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Acronis integrates its anti-malware solution PE Analyzer into Google’s VirusTotal

Backup software and data protection solutions provider— Acronis, is teaming up with VirusTotal, a Google subsidiary that provides service for detection of viruses, worms, trojans, and other malicious content in files and URLs.

As a part of the partnership, Acronis will integrate its machine learning-based malware detection engine called Acronis PE Analyzer into VirusTotal platform.

Execution of malware is rapidly increasing year over year and causing threat to Windows operating systems. As per the leading cybersecurity firm Comodo, over 400 million unique malwares were detected in the top-level domains (TLDs) in the second quarter of 2018 alone. AV-TEST registered nearly 400,000 new malware samples a day, which included trojans, backdoors, ransomware, and cryptojackers.

Acronis PE Analyzer aims to address these threats. It is an effective anti-malware solution that uses machine learning models for detecting any Window PE malware.

The company mentioned that its machine learning model is based on a Gradient Boosting Decision Tree that is integrated with a number of neural network models. This creates a file portrait of the threats on the basis of several static characteristics.

This machine learning model can operate independently without an internet connection, while providing high detection rate.

“Given how quickly data threats are evolving, the nature of data protection is fundamentally changing. Solutions must prevent the malicious attacks that target backups to be effective, which is why Acronis has invested in developing our proactive defensive technologies,” said Oleg Melnikov, Acronis Technology Officer.

“Our mission is to protect all data, however, and incorporating our ML-based engine into VirusTotal is the best way to ensure the entire security industry can benefit from Acronis PE Analyzer’s detection capabilities.”

Also read: Acronis doubles investment in Arizona for AI and blockchain projects

Acronis has built the PE Analyzer as a part of its new cyber protection suite which will be released in 2019. Before launching Acronis PE Analyzer, the company will make several improvements to the solution. These improvements will made on the basis of insights gained by its VirusTotal use.

Last month, Acronis had launched the version 7.8 of its Data Cloud Platform with around 80 new features and advancements.

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Comodo Zero-day Challenge seeks to unmask anti-virus vendors that fool customers

The leading cybersecurity provider Comodo has rolled out a new challenge for anti-virus (AV) industry that highlights the lack of quality in current AV practices. Called the Comodo Zero-day Challenge, the initiative is aimed to unmask the AV vendors which mislead customers.

Zero-day is the day when an attack gets discovered but without a fix. The attackers can find the weakness in code and develop malicious code to exploit the vulnerability and unleash a cyberattack. Once the software provider fixes the vulnerability, it’s no longer called a Zero-day Exploit.

Comodo said that AV vendors fool the customers and investors into believing that they provide real protection against thousands of new malware attacks. However, what they do is detect the out-of-date malware attacks in the systems rather than finding the undiscovered ones.

The AV vendors hide behind the terms of VirusTotal program by Google, while the customers keep suffering from data breaches. The VirusTotal leverages antivirus scanners and URL blacklisting services from more than 70 providers to inspect the files and URLs. It is a free tool that allows anyone to upload a file from computer and scan it.

The terms of VirusTotal clearly states that the participants agree not to “use the Service in any way which could infringe the rights or interests of VirusTotal, the Community or any third party, including for example, to prove or disprove a concept or discredit, or bait any actor in the anti-malware space.”

However, the vendors abuse the rights and leverage well-intentioned services to support false practices. Most of these vendors depend upon detection capabilities of others, without acknowledging that dependence. They lack the right capabilities in virus detection, hide the deficiency, and overstate the effectiveness of detection.

Customers get fooled by such services and continuously face data breaches. The services provided by these vendors only detect and remediate the viruses that were encountered already. But thousands of new threats appear every day which slip to the systems without getting detected.

“VirusTotal is the victim, not the villain, and end-users are exposed to massive amounts of malware as a result,” noted Comodo President and CEO Steve Subar.

“Actual protection involves much more than mere detection. Protection is preemptive and comprehensive, stopping all unknown files before they can damage system resources and user assets. Protection renders both known and unknown malware harmless.”

Also read: Comodo Threat Research Lab uncovers new trick used by hackers to attack enterprises

Comodo Cybersecurity is inviting researchers and IT end-users to test Comodo by submitting their chosen new malware to the Valkyrie Verdict engine. Comodo will publicize the submissions in both the cases— whether Valkyrie detects the malware or not.

Image source: Comodo