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AVG revamps free security scanner

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AVG Technologies plans to release a revamped version of its popular, free anti-malware scanner on Thursday.

Version 8.0 of the software will add anti-spyware and safe search features to its core anti-virus engine. Safe surfing features, that give users warnings about visiting insecure websites all the time not just when they search, will remain a paid feature of AVG's full fat product.

Both the safe search and safe surfing features use Linkscanner technology, acquired by AVG when it bought Exploit Prevention Labs last December

Larry Bridwell, AVG's global security strategist, explained that as well as keeping a small database of known bad sites Linkscanner looks for pointers to dodgy content, such as links to encrypted JavaScript files often associated with malware downloads, on analysed sites.

The increasing hacker tactic of planting drive-by-downloads on legitimate websites makes such real time analysis techniques more important, he added.

AVG 8.0 comes free of charge to consumers and will be available, initially in English only, from Thursday 24 April. Italian, French, and Spanish versions are also in the works. Previously, the free version of the scanner was only available in English. ®

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