Author Topic: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together  (Read 11177 times)

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Offline Pholover

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How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« on: April 23, 2011, 08:13:03 PM »
Hi, I would like to know how to setup Avast and Thunderbird together properly without comprimising whatsoever on any security of emails transferred or received.  I use Hotmail, Live, Gmail, Sympatico as well my own website email servers.  Perhaps we can then sticky this if it becomes a comprehensive guide...

Avast version: 6.0.1091
Thunderbird: 3.1.9
Both are the latest versions at the time of this post including engine and definitions for avast.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 08:19:26 PM by Pholover »

Offline sded

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Re: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2011, 08:53:41 PM »
Welcome Pholover; I like it too.  ;D
Mail in Avast! is actually pretty straightforward for most systems.
The Mail Shield tab controls the mail setup parameters.  On the main page, you select the scanning of incoming and outgoing mail.  In the Expert Settings you select pop, imap, smtp and certain other parameters to match your desired configuration.  Avast! uses an internal proxy to intercept and scan incoming and outgoing mail.  If the mail server is not secure, it simply passes the data back and forth after scanning.  If the server uses SSL or TLS, Avast! uses OpenSSL to set up a secure connection to the mail server, and handles the encryption/decryption outside of the client.  It is able to scan the incoming/outgoing mail at the point closest to the client where it is not encrypted.
Examples attached are for gmail pop, imap, and smtp setup within Thunderbird.  Others are very similar with the obvious changes.  The SSL accounts table is generated automatically by Avast!  (Mail Shields/Expert Settings/SSL Accounts).  It shows the secure connections that have been generated by Avast! if your server is secure.  For plaintext email, there is usually no entry.
Some email systems use nonstandard ports, but work pretty much the same way.  You may find smtp using port 25 (mostly obsolete) or 465 (Avast! can usually do the translation).  I have seen pop3 use 996 also, and if you have your own server you can roll your own with a little effort.  To deal with nonstandard ports, you need to go to the Summary page Settings/Troubleshooting/Redirect Settings to direct Avast! to scan these ports.  You may also need to edit the SSL Accounts table in some cases.
And there are probably some other email systems that require even a bit more tweaking.   ::)
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 03:18:06 AM by sded »
Windows 7 x64HP-SP1-No UAC, Opera 11.51, Avast! Internet Security 6.0.128, Webroot SecureAnywhere latest beta, Windows FW off, MVPS HOSTS, SAS/MBAM offline, Macrium Reflect just in case ;)

Offline Pholover

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Re: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2011, 12:43:37 AM »
I'm actually confused by your post.  Glad you like Pho as well :)
I just want to know if and by setting incoming and outgoing emails all to totally unsecured, regardless of wether it's hotmail,gmail,yahoo,sympatico,own website emails, does Avast secure those and encrypt the passwords and information in those emails??

Offline Pondus

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Re: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2011, 12:49:59 AM »
yes.... you have to remove the SSL settings in the mail client for avast to be able to scan it
avast will then take care of the SSL

avast! 5.x: Some e-mails are not scanned by the Mail Shield
http://support.avast.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=458

Chief Wiggum: Uh, no, you got the wrong number. This is 9-1…2.


Offline sded

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Re: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2011, 12:58:22 AM »
Yes; Avast! sets up the SSL/TLS session with your server using OpenSSL before information is passed between your computer and the server.  There is a discussion of that process (and some Wireshark runs) at http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=68441.0 .  The difference is that the encrypted path to your computer runs from your server to Avast!, instead of from your server to Thunderbird.  If you set up the SSL/TLS session within your client as usual, Avast! can't scan it since it is encrypted at the point avast! would see it. 
Windows 7 x64HP-SP1-No UAC, Opera 11.51, Avast! Internet Security 6.0.128, Webroot SecureAnywhere latest beta, Windows FW off, MVPS HOSTS, SAS/MBAM offline, Macrium Reflect just in case ;)

Offline Pholover

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Re: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2011, 02:23:09 AM »
sded and pondus thanks for your replies.

Two questions:
sded a question for you.  If outgoing SMTP is set to "Password, transmitted insecurely" rather then "No Authentication" is that ok to work with Avast! and encryption of passwords/emails?  Or does it have to be set to "No Authentication" ?  Mine are all set to "Password, transmitted insecurely" right now for outgoing emails.

Also how much do I have to worry about the SSL Accounts section of whether Avast has got the info there right or not?  Because I have no idea what's going on in SSL Accounts.

