Avast! is my favorite and frequently recommended free antivirus suite. Today, Avast! announced that version 6.0 will be coming soon. With the version update, it’s bringing some cool technology with it. Both the free and paid versions will be getting an automatic sandboxing capability with this new version.
AVAST Software is including an array of new technologies in its soon-to-be released avast! 6.0, including virtualization technology for all of its free users.
“AVAST is so committed to free, we are providing all of our users with this virtualization technology for free,” says Ondrej Vlcek, CTO of AVAST Software. “It is not always certain that an item is 100 percent clean but with AutoSandbox virtualization, we’ve created a safe space between the known good and bad content which will make life safer for all avast users – whether they are using our free or paid-for products.”
Virtualization technology enables people to create a ‘virtual’ computer inside their physical machine. If they encounter malware while browsing the internet or running an infected application, the virtual computer will shut down, leaving their real computer unharmed and running. “Most viruses are spread through executable commands and scripts are the entry point. By isolating the binary in a virtual computer, the real machine stays clean,” explains Mr. Vlcek.
AutoSandbox, a free virtualized environment for testing suspicious code, makes virtualization an easy one-click choice. “Virtualization has the potential to significantly increase user safety, but people have been slow to adopt this technology—even when it’s a part of their antivirus package,” says Mr. Vlcek. “AutoSandbox shifts virtualization from being an ‘IT geek’ specialty to an automatic, easily accessible safety feature for all avast users.”
AutoSandbox identifies and prompts users to run suspicious applications in a safe virtual environment. Users have three options: execute the file within the virtual AutoSandbox, run it outside the sandbox, or cancel running the application entirely. “It’s a win-win for users, if the item is dangerous it just shuts down the virtual computer and the user’s real machine remains safe. And, if the item is safe, there is no hassle from a false positive,” adds Mr. Vlcek.
The new feature will be available at no cost to all avast! users – including those with avast! Free Antivirus, Pro Antivirus, and the premium Internet Security suite.