Author Topic: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...  (Read 9855 times)

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Offline grammy444

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Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« on: May 04, 2008, 03:56:47 PM »
My old hard drive died, and when I took the computer in for repair the techs installed Avast, which I have never used before.  (always had AVG) but I am willing to give it a try.  I am popping my Gmail into my Thunderbird account, along with mail from an organization, and I need to have both scanned.  From what I read, popped mail is not automatically scanned by Avast, so I need directions, in baby steps, on how to set this up.  I have not even been able to find where to access the various settings.

The Gmail settings I currently have are:  Server name, Pop.gmail.com, port 995, Outgoing server for the gmail is STMP.gmail.com.

The other one is mail.raogk.org, port 110,  and the outgoing settings are mail.raogk.org, port 25. 

I am using XP, home edition, Avast 4.8 and Tbird V2.0.0.14
« Last Edit: May 04, 2008, 03:58:42 PM by grammy444 »

Offline Rumpel

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Re: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2008, 04:15:37 PM »
You may find this thread helpful.

Offline grammy444

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Re: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2008, 04:23:32 PM »
Thanks - so, from what I am reading, I would also need STunnel in order to scan my Gmail that I POP into my Thunderbird account.  Too much trouble as far as I am concerned - think I am going back to AVG.  I can't believe there is not some easier way to get Avast to work with POP3 mail in Tbird.  Tho it does seem that most likely the other mail may be monitored - ports are those that Avast supposedly work with.  There is little traffic on that account, so I have not actually noticed any scanning.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2008, 04:26:27 PM by grammy444 »

Offline Rumpel

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Re: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2008, 05:05:29 PM »
Thanks - so, from what I am reading, I would also need STunnel in order to scan my Gmail that I POP into my Thunderbird account.  Too much trouble as far as I am concerned - think I am going back to AVG.  I can't believe there is not some easier way to get Avast to work with POP3 mail in Tbird.
At least, not until Avast 5, which is planned to be released this year.

http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=33710.msg281399#msg281399
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SSL support in the mailscanner will be implemented in avast 5. No changes regarding the mail scanner in version 4.8 though, sorry.

Vlk

http://www.avast.com/eng/press-release-avast-celebrates-50-000-000th-registered-user.html
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In the year ahead, we will continue to offer the best protection our users have come to expect from avast!, as well as continuing to develop avast! Antivirus to offer the additional features that our users are demanding, culminating in the release of avast! 5 towards the end of Q3 2008.

Tho it does seem that most likely the other mail may be monitored - ports are those that Avast supposedly work with.  There is little traffic on that account, so I have not actually noticed any scanning.
Non-SSL traffic are monitored.  Unfortunately, Gmail is not the case.

Offline Firebytes

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Re: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2008, 02:08:54 AM »
My Outlook Express email uses SSL, so am I to understand it is not scanned by Avast?

Offline DavidR

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Re: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2008, 02:47:34 AM »
Yes, it isn't scanned, that is the purpose of SSL secure encrypted email to keep out prying eyes. SSL should use a dedicated port other than the regular port 25 smtp and 110 pop3 email. avast only monitor the following ports 25, 110, 119, 143.

It is not so much the email client but the use of SSL secure email.
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Offline Firebytes

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Re: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2008, 03:28:12 AM »
Thanks for the quick reply. I guess this inability to scan SSL emails would be common to all antivirus then?

Offline Vladimyr

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Re: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2008, 04:01:40 AM »
Yes. There would be little point to SSL if it could be decrypted by any-old AV scanner.  :)
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Offline alanrf

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Re: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2008, 05:01:05 AM »
Well, let's not be so hasty.

The statement that secured (it is not just SSL - TLS is in there too) connections cannot be scanned by any anti-virus is absolutely correct.  But it does not tell the whole truth here.  AVG long ago introduced a mechanism within the product to handle secure email connections and still allow AVG to scan the email delived via secure connections.  In other words it already does what avast users need STunnel to do.

When avast 5 finally catches up with this feature it will still be considerably more than a year behind AVG in this respect. 

What I expect to be the saving grace of avast is that it will be implemented in a much more graceful and user friendly way than that used by AVG (where essentially the user has to set up manually a proxy within AVG). 

Offline Vladimyr

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Re: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2008, 05:16:43 AM »
Thanks alan. I guess that means that avast! 5.0 will not be just "any-old AV scanner"!  ;D
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Offline alanrf

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Re: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2008, 05:29:24 AM »
Just one other comment - for users of Thunderbird there is a relatively simple alternative for getting GMail scanned (rather than using STunnel).  No it is not entirely without effort - it would involve the use of the Thunderbird Webmail extensions.  These would deliver the mail to Thunderbird from Webmail where a single checkbox change in the avast GUI would ensure that the received mail is scanned.

