Beware! Avast is at it again


B

Bob Henson

I'm ready to uninstall Avast, because once again it has pulled the
sleazy trick of installing unwanted and unrelated software without my
permission.

Tonight when I logged on it notified me of program updates, which I
accepted. I watched like a hawk, through a vvvveeerrryyyy long
process, and there was no mention of any ride-along programs.

Yet after I rebooted, as instructed, and Avast said it was
configuring my updates, I started Task Manager and saw a Google
Update process running. After several minutes, Avast gave a message
that updates were complete and "Sorry, the Google Chrome installation
was unsuccessful."
On mine it was successful, and not only that but Chrome was set as my
default browser. Like you, I have no recollection of being asked to
accept Chrome - I don't think I missed the chance to untick an install
message, so I'm assuming there wasn't one. I wrote to Avast! and told
them where they can stick their program - I won't say where it was, but
it's very dark up there! I've used Avast! practically since it's
inception, but no more.

--
Bob
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, UK


Can you be a closet claustrophobic?
 
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A

Ann Watson

Per Paul:


"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained
by incompetence."

(supposedly by Napoleon Bonaparte)


Maybe they just had a release where the install was buggy?
I wonder if the majority of Avast users that had this happen had
set the program, as well as the engine/definition updates, to
update automatically? Better to have it notify you that there's
a newer version available.

AW
 
P

(PeteCresswell)

Per Ann Watson:
Better to have it notify you that there's
a newer version available.
That's become something of a religion with me no matter what the
application.

Auto-updates = Bad Thing....

That seems tb one hole in the Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad scheme of
things under App Store's "Updates". It's all or nothing. You
have to update all the apps which have pending updates or none of
them. I got burned recently when the publishers of SplashData
messed up and pushed out an "Update" that was really a major
version upgrade (5.x to 6.x) which rendered the Apple device
incompatible with the Windows box it was supposed to synch with
until the user paid ten bucks for the "Upgrade". They made good
on it - and it must've a nightmare for their support people.
 
H

Henry

(PeteCresswell) said:
Per Ann Watson:



That's become something of a religion with me no matter what the
application.

Auto-updates = Bad Thing....

That seems tb one hole in the Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad scheme of
things under App Store's "Updates". It's all or nothing. You
have to update all the apps which have pending updates or none of
them. I got burned recently when the publishers of SplashData
messed up and pushed out an "Update" that was really a major
version upgrade (5.x to 6.x) which rendered the Apple device
incompatible with the Windows box it was supposed to synch with
until the user paid ten bucks for the "Upgrade". They made good
on it - and it must've a nightmare for their support people.
If you open Avast user interface and go to settings/troubleshooting there is
a box "Do not use Chrome as Avast default browser". Check that box.

There is a new program update and I just updated it and I was not asked to
download Chrome. I looked in my add/remove list and there was no Chrome or
Google Chrome listed.


Henry
 
N

Nil

I'm ready to uninstall Avast, because once again it has pulled the
sleazy trick of installing unwanted and unrelated software without
my permission.

Tonight when I logged on it notified me of program updates, which
I accepted. I watched like a hawk, through a vvvveeerrryyyy long
process, and there was no mention of any ride-along programs.

Yet after I rebooted, as instructed, and Avast said it was
configuring my updates, I started Task Manager and saw a Google
Update process running. After several minutes, Avast gave a
message that updates were complete and "Sorry, the Google Chrome
installation was unsuccessful."

I bloody well hope it was unsuccessful, because I didn't ask for
it and didn't give permission for it. Avast played this same game
two updates ago, though in the next update (the one before this
one) it didn't. To install a *browser* under the name of updating
security software is sleazy in the extreme. "Fool me once, shame
on you; fool me twice, shame on me."
I just let Avast install its update. It downloaded it, then asked to
reboot the computer. After the reboot, a screen came up asking if I
wanted to install Chrome. The two option boxes were checked by default.
I left the box sitting for at least 5 minutes before responding, so I
don't think it was planning to proceed until I answered. I unchecked
the option boxes, clicked next, and the new version of Avast is running
as I expected. There is no sign of Chrome on this computer.

I don't know why your experience was different.
 
N

Nil

The Chrome install report has nudged me closer to bailing out on
Avast in favor of MSE. It's one thing to offer up pre-selected
checkboxes, but just doing an install under cover of an "Upgrade"
seems tb a whole new level of something-or-other.
Based on my experience of abut 10 minutes ago, there was no undercover
install of Chrome.
 
