AVG has faced a great deal of criticism over the past few weeks, with a new feature in version 8.0 of the company’s antivirus package causing loads of fake traffic and increased bandwidth costs for some webmasters. Specifically, the LinkScanner component analyzed pages returned by search engines before a user even clicked on them, looking for potentially dangerous malware.
A good idea on the surface, though in practice it turned out to be the exact opposite. Not only LinkScanner caused massive fake traffic spikes, it also disguised itself as IE6 – making it difficult to filter AVG scans from legitimate visitor traffic in their logs. AVG has finally responded to the concerns and fixed the problem, though. According to a posting on their website, they have released a patch to prevent the software from scanning unvisited websites, instead doing so only after users click on them.