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codecreeper

Do Virus checkers spy on us

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Being a loyal fan of AVG virus checker i am constantly getting updates usually about 4-5 a day ,now to me this seems a little overboard.

 

Most of the updates usually start at about 1 hour after i have turned my PC on for the day. I do one manual update then it does another "Silent" update one hour after that ,why?

 

Again at night when i get back from dinner i normally leave my PC with a screensaver running ,it updates "Silent" again while i am away and again 1 hour after i start using it again it does another update.

 

I now get the feeling that this virus checker is shadowing every move i do. After doing a search in Google this apparently happened in the US that AVG was downloading user scripts on what they did, where they went ,even copies of postings in forums. They where caught and ordered to stop it.

 

Are we safe ,is our programs meant to protect us actually spying us. With all this fuss about copyright and piracy it seems perfectly logical to use a virus checker as a back door into someone's computer and collect data.

 

Has anyone done a virus checker survey to include Silent updates and how many per day.

Edited by codecreeper

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Install PeerBlock, sign up to as many lists as you care to bother with, and add exceptions for things you use frequently like Steam etc.

 

You'll see that basically all AV programs do realtime database updates, so their heuristics and file scans work properly. I'm not too concerned that they're tracking any more than Google or advertisers online are.

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Once a day update is more than enough.

 

Possible reason there'd be new definitions - they tend to classify game cracks and keygens as malware as well (probably some "arrangement" with other software companies), that alone would keep them reasonably busy.

 

As for spying on you - got doubts. Their reputation would go to shit if they were caught out doing the very thing that their product is supposed to be helping to eradicate.

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I remember years ago using norton.

 

A couple of months after installing it i noticed, in the software, i was repeatedly getting attempts to hack my system from a couple of ip adresses.

 

I had a look into it and it turned out tue ip addresses in question were coming from nortons hq somewhere in the US.

 

I promptly uninstalled the software and have never used it again.

 

Im all for antivirus software programs like norton trying to remotely hack my system to test for vulnerabilities etc, id just like to be notified first...

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AVG is really pissing me off today. Did a update today and it seems to rollback the virus definitions update by one day.

 

Try to get some support by their Forums and i have to login ,no longer are you allowed to view their forums without an account. Even their Webpage starts to scan my computer to see what version i have installed. So i quickly blocked it.

 

It seems today AVG are blocking certain email sites ,incredimail being the first and it deletes all mail in their folders. Facebook page is full of complaints and no answer from AVG.

 

AVG are getting rather nasty and more commercial ,no money no support. Hint like Nortons now.

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I pissed AVG off and just ran Avast for a time... but been without AV now probably since late last year, although I rebuilt my main box and used another machine for a while.

 

When running any AV, I want it unobtrusive and tend to do updates or scans on demand - fucked if I want some nanny software looking over my shoulder constantly, not to mention the slowdown you get if you run these things in paranoia mode.

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I actually read somewhere that Avira is another good one too ,but its only downfall is its very resource hungry. Its also the fastest AV in scanning too ,Avast came in second.

 

AVG is going the ladder with scanning and such. Takes me 40mins too scan a 2TB with just over 450gig on it. Awfully slow.

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I generally do custom scans - Windows, Program Files, Docs/Settings is prettymuch where any nasties will live.

Then just visually check the root directory and you'll quickly see if anything's there that doesn't belong.

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Almost all software spies on you in one way or another. Antivirus has full system access so they could be pretty neat little data miners. I would also say free software is more likely to spy than paid software, nothing is ever free.

 

AVG has a "Cloud" detection feature where it sends a "threat" to the cloud for online scanning. This can be turned off as well as anonymous reporting and so on.

Edited by smakme7757

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Just got a response from AVG which virtually said nothing.

 

So i sent a vehement reply that a company that promotes Privacy is now forcing users to submit data in order just read forums to help with problems. Then AVG regardless of asking proceeds to scans a persons computer for version of AVG present which is blatant breach of privacy rights.

 

My Belief is AVG is losing all respect from its community of users and heading the same road as Norton went ,favoring the commercial sector over the Home based users.

