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According to WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 article, CIA had a hard time bypassing the Bitdefender and AVG protection

As you may know, WikiLeaks has published the article recently, revealing a lot of information about how CIA spies the users and their hacking capabilities. The article is called Vault 7 and provides a lot of interesting information.

The CIA uses 0-day exploits and spreads malware in order to perform mass espionage. Some ideas, from the WikiLeaks article:

  • CIA is capable of hacking into all the Android and iOS phones that have (or had) the Twitter app installed.
  • CIA can spy the users by using the Android and iOS phones, the internet of things devices and the smart TVs as microphones.
  • CIA can decrypt all the encrypted messages from WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram.
  • CIA can hack almost every system that’s available online, because it has both hardware resources and smart people that can do that.

The article does not contain anything about Windows Phones, this meaning that either it does not represent any interest or the government has some kind of deal with Microsoft.

In order to hack into different computers, the CIA hackers had to make their hacking tools bypass the security offered by antivirus software. This article from APNews.com tells us how much the CIA struggled to trick a bunch of antivirus solutions:

Comodo:

A CIA hacker said about Comodo that it is “a colossal pain in the posterior. It literally catches everything until you tell it not to.”. Același hacker a anunțat că ultimele versiuni Comodo sunt mai ușor de ocolit decât cele mai vechi, dar unul dintre angajații Comodo a anunțat că exploit-ul folosit de CIA nu mai este de actualitate de multă vreme.

Kaspersky:

Due to the fact that the antivirus has a flaw in its source code, CIA has managed to easily bypass Kaspersky’s protection. Eugene Kaspersky a anunțat că cele două vulnerabilitați folosite de către CIA au fost deja descoperite și eliminate.

Avira:

The CIA hacker has announced that he has bypassed Avira protected systems easily. The firm announced that they have patched the flaw a few hours after the vulnerability has been leaked and that there isn’t any proof that the users were affected by the bug.

AVG:

CIA had a trick to theoretically bypass AVG, but one of the technology officers at AVG announced that the flaw CIA would be using is obsolete today.

F-Secure:

The same as Avira, the CIA hackers did not have to work hard in order to bypass this AV’s security.

Bitdefender:

It looks like CIA had a hard time trying to crack Bitdefender’s security and it’s not certain if the agency managed to bypass it or not.

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2016′ best antivirus was Avira Antivirus Pro, while Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool is the best for cleaning infected computers

The folks from AV-Test have conducted a 12-month endurance test, involving 897 evaluations for each security software for Windows 10 and took a conclusion.

They performed their research on two different stages: installed virus removal tools on infected systems and evaluated the results and disabled the security software so that the systems can get infected and again, evaluated the results.

Four of the tested solutions were capable of eliminating all the malware samples: Avira Antivirus Pro, Kaspersky Internet Security 2016/2017, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Avast! Free Antivirus 2016. Avira Antivirus Pro has also managed to remove all the registry keys so it scored best in all the tests.

Bitdefender Internet Security 2016/2017, Symantec Norton Security and G Data Internet Security have provided good performance as well, but missed malware in a few cases.

Among the bootable antimalware/recovery software, Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool ruled them all and managed to remove all the malware samples, while the others failed.

The screenshots below are self explanatory.

2016' best antivirus was Avira Antivirus Pro, while Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool is the best for cleaning infected computers

2016' best antivirus was Avira Antivirus Pro, while Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool is the best for cleaning infected computers

Personally, I am a fan of Malwarebytes Anti Malware when it comes to cleaning up infected computers, but I also use AdwCleaner, Zemana and HitmanPro, hoping to remove all the leftovers that were not spotted by my first virus scan. My favorite free antivirus is Avast!, because it is lightweight and has a lot of features.