AVG update disguises LinkScanner traffic as IE6

By Justin Mann on June 27, 2008, 12:44 AM
Earlier this month, AVG was pointed to as the source of a new bandwidth hog on the Internet with one of their fancier anti-malware tools causing a huge jump in traffic on popular sites. At least admins were able to identify what was going on and filter out the nonsense traffic under this scenario. However, AVG has made things more difficult with a recent update in which its LinkScanner program disguises itself as IE6.

That's an unfortunate step for network administrators looking for an easy way to filter out the bogus traffic coming from the tool. According to AVG, the steps were to make the program more difficult for malware sites to detect and thus defeat the purpose of LinkScanner altogether. They still claim that admins will be able to filter it out for statistics, but that won't solve the problem of excess traffic generated from this practice.




User Comments: 12

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nirkon said:
How are users feeling about this anyway?Let's say you are downloading something and surfing the net,the download speed will be considerably lower every time you use the internetand the surfing itself will be a lot slower, it would be better just toturn the AV off huh...
black_adder said:
Another reason to not use AVG... not only is it crap at detecting real virus's, and says there are virus's where the arn't... but now it hogs bandwidth too. Spose thats what you get for using free software. Nothing is as simple as it sounds
TimeParadOX said:
[b]Originally posted by black_adder:[/b][quote]Another reason to not use AVG... not only is it crap at detecting real virus's, and says there are virus's where the arn't... but now it hogs bandwidth too. Spose thats what you get for using free software. Nothing is as simple as it sounds[/quote]I have to disagree with you there, Free does not mean it's going to be a bad program. Avast! is a free Anti-virus and it's very good. I have yet to had any problems with it and it's detected and stopped all the viruses I've had.
black_adder said:
[b]Originally posted by TimeParadOX:[/b][quote]I have to disagree with you there, Free does not mean it's going to be a bad program. Avast! is a free Anti-virus and it's very good. I have yet to had any problems with it and it's detected and stopped all the viruses I've had.[/quote]I use Avast too ;DAnd I never said Free software was bad... I just said you need to be careful about what you're getting with it
TiMEParaDoX said:
[b]Originally posted by black_adder:[/b]I use Avast too ;DAnd I never said Free software was bad... I just said you need to be careful about what you're getting with it[/quote]Oh, sorry. :)
kitty500cat said:
LinkScanner, along with the AVG Security Toolbar, was what made me decide to ditch AVG.
phantasm66 said:
I recently installed my laptop again and I installed AVG and watched the whole system slow to a crawl. Why the hell does my machine's resources need to be hogged with this crap? All I need is to scan the HDD now and again for bad stuff... not have some crappy thing take over all kinds of stuff and sit there taking up processing cycles and dialing back home and stuff all the time. Its way too much... its overkill.
windmill007 said:
AVG Sucks. I never would of thought those two words would come out of my mouth together.
aolish said:
Been using AVG since i can remember. I'd rather use AVG over then any other bloated AV scanner out there... norton and mcafee anyone? I lost count on how many times people has had problems with there PCs on the techspot forums that were linked to Norton and mcafee (way more norton tho). AVG is still one of the most efficient non-resource intensive AV applications i have ever used.
IMinfected said:
For those posting about "you get what you pay for", AVG has a paid version which includes this same new "feature".AVG was a terrific program up until the latest version. Now it's bloat ware. The worst feature is the one mentioned here - the Link Scanner. Many, many, users report AVG with the link scanner bringing their system to a practical halt. It's so bad that AVG did come up with a way to do a command line install without the LS, but it's painful and most users don't know how to do it. Even without the LS, AVG 8 is a performance dog. Add to that the fact that AVG stuffed it down the throats of users ("we released V8 -> upgrade now because we won't update V7 anymore"). Like the previous poster said, AVG used to be great, but now it sucks. Grisoft could give lessons in "how to sink a sucessful company in 30 days".
Hanto said:
I've been happily using Avast now for over 4 years now, it doesn't try to make a person pay for something he doesn't need and I easily go through 10 GBs of downloads a month minimum, it doesn't give me false reports, it doesn't corrupt my installations as AVG 6 did with every Microsoft version since Win 98. AVG has never been a good anti-virus program in my estimation although I will admit that version 7 was far superior to version 6 ( i.e. it fixed the problem of corrupting virgin installations of Win98-XP ). I've been reporting on that for many years now, no one notices I guess. And of course as has already been mentioned, Norton and Mcafee are not effective or efficient as what they claim to do. I've seen indications recently that Vista may be playing a part in some of these false reports. Could it be the data stream problem that Microsoft admitted was affecting Vista along with XP SP-3. I know I just put XP onto this Sony Laptop ( orig Vista ) and just spent the night getting all necessary drivers working. My recommendation, stay away from Vista and AVG and any company that begs a person to upgrade to a paid version. They are not looking after our best interests.
lloyd_borrett said:
AVG has already responded to resolve this issue. The full response can be seen at [url]http://www.avg.com.au/index.cfm?section=news&feature=10
[/url] An updated version of AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.0 is already available, see [url]http://www.avgfree.com.au.[/url] The Search-Shield component of LinkScanner has been modified to only notify users of malicious sites. The equivalent modification to the the AVG 8.0 commercial products will be rolled out on 9th July 2008. Once the updated version has been rolled out to all AVG 8.0 users the issue will be resolved. As of this date, Search-Shield will no longer scan each search result online for new exploits, which was causing the spikes that web masters addressed with us. However, it is important to note that AVG still offers full protection against potential exploits through the LinkScanner Active Surf-Shield component of our product, which checks every page for malicious content as it is visited but before it is opened. Wed like to thank the web community for bringing these challenges to our attention, as building community trust and protecting all of our users is critical to us. Best Regards, Lloyd Borrett Marketing Manager, AVG (AU/NZ)
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