AVAST Software: Twenty years in pursuit of malware

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, April 21, 2011 – AVAST Software, developer of the world’s most popular antivirus program, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Today’s AVAST Software was established as a partnership in April of 1991. Three of the initial AVAST crew are still active in the company: co-founders Eduard Kucera and Pavel Baudis together with Vladimir Cernik as the first employee.

“It began with just five or six people. In addition to antivirus programs, we worked on a number of computer tools for supporting Czech language, backup systems,” said Pavel Baudis. “One of our early successful products was SUP – that’s Czech for vulture – a management system for overseeing computers in a large environment used by organizations such as the Czech Post Office and the Prague Metro.”

The company soon focused on one product with the code name of ‘Anti-virus – Advanced Set‘. “The name was shortened to ‘avast’ and from 1995, we have worked only on antivirus products,” remarked Mr. Baudis. In 2010, the company changed its name to AVAST Software from the previous ALWIL Software.

“We started out in one room, up on the fifth floor just under the roof,” said Vladimir Cernik, co-head of the avast! Virus Lab. “This was a long time ago, but at early trade shows, we even went dressed as doctors and soldiers. There are some interesting photos of this.”

From this small group of dedicated people, AVAST Software has grown to where it now protects over 150 million computer users around the globe with its avast! antivirus program. “From the beginning, AVAST has been a place for people that want to make a difference,” said Eduard Kucera, co-founder and chairman of the AVAST Software board of directors.

“It is hard to imagine that a little local firm that officially started 20 years ago – and unofficially over 23 years ago – is now the World’s most popular consumer antivirus,” said Vince Steckler, CEO of AVAST Software. “This is due to the dedicated efforts of many people—our founders, long-term employees, newer staff, and to our supporters around the globe.”