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WEB HOSTING SECURITY

Avast Antivirus Update Yields False Positives
By: Terri Wells
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    2011-04-13

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    Avast admitted that its recent update to its antivirus product mistakenly flags clean websites as infected with malware. Five million users downloaded the problematic update. A fix is available.

    The bug affects the Avast update known as 110411-1. Versions 4.x, 5.x, and 6.x of Avast's antivirus software suffer from this error. Fortunately, the fix was created and released within an hour of the faulty update becoming available for download.

    If you got the bad update, you will need to download and install the fixed version manually. It is named 110411-2. Avast requested that all users update their antivirus definitions. To do so, simply right-click on the Avast taskbar icon, select Update and then select Engine and Virus definitions. 

    The faulty update caused a number of problems. While Avast claims that only remote files were affected, not local files, hundreds of users who installed the buggy update stated that it quarantined some of their local files, which they will now need to restore. An Avast spokesman said that this can happen if a user with the bad update ran the antivirus's on-demand scan of the hard drive. In that case, the software could quarantine any HTML files stored locally.

    The buggy update revealed other problems with Avast most notably with the company's ability to communicate about these issues. A number of people who commented on Avast's blog post revealing the issue called the antivirus firm out for this, saying that it did not communicate effectively concerning the issue. An Avast employee responding to this criticism said that the firm is working on how it can handle this kind of problem more efficiently in the future. In addition to the blog, Avast got the word out about the problems with the update via Twitter and Facebook.

    Not everyone thought Avast communicated poorly in this situation. A number of comments to Avast's blog post expressed appreciation for the company's quick response. As one might guess from how fast the firm released a fixed version of the update, the antivirus maker's top priority was getting a non-buggy update out as quickly as possible.

    For more on this, visit: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20053085-83.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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