Angry Rant - Avast! 4.6 webscanner.....damnit!

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by deadmanschest, Mar 16, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. deadmanschest

    deadmanschest Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Posts:
    105
    :mad:

    Why o' why did I ever enable 'automatic update' for Avast! AV....

    After booting up the PC and having a myriad of connection issues, browser freeze, veeeeeery slooooooow program opening and email checker probs...I wasted 2 hours trying to diagnose and fix probs...

    The long and the short of it.....Avast had installed a 'program update' that added some p.o.s called the Webscanner...(making 5 resident processes rather than the previous 4) and which is enabled at startup by default. And which appears to create all kinds of probs. To add insult to injury, it disabled the Avast update altogether, so that after doing a number of system scans with Spybot, etc and Avast! I was unable to get the app to update at all...All kinds of proxy bs, proximitron probs, email connection probs., and sloooooow..

    Long and short again - I disable the resident 'webscanner' via the Avast GUI, it says terminated, but nothing works. I check Process Explorer and its still runnning. So I kill it and everything worked again - dandy.

    But on reboot its enabled at Startup AGAIN, despite me expressly terminating it in the program settings and telling it to persist as Terminated in Avast!. Again all kinds of issues. Kill the app in the Avast Tray Icon, it says terminated, but its not. I kill it again in Process Explorer. Its finally dead. Everything works again. TILL I reboot....and its baaaaack....

    Its baaaaack, despite the Avast interface telling me its dead, when it clearly is still running. I kill it, I go to Mike Lins Start Up Control and disable and delete it.....everything works until reboot and its baaaaaack..

    Finally, things under control and THEN, Avast! runs its automatic update for VIRUS DEFINITIONS only (I have disabled Program updates for now) and what should pop up but RegProt window telling me that Avast! setup is writing the Startup for Webscanner to the Registry again......This is complete bullsnot at this point, so I terminate automatic virus definition updates, and finally kill the damn thing...once and for all....at least to now....

    I am so pissed at this point, I may just disinstall Avast! all told.

    Unbelievable. No need for Replys, unless other people want to rant. I scanned the Avast! forums and there seemed to be lots of threads, but I wasn't going to register just to rant.

    Apparently, despite no info at all about what this Webscanner is supposed to do, it is buggering proxy connections and interfering with ports that are authourized by firewall rules....

    Anyway, its dead now, and I will keep it that way...

    dmc

    PS - I had a phone call from a neighbour asking me to help because her computer has a 'virus' she thinks, 'doesn't work' and 'is crashing all the time..'.

    The punch line - I installed Avast! Home for her a few months back, and enable auto updates to her av .....I think I know what the 'virus' is now. Got to go over tonite and kill her Avast! Webscanner as well.

    No wonder simple users without technical skills hate computers...what a waste of time....

    End of Rant...thanks for the chance to blow off steam.

    :rolleyes:
     
  2. Randy_Bell

    Randy_Bell Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Posts:
    3,004
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    Only comment I have is, the description sounds a lot like spyware {although I know it isn't spyware but it behaves like it from your description}. Glad you finally got it under control. ;)
     
  3. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Posts:
    6,426
    Well the best place to rant about is avast! Forums or avast! tech support.
    You won't get much help here,trust me. Direct contact with Alwil staff would be the best way to solve this (possible) incompatibility issue or bug.
     
  4. deadmanschest

    deadmanschest Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Posts:
    105
    :rolleyes: Thanks RejKoR, but the point was i) I don't need help now that I have killed it dead and ii) don't want to Register at Alwil just to bitch....hehe...it wouldn't be nice.

    The point was that this 'Webscanner module', which was installed in some minor program update from Avast! 4.601 or whatever to 4.603 or 4.613 or 4.623 or someother damn thing completely screwed my internet connectivity and reduced my machine to a crawl....PLUS it wouldn't die!..PLUS it reinstalled itself repeatedly...

    Alwil should have figured this would conflict with browser proxy settings and firewalls,AND it should not run silent when the app says it terminated AND it should not reenable itself at StartUp when the prog says its not enabled AND it should not reenable it at Startup when just doing a virus defn update - thats just ridiculous.

    I expressly did not post at Alwil because i) can't be bothered to register ii)would feel obliged to give a long, detailed, rational post about the issues to Alwil. But I don't want to....I wanted to rant about how pissed I am about wasting time on a stupid problem that the software writers should have known would cause multiple issues with users.

    Thanks anyway tho'. I only wanted to put out a thread that some poor smuck who's computer is suddenly screwed may be able to Google and find this and think to kill Avast! Webscanner as a solution....

