Author Topic: Latest Avast 'actioning' all URLs in files being processed by applications.  (Read 3640 times)

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eBatch

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System: Win7x86, Avast Free AV, Comodo Free Firewall

Since upgrading from Avast 2014.4.0.2008 to 2014.4.0.2011 (and subsequently to 2014.4.0.2013) Avast is causing multiple Internet access attempts (maybe just pings) for URLs in files being processed by applications. Those access attempts then have to complete / timeout for the programs to complete their activity.

I have exhaustively tested this and proven that it is the Avast upgrades that have introduced this.

An example is LibreOffice's soffice.bin:
  • With 2014.4.0.2008 (and earlier), when opening or saving a document that contains URLs, the firewall receives a single attempt to loopback from 127.0.0.1 (port no. varies) to 127.0.0.1:12080. If soffice.bin is blocked in the firewall it quickly times out. If soffice.bin is set to allow loopback it instantly succeeds.
  • Since 2014.4.0.2011 an attempt to access every single URL in the document is made from the PC's IP (port no. varies) to the URL's IP on port 80. Having the firewall set up with soffice.bin as Blocked or Alllow Loopback does not effectively deal with the requests and so every single request has to timeout to enable soffice.bin to complete its activity.
In my case I have documents that contain tabular information with scores of URLs (as they are copies from certain web pages).

Of course, it would be possible to just allow soffice.bin to have Internet access. But I don't want to do this ( I don't like applications that really don't need Internet access be given such free rein and, in any event, it starts to look like a Denial Of Service attack outbound from my PC).

I can see no good reason for soffice.bin to really access all these URLs and, indeed, prior to 2014.4.0.2011, it didn't happen.

It seems to me that Avast, as it is scanning the document file being accessed by soffice.bin, is forcing all of the URLs in the document to be “tested” (or whatever). So:-

1. Why is Avast doing this?

2. Is there anything that can be done to revert to the previous behaviour (or at least stop the current behaviour)?

BTW, it is not just soffice.bin – the same change in behaviour being displayed by other applications since 2014.4.0.2011.

Offline Eddy

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There are several issues known caused by updating.
My suggestion is to remove avast and do a clean install.
Than check if there are problems or not.

1. Download Avastclear, Rejzors uninstall tool and the appropriate Avast program edition.
Here are the installer links. Note: You need to be ONLINE during this install.
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_free_antivirus_setup_online.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_pro_antivirus_setup_online.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_internet_security_setup_online.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_premier_antivirus_setup_online.exe

Avastclear : http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avastclear.exe
Rejzors Uninstall tool: http://rejzor.wordpress.com/avast-cleanup-tool/

2. Uninstall Avast by control panel  [If you don't have Avast in control Panel go to #4]
3. Uninstall in Safe Mode using Avastclear.
http://www.avast.com/uninstall-utility
4. Run Rejzors Uninstall Utility in Normal Mode (removes traces avastclear doesn't) - reboot.
http://rejzor.wordpress.com/avast-cleanup-tool/
5. Be Sure Too Check Once Uninstall is Complete:Device Manager>View>Show Hidden Devices
If there is anything related to Avast with a yellow triangle then uninstall it (highlight, right click) and reboot.
6. Install the version you downloaded.
7. Reboot.

Also, here is the download links to the offline installers but in some cases the offline installer doesn't work, whereas the online one does.
It has something to do with the wrong SFX in some installers......I've read several posts on issue with VISTA with the offline.

http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_free_antivirus_setup.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_pro_antivirus_setup.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_internet_security_setup.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_premier_antivirus_setup.exe

eBatch

  • Guest
Thanks for the reply, but as I said originally "I have exhaustively tested this and proven that it is the Avast upgrades that have introduced this. "

I already have the full installers for 2014.4.0.2008 and 2014.4.0.2013 and have tried the testing on two different PCs (including clean installs).  Same results all the time.

The issue is clearly something that has been actively introduced by Avast and so my questions still stand (and they are really questions that Avast probably need to answer).

Offline Eddy

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But did you do a clean install of the latest version as I suggested ?

eBatch

  • Guest
No. Even better I  just did a clean install on a restored image from when I was rebuilding one of the PCs in December where the image was before any AV or FW was installed.

I installed Comodo and Libre Office. Reimaged. Installed Avast 2014.4.0.2008 and no prob. Restored the image taken before 2014.4.0.2008 installed and installed 2014.4.0.2013 - problem back again.