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I personally dont like norton, mcafee, and avg... Been using webroot and its never given me any problems and like the light weight program. Webroot is always updated with cloud, got it on sale for $5 for 3 computers. I would have bought bitdefender if it was cheaper though since it rates high on detection. Norton is the biggest junk ever imo :)

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Pasted quotes or it didn't happen, codecreeper.

try checking the AVG forums and see what happens. Do a google search for AVG forums.

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Not much point getting up in arms.

 

You don't think Microsoft is sending data back to itself? Every piece of software you have on your PC is sending "User" data back to the mothership.

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Nod32 still seems to be going strong as an offline scanner with good resutls.

Ran this over a systems using Avira, MSE or AVG and found a lot of infections as most of those programs allow malware and PUP (crapware) on PC's. Pure AV is a fail to average users full of crapware auto installed with 'free' software and driveby toolbars and search hijackers.

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After reading the latest issue of PCTA for September it seems some of the issues i have been talking about has been acknowledged.

 

Why install Search bars in a program without user intervention?

 

Well this is the new AVG and their attitude in protecting their product and reputation. But is it really a good motive?

 

The answer is NO ,why. Well for starters they upgrade your computer in silent mode ,they even force it. Then they download scripts in a hidden file they generate of every action you do on your PC or Tablet. Well why do they do that ,as they keep saying to protect us. Hang on i have a AV on my system and my Firewall is up and running secondly i use other tools to protect my data. So why do they need this data?

 

Then in the last 4months they have a new upgrade system ,which on 64bits is just drop out and drop in. And this is where the problems started ,of course malware could be blocked and the user does not know. When program is dropped out the malware takes it claws to the system and builds itself into the AV ,yes it is happening.

 

Reading the AVG Facebook page their is complaints galore about malware and trojans getting in the back door. With popups to advertising and even rogue links to sites that you visit. So be wary when surfing the net.

 

As Jon Honeyball mentioned in his article p95-96 the slowing the computer is a rampant problem and getting it fixed is harder as AVG are not forthcoming with assistance as they used to be. For instance to view its forums you need a password and email address just to read them. And then AVG is doing a big PR push on PRIVACY when they require this information ,for what.

 

AVG are heading down a path that seems to indicate its acting like a Virus in its own entity. Where AVG now controls your PC ,tablet or Mobile Phone.

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See Codecreeper, you're confusing an antivirus with a security suite.

 

things like ClamAV are an antivirus.

AVG, despite its name, is a security suite.

 

I use AVAST and set its proxy server to 127.0.0.1; from there, i just download the new includes every few weeks.

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See Codecreeper, you're confusing an antivirus with a security suite.

 

things like ClamAV are an antivirus.

AVG, despite its name, is a security suite.

 

I use AVAST and set its proxy server to 127.0.0.1; from there, i just download the new includes every few weeks.

I know that MS, not meaning to be a smartarse.

 

It has a Firewall ,AV ,Privacy protection and even a PC Cleaner.

 

I tend only make use of the AV itself and the Privacy stuff ,that is about it.

 

Everything else in the suite is a disaster and its getting bad reports.

Edited by codecreeper

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Yeah but bad reports from self titled professionals are often worse than the reality.

 

 

I mean, OK, look at it this way:

-someone found a log of what all your programs do.

-This someone thinks that this being transmitted is spying on them.

-this someone then freaks out about 'whats being sent where?!?!'

-They then make a blog or something about how 'bad' it is.

 

 

In reality, the fear, like a lot of 'all in one' software, is that the system COULD be abused.

When whats actually happening, is that AVG are building a giant list of 'this is how a program behaves', so that when the supposed windows task manager executable starts trying to delete and format D drive, it can say 'hold on, that's not normal' and halt it.

 

 

It's not about the programs going 'the wrong way' its about them going the wrong way, for you. Which is totally OK for you to feel (and for them to do).

 

If you just want an antivirus, put clam AV on, set it to weekly scan, and be happy.

Windows firewall already stealths all our ports and is amazingly powerful.

Microsoft still keeps 'Windows Defender' up to date for any truly pressing threats.

And if web based 'script' viruses are your worry, sandbox your browser.

 

 

I'm not one for enjoying every program deciding 'this needs to go on the internet, yoink!' for me, either; but there ARE alternatives, numerous and more effective ones too.