    Ciao.

    dmc
     
  5. SDS909

    SDS909 Guest

    Theres a few products that I avoid installing like the plague on my machines. All of them have resulted in a reformatting of my hard drive in the past. Kaspersky, F-Secure, Norton and Avast. Unless something drastic makes them so amazing I have to change to them, I won't do it. Although I will say the KAV issue was relating to ADS's causing my HD management software to blow out my partition, once ADS's are gone, i'd take a look again - maybe.

    But F-Secure, Avast and Norton caused so many problems, each warranted a reformat.

    I have zero tolerance for buggy products, or products without adequate uninstallers, etc. I feel your pain.
     
  6. feddup

    feddup Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Posts:
    160
    I thought it would be agood on demand scanner. IT was demanding and has been uninstalled.
     
  7. deadmanschest

    deadmanschest Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Posts:
    105
    Hi Randy_Bell; Sorry, I missed seeing your post earlier.

    Not spyware, just ill-thought out. Apparently, this 'upgrade' is supposed to be a localhost proxy/ web filter for browsers.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. I've spent years getting Kerio and Proxomitron set for http and https protocols, and some ftp, as configured in my (alternate) browsers, what apps had localhost and remote access thru Proxo and what remote ports apps can access for http, https and ftp blah blah blah...and here comes Avast! with some lame web filter/local proxy that tries to get ahold of http traffic or something.....no wonder the damn thing didn't work..

    What were they thinking? Its too bad cause I quite liked Avast!4.6 for real time scanner and email scanner (which worked very well).

    Why do they have to bloat the thing up? Its an AV Scanner, not a Web Filter Proxy!!

    If I wanted a Web Filter Proxy I'd add one myself.....gee come to think of it I already have one....

    Dumb and dumber...

    Take care

    dmc :D
     
  8. Beefcarver

    Beefcarver Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Posts:
    263
    Location:
    michigan
    Why dont you uninstall avast and reinstall it but this time do a custom install and shut off all the crap ( Webshield, P2P, Etc...) that you dont want or are messing things up. Thats what I did works great after custom install. It might be the answer other than just canning the whole Avast app......... :rolleyes:
     
  9. Tinribs

    Tinribs Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Posts:
    734
    Location:
    England
    Very wise words beefcarver, the standand instal of most programs needs attention
     
  10. Beefcarver

    Beefcarver Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Posts:
    263
    Location:
    michigan
    I got rid of alot of problems Avast was giving me exspecially with changing my email settings and it appears these things happen by defualt within the standard Install, when I did the custom Install and unchecked things all problems stopped.
     
  11. deadmanschest

    deadmanschest Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Posts:
    105
    Hehe, hi SDS909 and feddup (great username);

    Actually I only recently installed Avast!4.5 and was happy enough with the resident scanner and email scanner. I liked that the email scanner was able to find and recognize Pegasus and Thunderbird and was able to set up all my email accounts to use a localhost proxy thru Avast! for SMTP, POP and IMAP. That was quite good and only took a few minutes with the firewall to get working great.......

    Email scanning worked, so Avast! figured they'd proxy up my browsers and start intercepting my HTTP traffic? How stupid is that.....no wonder the computer crapped out...

    I just can't believe that Alwil would install and enable a locahost browser proxy in a 4.6xx 'update' to a 4.6xx program without a word and with no way to confgure the thing. There's some Customize button in the GUI but you have to enable the thing to open it....hehe.....

    How about an option to disinstall the module and be done with it?

    Wishful.....

    Thanks

    dmc
     
  12. Beefcarver

    Beefcarver Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Posts:
    263
    Location:
    michigan
    Well you have to look at things in the eyes of the awil Team, they made a program with the intentions of making peoples Pc safe and trying to safeguard against things. so I can understand that they would want to try to make your internet experience more safer by scanning your email for viruses. but they didnt realize that it could also cause problems too for some users. Just do a
    Simple custom Install and turn off what you dont want.. it works.
     
  13. Tinribs

    Tinribs Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Posts:
    734
    Location:
    England
    !"Email scanning worked, so Avast! figured they'd proxy up my browsers and start intercepting my HTTP traffic? How stupid is that.....no wonder the computer crapped out..."


    I am confused,everything was fine until ...what? something has stopped your enjoyment of avast.
     
  14. deadmanschest

    deadmanschest Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Posts:
    105
    Avast! 4.6 webscanner.....damnit...or just turn it off?

