: Panda

Panda Cloud Antivirus is based on Collective Intelligence, a system for detecting and disinfecting viruses and other threats that feeds off the knowledge shared by millions of users. The computers that are part of the Panda Community – instantly share and benefit from all the information stored in the cloud. There are obvious benefits in this approach to the ever evolving threat landscape.


Filed under Windows Tips and Tools

OPSWAT’s March 2012 Security Industry Market Share Analysis

imageWindows XP is dead-dead-dead. After all, Windows XP is a has-been in the world of operating systems – now 2+generations behind – and, eating dust. Or, so say all the pundits.

If you’re an XP user, as I am, then you can take some solace from OPSWAT’s latest quarterly report (released today), bolstered by more than 353,000 data points, which clearly shows Windows XP continues to hold substantial market share. In fact, according to OPSWAT’s data – Windows XP remains the most popular Windows operating system in both North America and worldwide, with slightly under half of computers using XP.

I’ll point out – I also run with Windows 7 and, Windows 8 Consumer Preview (a super system once one has crossed the “I have to learn some new stuff” barrier) – both of which are considerably safer overall than XP. So, I have no ax to grind – but, I do have an XP horse in the race. There’s little doubt of course, that XP will eventually disappear from the scene – but, not quite yet.

Windows 7, and rightfully so, continues to blaze ahead in the race to displace XP from its preeminent market position and, as shown in the following OPSWAT graphic, now commands better than 46% of the operating system market both in North America, and world wide. Windows Vista on the other hand, is barely on the horizon.


Graphic courtesy OPSWAT

Additionally, the OPSWAT report takes a close look at world wide and North American Antivirus vendors market share and, the gathered information in this latest report shows virtually no shift in market penetration from previous reports. In the world wide market place, the same Top 10 players, as expected, continue to hold substantial positions.


Graphic courtesy OPSWAT

In the North American marketplace, the same high penetration ratios exist although, the players shift position – with Symantec jumping into first position overall, from its sixth position worldwide.


Graphic courtesy OPSWAT

Microsoft, as shown in the following graphic, continues to gain ground with a fairly dramatic shift in growth.


As in previous OPSWAT reports, free security solutions remain at the top of the market with the highest numbers of installations. The top three products in North America, and worldwide, are available free for download.

OPSWAT’s analysis of the peer to peer application market share surprised me somewhat, since it showed LimeWire continuing to hold a market share -despite a court injunction prohibiting the use of the application, dated October 26, 2010.

On the other hand, there was no surprise in seeing µTorrent maintaining its lead over the competition in the public file sharing application market – as the following graphic indicates.


Graphic courtesy OPSWAT

The full report which is chock fill of absorbing statistics is available here.

So, who is OPSWAT?

If you’re a techie, then you’re very likely familiar with AppRemover, a free powerful anti-malware, antivirus application remover, and Metascan Online, a free online file scanner – both from OPSWAT. Beyond this direct connection however, you might not be familiar with OPSWAT.

From the site:

OPSWAT is the industry leader in software management SDKs, interoperability certification and multiple-engine scanning solutions. Our solutions are simplified and comprehensive, solving complex development problems to reduce time and costs for your engineering and testing teams.

OPSWAT offers software manageability solutions to streamline technology partnerships between leading technology solutions and software vendors. By enabling seamless compatibility and easy management capabilities, we make connecting your solutions with other software applications effortless.

Our innovative multi-scanning solutions deliver optimized anti-malware protection that increases detection rates without sacrificing performance with slow and cumbersome scans. Because no single anti-malware engine can catch every threat, we combine multiple engines to scan simultaneously, significantly improving the probability of detecting a threat.


Filed under OPSWAT, Reports

SMB Social Media Risk Index – Panda Security’s Surprising Findings

image The success of the email delivered “Here you have” worm that clogged email systems on Thursday, despite the usual misspelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors, seemed to bewilder many in the security community. Frankly, I’m surprised that the community was surprised.

It seems to me, that any security honcho worth his salt (someone who makes a point of getting out in the field occasionally to observe user behavior), would be more than aware, that despite constant warnings NOT to click on embedded links, the majority of users blithely ignore this critical advice.

