Author Topic: Avast Sandbox issue with Firefox 32bit and Flash 32bit on 64bit OS  (Read 3885 times)

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Offline Ash Weststar

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After having used Avast Internet Security for a while now, I have been growing more and more annoyed at how often Firefox would start up without a lot of plugin support. As searches through these forums have revealed very little help, I decided to look for myself what the issue is with a debugger.

It turns out my issue is caused by the fact that Avast's Sandbox tends to forward registry information that is seen from 64bit processes as opposed to what 32bit processes see - which is a problem for 32bit applications.

In my case, what this means is Firefox was attempting to read:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MozillaPlugins

In an attempt to locate plugin information, Avast forwarded this on to Windows, reading directly from this same path in the registry - Which is an error for 32bit applications on a 64bit OS.

What should have happened, is that because this is a 32bit application, it's supposed to map:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MozillaPlugins
to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\MozillaPlugins

The reason why Firefox can't find the plugins is because when it checks the registry, it gets the 64bit plugins result (which is obviously incompatible) instead of 32bit plugins.

Dirty work around for users wishing to work around this: Copy HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\MozillaPlugins keys to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MozillaPlugins

What is the best way for me to contact the Avast team to properly resolve this issue in the sandbox feature?
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 01:46:10 AM by Ash Weststar »

Offline Pondus

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Re: Avast Sandbox issue with Firefox 32bit and Flash 32bit on 64bit OS
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 01:56:34 AM »
Quote
What is the best way for me to contact the Avast team to properly resolve this issue in the sandbox feature?
just like you have....they monitor the forum


have you tried latest beta ?  http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=88272.0

Offline Gargamel360

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Re: Avast Sandbox issue with Firefox 32bit and Flash 32bit on 64bit OS
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 02:08:07 AM »
This drove me nuts when I had AIS, and was partially the reason I stopped using it.  It went on the duration of my year subscription.  Somehow I'm not surprised it still happens.

But it has went on for so long....I am compelled to think there is more to this, that they already sniffed out the same problem, but the fix was not enough or not safe (though perhaps I am being too much of an Evangelist there).

Anyway, you likely want pk, the sandbox dev....in which case, this is the right place, as he is comparatively active here on the forum compared to other Avast! devs.  I will pm him for you (since you cannot till you have 20 posts) and see if he will pop in here for a say.

Signature?  But I gots no pen....

Offline Ash Weststar

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Re: Avast Sandbox issue with Firefox 32bit and Flash 32bit on 64bit OS
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 02:14:26 AM »
have you tried latest beta ?
Nope, I didn't see any fixes for 32bit applications with the Sandbox listed, so I didn't see the point.


This drove me nuts when I had AIS, and was partially the reason I stopped using it.  It went on the duration of my year subscription.  Somehow I'm not surprised it still happens.
Indeed, and it's just got more frequent with the latest Firefox version, drives you nutty having to restart the browser 20+ times (not exaggerating).

But it has went on for so long....I am compelled to think there is more to this, that they already sniffed out the same problem, but the fix was not enough or not safe (though perhaps I am being too much of an Evangelist there).
From a programming perspective, I can't see a safety issue with if (PE_TYPE == "32") and swapping a path. Especially since Avast Sandbox doesn't let you to write to it, to begin with.

Anyway, you likely want pk, the sandbox dev....in which case, this is the right place, as he is comparatively active here on the forum compared to other Avast! devs.  I will pm him for you (since you cannot till you have 20 posts) and see if he will pop in here for a say.

Ah cheers, you're a great help! =)

Offline pk

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Re: Avast Sandbox issue with Firefox 32bit and Flash 32bit on 64bit OS
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2011, 11:16:23 PM »
Hi, you're right - sometimes Wow6432Node is missing in the virtualized keys. However, it's not so easy to fix -- I can't simply redirect all wow64 processes to wow6432node, because parent keys/wow64flags play the part of it. Also VistaOS uses it little differently than Win7. I worked on this issue a whole day, but it's not still perfect -- I hope I finish in time for release.

Offline pk

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Re: Avast Sandbox issue with Firefox 32bit and Flash 32bit on 64bit OS
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2011, 01:28:39 AM »
This should be fixed in 6.0.1364 version (http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=88272.0), Win7 x64 only (Vista x64 is not supported). Maybe you'll need to delete webBrowser's virtual storage (from GUI), maybe it's not needed - it really depends about your sandbox storage contents.