Offline sded

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Re: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2011, 03:12:28 AM »
Yes, you end up setting up with "password transmitted insecurely" and that is a "no" for secure authentication.  I think that figure is from a previous TB version so I'll replace it.  I was just too lazy to check.
Normally you don't need to worry about the SSL account settings, but you need to know it's there just in case an unusual mail system has some problems.  If you have a problem, we will probably ask you to post a copy of it to help fix it.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 03:24:44 AM by sded »
Windows 7 x64HP-SP1-No UAC, Opera 11.51, Avast! Internet Security 6.0.128, Webroot SecureAnywhere latest beta, Windows FW off, MVPS HOSTS, SAS/MBAM offline, Macrium Reflect just in case ;)

Offline Pholover

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Re: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2011, 04:39:28 AM »
By problem you mean if I can't send or receive emails from one of the email addresses I'm using?  Is that when SSL Accounts need to be checked? 

Offline sded

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Re: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2011, 04:51:08 AM »
Yes; it is just one of the things we might look at and ask you to tell us what the entries are if there is you can't send or receive mail.  But usually there are no problems in the setup if directions are followed.  A couple of other questions.  What is your OS?  What AV were you using before Avast! and how did you remove it?  What firewall are you using?  Problems we see (and there are not that many) are often related to interference from other security products, not the actual setup.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 05:08:37 AM by sded »
Windows 7 x64HP-SP1-No UAC, Opera 11.51, Avast! Internet Security 6.0.128, Webroot SecureAnywhere latest beta, Windows FW off, MVPS HOSTS, SAS/MBAM offline, Macrium Reflect just in case ;)

Offline Pholover

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Re: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2011, 04:39:23 AM »
My OS is windows XP, I've didn't use another antivirus I used Avast only and never removed it.  I don't have a firewall but in my network connections it says that my connection is firewalled, probably via my ISP, I'm guessing.  I also have a Linksys firewall router but my connection doesn't go through that, other devices do.

This is not actually completely related to context of this post but avast failed on me for the first time 3 days ago and allowed a rootkit and multiple viruses in, when I got the popup, so I had to reinstall everything from scratch, wonder why it failed there (again this is statement probably needs it's own thread so feel free not to comment on it if you don't wish to)

Offline sded

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Re: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2011, 04:52:29 AM »
Even with XP you should turn on the Windows firewall.  If your network connections say you are firewalled, it may already be on.  You usually can't see your ISP or router firewall from inside your computer.  Since XP is quite old, how long have you been using Avast?  Or could there have been another AV before you got the computer?  How are you connected to the internet if not through the router? 
If you have been having other problems with Avast! installed, definitely worth a separate thread in the Virus section.  A rootkit and multiple viruses would be very unusual with any up to date AV, so you should explain your problem to some of the virus experts there.  Might also have been a false alarm, so ???
Windows 7 x64HP-SP1-No UAC, Opera 11.51, Avast! Internet Security 6.0.128, Webroot SecureAnywhere latest beta, Windows FW off, MVPS HOSTS, SAS/MBAM offline, Macrium Reflect just in case ;)

Offline Pholover

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Re: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2011, 04:59:42 AM »
Well of course I do have windows firewall on, I don't think it makes sense to have it off but I guess some people do.  Yes in control panel, Network Connections it says it is connected and firewalled. I've been using avast with updates for probably 5 years.  I'm connected via a DSL modem. 

Well it wasn't a false alarm as shortly after the pop up on the right side I had some issue that I knew it got in, forgot what it was, and also I did a scan with Malwarebytes and it found a total of 10 viruses rootkits malware whatever you want. My PC also would not go into windows anymore and did a loop restart.

Offline sded

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Re: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2011, 05:11:12 AM »
Certainly worth exploring with the Virus people.  Did you get these from a website, email, USB flash drive, or ???  Avast! with the latest database usually does much better than this.  But if you tell them about it, they should be able to help you prevent it from happening again.  And provide inputs to Avast! to improve the product.
Windows 7 x64HP-SP1-No UAC, Opera 11.51, Avast! Internet Security 6.0.128, Webroot SecureAnywhere latest beta, Windows FW off, MVPS HOSTS, SAS/MBAM offline, Macrium Reflect just in case ;)

Offline Pholover

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Re: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2011, 05:18:28 AM »
It was from a website and I do intend to start another thread on that topic to improve the product and safety for myself and everyone else.

Can you suggest a good firewall?

Offline sded

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Re: How to Properly Setup Avast and Thunderbird Together
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2011, 05:37:50 AM »
Are you using XP SP3?  I use Online Armor, but Outpost Free and others are also popular.  You can do a search on "free firewall" here and get some good recommendations- http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=75116.0 is a recent thread on the subject.  I use Vista and W7, so am not as familiar with the XP firewalls.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 05:43:41 AM by sded »
Windows 7 x64HP-SP1-No UAC, Opera 11.51, Avast! Internet Security 6.0.128, Webroot SecureAnywhere latest beta, Windows FW off, MVPS HOSTS, SAS/MBAM offline, Macrium Reflect just in case ;)