The following are a few comments I heard at a meeting over the weekend, during which “here you have”, was a topic of much discussion.

“Social scientists need to sit down with a group of these dumb dicks who clicked on the link in this email, and study their behavior.”

“Most users continually show that they are morons. They can’t follow the most basic instruction – DON’T CLICK ON EMBEDDED LINKS!”

“Users who fell for this, and who caused so much disruption in their organization, should be restricted to a pocket calculator on the job.”

The comments might sound slightly edgy, but when perceived stupidity cost money, “edgy” might be at the lower end of the spectrum. And, there are costs –direct monetary costs that a company will be forced to deal with, following penetration of a company system caused by irresponsible employee behavior.

So, what do you think the costs to an organization might be, where employees fail to follow common sense rules when interacting with the Internet, particularly social networking sites?

Panda Security, which released the results of its 1st Annual Social Media Risk Index today, for small and medium sized businesses, may well have one answer.

In this survey of 315 US small and medium businesses (up to 1,000 employees), which focused on the month of July, 2010, Panda found that more than a third of surveyed  companies which had been infected through employee interaction with social networking sites, reported losses in excess of $5,000.

I was not at all surprised to see that Panda found that Facebook was cited as the top culprit for companies that experienced malware infection (71.6 percent) and privacy violations (73.2 percent).

I was however, surprised to see this – “we were pleased to see that the majority of companies already have formal governance and education programs in place. These types of policies combined with up to date network security solutions are required to minimize risk and ultimately prevent loss.”

A confused observation in my view, given that the facts show – these “education programs”, are NOT working.

Additional survey facts:

Thirty-three percent of SMBs have been infected by malware propagated via social networks; 23 percent cited employee privacy violations on popular social media sites.

Thirty-five percent of SMBs infected by malware from social networks have suffered financial loss.

Facebook takes top spot for social networking-related malware infections, followed by YouTube and Twitter.

You can find the complete survey here. Or, you can view a slideshow on the study’s results here.

About Panda Security;

Founded in 1990, Panda Security is the world’s leading provider of cloud-based security solutions with products available in more than 23 languages and millions of users located in 195 countries around the world.

Panda Security was the first IT security company to harness the power of cloud computing with its Collective Intelligence technology.

For more information, visit Panda US.

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Filed under cybercrime, downloads, FaceBook, Free Anti-malware Software, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Online Safety, Panda Security, Reports, social networking, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Panda Security’s Latest Survey Shows Small Business Fails At Data Security

image I’ve been working on an article for some time, investigation whether small business is up to the task of protecting your personal information; particularly your financial data (credit card, debit card, details), following a consumer transaction.

The background research has revealed a sobering reality – many small and medium sized businesses really suck at protecting their customers’ critical financial information.

So, when I had the opportunity to read Panda Security’s study (released yesterday), of security in SMBs (including 1,500 US SMBs), which showed that a startling percentage of US based SMBs just don’t get the security equation, I was not in the least bit surprised.

Look at these stats from the survey:

The infection ratio at U.S. companies has slightly increased since last year (46 percent in 2010 compared to 44 percent in 2009). It has dropped in Europe (49 percent in 2010 compared to 58 percent in 2009).

Viruses are the most popular threat SMBs are encountering (45 percent), followed by spyware (23 percent).

Thirty-six percent of US SMBs use free consumer security applications.

Unbelievably, 13 percent have no security in place!

Thirty-one percent of businesses are operating without anti-spam

Twenty three percent have no anti-spyware.

Fifteen percent have no firewall.

Participants: The survey consisted of companies with between 2 and 1,000 computers. 1,532 in the United States participated in the survey, and nearly 10,000 in total across the U.S., Europe, Latin America and North America.

The next time you use your credit/debit card at your local Butcher, Baker, or Candlestick Maker, consider carefully the risks involved. It might be prudent to inquire whether the business operates in a twenty first century security environment.

