Author Topic: Avast Browser Extentions Spying on Firefox and Chrome Users  (Read 1091 times)

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Offline robertjx

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Avast Browser Extentions Spying on Firefox and Chrome Users
« on: December 04, 2019, 06:57:04 AM »
So.....who wants to talk me off the ledge regarding today's The Hacker News article? : 

https://thehackernews.com/2019/12/avast-and-avg-browser-plugins.html

I've been using Avast! from the beginning.  And now apparently stealing user data via their browser extensions.

Nice, nice.

Offline Nodar

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Re: Avast Browser Extentions Spying on Firefox and Chrome Users
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2019, 10:05:35 PM »
It is true that the Avast Security Online extension removed from Mozilla FireFox and Opera.
and look at this, https://palant.de/2019/10/28/avast-online-security-and-avast-secure-browser-are-spying-on-you/
And this https://palant.de/2019/12/03/mozilla-removes-avast-extensions-from-their-add-on-store-what-will-google-do/

I don't know what the point is of spying on people, the news could be true or not true but I won't take the risk to use their extensions anymore.
And who knows? Is "Avast [Secure] Browser" secure?!
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 10:42:25 PM by Nodar »

Offline Asyn

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Re: Avast Browser Extentions Spying on Firefox and Chrome Users
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2019, 08:13:43 AM »
Avast-Statement: We have offered our Avast Online Security and SafePrice browser extensions for many years through the Mozilla store. Mozilla has recently updated its store policy and we are liaising with them in order to make the necessary adjustments to our extensions to align with new requirements. The Avast Online Security extension is a security tool that protects users online, including from infected websites and phishing attacks. It is necessary for this service to collect the URL history to deliver its expected functionality. Avast does this without collecting or storing a user's identification.

We have already implemented some of Mozilla's new requirements and will release further updated versions that are fully compliant and transparent per the new requirements. These will be available as usual in the Mozilla store in the near future.
W8.1 [x64] - Avast PremSec 19.9.2394.B#1 - CC 5.63 - EEK - Firefox ESR 68.3 [NS/AOS/uBO/PB] - Thunderbird 68.3 [EM] - ACP/ASL.BC
Deutschsprachiger Bereich -> Avast Wissenswertes (Downloads, Anleitungen & Infos): https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=60523.0

Offline DavidGB

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Re: Avast Browser Extentions Spying on Firefox and Chrome Users
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2019, 11:09:02 PM »
That statement from Avast does not appear to accord with the news article I just read.

The statement certainly implies that Mozilla have just made some general rule change, not specifically aimed at Avast, that happened to affect the Avast extension.

Mozilla have not made any rule change.

A researcher captured and studied all the user info being sent from the Avast and AVG security AND shopping extensions back to Avast, and found it was a tonne of data about machine details, software browsing history with IP addresses etc, a lot very personal and far more than required by either the Avast/AVG security or shopping extensions to carry out their functions. He reported this to Mozilla, Opera and Google, as well as publishing about it. Mozilla and Opera immediately responded to his reports by pulling the Avast and AVG extensions from their extension stores (while Google did nothing).

This was NOT Mozilla (and Opera) changing their extension store terms and that happening to catch out Avast/AVG along with others. This was one person finding that the Avast/AVG extensions have been harvesting vast amounts of personal data, way beyond what people would have expected, in clear violation of the terms the Mozilla and Opera extension stores have had for a long time. And those stores immediately removed the extensions when this was pointed out to them.

This is Avast being caught with its pants down, seriously violating user privacy. That Avast statement is just misleading spin trying to disguise the facts. It's certainly going to make me think twice about renewing.