Author Topic: False Random Avast Mobile Security Alarms Going Off!  (Read 664 times)

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Offline Jim221

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False Random Avast Mobile Security Alarms Going Off!
« on: March 17, 2017, 10:38:15 PM »
Installed Avast Mobile Security Suite 6 months ago with no problems.

Only in past month (with no new software apps installed over same time problem started), did Avast lock-out my phone with the Siren & message, "Your Phone has been Lost or Stolen".  VERY Annoyed the first time, but today (4 weeks after the first time) it happened again. 
  • First time, the phone was sitting next t to me on my desk.
  • Today (3/17/17) I was in the middle of texting in my home location, when phone locked with siren

After I have a chance to grab my wits about me (with siren blaring in my ears), throw the phone in my office drawer after my secretary comes rushing in to see what's going on, I then find my Avast log in and De-Activated the Siren Warning.

Avast Support has been responsive, but completely useless!  After receiving emails that Avast cannot find a record of my license in their system, I email them Screenshots of my Avast log-in details for my Account and my phone.

NO word back.  Anyone else having Avast Mobile Security go completely haywire & lock them out of their phones?

This is B.S. & completely unacceptable for a security firm.

Jim M

Offline Tereza V.

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Re: False Random Avast Mobile Security Alarms Going Off!
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 08:55:30 PM »
Hi, could you please write me the number of your ticket, so that we can find it and see why it was not replied to? Would be really appreciated, thanks.

Anyway, if you need to find out "what is going on in there", here is the step-by-step for My Avast Account:

- log in to your My Avast Account
- click on the device that locked itself
- click on ""Info""
- click on ""Notifications"" in the upper part of the screen

Now right there you should see all the notifications coming from the Anti-Theft. From them you should be able to say why actually the Avast Anti-Theft locked the phone (change of SIM, or any other reason).

Offline inkysgirl

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Re: False Random Avast Mobile Security Alarms Going Off!
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2017, 01:02:47 PM »
[EDIT: Jim, just in case you haven't gotten a response yet ... I received a helpful email explaining Avast is aware that this random theft response sometimes occurs due to a potential bug in an experimental security feature. The problem occurs because the experimental feature sometimes incorrectly interacts with Avast's PIN Protection feature. What happens is that sometimes text messages with numbers in them are registered as "failed PIN attempts." If you have "PIN Protection" enabled, the anti-theft protocol is triggered after a certain number of "failed PIN attempts." So when the numbers in texts are registered as failed PIN attempts...wah-lah, false alarm. During a lost or stolen event, Avast Mobile Security locks the phone and exports your contact info, call log, and texts so you still have access to this important information without your phone.

They are working to resolve the issue. You can disable PIN protection to avoid false alarms (I personally am not going to do that as it makes my personal information more vulnerable). I think it's a pretty limited event, so leaving PIN protection on and just using the Avast My Portal to unlock the phone if the false event occurs is obviously the most secure way to handle it. It's inconvenient, but I personally would rather have false alarms than a missed alarm when it was really needed! And, you can still force the phobe to power off or remove the battery if it happens at work or in public.

As to the email directing Mobile Security Pro customers to the forum because they "don't have a current license," this is an automated email generated because the My Avast Portal account system is currently unable to interface with Google Playstore to check subscriptions.  However, Google Playstore subscribers ARE receiving the Pro version of Mobile Security. 

Thank you, Avast!!!!  :) ]

This recently happened to me, too -phone sitting on my desk, untouched for at least 30 min prior to alarm. I even got the email about not having an active license and suggesting I go to the community forum for help ... except I actually DO have a current subscription for the mobile pro service via Google Play Store. I responded to the email with a confirmation of paid service (PayPal transaction ID, invoice #, and purchase through PlayStore) almost 3 days ago, but still haven't heard a peep. Not even just to confirm my subscription.

I really, really, really do NOT want to look for new/different mobile security. I have been a paid Avast mobile security customer for several years and 100% believe Avast is the #1 mobile phone security software. No security service can be 100% guaranteed breach-proof. I totally understand and accept this. But what good does it do to pay for the #1 service if you can't get help when you actually need it?
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 04:19:34 PM by inkysgirl »

Offline Tereza V.

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Re: False Random Avast Mobile Security Alarms Going Off!
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 09:41:39 PM »
Hi, this is a known bug, let me briefly explain:

There is an experimental feature in Anti-Theft (not visible in the Settings), which keeps an eye out for SMS commands with a wrong PIN. Unfortunately this feature is a bit too "sensitive" and from its point of view any SMS with a string of numbers is assessed as an invalid command.

Moreover, out of some reason this feature is connected to the "PIN Security", so if it is on and you get 8 SMS messages evaluated by Anti-Theft as invalid commands, the device gets locked. And as there is no time limitation, so the 8 invalid commands can be piling up for months.

There is a workaround - you can disable the "PIN Security" feature:

- open Avast Anti-Theft by "calling" your Avast PIN
- tap on the three-dots icon in the upper right corner
- select "Settings" in the menu
- turn the "PIN Security" off

Colleagues have already been working on a fix and this bug will not be present as of the upcoming version.