Yes, I know, you might see this as an overreaction – but it’s hardly that. Unless we, as consumers, force the issue, many SMBs will continue to operate with their heads up their in the cloud – unfortunately, not in the security cloud.

I’ll tell you a little secret – I never use my credit, or debit card, when transacting business with a small local merchant. It’s not the small monetary loss that concerns me, since the card issuer sets my liability limit at $50. Instead, it’s the more critical information that can be stolen and used in identity theft.

About Panda Security;

Founded in 1990, Panda Security is the world’s leading provider of cloud-based security solutions with products available in more than 23 languages and millions of users located in 195 countries around the world.

Panda Security was the first IT security company to harness the power of cloud computing with its Collective Intelligence technology.

For more information, visit Panda US.

A PDF version of the full report is available here.

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Filed under cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Free Anti-malware Software, Interconnectivity, Malware Advisories, Panda Security, Point of View, Windows Tips and Tools

Scan Your Computer With Panda Security’s ActiveScan 2.0 – You Could Win an iPod!

From Panda Security:

A study carried out by PandaLabs of more than 1.5 million users revealed that 72% of companies with an up-to-date security solution installed had malware on their networks. In end-user environments, the study confirmed that 23% of home computers were infected. Current data indicates that the situation has not improved.

The underlying reason is that traditional security solutions are no longer enough to protect users’ computers from the increasing number of malware samples that appear every day. This means that many users are infected without realizing.

In order to make people aware of this problem, Panda Security has launched the Infected or Not campaign (http://www.infectedornot.com). Through this initiative, both users and companies will have the possibility to run free security assessment on their PCs and networks, using the largest analyzed programs database in the world with more than 11 million malware samples and, as a result, improve the security of their computers. The first ten companies that demonstrate that they are not infected will win €5.000.

“Many users and IT managers believe that all security solutions are the same, and that simply having a traditional antivirus installed provides sufficient protection, yet the truth is quite different. Due to the evolution of malware, a user of a traditional antivirus solution is still significantly exposed”, explains Matthieu Brignone, CMO at Panda Security. “This could result in confidential data being stolen, identity theft and ultimately, people’s credit cards, bank accounts, etc. being raided.”

The reason why Panda can detect malware that has evaded other solutions is “Collective Intelligence”. Through the Infected or Not campaign, Panda Security aims to prove that this innovative technology is providing much better protection than the competition and that it therefore represents a significant advantage over other security solutions.

“Collective Intelligence” is an innovative security model based on the collection of information concerning malware from the Internet community and the automated processing of this data in new data centers. As the knowledge is accumulated on Panda servers and not on customers’ computers, “Collective Intelligence” maximizes the detection capacity of Panda Security solutions while reducing clients’ bandwidth usage and resource consumption. This not only provides far greater security but also simplifies the protection process.

Currently, Panda Security’s Collective Intelligence network comprises 4 million computers. The knowledge accumulated in the system is composed of more than 11 million malware samples, and over 100 million analyzed programs. In 2007, more than 94% of all new threats that reached PandaLabs were detected through Collective Intelligence. At present, the system has a malware knowledge base of more than 100 million bytes.

“This model ensures that Panda solutions detect more than other security products, and if we fail to find a threat on a user’s computer they could win an iPod Nano, or €5,000 in the case of companies” says Matthieu Brignone.

Challenge Rules

  • Terms and conditions of the prize drawing organized by Panda Security, S.L. (1 iPod a day)
  • Panda Security S.L. located in C/ Buenos Aires 12, 48001 Bilbao, Spain and its local representatives, has organized a prize drawing for 1 iPod Nano 4 GB a day to promote the new technology called “Collective Intelligence” and the products included in the campaign “Infected or Not?”.
  • The prize drawing will start on April 7, 2008, and will end on June 30, 2008.
  • The prize drawing is open to all persons who, at the time of the drawing, are active clients of Panda Security or have scanned their computers with AS 2.0 and no infection was detected. Each participant will be able to scan his computer as many times as he wants, counting each one of them like a participation in the drawing.

Take the challenge

Contest rules


Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Freeware, Internet Safety Tools, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Safe Surfing, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools