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Avast Drops iYogi Support Over Pushy Scare Tactics

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the smarter-than-the-average-ibear dept.

Security 100

An anonymous reader writes "Antivirus maker Avast is suspending its relationship with iYogi, a company it has relied upon for the past two years to provide live customer support for its products. The move comes just one day after an investigation into iYogi showed the company was using the relationship to push expensive and unnecessary support contracts onto Avast users. In a blog post, Avast's CEO wrote, 'We had initial reports of this behavior a few weeks ago and met with iYogi's senior executives to ensure the behavior was being corrected. Thus, we were shocked to find out about Mr. Krebs' experience. As a consequence, we have removed the iYogi support service from our website and shortly it will be removed from our products.'"

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Will iYogi sue Avast? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383263)

I just finished the article, and it sounds like the CEO canceled the contract based-upon just that one call with a bad technician.

Interesting tactics though... saying that Avast Free is basically junk (takes a week to download latest updates) and the customer should buy the program instead. Also running PC Diagnosis from a website. Like a scammer.

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (1)

msheekhah (903443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383379)

but Avast Free is AMAZING... *blink* *blink*

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383927)

Avast 7! is my favorite.

Avast 7 did have some issues I do admit when it was introduced, but the latest fix corrected them.

Other than that is it the fast and best able to detect and remove rootkits of any antivirus product except Norton 2012(Hell froze over it is the best out there and is no longer a POS).

It is lightweight and has live updates on the minute. I prefer it much more over MSE.

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385103)

Yes Avast is great, updates quickly and does not slow down my older IBM laptop :) Works fine with Steam and runs without any problems in the background.

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39387423)

Well I'd say for free AV both it and Comodo IS are very very good, although Comodo IS is free for BOTH home and business use so if you are installing on a business machine and don't want to run afoul of the license use Comodo, otherwise its a taste thing. Both have excellent sandboxing which REALLY helps with the clueless users and combined with win 7 and Comodo Dragon makes for a pretty damned hard to infect system.

Now watch those that have convinced themselves i must be an "M$ Ninja!" have their heads completely screwed...MSE sucks. Pretty much the only thing its really good for is geeks that are following best practices and really only want something light they can use to scan downloaded files with and that's about it. Since I had some time to kill a few months back and some offlease machines i was gonna have to wipe anyway i decided to have my own little AV shootout, with a clean install of WinXP running as admin (wanted to test the AV and not the OS) and tried MSE, Avast, and Comodo. While both Avast and Comodo actually stopped infected topsites from loading MSE? Really didn't care, hell it let any site with any old crap just run, no problem. Now when it came to catching infected downloaded files? all three were equal, but when it came to stopping drivebys MSE never once threw up a single red flag. After running a bunch of different crapsites and topsites and pretty much clicking all over the place I booted into a WinXp LiveCD and used it to run several scans, nothing was found on the Avast and Comodo runs but it detected a handful of trojan downloaders on the MSE run. Now I didn't try rebooting to see if those trojans were actually running on the system or if MSE had just let them be dumped into the temp folders but frankly the fact that MSE let them get that far at all really didn't give me the warm fuzzys.

So if you know what you are doing and are observing best practices? well MSE is fine in that case, i use it myself on my gamer machine. But if there is anybody that is gonna be using the machine who may not think before clicking, or simply isn't very knowledgeable about protecting yourself on the web? Well then either Avast or Comodo IS are both really good choices. Again when it came to the other metrics like RAM, CPU, etc both Comodo and Avast were pretty close to one another so its more of a taste thing as both did really well. But its nice to see Avast looking out for its users, good job Avast.

I just caught COMODO & Arcabit (false positive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39397677)

Remember that hosts file program I've spoken of here before? I rewrote it the past 2 months++ now to outperform the Python one my nephew & I co-wrote, came out great (does more/better/faster etc.), & also ported it from 32-bit to 64-bit code.