    Hi Beefcarver; thats not a bad idea, But I don't know if I want to go thru the disinstall and custom reinstall, because the next time there's a program update I'll just get it 'reinstalled by default' again....I never installed 4.6 323 or whatever it is, it was installed automatically by Avast!. I had used Avast 4.5 for a few months and liked it and decided to let it 'automatic update' itself...but even if I did the program update manually, I would not get any install dialogue, it would just dl and install it silently. The only dialogue would be a fresh download and install, and dick around with the licence and such and so....

    Hehe...the real answer is for Alwil to fix the code so I can terminate Webscanner and keep it terminated even on another 'program update'...hehe..

    Cheers

    dmc
     
  15. deadmanschest

    deadmanschest Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Posts:
    105
    Hi Tinribs - you didn't understand the issue. I was happily using Avast!4.6.603 or thereabouts (which worked just fine, including email scanner). Sometime in the last few days Alwil issued an 'upgrade' that my version automatically dl'd and installed along with the virus defns. This 'upgrade' is 4.6.613 or 623 or whatever, but it added a so-called WebScanner which is some kind of local host proxy that tried to hijack all my http traffic afaik, and which screwed the computer grandly.

    It was also impossible to kill, and tries to reinstall and re-enable itself on every start-up.

    I have killed it, and keep it killed only by refusing to allow Avast! to access the internet. Everytime Avast! tries to update (even definitions only) it trys to reanable Webscanner and add it to my Startup. Its just stupid.....

    All Iwant to do is terminate it and keep it terminated....hehe...

    dmc
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2005
  16. deadmanschest

    deadmanschest Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Posts:
    105
    Http proxy more complex than that..

    Hey Beefcarver - I think they bit off more than they could chew, and are giving us bloatware...without thinking thru the issues.

    Its one thing to scan email by using a local proxy for traffic to/from internet servers on port 25, port 110 and port 143 (the remote server ports for SMTP, POP and IMAP)and port 119 (remote port for news). Avast! used that for email scanners, I installed it with Avast!4.5 and I configured my firewall to allow it to work and everytihg was dandy.

    Then out of the blue they install and enable a local proxy for HTTP traffic thru browsers, I'm guessing they have it set to take over IE proxy settings and to route http traffic on remote servers port 80 thru Avast!. This must have been somewhere between version 4.6.603 and version 4.6.623....

    But what about all the other configuring? People have local software proxies (like Proxomitron) and people have remote hardware proxies. They all have to be configured and or daisy chained together to work. There have to be rules set up in firewalls, software and hardware. etc etc. You can't have multiple proxy servers configured in Opera or Firefox - they have to be each directed to the next one, and so on...

    Thats just an aside though. What I can't believe is that anyone just silently installs a 'software http proxy' in my AV app, with no dialogue and no instructions....and wastes my morning trying to diagnose whats wrong.

    It just makes no sense.

    And I cannot turn it off....I can turn off P2P or IM modules. This friggin WebScanner just keeps re-enabling itself.....Maddening.

    Cheers..

    dmc
     
  17. deadmanschest

    deadmanschest Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Posts:
    105
    Disable Avast! 4.6 Webscanner in Add/Remove

    :D Managed to kill the damn thing..

    A solution to the problem presented itself. Thru Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel, you have the option to Change (ie Modify) the installation to add or remove modules, including the webscanner proxy installed by Avast program update. The program is still updated to 4.6.623 but the Webscanner is removed. I would guess that it could be added back in by repeating the process.

    I allowed it to run a Virus defn update and it did not re-enable the Webscanner. I would assume that I could also allow it to run program updates, and it should not re-install the removed offending module.

    Hopefully all the other people having connection issues with Avast! find out that their AV is trying to act as an Http proxy for their browsers....duh.

    Thanks for suggestions made above by all

    dmc
     
  18. Arup

    Arup Guest

    Re: Disable Avast! 4.6 Webscanner in Add/Remove

    Have been using Avast Web Scanner since its inception, with Zone Alarm, Sygate as well as Kerio with loopback proxy setting for port 12080 bypassed, works wonderfully with Opera, FF and IE. The only problem I had was Sygate's own, Sygate has a problem with proxy of any kind.

    Now I am using NetVeda and Web Scanner is still working fine, as a matter of fact, caught a .JS worm the other day.

    For those having problem, try disabling web scanner and enabling scan on close in standard shield.
     
  19. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Posts:
    6,426
    Well HTTP proxying is nothing new and it's very useful thing. NOD32 uses it,avast! too,Kaspersky has also prepared it in it's upcoming 2006 lineup.

