AVG launches new version of free antivirus scanner

A new version of AVG’s free antivirus package is available for download, the Czech developer has announced.

AVG launches new version of free antivirus scanner

Click here for a full review of AVG Antivirus Free Edition 8.0

AVG Free Version 7 was voted Software of the Year 2007 by PC Pro readers, and version 8 sees a complete interface overhaul, bringing the free version into line with the commercial AVG Internet Security 8.0 suite.

As well as an improved front-end, the new software will feature the LinkScanner system, which the company acquired when it bought out Exploit Prevention Labs last December. The plug-in integrates with popular web browsers and automatically scans the pages returned by Google, Yahoo and MSN web searches, adding warnings to any results that appear dangerous.

“We’ve always known there was a danger in going to porn sites or warez sites,” explained Larry Bridwell, AVG’s Global Security Strategist, speaking to PC Pro at the InfoSec expo in London. “But now the criminals are compromising governmental sites, educational sites… we even found an attorney’s office that had been hijacked.

“You can’t stop this stuff at the gateway: you search for ‘North Carolina theatres’, one of the first hits is a legitimate .org located in North Carolina. But we found it was serving up a rootkit.”

LinkScanner allows users to optionally send back statistics to AVG, enabling the company to build up a picture of the global scale of the problem. “We have 440,000 users of AVG 8 who have already started sending reports back to us,” Larry Bridwell told us. “And in the first 30 days, we’ve seen over 88,000 infected pages returned on the first page of search results.

“And the more data we have the better the job we can do. So everyone who uses AVG 8, please, tick that box and send us your results too. There is absolutely no way that we can track your personal information. Keep sending us data until our servers fall over and we can’t handle any more.”

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