So, I began submitting it to the bigger hosts of custom hosts file data I import!

(Which the program itself works on write protecting the hosts file itself every 1/2 second, the app itself @ startup & every 1/2 second (doing a byte level sizecheck vs. viral infestation check of itself too no less) PLUS, sorting/alphabetizing, converting the blocking ip address (0.0.0.0 vs. 127.0.0.1 etc.) removing duplicates, malformed entries, & even ones they ought NOT to be putting up as valid to blockout FROM the hosts file data imported (because they can mess up entry into larger portals))...

Both Comodo & Arcabit had false positives (oddly, only on the 32-bit builds of it, not the 64-bit one) BUT, 19 of the other 21 tests @ JOTTI online scanner came up with it ok in ALL MODELS 32-bit/64-bit + compressed.

Funniest part is?

The 32-bit build & 64-bit build only differ in resource strings that say "32-bit" vs. "64-bit" & image files that do the same... line for line the EXACT SAME CODE (DelphiXE2 Object-Pascal), in 99.9% of it.

This is HOW I knew they were screwing up in fact... my app also cuts itself off IF anything tries to change it (byte size check @ startup & every 1/2 second), & that was not happening, SO, I knew it was a falsie.

So... I had to figure it out for them!

(To clear my name most of all, & to get it past the folks that host the hosts file data so they can use it or link to it/host it etc.-et al).

Know what it was they were messing up on? Executable compression type I use!

I.E.-> I use a program called mpress.exe (because it compresses BOTH 32-bit &/or 64-bit PE's (Win32/Win64 Portable Executables))...

They weren't prepped for that apparently, because when I sent my UNCOMPRESSED MODELS thru the online JOTTI scanner? NONE OF THEM SAID ANYTHING WAS WRONG!

However, when the 32-bit version WAS COMPRESSED?

Again - COMODO & ARCABIT made a mistake & said it was contaminated!

In the end?

So far, Comodo offered me 'preferred vendor status' for this, & Arcabit saw my evidence, tested all models compressed vs. uncompressed, & admitted a falsie.

Their engines didn't understand the bytecode for the mpress compressed executable loader...

APK

P.S.=> In other words, don't be TOO QUICK to 'praise' any of them, because they do make falsies (other devs I showed this too, like Nir Sofer of Nirsoft, & Steven Burn of hpHOSTS, have had it happen as well... but, they didn't figure it out, because Nir's had it happen, EXACTLY same as my case above (32 bit apps being flagged, 64 bit ones not being flagged), & so has Mr. Burn, + so has a guy like Dr. Mark Russinovich (former 'co-worker/co-contractor' of mine for Sunbelt in the 1990's)... apk

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (4, Informative)

Arker (91948) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383555)

No, it's not just based on this one incident.

Let me explain that where I work I speak fairly often with customers who have dealt with these guys. As a result I did a little research a few weeks back. You can do the same, use the google.

Anyhow there's a quite long-running and very interesting thread on the Avast user forums about these guys. It has both some very good and some very bad experiences, which matches what I have heard personally. At any rate it's been an ongoing issue for some time and this appears to be the last straw - it certainly wasnt the first case like this though.

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39383719)

I'm a spam cop over at reddit.com & we chased iyogi off the site LONG ago, they're spam, pure & simple, & we found links between iyogi & these "support staff" that phone you AT HOME to advise you your system is compromised

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (1)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385117)

I'm a spam cop over at reddit.com & we chased iyogi off the site LONG ago, they're spam, pure & simple, & we found links between iyogi & these "support staff" that phone you AT HOME to advise you your system is compromised

Can you substantiate this, please? I'm interested.

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (0)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 2 years ago | (#39386401)

YHBT YHL HAND

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (1)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39387299)

I'm not sure that we're working off the same definition of "being trolled", and holy shit that's an annoying abbreviation.

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39389673)

Hey gramps, usenet's over with your soiled depends.

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39385735)

You're a fag master.

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383593)

They don't seem to care. QUOTE: "Larry Gordon, iYogiâ(TM)s president of global channel sales, sent me a formal letter that was unapologetic, but which promised that the company would endeavor to do better. Gordon called the incident, a 'Tylenol moment for iYogi and the leadership team.'"

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39383687)

What the fuck is a Tylenol moment?

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39384053)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Tylenol_murders [wikipedia.org]

tl;dr version back in the day somebody tampered with Tylenol caps to add poison which resulted in a big recall and most likely a few lawsuits.

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39390495)

It's also why we now need a chainsaw and blowtorch to open any bottle.

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39385203)

its when you shove a bunch of tylenol in your ass and end up in the hospital for three days. At least that's what it is for me.

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39383599)

this guy isn't the only one...

we've fielded numerous calls from people that got sucked into iyogi (and our own local trade area is under 100k ppl).... they're a total ripoff and crap service besides.

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39383703)

So, you claim you RTFA, but somehow still think that Avast acted solely based on this one guy? First off, Krebs installed Avast on a VM specifically trying to find out if iYogi would try these types of tactics, as several people had reported to him that they would. Second, right in TFS, it states that Avast had "initial reports of this behavior a few weeks ago and met with iYogi's senior executives to ensure the behavior was being corrected", a quote taken directly from TFA. The CEO cancelled the contract because he had spoken to his contractor after several user complaints, and the contractors behavior did not change. Sounds pretty reasonable to me. Also note they didn't even cancel the contract, they suspended it. Also from TFA "over the next weeks, we will work with iYogi to determine whether the service can be re-launched."

  Learn to fucking read.

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383877)

Not at all. That was just the "mystery customer" call to confirm the shenanigans, after several users complained about it to Avast.

After RTFA (*gasp*), my interpretation is that iYogi is pretty much attempting customer fraud, by running bogus diagnostics and selling expensive solutions the customer does not need - and dare I say, probably won't fix anything besides the fake alerts. Over here in Canada/U.S., that's a serious offense that can land you in jail. I don't know how India's criminal code relates, but even from a purely business perspective, iYogi is still defrauding its client, Avast, as they are spending their client's time and money to convince users to fall for a fake diagnostic scam. That's a very good reason to terminate the contract, and then sue the company.

Now I guess the question becomes: how hard is it to sue an Indian company into the ground ?

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 2 years ago | (#39384751)

Sure, but you will never prove intent. I am sure they arent silly enough to formally train their people to do this. There is no need. You take a moderately bright young person, put them in a job where they have to make sales to get paid, give them a stream of incoming calls from relatively clueless people (who can be extraordinarily difficult to deal with, and are often stereotypical ugly americans with ridiculous expectations and rude, demanding demeanor) and finally the ability to take remote control over this techical illiterates computer... do all that and it wont be long before some of the salespeople find... creative ways to convince these annoying people to contribute to their paycheck.

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39388595)

My clients have fallen prey to these same exact tactics.

Thank you again, Avast! (=

Re:Will iYogi sue Avast? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39390481)

Based on one call that happened a few weeks after they had a talk about the issue and were assured that it wouldn't happen again. It DID happen again after fair warning.

Anti-Virus money hole! (1)

DEFFENDER (469046) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383291)

An anti-virus company has ended a relationship with a vendor that will waste your money.

Now if only software companies would fix their products we could then end our relationship with these anti-virus vendors that are wastes of money.

Re:Anti-Virus money hole! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39383597)

Is there a reason you have not come across (certified UNIX) operating system Max OSX 10.7 by now? Never ran AV on my Macbook Air or iPad yet. I remember trojans and viruses from the DOS days when I came into this business (anyone remember PCStoned on DOS)?

Get yourself a real machine. Linux if you want to have a hobby, Mac if you want to use tech to get things done (earn a living, pay bills and manage your life so you can spend more time with the people in your life). Choice is yours. Both don't require AV. Good luck and enjoy.

