Author Topic: Scanning of downloads real time?  (Read 3752 times)

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Offline zetan

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Scanning of downloads real time?
« on: March 12, 2006, 06:41:02 PM »
 Please explain to me a few Newbie level questions.

 When I use Grabit for downloading a binary file from Newsgroups, the avast icon spins. Seems it is scanning the incoming stuff real time. Means, it slows the download perhaps? Can it detect a virus in packets of little chunks as they come in, of a RAR, or ZIP file? Seems unlikely. Should this be excluded in some way? Then scan it when it arrived?

 I recall that Email attachments are not scanned by the Free edition? And is Email attachment scanning and Binary downloads scanning the same process? (I do have the mail scanner icon in addition in my tray during Grabit download.) Just a bit confused. Nothing you guys cannot clear up  :D

 Thanks for yout time!

Offline alanrf

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Re: Scanning of downloads real time?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2006, 11:37:39 AM »
avast scans NNTP (usenet streams) as part of the Internet Mail scanner.  You can modify this behaviour by selecting "Customize" for the Internet Mail scanner and then the  "NNTP" tab.

Since many usenet posts represent a single file it is not unreasonable for avast to scan the files since each could represent a single file in which a threat might exist.  Any scanning by an antivirus product represents some level of overhead, however small, and cumulatively it can add up.  If you confine your usenet activity to downloading large numbers of fragments of large binary files my opinion - for whatever it is worth - is that the overhead of scanning those individual fragments is not necessary and that you should rely on the Standard Shield scanning the resulting file written when you combine all the fragments into the master file.

Your recollection about scanning of email attachments is incorrect.

The home (free) edition does perform scanning of email attachments by default (although, Win9x system users must use the Mail Wizard to effect that protection). The avast processing of email attachments is not the same as usenet.  avast understands email attachments (which are much better defined by standards than usenet downloads) and caches the whole email attachment before scanning it and, if cleared, passes it to your mail client.     

However, these concerns seem to me to pale in comparison to the - forgive me - paranoia you are exhibiting in another forum about this product "calling home".  "Calling home" to me represents a situation where the product is reporting your activities to a site without your permission. 

While I am just another user of this product like you - I have taken the trouble to analyze the traffic produced by the product.  This is a product used by literally millions of other users.  The most important aspect of this product is that it protect you from the latest threats that can compromise your system.  This product simply contacts the servers of avast to download the latest virus and program updates to keep your system safe. 

If you cannot verify that yourself or believe it then I suggest your best course is to immediately remove avast from your system and find another product that you can trust with the rapid updating of your system protection.  Your failure to do so can make the difference between safe internet access and the compromising of your personal information.   



         

« Last Edit: March 13, 2006, 11:41:00 AM by alanrf »

Offline duyguanil

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Re: Scanning of downloads real time?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2006, 12:47:02 PM »

Hi,

A computer guy helped me download avast and I'm happily using it.  I have encountered a small problem lately:

I open the stocks real time internet page everyday and I refresh it to see the stocks real time.  I could receive the information and do the refreshing before but since the last 3 days avast wont let me, so i turn off avast each time and refresh, and this is difficult.  Sb told me after the last avast upgrade, it might not let me now...

Could you help me on how i can solve this problem?  Can I customize so that I receive this realtime information? 

Thank you so much
Duygu


Online DavidR

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Re: Scanning of downloads real time?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2006, 04:29:03 PM »
I have already answered your other thread for this same topic http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=19890.msg167007#msg167007, there are a number of questions waiting there for you.

You obviously realised this post should be in its own thread.
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Offline zetan

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Re: Scanning of downloads real time?
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2006, 02:31:25 AM »

 Thanks Alan.

 I'll disqualify the NNTP scan part.

 As far as the paranoia goes in "another" forum, you must forgive me, but why would it belong here? Actually, I was going to post here as well with specific questions.

 My paranoia is aimed at the practice of Avast!emailing files that were infected for inspection. What if they are my banking files? With credit card information. Love letters. Hate letters. Customer files. Invoices. And so on.

 Allowing automatic updates is a different issue. But to transfer random data if they get infected? I don't think so. No matter how weird you may think this is. It is my data.

 And I prefer to have a false sense of security. Rather than none. I'm fully aware I have very little control at all, on my data being safe. Be that as it may, I want to at least "legally" opt out from such "familiar" practices.


Offline alanrf

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Re: Scanning of downloads real time?
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2006, 05:19:53 AM »
Quote
My paranoia is aimed at the practice of Avast!emailing files that were infected for inspection. What if they are my banking files? With credit card information. Love letters. Hate letters. Customer files. Invoices. And so on.

But to transfer random data if they get infected? I don't think so. No matter how weird you may think this is. It is my data.

I do not think that your concern for the security of your data is weird, what does surprise me is that you believe this is how avast works and that you imagine the developers of the product would be so foolish as to implement it this way.

avast simply does not email your private data.  The settings of avast allow you to specify SMTP parameters if you wish to do so.  Those SMTP settings are used:

1) to notify you at the email address you specify that a virus has been detected

2) if you open "the Chest" to which infected files have been quarantined and only if you deliberately choose to do so you may send an infected file to avast in which  case the SMTP parameters are used to send the email.   

For me - I simply leave the SMTP section empty. If I need to communicate with the avast team on these issues they are active in this forum and there are a lot of very knowledgeable fellow users here who can advise me if there are concerns I have about the product and the way it works.

If you choose to continue using avast I hope that you will find this forum useful - and share with us valuable tips you may happen upon as you use avast.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2006, 05:23:40 AM by alanrf »

Offline CharleyO

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Re: Scanning of downloads real time?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2006, 06:20:47 PM »
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Hello zetan,

Avast does not send your email (nor any part of it) to it's servers. Your email is scanned by the program before it leaves your computer. If an infection is found, you are notified and you choose the action to take. Avast does not automatically send an infected email to it's servers for inspection. The inspection takes place on your computer by the program. Only you can send an infection and only if you choose to do so. Yes, the program has the option to send infections but you must actively elect to do this. Once scanned, the email is then released to be sent to your ISP's email server. The avast servers are used for program/virus definition updates, registration, etc. and even this you have control of if you want it. As alanrf states, the avast program sends nothing to avast servers unless you choose to do so.

I hope this helps ease your concerns.    :)


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« Last Edit: March 14, 2006, 06:27:35 PM by CharleyO »
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Offline zetan

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Re: Scanning of downloads real time?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2006, 02:01:23 AM »
 Sorry about the messed up quoting guys :)

 I had looked into this a bit deeper and seen that Avast! does not send a file unless specified to do so. What threw me off the INI file having the email addresses to send the files to.

 I beg your patience, but I don't feel by asking questions I display undue paranoia. I'm simply asking the way things work. There are hints of sending files back to Avast! for evaluations, and my questions are not any different if it was AVG, Bill Gates' heaven, or NAV's virus hunter's association.

 The inner workings of this and other programs are scrutinized by people much more paranoid than myself. And I get a sense of satisfaction from there.

 But I'm learning. And recommending programs to friends. And this place, especially. I want to earn their trust and I want you to earn mine. Simple enough.

 So far - so good :)

Offline CharleyO

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Re: Scanning of downloads real time?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2006, 04:00:11 AM »
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No problem, zetan.    :)

All the above was our trying to re-assure you. No hurt feelings here.    :)

A belated welcome to the forums.

Please come back often, learn more, and maybe help others.    ;)


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