Author Topic: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?  (Read 92531 times)

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Offline igor

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #60 on: July 05, 2012, 10:50:11 PM »
1-Does the program have access to anything else other than downloading a fix for avast?
(if so = Avast! trojan horse?)

2-Does it automatically download a fix or does it have a manual option?
(Having both options is good. An "off switch" would be nice also)

1 - not sure what else it should have access to, but no, it only checks our server whether a fix is available (which it's not), and if it is, it downloads it, verifies its digital signature and lets it fix the program, if applicable.
In many aspects similar to virus definion updates (that sometimes were, are, and most likely will also be used to deliver fixes in some cases) - it just was made standalone, lauched via Scheduler, so that it's usable even in case of a problem so big that the avast service wouldn't start (in which case program or virus definition updates wouldn't work).

2 - no, there's no manual option. That was actually the point - to avoid having to tell people "sorry, the installation is so broken that it cannot be updated, please download this file manually and start it."

Offline Lisandro

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #61 on: July 06, 2012, 03:51:14 AM »
No, there's no manual option.
Why can't avast! be repaired (or the Fix button) in some situations?
Wouldn't if be useful a complete repair that works in *any* situation?
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Offline igor

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #62 on: July 06, 2012, 11:25:11 AM »
The Repair function basically makes sure that everything is installed as it would be after a clean installation (let's say except for keeping the settings etc.)
Wheter it always succeeds or fail sometimes, is completely unrelated to this topic. First, we don't want to tell people "please navigate to Control Panel and invoke the Repair", and second this is meant for the hypothetical case of a bad (e.g. Virus definition) update being released that breaks things - and Repair wouldn't help there anyway, cause the virus definitions would be correctly installed, just would crash the program.
Or, the setup component itself might get broken - which contains both the updating and repair functionality.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 11:29:29 AM by igor »

guestja

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #63 on: July 06, 2012, 03:05:31 PM »
On this topic of trust.

Isn't it true that by simply installing an antivirus software you are in fact trusting that company. After all, they have access to the deepest part of your system and surely if they had bad intentions could probably  make modifications, or install a  nasty of some sort or other  during a program update or something that would be next to impossible to detect.


Offline DavidR

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #64 on: July 06, 2012, 03:31:23 PM »
If you monitor your firewall logs you will see where the Emergency Updater goes to check if there is any emergency fix (only to avast servers).
Windows 10 Home 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 22.2.6003 (build 22.2.7013.717) UI 1.0.697/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro/ Avast! Mobile Security

Dch48

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #65 on: July 06, 2012, 10:10:09 PM »
If you monitor your firewall logs you will see where the Emergency Updater goes to check if there is any emergency fix (only to avast servers).
My firewall logs show nothing at all under connections. The page stays blank on this XP machine. the activity tab only shows my network being detected and the firewall mode being set.

Offline DavidR

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #66 on: July 06, 2012, 10:18:41 PM »
I can't speak for AIS firewall, by the Outpost Firewall Pro has a pretty comprehensive set of logs.
Windows 10 Home 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 22.2.6003 (build 22.2.7013.717) UI 1.0.697/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro/ Avast! Mobile Security

norel

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #67 on: July 06, 2012, 10:33:01 PM »
avastemupdate.exe tried to run when I updated to 1456. My firewall flagged it and I disabled both incoming and outgoing. I think the concept is good but there should be a manual option. I hate the direction software developers are going in this regard. Automation in the name of simplicity. Instead they should focus on better message dialogs so end users can make educated decisions for themself as to whether to allow something on their system.