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P

Paul

(PeteCresswell) said:
Per Paul:


"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained
by incompetence."

(supposedly by Napoleon Bonaparte)


Maybe they just had a release where the install was buggy?
I don't believe this for a minute.

If you earn a buck, for each drive-by you do, then
"sloppy is my middle name". Of course you'll err on
the stupid side.

If you were writing an application that gave away money,
I wonder if bugs like that would exist ? I don't think so...
It would be written, "tight as a drum".

Let's look at it another way. Say the dialog box in question,
had the two tick boxes unticked. Now, that would be careful
programming! This is "sloppy programming, to earn a buck".

If you offer a free product, and it doesn't suit your bottom
line, simply stop offering it. Even their marketing guy should
understand that. They could make ten times what they make on
drive-by installs, by just charging $9.99 a year for the product.

Paul
 
P

Paul

Alias said:
On 7/9/2012 5:40 PM, Ann Watson wrote:


I already had Chrome installed so I didn't get anything at all from
Avast. I am a bit put off by all the pop ups regarding upgrading to the
pay version. If I want the pay version, I know where to go get it.
In reading some of the threads on this, it seems even if you have
Chrome installed, it will still install Chrome, and wipe out your
profile. So be careful what you wish for.

Apparently, there are two places they could install Chrome. And the
drive-by installer is not the same as the regular installer.

One user, even managed to have two instances of Chrome running.
An instance from the old install, and an instance from the new install.

Whoever designed this mess, did a *good* job. Must have taken a
lot of effort, to do it so badly.

Paul
 
C

Char Jackson

I don't believe this for a minute.

If you earn a buck, for each drive-by you do, then
"sloppy is my middle name". Of course you'll err on
the stupid side.

If you were writing an application that gave away money,
I wonder if bugs like that would exist ? I don't think so...
It would be written, "tight as a drum".

Let's look at it another way. Say the dialog box in question,
had the two tick boxes unticked. Now, that would be careful
programming! This is "sloppy programming, to earn a buck".
If the Avast organization is anything like where I work, it wasn't
sloppy programming at all. Quite the contrary, actually. There would
have been multiple meetings where the state of those checkboxes was
discussed, with one camp pushing for an opt-in strategy and another
camp pushing for opt-out. The opt-out camp won, but that doesn't mean
there wasn't some gnashing of teeth to get to that point.
 
M

Metspitzer

Per Ann Watson:

That's become something of a religion with me no matter what the
application.

Auto-updates = Bad Thing....

That seems tb one hole in the Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad scheme of
things under App Store's "Updates". It's all or nothing. You
have to update all the apps which have pending updates or none of
them. I got burned recently when the publishers of SplashData
messed up and pushed out an "Update" that was really a major
version upgrade (5.x to 6.x) which rendered the Apple device
incompatible with the Windows box it was supposed to synch with
until the user paid ten bucks for the "Upgrade". They made good
on it - and it must've a nightmare for their support people.
I may be imagining this, but it seems that many programs are updating
more frequently trying to get you to slip up and install a toolbar.
 
G

Gene Wirchenko

On Sun, 8 Jul 2012 21:24:44 -0400, Stan Brown

[snip]
Surprisingly, his current Editor's Choice is AVG. I used to have
that, but it got slower and slower and several years ago I gave it up
for Avast. I guess the oral of this story is that I have to re-
evaluate my virus programs at least once a year because one that's
good in year X may not be so good in year X+1.
I tried AVG. NEVER AGAIN! Some years back, I tried the trial.
It considered my WordStar 2000 executable to be infected -- which it
was not -- and would not let me run it, and there was no way to
override this. I sent a copy to them with an explanation. Shortly,
there was a revision, and I could use WS2000 again. Fine so far. It
is getting to the end of the trial, and I thought that I should
seriously consider registering. Another update put me back at WS2000
being quarantined. They did not reply.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
 
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S

s|b

I'm ready to uninstall Avast, because once again it has pulled the
sleazy trick of installing unwanted and unrelated software without my
permission.
I'm having problems with build .1456 (with Fx 13.0.1 and latest Flash;
avast's Behavior Shield makes Fx hang) and I must have
installed/uninstalled avast more than a dozen times. *Every* time there
was a popup window where you could uncheck Google Chrome.
 