Re:Anti-Virus money hole! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39383643)

Both don't require AV.

Actually, Macs DO require AV. I'm too lazy to cut and paste the links from a Google search so you can do that yourself.

Re:Anti-Virus money hole! (1)

burne (686114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39384581)

Please point us to an actual working OS-X virus (or, perhaps safer: a recent, serious story about one..) I have yet to see one, despite 10 years of warnings I should buy expensive and intrusive crap from less-than-honest vendors.

I do scan for virusses, but mostly to protect my boss and his bookkeeper who insists on running windows.

Re:Anti-Virus money hole! (2)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385411)

Here are a few http://macscan.securemac.com/spyware-list/ [securemac.com]

Regardless of whether you have had or haven't had virus/spyware issues on OSX, when the CEO of the company that makes it advises you to use an actual AV [appleinsider.com] , you probably should. Not to mention, if one OSX system on your network is compromised, all of them are likely to be so, or says a study posted not too long ago (can't find it atm).

The point it, you'd have to be bonehead stupid to nor protect yourself regardless of what OS you run on your systems.

Re:Anti-Virus money hole! (3, Insightful)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385075)

I use all three operating systems on a daily basis. Here's my breakdown:
CentOS 6.2 as a host OS on my laptop
Win7 Ultimate as a VM guest on my laptop
OSX as a VM guest on my laptop
CentOS 5.8 on my server
Debian 5.0.9 and 6.0.4 on servers at work

Why is CentOS the host OS on my laptop? Because two of the four Macs at my workplace have had viruses and the Windows version of VMWare Workstation doesn't play a nicely with OSX guests as the Linux version does. That's right, I chose Windows or Linux over OSX for security reasons and chose Linux over Windows for performance reasons. Yes, that distills down to "I chose Windows over OSX for security reasons." and that is based entirely on my use of both systems, side by side, on a daily basis, for several years.

I remember trojans and viruses from the DOS days, as well. Ahh, the good ol' DOS days, when getting infected meant you executed something you shouldn't have. Wait... That still happens; that's how Macs get infected. That's how Linux installs get infected. That's the vast majority of how Windows installs get infected. Windows 7 defaults to "locked-down and secure", questions you if you try to do something stupid, and alerts you if an application tries to do something stupid (UAC); Linux, in general, will nag you if you try to do something stupid and alert you if an application tries to do something stupid (asking for root/your password); OSX halfheartedly does this, but in my experience it's trivial to bypass (wait for the user to authorize a legit application and piggyback on that authorization). Some Linux distros have similar functionality to OSX and allow the same exploit, and somehow this is considered "good enough" for a desktop system.

At any rate, all 3 systems ship in a secure state and all 3 can be made just as vulnerable to worms by exposing services to a network. OSX users who still believe they're immune are in for a rude awakening, very soon. This is where Linux and OSX users differ; Linux users are aware that exploits exist for every platform and know that countermeasures must be taken. It's one thing that Microsoft has finally started doing right, by the way, they've started driving the point home that your system is only as secure as how you use it; again, something Linux users have known from the start.

Mac fans will catch on some day, I hope.

Re:Anti-Virus money hole! (1)

towermac (752159) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385331)

"...Because two of the four Macs at my workplace have had viruses ..."

Bullshit. I'd challenge you to name the Mac viruses (more than one, really?); but we all know there isn't any such thing since before there was a /. Maybe you were hosting under System 6.0.8..

Re:Anti-Virus money hole! (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385731)

AppleScript.THT, uses a flaw in Apple's remote desktop implementation. There was next to no network security at the company when I started in 2010; at the end of 2010, after the infections, I took over security. We don't have these issues, now.

There are several known Mac viruses out there, you can read about them here [toptenreviews.com] . Also, because OSX users don't typically run antivirus software and those who do typically don't run a realtime scanner with decent heuristics, it is possible (read: probable) that there are more OSX virii out there that we don't know about than there are that we do.