Offline Lisandro

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #68 on: July 06, 2012, 10:56:10 PM »
The Repair function basically makes sure that everything is installed as it would be after a clean installation (let's say except for keeping the settings etc.)
Wheter it always succeeds or fail sometimes, is completely unrelated to this topic. First, we don't want to tell people "please navigate to Control Panel and invoke the Repair", and second this is meant for the hypothetical case of a bad (e.g. Virus definition) update being released that breaks things - and Repair wouldn't help there anyway, cause the virus definitions would be correctly installed, just would crash the program.
Or, the setup component itself might get broken - which contains both the updating and repair functionality.
Thanks Igor.
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Dch48

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #69 on: July 07, 2012, 04:54:39 AM »
avastemupdate.exe tried to run when I updated to 1456. My firewall flagged it and I disabled both incoming and outgoing. I think the concept is good but there should be a manual option. I hate the direction software developers are going in this regard. Automation in the name of simplicity. Instead they should focus on better message dialogs so end users can make educated decisions for themself as to whether to allow something on their system.
I'm sorry but it really needs to have any and all firewall access it asks for to be granted. What if sometime in the future some hacker finds a flaw in Avast that enables them to exploit it in some way? The emergency updater could kick in, replace the infected files, and prevent some serious damage from happening without requiring any interaction by the user. A manual option is not necessary at all and would actually , at least somewhat, defeat the purpose of the feature. What if Avast gets modified so much that you can't even open it to access the manual option?

dhym

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #70 on: July 07, 2012, 05:06:20 AM »
it is nice product thanks for avast  :P

The Kitchen Sink

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #71 on: July 08, 2012, 02:01:08 AM »
My main concern is not having an off switch. I don't want calls being made at all by anything automated, I do not have control over or am not even made aware of such changes. It is NOT being paranoid to want to know what is happening with expensive machinery. I would appreciate it if everyone saying such things would stop doing so, just because you have a different opinion on the matter.


