Author Topic: Mac avast!  (Read 7153 times)

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Offline chrlswtt

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Mac avast!
« on: January 19, 2008, 02:47:13 PM »
Does the avast! application need to be running for your Mac to be protected or is the protection handled by  the background process com.avast.MacAvast.MAD? Also if you quit avast! from either of the two menu options (Quit avast! Antivirus or Quit avast! antivirus and Agent) you get the same scary message: If the avast! application does not run, the after-close checking would not be available. The term after-close is a bit ambiguous, even after reading the definition in the help file. After close of what? The application? This leads back to my original question if the avast! application needs to be running for protection. One last thing, if you quit avast! from the dock pop up menu you don't get any warning dialog.

Thanks

Offline zilog

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Re: Mac avast!
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2008, 11:29:12 AM »
Does the avast! application need to be running for your Mac to be protected or is the protection handled by  the background process com.avast.MacAvast.MAD? Also if you quit avast! from either of the two menu options (Quit avast! Antivirus or Quit avast! antivirus and Agent) you get the same scary message: If the avast! application does not run, the after-close checking would not be available. The term after-close is a bit ambiguous, even after reading the definition in the help file. After close of what? The application? This leads back to my original question if the avast! application needs to be running for protection. One last thing, if you quit avast! from the dock pop up menu you don't get any warning dialog.

Thanks

Hallo,
in general, com.avast.MacAvast.MAD is the heart of the whole suite, and must be running. For mail scanning, the GUI app might be off, because different processing path is in use and the app is bypassed. For on-access scanning (~ after-close scanning), the application serves as an userspace buffering mediator, and thus must be running (yes, the scary message is true).

The dialog for dock-quitting was omitted, but nobody complained so far that the warning doesn't pop-up in this case - might be added in the next release.

regards,
pc
May's Law: Software efficiency halves every 18 months, compensating Moore's Law. (David May, INMOS)

Offline chrlswtt

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Re: Mac avast!
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2008, 02:07:54 PM »
Hi again,

Just so I'm sure I understand. If I receive an infected file (download, mail, etc.) and the GUI is NOT running, would I be warned or infected? The reason I'm confused is that the PC version of avast!, that I've used for years, didn't require the GUI to be running at all for protection from viruses. Everything is in the background. The confusion also maybe because the GUI starts up every time I start my Mac.  I know that you said that this will change with the next release but as others have pointed out, it would be nice not to aware of it. Then I wouldn't have to make the decision to quit the GUI or not.  Also, on my machine, the GUI and the background process take nearly 65 meg together (20+ and 40+ meg respectively). That seems to be a bit excessive.  I'm not sorry that I bought avast! for the Mac, I just thought it would work similarly to the PC version or other Mac virus apps. 

Thanks


Offline zilog

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Re: Mac avast!
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2008, 03:52:02 PM »
Hallo,
> If I receive an infected file (download, mail, etc.) and the GUI is NOT running, would I be warned or infected?

mails are scanned even when the GUI is not running. after-close events (= on access event) need the GUI-application running.

> The confusion also maybe because the GUI starts up every time I start my Mac.

in the fact, the main part of avast's engine works in userspace on all systems, so there must be always some mediator that relays the kernel-level events to the scanner. on mac, the userspace queueing-halve of this mediator lives inside the gui application. indeed, the GUI's auto-pop-up after login might make weird impressions for some users, like "why must I run some app to get the background protection?". But, it's always necessary to run some userspace app anyway, and it's only matter of better/worse hiding. New hidden mode will be added to the next release.

> That seems to be a bit excessive.  I'm not sorry that I bought avast! for the Mac, I just thought it would work similarly to the PC version or other Mac virus apps.

Such memory consumption might be normal, the virus database itself takes about 17MB, + all runtime mapping structures, + transaltion buffers, you will end up somewhere near 30 MB. Please don't mix virtually-alocated memory with resident-shared-size, in my case (the worse one - PowerPC), after scanning my crowded homedir, the daemon takes 22MB RSS only, and the GUI, with full list, 14MB. That's not that much, but still, we'll do our best to minimise the memory consumption any farther. In general, PowerPC engine differs from the PCish one in size (cca +1.6MB - RISC codes tends to be more bloated than CISCed x86) and also in runtime memory consumption (+ 8MB for specific runtime translations), that's 30%...

Regards,
PC
May's Law: Software efficiency halves every 18 months, compensating Moore's Law. (David May, INMOS)