Re:Anti-Virus money hole! (1)

towermac (752159) | more than 2 years ago | (#39388511)

You point me to user installed trojans? And the auto-start worm from 1998? Seriously?

That that laughable list is the best an AV industry sponsored rag could do, well it's not helping you, man.

I never heard of AppleScript.THT (like an extension means fuck-all to the mac). I guess that means nothing either. But you didn't point out any virus, or even a decent worm, on the mac since the 90s.

Re:Anti-Virus money hole! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39392407)

I think there's an economic reason why we don't really see Mac viruses, the ROI is much higher when writing viruses for Win over Mac. I'm sure iOS is starting to look like a juicy target.

Re:Anti-Virus money hole! (2)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39393111)

The majority of Windows virii are detected by heuristic realtime scanners before being sent off to AV vendors for analysis. I'll quote myself:

Also, because OSX users don't typically run antivirus software and those who do typically don't run a realtime scanner with decent heuristics, it is possible (read: probable) that there are more OSX virii out there that we don't know about than there are that we do.

Further, the .THT is not a file extension, it is a malware class abbreviation; it identifies the malware as a Trojan Horse Threat (typically, a trojan would be marked with .TRJ, but some vendors use different terminology). You can read more on this specific thread here [securemac.com] , including typical filenames used by this threat (which, by the way, do not have extensions) Since you've never heard of AppleScript.TrojanHorseThreat and it is still out there, with new infections being reported on a fairly regular basis, perhaps you should click that little link.

Or, stay ignorant and be taken by surprise; isn't that what you used to look down on us PC users for, until fairly recently?

Re:Anti-Virus money hole! (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39393167)

Here's an intesting read: http://blogs.techworld.com/war-on-error/2010/04/the-truth-about-mac-malware-its-a-joke/index.htm [techworld.com]

Don't just read the headline, RTFA (I know, I know). Yes, all the malware he lists is old news and yes, most of it is variants of the same code. Read all of it, up to the part where he points out that, as old as those examples are, they're all still out there because nobody on a Mac gives security a second thought (hey, they're on a Mac and Macs are invinceable, they "Just Work"); read to where he points out that this doesn't happen on Windows, because Windows virii are detected and added to antivirus definitions fairly quickly.

Maybe, and I could be wrong here, I mean, I only work in information security so I probably don't know what I'm talking about, but please hear me out anyway... Maybe malware authors aren't writing as many MAc virii because they don't need to? Follow my logic here, for a moment:

  • Windows virus comes out, gives hacker full access to system.
  • Windows virus is detected and added to AV definitions.
  • People update their AV.
  • Virus now next to useless.
  • Author abandons it and writes a new one.
  • --OR--
  • Mac virus comes out, gives hacker full access to system.
  • Nobody cares.
  • Author never has to write a new one.

Follow?

Doesn't this happen all the time? (5, Funny)

Chrutil (732561) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383301)

Or "It's like deja-vu, all over again. " as iYogi Berra would have said...

Re:Doesn't this happen all the time? (5, Funny)

booyoh (2511204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383327)

I guess they weren't smarter than the average bear.

Re:Doesn't this happen all the time? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383437)

Should just go back to raiding pic-i-nic baskets...

Re:Doesn't this happen all the time? (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383787)

Hey Boo Boo! I think we've fucked up.

What do you mean "we" iYogi?

Re:Doesn't this happen all the time? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383503)

And maybe iYogi will sue Avast for cash, which is just like money.

Hook line and sinker (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383519)

So here's the deal. iYogi is offering flat-rate subscription based technical support services. PC tech support al-carte. Nothing wrong with this business model in principal. The problem is that iYogi took advantage of a business partnership by acting as pushers off the backs of Avast's customer base. Not good. Not good at all.

I'll keep an eye for further developments. It could be a one-off issue or it could get a lot more interesting.

