Author Topic: Some questions about the new features  (Read 3996 times)

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Offline Bellzemos

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Some questions about the new features
« on: February 23, 2012, 10:12:35 PM »
Hi!

Congratulations on the new version of Avast! :) I just updated to Avast! 7 and have some questions about the new features, I hope you can help me.

1. What exactly are the Cloud services (what are they and how do they work)?

2. Does FileRep help Avast! to decide if some file is clean or malware? How will it treat files if this feature is disabled?

3. If the Streaming updates are disabled, will the regular updates update Avast! with all the new definitions or are some definitions "Streaming exclusive" (Streaming only)?

4. How does Phishing filter work and what it does exactly?

5. What's new about the WebRep in the new Avast! version?

6. What are the Avast accounts about? It says on my Avast! current status that I'm not connected to any Avast! account. Should I be? Has this something to do with the Avast! registration?

Thank you and keep on the good work! :)
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Offline igor

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Re: Some questions about the new features
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 12:39:54 AM »
Regarding the first half of the questions:
1. Cloud services are online services hosted on our servers - and a real-time communication is happening between the avast! program and those servers, improving the protection (the program can get more information than it's possible to fit into the virus database, and it also gets the information faster - so the program can make better decision about the program maliciousness).
2. Yes. The program can work with the feature disabled (just like it's been working till now), but it works better when enabled - as described in the first point.
3. Yes, the regular updates should deliver all the definitions you'd get via streaming updates, just the streaming updates deliver them much faster (which is important in the dynamic world of malware - if e.g. a malicious page is blocked a few minutes after it's been first detected, it can protect some users; if the same block is delivered two hours later via the regular updates, the malicious page may have moved elsewhere by then, so the definition is actually obsolete and won't be of any help).

Offline Bellzemos

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Re: Some questions about the new features
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2012, 01:23:01 AM »
Thank you very much for the answers! Can you please answer the other half too?
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Offline Lisandro

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Re: Some questions about the new features
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2012, 01:32:14 AM »
4. Phishing protection comes with the virus definitions and block malicious sites.
5. WebRep has more settings (I don't read that it had major changes).
6. avast! account is a portal that manages all your avast installations (Windows, Mac and Mobile).
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Offline Bellzemos

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Re: Some questions about the new features
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2012, 02:32:04 AM »
Thank you for answering! So I don't have to have an Avast! account? I mean - I don't have to have it to be able to register the free version of Avast!, right? Again, thank you guys, this forum rules! :)
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Offline Lisandro

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Re: Some questions about the new features
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2012, 03:13:38 AM »
Yes, the account is optional and for help not for bother.
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FlyingRobot

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Re: Some questions about the new features
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2012, 02:27:56 AM »
Regarding the first half of the questions:
1. Cloud services are online services hosted on our servers - and a real-time communication is happening between the avast! program and those servers, improving the protection (the program can get more information than it's possible to fit into the virus database, and it also gets the information faster - so the program can make better decision about the program maliciousness).
2. Yes. The program can work with the feature disabled (just like it's been working till now), but it works better when enabled - as described in the first point.
3. Yes, the regular updates should deliver all the definitions you'd get via streaming updates, just the streaming updates deliver them much faster (which is important in the dynamic world of malware - if e.g. a malicious page is blocked a few minutes after it's been first detected, it can protect some users; if the same block is delivered two hours later via the regular updates, the malicious page may have moved elsewhere by then, so the definition is actually obsolete and won't be of any help).

In #1 you say that when the cloud features are enabled "the program can get more information than it's possible to fit into the virus database", but in #3 you say "the regular updates should deliver all the definitions you'd get via streaming updates".  Those two things sound contradictory to me.  Could you elaborate on what you meant?

Offline igor

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Re: Some questions about the new features
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2012, 02:38:37 AM »
#1 talks about cloud services in general, while #3 was about virus definition updates, regular or streaming.

The difference here are the reputation services which are certainly not included in the definitions, neither regular nor streaming.

FlyingRobot

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Re: Some questions about the new features
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2012, 03:17:28 AM »
The difference here are the reputation services which are certainly not included in the definitions, neither regular nor streaming.

Are the reputation services ever required in order to detect and protect against a *known* threat?

Offline DavidR

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Re: Some questions about the new features
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2012, 03:46:47 AM »
Not against a known threat as that would be included in the regular virus definition updates (or streaming update).

This is my understanding of what the reputation service does, but I could be wrong:
Where the reputation services come in is when you start to download something from the internet, the reputation services would be checking that file against its databases for say how commonly this file is downloaded or used, etc. If it is rarely downloaded or used it will have a low reputation and the suggestion would be to either abort the connection (don't download) or to download.

If you choose to download it it will be analysed in the autosandbox, etc. to determine if it is malicious.
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Offline igor

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Re: Some questions about the new features
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2012, 11:18:07 AM »
If known means "already detected via regular definitions" - so no, reputation services are not needed for that.
But we all know that there's plenty of unknown/undetected stuff out there, and here the reputation services can provide useful information - that will be used by some heuristic rules to decide whether to report the file as malicious/suspicious or not.