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Annoying Avast Warning

By misor
Aug 18, 2014
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  1. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    99% chance it is just a false positive.
     
  2. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,163   +197

    All techspot article webpages including the forum are 'positive'. I already reported the incidence as 'false positive' to avast as soon as I got the annoying avast warning.
     
  3. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,059   +646

    Thanks for the note, looking into this now.
     
  4. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,059   +646

    @misor we've checked with two different PCs running Avast and no warnings are popping up. Also look at the warning screenshot that you posted, the URL shows some weird "hxxp" URL before the techspot.com part.

    At this point I'd consider two possibilities:

    1) There is a resident malware/adware installed in your system that is taking over TechSpot's ads and showing potentially harmful code. If so, TechSpot shouldn't be the only site showing the warnings however. I would start by running Anti-malware and making sure my system is clean:

    http://www.techspot.com/downloads/4716-malwarebytes-anti-malware.html

    2) The warning is being generated because of some ad campaign in our rotation (strange but it could happen), if you see the same ads every time these warnings come up, I could use that information to narrow things down on our end.
     
  5. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,059   +646

    Going a bit deeper on the matter, here's a similar report from a different forum and it appears it's an Avast false positive coming from an Amazon advertisement, so hopefully it's all good. (y)
     
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,351   +622

    On Win/7/Pro Sp1 with Avast Free - - I get no such alerts :)
     
  7. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,163   +197

    as of 606AM (Philippine local time), I no longer have the 'annoying avast warning', about 6 or 7 hours after I reported the incidence as 'false positive' to avast.
    maybe avast has already issued a fix on their virus definition updates or the 'amazon ads' were already removed.
     
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,351   +622

    As my etc\hosts file blocks tons of sites serving ads,
    my environment just may not stress Avast in these cases (y):cool:
     
  9. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,163   +197

    no unusual ads on my part.
    on ie for windows 8, the usual ads appear:
    1. lozada ads, an online shopping website in the Philippines. assumed to be safe since the site also is also advertised on major Philippine newspapers/tv stations.
    2. smart telecom ads, a Philippine telecom giant. also safe.
     
  10. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,163   +197

    Attached Files:

  11. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,163   +197

    Additional info:
    internet explorer is set to avast search (yahoo search customized to avast).
    I 'fixed' the problem by changing the default search to Microsoft bing.
    so far no more annoying avast warning.

    also, the same thing happened every time I open Mozilla thunderbird client (with techspot set to open when the email client is launched.
    annoying avast warning also disappeared by changing the default page back to Mozilla thunderbird.
    ts thunderbird.png

    the suspicious site is changed by avast so it becomes an invalid url (http to hxxp):
    hxxp://54.201.66.36/l/z0WVjCBSEeGLoxIxOQVEwQ?or=
    ts suspicious site.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  12. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 6,619   +336

    My apologies for no screenshots, but I just now got an Avast pop up as I clicked my bookmarked http://www.techspot.com/community/ . I did submit it as a false positive although I don't know what that means exactly.
     
  13. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,059   +646

    Merged threads here, it was reported earlier by @misor and I've found similar false positives on other sites. It's unfortunate though as I thought the issue was over.
     
  14. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,163   +197

    For internet explorer, the issue was resolved by changing the search engine in internet explorer from avast search (yahoo search customized for avast) to Microsoft bing.

    for Mozilla thunderbird , changing startup page from techspot to Mozilla (or none at all) fixed the problem for me.

    so far, no more annoying avast warning for the past two days or so.
     
  15. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,351   +622

    Hmm; contrary to all known scanning techniques.

    The HOME page or the search engine have nothing to do with scanning weblinks.
    When we click on a link, the AV scans the source being delivered and allows/blocks it depending upon the page content.

    *IF* you are correct in your assertion, then reverting to the original settings would again produce popup alerts.
    THAT would put Avast in a serious doubt as to its effectiveness.

    IMO, reverting will not produce alerts and the issue was created by a malconfigured/implemented browser.
    A secondary test would be to use the apparently failing settings in a different browser and a re-occurance of alerts fingers Avast, and an absence thereof fingers the failing browser.

    Just my $0.02
     
    Cobalt006 likes this.
  16. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,163   +197

  17. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,351   +622

    Then delete the custom search engine from the browser configuration but keep a short cut in
    the Favorites Bar.

    If YOU want to search, directly access a specific search engine. I just H A T E these intrusive settings and now you know why - - they access stuff you don't intend.

    Technically, Avast is performing correctly and so is your browser (if you don't add junk to it). The fault is the unique search engine setting itself.

    While were with this topic, I'll explain how to avoid triggering the AV due to adverts.

    1) install Spywareblaster and immunize (exit all browsers while this is being performed).

    2) install Spybot S&D, get the updates, go to Advanced Mode, and Immunize again. This adds entries to your etc\hosts file to stop access to urls like those shown in the attached file

    [*] you can't get a popup from these as they can't be access :)
    [*] you gain browser performance by not loading averts :)
    [*] you don't spin CPU time as the blocking is done via the DNS lookup mechanics.
     

    Attached Files:

    misor likes this.
  18. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,163   +197

    The funny thing is avast search (yahoo search customized for avast) did not trigger the annoying avast warning in the past months until about 5-6 days ago.
    maybe avast update did something to it.

    and I could not fathom why the warning cannot be triggered in Mozilla firefox while it can be triggered in Mozilla thunderbird. perhaps because I have adblock in firefox?
     

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