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Yeah but bad reports from self titled professionals are often worse than the reality.

 

 

I mean, OK, look at it this way:

-someone found a log of what all your programs do.

-This someone thinks that this being transmitted is spying on them.

-this someone then freaks out about 'whats being sent where?!?!'

-They then make a blog or something about how 'bad' it is.

 

 

In reality, the fear, like a lot of 'all in one' software, is that the system COULD be abused.

When whats actually happening, is that AVG are building a giant list of 'this is how a program behaves', so that when the supposed windows task manager executable starts trying to delete and format D drive, it can say 'hold on, that's not normal' and halt it.

 

 

It's not about the programs going 'the wrong way' its about them going the wrong way, for you. Which is totally OK for you to feel (and for them to do).

 

If you just want an antivirus, put clam AV on, set it to weekly scan, and be happy.

Windows firewall already stealths all our ports and is amazingly powerful.

Microsoft still keeps 'Windows Defender' up to date for any truly pressing threats.

And if web based 'script' viruses are your worry, sandbox your browser.

 

 

I'm not one for enjoying every program deciding 'this needs to go on the internet, yoink!' for me, either; but there ARE alternatives, numerous and more effective ones too.

 

When i first installed AVG it was JUST a AV program with no bells and whistles. In the last 3 years they went more commercial and threw this AVG suite at us regardless of whether we wanted it or not. Us the AVG AV supporters got something which we did not want. But we still recognize AVG as a superior and a premium Free AV product.

 

When i first put ADSL on my PC i asked the guys at NODE they told me that Windows Firewall is all i need for online privacy. Which was nearly 9 years ago.

 

Then i re-installed AVG AV scanner for Virus protection ,then Malware bytes and -noscript for web based scripts.

 

The issues with AVG is they changed the format as too how we as users can access the AV program through their commercial funding. As mentioned in September PCTA pages 95-96 by Jon Honeyball.

 

If you activate AVG firewall their commercial sponsors can get into your PC or whatever ,which was done by installing 3 Search bars.

 

Secondly they have a privacy feature which i am really against is because it allows for data collection. Why do they need scripts on our system ,i just want the AV package.

 

Because AVG sponsors want to know our habits on the internet. Secondly when you use AVG forums now they want a email address and a password just to resolve problems.

 

AVG over the years have separated the AV community by those paying and non paying. For once was a FREE product is now steadily becoming a Pay to Use product ,just like Nortons went many years ago. What next will probably be a system to pay for updates. Its looking very much to be heading that way.

 

And even getting support for problems is like breaking your arm ,the amount of hassles just to get issue resolved is really bad. Even on FB AVG page the tech guys very rarely respond to anything now.

Edited by codecreeper

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all valid points; but ive never seen a 'noob' end user complain about the new system (lots of home users still use AVG).

Lots of sites need a signup to access them.

AVG is no longer 'just an antivirus' you've explained that yourself.

If you're looking for 'just an antivirus' this is no longer the product you're after.

 

 

You cant buy (or download) a product 20 years ago and expect it to be the same today. Not in a commercial world.

Thats what Open Source software is for.

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So are these search bars being installed no matter what? Or users can opt out but don't?

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So are these search bars being installed no matter what? Or users can opt out but don't?

Depends on your knowledge of this AVG suite.

 

I myself was caught in this trap when the AVG suite was released. On the first time installing this suite and those converting from Free version to Pay to Use are getting caught.

 

A very fast box appears in the install process to select to install search bars or not. Now some users just go with the flow and let it do its job agreeing with all tasks.

 

Its these search bars are always active regardless whether a browser is up and running or not ,it sits in the background. And this is what slows the PC down sometime losing from %45 to %10 of CPU power.

 

Now to remove these Search Bars you need a special uninstaller only available from AVG site.

 

So why is AVG pushing Search Engines on Users ?

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Because clearly too many people were using the free version only and they needed the revenue from the bar providers.

 

But, are you suggesting they're not standard BHO's? They're standalone programs that run at all times?

How does that work?

 

I mean, even the 'ask toolbar' plague had a standalone, but it was an updater that only ran rarely.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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