Author Topic: SafeZone browser installed itself  (Read 102650 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline davexnet

  • Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 527
Re: SafeZone browser installed itself
« Reply #60 on: March 23, 2016, 06:56:01 PM »
Some time ago I read this from Ghacks site:

Quote
The latest company that Google contacted about security issues found in their products is Avast. The company's SafeZone browser, based on Chromium, allowed attackers to read any file on the system by getting users to click on links.

This worked even if users never used SafeZone, as data is automatically imported from a Chrome installation when the program is installed on the user system.
Since then it was patched. But it shows how stupid it is to push additional stuff to users automatically.

Right. Now, can you please let me know how many vulnerabilities have been found in Chrome? Firefox? IE? Adobe PDF? Oracle Java? Windows itself? Etc etc... I mean, yes it's pretty unfortunate we had this problem in the product but seriously, the problem was patched within days and using this as an argument to stay away from it is not exactly fair...

What minimum OS does this browser need?  Will it install/work in XP ?

What level of hardware?  Does it need hardware virtualization

What other components of avast does it need (if any) ?
AMD FX-4300 4GB DDR3
avast free 2279 (Windows XP), MBAM free

Offline davexnet

  • Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 527
Re: SafeZone browser installed itself
« Reply #61 on: March 23, 2016, 07:03:54 PM »
I'll let Tavis Ormandy speak: "Selling antivirus doesn't qualify you to fork chromium, you're going to screw it up."

I have seen this statement in the past, yes.
And I disagree with it.
Even if you disagree, do you really believe it's good to foist it on users without prior consent ?
You're attitude is, frankly, arrogant.  Are you some omnipotent being   ?

There's going to be a backlash.  avast will lose the good will (what's left of it) that it has.
AMD FX-4300 4GB DDR3
avast free 2279 (Windows XP), MBAM free

Offline Repairman77

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: SafeZone browser installed itself
« Reply #62 on: March 23, 2016, 07:04:32 PM »
If you wanted to add a browser to make browsing safer then it should have been built from the ground up, not some additions to a freebie one. Just my opinion.

And I do not think adding it to an update was a very wise things to do. With some computer users this could initiate panic. We have enough problems when installing new software with programs trying to add toolbars, etc. without programs trying to add extra ones via the back door.

I'm sure you have already lost a number of users through this mistake.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 07:06:44 PM by Repairman77 »

Offline ItsAllGoodMan

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: SafeZone browser installed itself
« Reply #63 on: March 23, 2016, 07:18:26 PM »
I just noticed the SafeZone browser icon on my desktop, so I went to the control panel and removed the feature through the Avast program modification option.

I only use Avast with the File, Mail, and Web Shield options (nothing else), and I never wanted the browser feature installed.

It would be appreciated if the Avast developers did not have the program automatically install additional features without prompting users.

Offline Vlk

  • Global Moderator
  • Serious Graphoman
  • **
  • Posts: 11665
  • Please don't send me IM's. Email only. Thx.
    • ALWIL Software
Re: SafeZone browser installed itself
« Reply #64 on: March 23, 2016, 07:18:58 PM »
Please let me step back and understand one thing. SafeZone is a product feature, one that we have had in the paid versions of Avast for 4+ years, and one that has been a key differentiator between free and paid editions of the product.

Now, we have made the feature available in the free version of the product as well. Frankly, we were expecting people to be excited, but most of the feedback has been negative. So I am trying to understand what we actually did wrong.

I assume the main problem is not that we have extended the feature set of the free product (i.e. changed the feature mix a bit by moving something from paid to free). The problem is that we haven't messaged it enough? Or the fact that the feature happens to have its own desktop icon? Or that the feature happens to be a browser?

I would really appreciate if you could help me understand this better.

Thanks much,
Vlk
If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving's not for you.

Offline Repairman77

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: SafeZone browser installed itself
« Reply #65 on: March 23, 2016, 07:30:46 PM »
Simple. had we been informed that a free browser was available if we wanted it and given the option of downloading it or refusing it there would have been no problem I am sure.