There really is no value to you in scanning the outbound GMail and your correspondents should never trust someone else to scan the mail for them so (even though the Webmail extensions can do the sending) the send side really does not need scanning and could be left alone.

This method is IMHO very much easier than the method in AVG (if it is still there - I wrote the sticky post in the AVG email forum on how to get Webmail scanned in AVG - it is certainly not elegant or user friendly and the "scanning secure mail" instructions are remarkably similar).

Offline squeekster

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Re: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2008, 01:13:31 PM »
Just one other comment - for users of Thunderbird there is a relatively simple alternative for getting GMail scanned (rather than using STunnel).  No it is not entirely without effort - it would involve the use of the Thunderbird Webmail extensions.  These would deliver the mail to Thunderbird from Webmail where a single checkbox change in the avast GUI would ensure that the received mail is scanned.
I really hate to sound like a dummy, but I just started using Avast! yesterday.  Where do I put this checkmark so my Gmail will be scanned using Thunderbird?  Thanks.

Offline Rumpel

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Re: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2008, 04:49:25 PM »
Just one other comment - for users of Thunderbird there is a relatively simple alternative for getting GMail scanned (rather than using STunnel).  No it is not entirely without effort - it would involve the use of the Thunderbird Webmail extensions.  These would deliver the mail to Thunderbird from Webmail where a single checkbox change in the avast GUI would ensure that the received mail is scanned.
I really hate to sound like a dummy, but I just started using Avast! yesterday.  Where do I put this checkmark so my Gmail will be scanned using Thunderbird?  Thanks.
I didn't know about Web Mail extensions/addons and it would be better for you to wait alanrf's answer but if my guess is right, try this: right-click on the avast! icon on the taskbar>"On-Access Protection Control">Details>Internet Mail>Customize>Advanced>Redirect>uncheck "Ignore Local Connection."

At least, judging from what I read on the net, the addon seems to build a local proxy server which "translates" http traffic from/to POP3/SMTP traffic in order to enable thunderbird to read them.  However, if this is correct, the users may be letting their gmail passwords through non-secure traffic...guess I'd better wait alanrf after all...

Offline alanrf

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Re: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2008, 10:20:53 AM »
Oh dear ... you really do not have much faith in me do you Rumpelstiltskin?

Do you think I would post recommendations that ask fellow avast users to expose their personal information?  If you pay any attention to what I post in this forum then it is (practically without exception) because (unlike many posts) I have tested it and I use it myself.

The information you are reporting is almost certainly based on those who have no clue to how the Webmail extensions work (they are really just plain old fashioned screen-scrapers) and who assume that somehow they are working by using unsecured POP an SMTP ... which could not be further from the truth.

The way that the Webmail extensions work is precisely the same way that you would if you logged on via the Web interface to (Hotmail or Yahoo or) GMail.  There is no difference in the slightest to the way it logs on from the way you would log on via the Web.  There is no difference in the the way the Webmail extensions for Thunderbird access the Webmail servers from the way that you would via the Web.

   
« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 10:50:13 AM by alanrf »

Offline Rumpel

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Re: Setting up Avast to scan Thunderbird mail...
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2008, 11:24:12 AM »
Oh dear ... you really do not have much faith in me do you Rumpelstiltskin?
O.K.  I thought you temporally felt depressed for some reason but I am accustomed to your tone by now and politely ignore it since it's definitely not these boards are for.  My intension is that I simply wanted to know how it works.

The information you are reporting is almost certainly based on those who have no clue to how the Webmail extensions work (they are really just plain old fashioned screen-scrapers) and who assume that somehow they are working by using unsecured POP an SMTP ... which could not be further from the truth.
I don't believe so...it's from mozillazine.
Quote
The WebMail extension is also useful when a firewall blocks access to a POP or SMTP server. For example, if your firewall only allows connection to port 110 for POP and port 25 for SMTP you can't connect to Gmail's mail servers. But you can still use Gmail using the WebMail extension since it uses port 80 with http to send and receive messages. The FreePOPs add-on could also be used to workaround the firewall but it doesn't support sending messages.
So, I just wondered if it only uses http connection, which is not secure.

The way that the Webmail extensions work is precisely the same way that you would if you logged on via the Web interface to (Hotmail or Yahoo or) GMail.  There is no difference in the slightest to the way it logs on from the way you would log on via the Web.  There is no difference in the the way the Webmail extensions for Thunderbird access the Webmail servers from the way that you would via the Web.
In any case, after my previous post, I tried it by myself on my PC using a packet monitoring app and noticed the addon also uses https, too.  It works as a local proxy server which translate web traffics of http/https from/to smtp/pop3 for thunderbird mail client.  I think this doesn't contradict what you say.  Simply mozillazine's explanation was somehow misleading to me since it doesn't mention https connection.