Avast 6 flagging many safe sites as malware!!

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Avast 6 flagging many safe sites as malware!!
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Jim Hillier
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April 11, 2011 - 5:17 pm
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If you are running Avast 6 and are currently finding your favourite/usual sites are being flagged as malware do not worry. This has been caused by a severe fault with the latest definitions update from Avast, which is obviously creating a heap of false positives.

When I got on the computer this morning and started going through my usual procedures I couldn't connect to many sites and it seemed Avast was flagging every site I visited as malware. It even flagged several of the site advisory services included in the Firefox extension LinkExtend as malware.

So I disabled Avast's Web Shield component and then Googled this issue; it seems there are thousands affected.

Here is a temporary workaround until Avast fixes the problem permanently:

Right click on the Avast icon in the notification area of the taskbar and select [b:2fn2nrvl]Open avast! user interface[/b:2fn2nrvl].
Click on[b:2fn2nrvl] Real Time Shields[/b:2fn2nrvl] [in the left hand navigation panel].
Click on[b:2fn2nrvl] Web Shield[/b:2fn2nrvl] and disable the option to [b:2fn2nrvl]Scan web (HTTP) Traffic[/b:2fn2nrvl]:
[attachment=0:2fn2nrvl]Avast.png[/attachment:2fn2nrvl]

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Nightowl78
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April 11, 2011 - 7:39 pm
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Thanks Jim, I've had two calls today about this very issue.

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Jim Hillier
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April 11, 2011 - 7:51 pm
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You are most welcome Nightowl!!

It [i:3s7l23qn]is[/i:3s7l23qn] pretty scary when it all starts happening.

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Flying Dutchman
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April 12, 2011 - 4:20 pm
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Didn't face this one, but there was a 3 hours time period last evening (between 18:30 and 21:30 UTC) when it couldn't update, throwing a HTTP 403 error. At the same time, their site and forum were down.

I am human

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Jim Hillier
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April 12, 2011 - 4:52 pm
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Yes FD, I was getting that error too. I tried to update the definition data base hoping that might fix the issue with multiple false positives.....couldn't connect at all. As you say, kept getting that 403 error.

Tried again this morning and connected fine but no updates were available so looks like I am stuck with no Web Shield for the time being [along with thousands of other Avast users].

This is very bad from Alwil; everyone makes mistakes but something of this magnitude I would have expected them to deal with ASAP.

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Chad Johnson
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April 13, 2011 - 11:25 am
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I solved this by uninstalling Avast and going Rogue.

seriously though - i haven't seen any problems. Makes me wonder if my Avast is even updating.

Hmmm....

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Flying Dutchman
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April 13, 2011 - 5:13 pm
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[quote:29e0psrq]Tried again this morning and connected fine but no updates were available[/quote:29e0psrq]
Jim, that's odd. I got an auto update shortly after 21:30 UTC.

[quote:29e0psrq]seriously though - i haven't seen any problems.[/quote:29e0psrq]
Depends on what sites you went to and the frequency avast is set to auto update - it's set to 4 hours by default.
I have mine set to check for updates every 3 hours, so I got hit by the HTTP 403 error around 18:30 UTC, but when it checked again, everything was fine.
Current version of defs is 110413-1, is it the same on yours? If yes, you're ok.
You could also enable the sounds - a small bell rings when it updates.

[quote:29e0psrq]by ... going Rogue. [/quote:29e0psrq]
Good idea, maybe I should try this on my Win7 64bit if I can't get avast to work properly.

I am human

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Jim Hillier
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April 13, 2011 - 7:18 pm
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Well, I'm happy to report that, after a recent update, all is now fine.

FD & Zig - I can only assume that this issue must have manifested itself differently for each time zone. It may well have been location specific and dependent on timing.

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Chad Johnson
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April 14, 2011 - 9:19 am
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At work we have the corporate version of Avast -- database version 110414-0. It checks for updates hourly and pushes them to the workstations.

At home, I use the free version, and it's on version 110414-1. It's set to the defaults except for the sounds. There is nothing worse than hearing from the other room "DING: Avast database has been updated!"

Hmm....

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Jim Hillier
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April 14, 2011 - 5:23 pm
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[quote:3hc75ymm]At home, I use the free version, and it's on version 110414-1.[/quote:3hc75ymm]
Yep, that's the update I received [to v110414-1] which fixed the issue.

[quote:3hc75ymm]There is nothing worse than hearing from the other room "DING: Avast database has been updated!"[/quote:3hc75ymm]
Oh! I love that lady telling me the database has been updated, I always say "thank you". I know that's silly but at least it is polite.

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Flying Dutchman
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April 14, 2011 - 5:55 pm
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[quote:h9b8z1lm]There is nothing worse than hearing from the other room "DING: Avast database has been updated!"[/quote:h9b8z1lm]
That's actually the reason I keep the sounds & voiceover - her voice is the reassurance that everything's working fine.

[quote:h9b8z1lm]I always say "thank you". I know that's silly but at least it is polite.[/quote:h9b8z1lm]
How funny, I do that too some times.

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Chad Johnson
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April 14, 2011 - 8:48 pm
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LoL

I can't stand random noises on my computer. 97% of the time it's muted anyway though... :/

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Jim Hillier
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April 14, 2011 - 11:35 pm
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[quote:261hjuvm]I can't stand random noises on my computer[/quote:261hjuvm]
What about random noises from people Zig? I hope you don't mind those too much or you are going to hate yourself when you get older!!! There's really no way to mute them either!! LOL

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Chad Johnson
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April 15, 2011 - 11:36 am
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There's really no way to mute them either!! LOL [/quote:2rimx5b1]

Turn off the hearing aid...

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Jim Hillier
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April 15, 2011 - 5:22 pm
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LOL

Well thought out Zig!!

It's obvious when you think about it......obviously I didn't think hard [or long] enough!!

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