It was good that it was given on the Free version of Avast, no problem there.

It was just a bad decision to add it in an update and stick a shortcut on everyone's desktop. How were people to know if it was genuine or a fake?

Offline d4m4g3

  • ex-Softpedia, IT Geek
  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 19
Re: SafeZone browser installed itself
« Reply #66 on: March 23, 2016, 07:34:13 PM »
@Vlk - As I said on the previous pages, yes, it's kinda annoying that it has been installed automatically without a message or something, but for me it's not necessarily bad. If I don't use it, it doesn't hurt from what I saw. Or I can uninstall it. Probably.

From what I saw, the users are mad because there wasn't an update window which asked if we want to test/install this new feature. Like when Avast updates itself to a newer version. Anyway, not everybody is upset about this, I'm sure. Some are thrilled to use a features that was there only for users who payed. :)
Change. We don't like it. We fear it. But we can't stop it from coming. We either adapt to change, or we get left behind.

Offline Skakara

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 198
Re: SafeZone browser installed itself
« Reply #67 on: March 23, 2016, 07:36:16 PM »
I'll let Tavis Ormandy speak: "Selling antivirus doesn't qualify you to fork chromium, you're going to screw it up."

I have seen this statement in the past, yes.
And I disagree with it.
I respect your answer. But you already (at least) once "screw it up".

had we been informed that a free browser was available if we wanted it and given the option of downloading it or refusing it there would have been no problem I am sure.

It was just a bad decision to add it in an update and stick a shortcut on everyone's desktop.
This. Except one addendum:

It was just a bad decision to add it in a "virus definition update" and stick a shortcut on everyone's desktop.

Offline IRON67_2

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: SafeZone browser installed itself
« Reply #68 on: March 23, 2016, 07:44:12 PM »
Amazing. Get something for nothing and all upset. If you don't want it, don't use it , uninstall it.


After reading the reactions of the local evangelists, it is probably not a big surprise that they just do not understand why people do not accept everything grateful and willingly what is set before them.
It testifies to a big dose of arrogance and ignorance, simply underestimating the arguments. Frankly, I did not expect anything else. I am disappointed anyway.

And be sure: I don't want it, I don't use it and therefore I have uninstalled it immediately.

Thats not the problem. The problem is, that a software has to ask me, wether I want a new component or not!

Not to ask, as Avast it does is characteristic of malware.


Offline DavidR

  • Avast √úberevangelist
  • Certainly Bot
  • *****
  • Posts: 81786
  • No support PMs thanks
Re: SafeZone browser installed itself
« Reply #70 on: March 23, 2016, 08:03:11 PM »
<snip>
So I am trying to understand what we actually did wrong.

I assume the main problem is not that we have extended the feature set of the free product (i.e. changed the feature mix a bit by moving something from paid to free). The problem is that we haven't messaged it enough? Or the fact that the feature happens to have its own desktop icon? Or that the feature happens to be a browser?

I would really appreciate if you could help me understand this better.

Thanks much,
Vlk

It really has nothing to do with extending the feature set of avast free, it has all to do with delivery. Releasing it as an unannounced background update.

The first most people knew about it was the new Desktop Icon after the installation/update for the SafeZone Browser. Others with system checking/monitoring programs got a notification of the new scheduled task creation for launcher.exe to update SafeZone Browser.

Many people A) didn't understand what the SafeZone Browser does (naturally) and B) thought you were installing another browser without their knowledge (a bit like Google Chrome).

