Avast Exposes the Risky State of U.S. Wi-Fi Security and Demonstrates New Security Solutions at Mobile World Congress

Tens of thousands of Americans expose themselves to privacy loss and identity theft every second; Avast reveals the dangers of Wi-Fi hacks and demonstrates its new line of mobile solutions

Barcelona, Spain, February 25, 2015Avast Software, maker of the most trusted mobile and PC security in the world, will reveal the results of a worldwide Wi-Fi hack experiment and introduce its new line of mobile applications at this year’s Mobile World Congress in hall 5, stand 5K29 from March 2 – 5 in Barcelona.

State of Public Wi-Fi Security

Connecting to public Wi-Fi networks at airports, hotels, and cafes is common practice for people around the world. Yet many users are unaware that their sensitive data, including passwords, browsing history, emails, and chat messages, are completely visible to hackers if they don’t use protection. Avast experts traveled to different cities across the U.S., Europe, and Asia to find out how much personal information is unintentionally shared via public Wi-Fi. They found that one-third of browsing traffic in New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago is completely visible to hackers. Avast will reveal more details – including the types of personal information being put at risk -- at Mobile World Congress.

Live Wi-Fi Hack

To demonstrate how easy it is for cybercriminals to use open Wi-Fi hotspots to gain access to users’ personal data, Avast will demonstrate a live hack at their Mobile World Congress booth. Visitors can see the hack in action by connecting to the Avast Wi-Fi hotspot to surf the Internet, read messages, and upload photos. The data will then be displayed on a screen at the Avast stand to demonstrate how this information would look through the eyes of a hacker. To protect users, this hotspot will be password protected.

Mobile Malware Risk Demonstration

Malware poses a major risk to mobile users. Just two weeks after Avast detected game apps on the Google Play Store that contained adware, Avast detected a new variant of Android ransomware that encrypts photos, videos, and documents, and then demands a "ransom" for decryption. Avast will show how mobile ransomware can disguise itself and how it behaves on an infected smartphone, and then demonstrate tools for how users can protect themselves.

Introducing Avast’s New Suite of Apps

Avast will be introducing a suite of new apps at this year’s Mobile World Congress, including productivity and security apps for Android and iOS. Avast GrimeFighter and Avast Battery Saver address two of the most common complaints for Android users: storage concerns and battery life. Avast GrimeFighter helps users free extra storage on their devices by identifying unimportant data for one-tap removal, while Avast Battery Saver extends battery life up to 24 hours by learning the user’s behavior and optimizing features to preserve battery life.

Avast SecureMe is a dual solution app that helps iOS users identify secure Wi-Fi connections and protect personal data while using public Wi-Fi connections. Wi-Fi Security, a feature available in Avast SecureMe, prevents users from falling victim to Domain Name Server (DNS) hijacking by exposing vulnerabilities in routers they want to connect to.

For more information on all of these products and on our international Wi-Fi hack experiment, please visit Avast at booth 5K29, hall 5at Mobile World Congress.

Note to Media: Avast mobile president, Jude McColgan, and Avast head of worldwide mobile sales and marketing, Daniel Cheng, will be available to discuss mobile threats, Avast’s mobile business, and new mobile applications. If you are interested in speaking to an Avast expert at Mobile World Congress, please contact PR@avast.com