AVG Adds Link-Scanning to Anti-virus Suite

AVG Technologies is the latest antivirus vendor to beef up its security suite to cover as wide a range of threats as possible by including link-scanning technology it acquired late last year.

AVG (which changed its name from Grisoft earlier this year) isn’t as well known in the U.S. as Symantec, McAfee or Trend Micro, but it has a huge international presence, particularly in Europe where it is based. It consistently scores very high in antivirus tests against known threats, but its tests against zero-day threats are a little more inconsistent.

That’s one area it’s working to overcome, and one step in the process was the December acquisition of Exploit Prevention Labs, developer of LinkScanner, a utility that scans the links of search results on Google, Yahoo and other search engines to check for hidden malware behind the link. While the company is also working on its heuristics to catch as-yet undiscovered viruses, it’s also trying to help users avoid infection in the first place.

“Most technologies out there were very good at reacting to problems. That is, once you went to a Web site and got infected or compromised, we could tell you and maybe keep you from opening the file,” Larry Bridwell, global security strategist for AVG told InternetNews.com. “But now we have the technology in LinkScanner to tell you don’t go there, and that’s the proactive side that’s been needed all along.”

In addition to the LinkScanner Web checking, AVG Internet Security 8.0 offers a considerable performance improvement thanks to being rewritten for multi-core processors and combining its two separate virus and spyware databases into a single database. It also sports a whole new UI and offers scanning of any file transfers over the HTTP protocol, since that’s how most infections come into a computer.

Between the link checker and HTTP scanning, AVG believes “we’ve done all the things we need to do for today’s threats,” said Bridwell.

AVG Internet Security 8.0 also adds protection to Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers against so-called drive-by downloads, protects file exchanges over MSN and ICQ instant messengers, comes with a new firewall and a new anti-rootkit shield.

AVG Internet Security 8.0 is available for download at a cost of $54.99 for a one-year license and $79.99 for a two-year license.

Article adapted from InternetNews.com.

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