    And if you don't wan't to register on forums,use email support.
    How stupid is that, you have a major problem and you don't tell Alwil about it?
    It's like new car having major engine and brake problems and you don't notify manufacturer about it because it's 10km from you and it's too "far" for you to go there or even phone them :rolleyes:

    And what i read from your post your PC had to be messed up very much (not avast itself) if the VPS update triggered program update which was disabled (i'd say this is very impossible). Also majority of AVs enable itself on next boot even if disabled in last session,so don't be surprised if avast! enabled itself on next boot. Sounds logical to me.
    "Stop On-Access protection" feature only stops the On-Access scanning completely,it doesn't terminate scanner process. In versions before, there was a bit funny terminology for this,but they fixed it in 4.6.

    In my time of avast! usage i have NEVER encountered any such situations and i use all kind of magical combinations of software,reinstall several antiviruses in the same day but nothing like that. And there has been many updates between 4.1 and 4.6.623.

    So please use email tech support for avast!.
    Ranting like that without helping anyone or even allowing others to help you is just a stupid flaming for me and should be locked imo. Now it's up to you what you gonna do next.
     
  20. Arup

    Arup Guest

    Just another note, after using Avast for almost over a year, I decided to see how many viruses have Avast slipped by, so I downloaded major programs from Kaspersky, BitDefender, Clam, F-Prot as well as anti trojan programs like Ewido and a2, none of them detected a single virus, malware or Trojan, I also do regular scans with Ad Aware and Spybot and except for some tracking cookies, none whatsoever.

    Way to go Avast, and yes, because I belong to quite a lot of mailing list, it is but normal for Avast to catchy Netsky and other worms and Trojans on regular basis thanks to its wonderful mail scanner.
     
  21. clansman77

    clansman77 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Posts:
    234
    Location:
    kochi,kerala,india
    just fyi
    you can always configure avast to prompt before a program upgrade in the settings section.and if i were in your place i would be visiting the alwil forums quite often just to see the new features in the new versions , and the bugs too so that i can decide whether i need to upgrade to the new version.. no in no way iam not trying to offend you ,just my 2 cents.i did like that when i was using avast 5 months ago.they really have a very good forum like here in the wilders...
     
  22. deadmanschest

    deadmanschest Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Posts:
    105
    Avast! 4.6 Cheerleaders meeting

    :D Shake your pom poms for Avast!...

    :D Complain to a moderator and see if they will lock this thread...

    My point was, and continues to be, Avast! silently installed a program 'upgrade' being 4.6.603 to 4.6.623 that added a module that installed and enabled by default an HTTP Proxy. I wasted two hours tracking it down and deal with it.

    That HTTP Proxy conflicted with my current settings, which include an HTTP, an HTTPS and an FTP Proxy, a firewall and a router, and slowed my computer to a crawl as well as conflicting with a number of programs that access the internet..

    After finally finding that the Alwil webscanner.exe was consuming all my
    CPU and altered my internet settings (fruitlessly and stupidly) I then tried to kill it.

    The long and the short - I don't want an AV program that bloats up and add in an HTTP Proxy WITHOUT telling the USER and without any DIALOQUE for configuration as part of an 'upgrade' from 4.6.603 to 4.6.623.

    Its regrettable when a so-caled Security program causes more problems than I have ever had from a virus....

    As I wrote to Randy Bell, if I want an Http Proxy I install and configure one.

    Let Alwil keep their stupid buggy code off my browser/proxy/firewall/router and modem set-up and I would be happy. If they silently install and enable the damn thing again on the next program 'update' I will again be unhappy....

    By the by, whether I choose to enter into a dialoque with Alwil is my own business...

    dmc :D

    Edit to correct some speelling errors....hehe
     
  23. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Posts:
    6,426
    First of all,avast! dosn't change any internet settings (unless you told it to do so).
    Second,avast! doesn't auto-update program components without user intervention or user settings (by default avast! ASKS you if you want to update it). avast! can't just update itself if it's set not to. Have you ever seen a car that shifts to reverse by itself at 160km/h on a highway? No?
    And third,this whole thread sounds to me more like program bashing than searching for help or giving other users a feedback.
    If program fails only on your PC that doesn't mean it sucks.
    I have offered you help,but as it seems you're not willing to accept it.
    Instead of that you prefer ranting here when you could solve the problem in this time... fine,live without avast!,but don't bash it for some obviously stupid reason.
     
  24. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Posts:
    57,740
    Location:
    Texas
    Suggestions made. Thread is closed.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.