One example of this being a problem could be:
Not aware something is being downloaded by avast. You go to shut off you machine or cut the connection and you didn't know it was in the middle of patching and it does more damage than resolved. This is the very essence of manual updates. Automation tends to screw up things. A simple matter to settle this would be to add an optional off switch for this and the matter would be over with. For those knowingly shutting it off would obviously have to just re-install as per the old way. No worries. If they can't, they can leave it on. Both sides are happy.

~~~

Regarding why JWA's comment on trust:
Why we use avast? It is a tool, like a screw driver or a wrench. Nothing more. But you should go look up Sony's view on the matter of trust and while you are at it, how about Microsoft's track record of behavior. This is nothing close to paranoia. It is politely discussing and asking the team about something we want to know more about to avoid any future problems and conflicts.

VanguardLH

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #72 on: July 09, 2012, 08:13:34 AM »
Reviewed this thread so far but have not found mention if the auto-updater (well, to be correct, the scheduled updater) PROMPTS the user before committing any changes.  Yeah, it might be handy to have it check for catastrophic fixes to Avast (and why this separate process is needed to download AND RUN the fix program) but I don't want something making major changes to the state of my host without my permission.  Microsoft can wail all they want about what are critical or important Windows updates but I configured the AU service to prompt me for my permission to download and install the updates.  I'll choose if and when to apply changes to my host - just like I make that same choice of what software I install on my host. 

They don't even notify me that they added the scheduled event.  As a consequence, they don't let me decide when the scheduled task runs on my host.  Only after accidentally finding out about the new scheduled event can I then know I have to reschedule it.  They simply toss in a time for the daily event based on whenever I installed the program update that added this scheduled event.  Sorry, but my computer has other tasks scheduled at that time that will not get interrupted because a non-critical application (which includes all security software) wants to perform some catastrophic repair of itself.  So not only does Avast surreptitiously add a scheduled event but it can interfere with other scheduled events.  They behave like they have blinders that see only their product without any thought that users may already have a list of scheduled events and which are scheduled to not interfere or overlap with each other.

I've noticed some users note that the scheduled emergency update downloads a file.  That would be pointless.  It would download AND RUN the downloaded file.  So the emergency updater, a scheduled task, upon discovering there is a fix file to download, should first prompt me if I want to download and apply that fix.  If I have more important real work to accomplish using my host, I'm certainly not going to let some security software alter my host and probably require a reboot to interrupt my work.  Consider how rude it would be for a program to patch your software (OS or apps) and then reboot the host without ever warning you and without ever asking for your permission.  Bang, your host just rebooted in the middle of your work and your document or work just got discarded.  Well, not prompting me to allow the update in the first place is just as rude.

For now, I'm disabling the Avast emergency update scheduled task because there is no good information from Avast about it.  They didn't bother to describe it to me, they don't describe its operation or behaviors, and they never mention if I get prompted to then decide whether or not to permission the change.  Yeah, it's there software but it still remains MY computer!
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 08:18:19 AM by VanguardLH »

Offline CraigB

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #73 on: July 09, 2012, 08:35:57 AM »
Reviewed this thread so far but have not found mention if the auto-updater (well, to be correct, the scheduled updater) PROMPTS the user before committing any changes.  Yeah, it might be handy to have it check for catastrophic fixes to Avast (and why this separate process is needed to download AND RUN the fix program) but I don't want something making major changes to the state of my host without my permission.  Microsoft can wail all they want about what are critical or important Windows updates but I configured the AU service to prompt me for my permission to download and install the updates.  I'll choose if and when to apply changes to my host - just like I make that same choice of what software I install on my host. 

They don't even notify me that they added the scheduled event.  As a consequence, they don't let me decide when the scheduled task runs on my host.  Only after accidentally finding out about the new scheduled event can I then know I have to reschedule it.  They simply toss in a time for the daily event based on whenever I installed the program update that added this scheduled event.  Sorry, but my computer has other tasks scheduled at that time that will not get interrupted because a non-critical application (which includes all security software) wants to perform some catastrophic repair of itself.  So not only does Avast surreptitiously add a scheduled event but it can interfere with other scheduled events.  They behave like they have blinders that see only their product without any thought that users may already have a list of scheduled events and which are scheduled to not interfere or overlap with each other.

I've noticed some users note that the scheduled emergency update downloads a file.  That would be pointless.  It would download AND RUN the downloaded file.  So the emergency updater, a scheduled task, upon discovering there is a fix file to download, should first prompt me if I want to download and apply that fix.  If I have more important real work to accomplish using my host, I'm certainly not going to let some security software alter my host and probably require a reboot to interrupt my work.  Consider how rude it would be for a program to patch your software (OS or apps) and then reboot the host without ever warning you and without ever asking for your permission.  Bang, your host just rebooted in the middle of your work and your document or work just got discarded.  Well, not prompting me to allow the update in the first place is just as rude.

For now, I'm disabling the Avast emergency update scheduled task because there is no good information from Avast about it.  They didn't bother to describe it to me, they don't describe its operation or behaviors, and they never mention if I get prompted to then decide whether or not to permission the change.  Yeah, it's there software but it still remains MY computer!
I believe most of your questions are answered throughout this thread, some in reply 60 by igor.

VanguardLH

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Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
« Reply #74 on: July 09, 2012, 08:52:06 AM »
I did read the thread before posting.  Igor's reply implies that there is no prompt. 

"lets it fix the program, if applicable".  That's not a database signature update.  That's a program update.  Patches or fixes to programs should be permissioned by the user.  Even Avast thought so when they gave you options on how program updates are to behave.  So this scheduled update doesn't honor the user's settings regarding how program updates are to be applied. 

In Avast's settings for updates, the user configurable options are:

- Automatic update
- Ask when an update is available
- Manual update

I opted for the 2nd setting.  I get prompted when there is a program update and it is *me* that gets to choose if and when the update is applied.  As yet, and other than hints at behavior when the scheduled auto-updater is executed, it is unclear if it asks me for permission to apply the update.  Without solid documentation telling me that the scheduled task for the auto-updater will ask me for permission, the safe assumption is that it won't ask me for permission.  Since I do not permit programs to change the state of my host without my permission except for limited scenarios, like signature updates versus program updates, and since it is unclear how this scheduled auto-updater behaves, I will keep that scheduled event disabled.