I think the time for this delivery would naturally have been a program update (11.2.xxxx) when information of this new feature for avast free could have been notified. This may well have been better received in a regular program update, getting a product feature that had previously only been in the paid products.
WinXP ProSP3/ Core2Duo E8300/ 4GB Ram/ avast! free 18.5.2342/ Firefox ESR, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro7.11.0/ DropMyRights/ WinPatrol+/ Drive Image 7.1/ SnagIt 10.0/ avast! mobile security
Windows 10 Home 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 19.7.2388 (build: 19.7.4674.494)/ WinPatrol+/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro7.11.0/ WinPatrol+/

Offline volfin

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: SafeZone browser installed itself
« Reply #71 on: March 23, 2016, 08:34:30 PM »
Please let me step back and understand one thing. SafeZone is a product feature, one that we have had in the paid versions of Avast for 4+ years, and one that has been a key differentiator between free and paid editions of the product.

Now, we have made the feature available in the free version of the product as well. Frankly, we were expecting people to be excited, but most of the feedback has been negative. So I am trying to understand what we actually did wrong.

I assume the main problem is not that we have extended the feature set of the free product (i.e. changed the feature mix a bit by moving something from paid to free). The problem is that we haven't messaged it enough? Or the fact that the feature happens to have its own desktop icon? Or that the feature happens to be a browser?

I would really appreciate if you could help me understand this better.

Thanks much,
Vlk

I can't speak for everyone, but I'd say it's a combination of everything you just mentioned. I only found out this had installed, when trying to open web pages stored on my hard drive, and suddenly Windows 10 was asking me what browser to use, instead of just opening the page with Edge as it has always done. This new browser just came out of thin air, and that was very disconcerting. Once I figured out what it was and where it came from, I was less annoyed.

Daily I am inundated with every site trying to get me to change my browser, so there's a lot of built up resistance to changing. I use the browser I use for very well thought out reasons, and having someone wave a new browser in my face isn't that welcome. Everyone says their browser is the best, the most secure, the fastest, and well, everyone can't be right. So I think it can only be expected that people who have entrenched on one side of the browser wars aren't going to be happy about this.  Just my opinion.

Offline Suspicious

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: SafeZone browser installed itself
« Reply #72 on: March 23, 2016, 08:43:50 PM »
I found it on my computer after I was away for an hour and left it on. It reminded me of an article I read about companies like Avast anti virus spying on us. If you read the fine print you'll find they admit that they keep all our computers info, including your IP address! They admit to sharing it with others. So if you don't want a company spying on everything you do on your computer I wouldn't use it. It's a blatant violation of privacy and I'll be changing to Kapersky.

Offline Waganupa

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: SafeZone browser installed itself
« Reply #73 on: March 23, 2016, 08:47:06 PM »
I successfully uninstalled all of the Avast components with no issue. I want nothing to do with Avast because it had the poor judgment to install Safezone on my PC without EVER asking me if I want it. In the uninstall process, it asked why I was uninstalling the program and I was happy to provide an answer. 

As far as some Avast spokesperson on here telling me I should stop complaining and be grateful because I was given something for nothing, that is just plain idiotic. I was also given chicken pox, cancer, crumbling bones, and many other "freebies". Should I be grateful for those "somethings for nothings" also? Avast accessed my personal computer and downloaded software I DO NOT WANT and I should be grateful? What a crock!  What I AM grateful for is getting ALL the Avast software off my computer for good. 

Offline ItsAllGoodMan

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: SafeZone browser installed itself
« Reply #74 on: March 23, 2016, 09:02:46 PM »
I really appreciate that Avast is free and that it is updated and maintained.

Unfortunately, security and/or antivirus software is still needed these days.  I doubt most people really want to install it in the first place.  I would not expect people to get excited over new security software features like they would if they were to get new features for entertainment (games, music, video, etc.) software or software that makes tasks more convenient or easier.

For any new Avast feature added, ideally what is needed is:
1) an explanation (maybe even a link to a demonstration video) of what the feature is and how it is used
2) what personal data is stored
3) an estimation of what the processor load is for running this feature (maybe include a list of what additional processes may be running when the feature is added)
4) an estimation of how much disk space the feature will take up
5) (and most importantly) a prompt asking users if they would like to install the feature

This really goes for any feature on Avast.  There is poor documentation on many of the features, and going to the forum looking for answers is not a good solution.