S

s|b

I don't believe this for a minute.
Believe this then: before .1456 they released .1451 and this was a total
disaster. Users were complaining that their browsers (IE; Chrome, Fx)
slowed down or even froze with this version. So, it didn't take avast
very long to release .1456 (which has been a disaster for me, but that's
another story).
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

And that sandbox feature that's supposed to be so terrific? I had to
turn it off because it kept flagging programs like Irfanview and
TCC/LE!
I had Avast on my XP virtual machine until it started that kind of
thing. In fact it flagged the very programs that are the reason I have
XP. It didn't do any unwanted installations, though. Maybe it's timing -
I might have updated only between the first and second of those deals.

So now I have MSE on the XP virtual machine (it's been on the host quite
a while now). And I also recommend it.
 
B

BeeJ

Stan Brown used his keyboard to write :
I'm ready to uninstall Avast, because once again it has pulled the
sleazy trick of installing unwanted and unrelated software without my
permission.

Tonight when I logged on it notified me of program updates, which I
accepted. I watched like a hawk, through a vvvveeerrryyyy long
process, and there was no mention of any ride-along programs.

Yet after I rebooted, as instructed, and Avast said it was
configuring my updates, I started Task Manager and saw a Google
Update process running. After several minutes, Avast gave a message
that updates were complete and "Sorry, the Google Chrome installation
was unsuccessful."

I bloody well hope it was unsuccessful, because I didn't ask for it
and didn't give permission for it. Avast played this same game two
updates ago, though in the next update (the one before this one) it
didn't. To install a *browser* under the name of updating security
software is sleazy in the extreme. "Fool me once, shame on you; fool
me twice, shame on me."

Anybody care to mention a trustworthy antivirus program that doesn't
play these shenanigans and also doesn't eat up my system resources?
In Windows XP I would probably have turned to Microsoft Security
Essentials, but I haven't seen any mention of that program in years.
Been using Avast with no problems for years until recently.
I have had two or three updates of the engine within just a few days.
The first of the group of updates had a serious problem that caused me
big problems. The latest update fixed that.
but with each update the newer updates have added advertising for other
products. this was not the case in the past. Also, the unobvious
checkboxes to include installs of other stuff are anoying. Gotta watch
closely otherwise I get freebee junk that I do not want to burden my
"Windows experience".
Avast and AVG were both highly rated a few years ago. Wonder what that
rating is now? Compared to Windows Essentials etc.
 
S

Stan Brown

How about this one:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/2wy9ylx

This is a preview link so you can know where you are going to.
Hmm -- he certainly has a different opinion from Rubenking. The
latter says, in part,

"On the malware-infested systems where Microsoft Security Essentials
installed and ran correctly, a full scan took hours. Scanning my
standard clean test system took 72 minutes, about twice the average.
And despite these lengthy scans, the cleanup wasn't very thorough."
 
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S

Stan Brown

The bottom line of the review:

"Microsoft Security Essentials 4.0 does a decent job protecting a clean
PC, but in testing, its cleanup of already-infested systems wasn't
thorough."

I don't usually wait for my system to become infected before I install
AV/AT software. I installed MSE during my initial Windows 7 setup.
Good advice, and it's my practice also.

And on that score, the independent lab results in the article are
pretty interesting.
 
S

Stan Brown

No matter what you use, I always suggest you have Malwarebytes
(free) on your machine ready to go if needed.
I do, and I run a scan weekly. So far it's never found anything, but
then I'm pretty careful about what I download -- which of course is
why I find Avast's foistware so outrageous.

Irfanview, by contrast, is honest and aboveboard. It also wants to
download something from Google, but there's a prominent panel in the
installer and the ability to uncheck that unwanted download.
 
S

Stan Brown

I wonder if the majority of Avast users that had this happen had
set the program, as well as the engine/definition updates, to
update automatically? Better to have it notify you that there's
a newer version available.
They might have, but I have it set to notify me of updates and ask
permission.

I watched carefully, and there was no opt-in or opt-out screen after
the reboot.
 
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S

Stan Brown

If you open Avast user interface and go to settings/troubleshooting there is
a box "Do not use Chrome as Avast default browser". Check that box.

There is a new program update and I just updated it and I was not asked to
download Chrome. I looked in my add/remove list and there was no Chrome or
Google Chrome listed.
I have that checked (I just looked, to refresh my memory), but the
Avast update still tried to install Chrome.
 

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