McAfee has rolled out its 2014 lineup of Internet security products, featuring a new antimalware engine called AM Core aimed at improving protection of Windows PCs, Macs and Android devices while lowering the performance impact on consumers' systems.
The new lineup includes McAfee LiveSafe, a new cross-device security service originally announced in May, along with brand new 2014 editions of McAfee's core security products: McAfee Internet Security, AntiVirus Plus, Total Protection, and Mobile Security, said David Jackson, director of global consumer product marketing, in a briefing for NotebookReview.
McAfee is also continuing to sell All Access -- an earlier cross-device security product -- on its Web site, Jackson said.
According to McAfee's research, new security threats continue to grow in both number and sophistication, he said.
McAfee: Rootkits Declining, But Ransomware on the Rise
"Rootkits are actually on the decline," he pointed out. Meanwhile, though, McAfee Labs has detected increases in Android malware, ransomware, and digitally signed malware, in which malware poses as a legitimate software program.
"In Q2, 2013 samples of [digitally signed malware] increased 50 percent, to 1.2 million," according to Jackson. "During the past two quarters McAfee Labs has catalogued more ransomware samples than in all previous periods combined."
With ransomware, cybercriminals try to extract monetary ransoms from victims.
McAfee LiveSafe, a collaborative effort with Intel, includes features such as Personal Locker, which uses facial and voice recognition to let users access files they have stored in McAfee's cloud.
AM Core Includes ActiveProtection Plus New Scanning Engine
AM Core, built into all of McAfee's 2014 core security products, incorporates two main components: a new low impact Scanning Engine and ActiveProtection, for behavioral analysis.
"The Scanning Engine is the search-and-destroy arm of AM Core. It regularly scans the system and instantly quarantines and eliminates any threats it detects," contended Erik Leisch, product manager at McAfee, also during the briefing.
"Scanning now takes less time and uses less memory," according to Leisch. The Scanning Engine uses the latest DAT files -- containing "signatures" of known malware -- from GTI.
ActiveProtection, on the other hand, is the real-time intelligence arm of AM Core. "This digital governor uses an authentication system to determine if an application or other piece of software is a threat without the use of DAT files," said Leisch.
ActiveProtection might determine that software is "trying to access the registry, not in a good way," he illustrated. It is designed to guard against zero-day threats, for instance. "It is context-aware and reptutation-enabled," he elaborated.
Leisch also noted that McAfee has recently updated its Mobile Security product with a new multi-user App Profile fuction which lets users restrict the access that other people have to apps on their devices by creating individual "safe zones" for children and other family members, for instance.
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