Author Topic: Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own  (Read 3574 times)

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Offline TwoRails

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Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own
« on: December 19, 2020, 11:06:15 PM »
I updated Avast free on both my wife’s computer and mine a couple of days ago to:

“Release date was December 9, 2020 12:25 AM (ver. 20.10.2442 - build 20.10.5824.618)”

Her update went fine, but Avast installed its own browser and other stuff on mine: like when I opened Outlook to check email it said it was no long my default  email client.

Apparently I missed the option to opt out or clicked a wrong button or something.  So how do I get rid of whatever it installed and, if I somehow click on a free trial button or the like, how do I opt out of that too?

The ‘funny’ thing here is I did my computer first, so I watched real close when I did my wife’s computer and didn’t see any warnings or offers show up. 

Thanks. 



Offline DavidR

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Re: Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2020, 12:32:28 AM »
Are you sure this is a browser, as in the Avast Secure Browser (ASB) ?
The reason I ask is this is a stand alone installation and doesn't come with the avast antivirus installation.

It has never installed on my systems, for the short period of time that I used it (testing) I had to install it.  Once you have installed the ASB if you have the avast AV installed there is some integration.

I did a manual Program update from the user interface of Avast Free to the version in my signature and it wasn't installed.

If this truly is the ASB browser and not the browser add-on/extension (Avast On-line Security) then it can be uninstalled like any other program on your system from Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Uninstall a Program and select the Avast Secure Browser.
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Offline bob3160

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Re: Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2020, 12:45:55 AM »
Secure Browser Removal Tool https://download.avastbrowser.com/avast_secure_browser_uninstall.exe

Avast has offered a separate tool to totally remove the Secure Browser.
You can find that tool here, https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=230288.msg1531315#msg1531315

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Offline TwoRails

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Re: Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2020, 01:37:11 AM »
Thanks for a quick reply, DavidR.

“Are you sure this is a browser, as in the Avast Secure Browser (ASB) ?”
Yes.  I took a screenshot from Revo Uninstaller Pro, showing it’s a ‘New Program’.  (While Avast shows up there, too, I’ve been using it for a lot of years.)

“I did a manual Program update from the user interface of Avast Free to the version in my signature and it wasn't installed”
Same here, the way I’ve always done it: Check for Update …buzz-whir… Click to Restart.

The difference this time, though, is the Finish screen came up very quickly, and a strange browser window opened.

“If this truly is the ASB browser and not the browser add-on/extension (Avast On-line Security) …”
I had to search for it but I did find the Browser Extension section in Avast and yes, Avast On-line Security is showing up there, also.  Next to my browser (Firefox) is a green button that says “Enable Extension”. 

Offline TwoRails

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Re: Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2020, 01:39:19 AM »
Secure Browser Removal Tool https://download.avastbrowser.com/avast_secure_browser_uninstall.exe

Avast has offered a separate tool to totally remove the Secure Browser.
You can find that tool here, https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=230288.msg1531315#msg1531315


I guess I have to learn to type faster, LOL. Your post wasn't there when I started the above.  Thanks for the tip, bob3160.

Offline TwoRails

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Re: Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2020, 01:41:29 AM »
Oh, does Avast Secure Browser also take over email?  I'm still wondering why Outlook got hijacked, too, but it didn't say by what. 

Offline DavidR

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Re: Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2020, 01:44:19 AM »
I baffled as to how you managed to get it, I don't know if that popup you got had a pre-checked option for ASB (Avast has form for that in the past with Google Chrome).  I certainly don't recall seeing it after my update.

You can use the specific tool bob3160 gave the link, this is possibly the better option.  You can download the tool once save it and you can run it on both systems.
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Offline DavidR

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Re: Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2020, 01:46:46 AM »
Oh, does Avast Secure Browser also take over email?  I'm still wondering why Outlook got hijacked, too, but it didn't say by what. 

No it doesn't or shouldn't that would either be the Web Shield or the Mail Shield, but for MS Outlook that would normally be the plug-in that works within Outlook itself.

What do mean by hijacked ?
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Offline TwoRails

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Re: Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2020, 11:24:48 PM »
I baffled as to how you managed to get it, I don't know if that popup you got had a pre-checked option for ASB (Avast has form for that in the past with Google Chrome).  I certainly don't recall seeing it after my update.

You can use the specific tool bob3160 gave the link, this is possibly the better option.  You can download the tool once save it and you can run it on both systems.
I have no idea, either.  The attached screenshot is from today, but what I did is go in to there thru the Menu to the Check for Updates.  I clicked on that and then clicked on Restart Now when it popped up.  Nothing else came up.

Offline TwoRails

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Re: Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2020, 11:32:11 PM »
Oh, does Avast Secure Browser also take over email?  I'm still wondering why Outlook got hijacked, too, but it didn't say by what. 

No it doesn't or shouldn't that would either be the Web Shield or the Mail Shield, but for MS Outlook that would normally be the plug-in that works within Outlook itself.

What do mean by hijacked ?
By hijacked in this case is that at the time of the browser incident, I opened/checked email and Outlook 07 warned me it is no longer my email client. 

I don't believe in those kind of coincidences...

Offline TwoRails

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Re: Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2020, 11:37:45 PM »
i learned above that Avast On-line Security is showing next to my browser (Firefox) has a green button that says “Enable Extension”.  I haven't researched what it is or does yet, so I figure I ask here if this is something that is generally recommended to use?

Offline DavidR

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Re: Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2020, 12:45:55 AM »
i learned above that Avast On-line Security is showing next to my browser (Firefox) has a green button that says “Enable Extension”.  I haven't researched what it is or does yet, so I figure I ask here if this is something that is generally recommended to use?

When you do a search in your browser the Avast On-line Security (AOS) extension, checks the URLs returned to give information on the site.  This is in the form of a coloured checkmark (tick) Green, Amber, Red, etc.  (I haven't used in some considerable time, so I can't say if these colours are current), should you elect to visit a site then there is a means of getting more information.

Personally I don't feel the need for the extension, so I never installed it (a setup/component option during installation). I vet my search results and don't visit sites with weird, unknown urls, names, etc. But then again you also have the Web Shield and the File System Shield as a 1st and second line of defence.

If you chose not to have it you would need to uninstall the AOS extension.
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Offline TwoRails

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Re: Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2020, 10:44:33 PM »
i learned above that Avast On-line Security is showing next to my browser (Firefox) has a green button that says “Enable Extension”.  I haven't researched what it is or does yet, so I figure I ask here if this is something that is generally recommended to use?

When you do a search in your browser the Avast On-line Security (AOS) extension, checks the URLs returned to give information on the site.  This is in the form of a coloured checkmark (tick) Green, Amber, Red, etc.  (I haven't used in some considerable time, so I can't say if these colours are current), should you elect to visit a site then there is a means of getting more information.

Personally I don't feel the need for the extension, so I never installed it (a setup/component option during installation). I vet my search results and don't visit sites with weird, unknown urls, names, etc. But then again you also have the Web Shield and the File System Shield as a 1st and second line of defence.

If you chose not to have it you would need to uninstall the AOS extension.
Sounds good, thanks DavidR.  I, too, 'work hard' to be careful while online.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Avast Hijacked my Browser and Installed its Own
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2020, 10:52:23 PM »
You're welcome.
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