Hand in glove (3, Informative)

sstamps (39313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383569)

I uninstalled the Avast trial a couple months ago with extreme prejudice as the piece of shite CONSTANTLY interrupted everything I was doing every goddamned hour to tell me that the trial was going to expire in a couple WEEKS. It would minimize other apps (including games, full-screen videos, etc) so its little warning box could be seen. Yes, I turned off every notification option I could find in it, and it STILL harassed me, so into the refuse pile it went. Yet another idiot company I will never do business with ever again.

So, it comes as no surprise to me that they would hire such an aggressive "support" company. The glove fits the hand.

They both need to die in a fire and then rot in hell together.

Re:Hand in glove (3, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383653)

MS Security Essentials is licensed for home use only. I would go with that if you own this PC. Otherwise, Trend Micro and VIPRE anti-virus are not bad alternatives either.

Norton does a good job. But OMG is it bloated like a dead fat cow waiting to burst. McAfee is the binary reincarnate of Satan himself. Avoid at all cost unless you love watching servers being eaten and never booting up again.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383965)

Norton 2012 is the lightest AV out there according to PCMag. It is rewritten and no longer sucks.

I however like Avast because you can put it in game mode and it wont interrupt you in MMOs not to mention registration is free and it wont nag you. I do not understand the fuss as it only does this once after 30 days

Re:Hand in glove (2)

thaiceman (2564009) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385729)

"Norton does a good job. But OMG is it bloated like a dead fat cow waiting to burst." As much as I hate defending Norton I would suggest you take the time to actually review the newer versions, 2012 is indeed lite as hell and even the older versions while being bloated were always on par with the best defense on the market. That said If you are on /. there is a good chance you have more then one computer which means it might be more beneficial for you to try something like Symantec Endpoint Protection for your protection instead of the consumer grade Norton products. Ive used it for years and its always been consistently lighter weight then most consumer products and always gave a better degree of protection. Before I was using endpoint I was using Symantec AV. Corp. Ed. & a random 3rd party firewall. The only problem with Endpoint is you have to spend $200ish bucks on 5 client licenses because of the way they sell it.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39386287)

Bloated? What version are you using? 2009 and higher weren't bloated.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39386707)

Bloated? What version are you using? 2009 and higher weren't bloated.

Whether or not it's bloated anymore, the damage is done.

It's been bloatware for so long people just take it for granted myself included, and want nothing to do with it.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#39387259)

Or you could use Microsoft forefront for business computers it is essentially security essentials but gets updates faster. Norton and macrapy are the evil basturd spawn of the devil.

Re:Hand in glove (3, Informative)

Orphaze (243436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39387405)

MS Security Essentials is licensed for home use only.

That is wholly incorrect, and has been for some time now. From http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials [microsoft.com] : Microsoft Security Essentials is available for small businesses with up to 10 PCs.

Re:Hand in glove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39387999)

eset nod32...the best

Re:Hand in glove (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383667)

That's odd. I've been using Avast free version for a few years now and it rarely interrupts me. Maybe once a year it wants me to upgrade to paid version, which I may actually do. It has never minimized any other apps, and it does have a "gaming mode" option to prevent it from even having a popup if there are full screen apps.

Re:Hand in glove (2, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383671)

Uhh, dude, Avast is free for non-commercial use. All you have to do is register it once a year, which takes about ~30 seconds. I've used it for ~2 years now. And you can set it so the box doesn't pop-up when you have a full-screen app running (don't recall how, I haven't touched the settings on it in over a year now).

I've also found it to be the most lightweight unobtrusive AV out there. I tried Avira once: never again. Practically hosed my friend's system and ran like shit on my netbook (that one did pop-up constant notifications, and I mean CONSTANT). By contrast, Avast isn't even noticeable on the netbook at all (original generation 1.6ghz, I was impressed), and I have never once seen it interrupt a full-screen program in my two years of using it. In case you cannot tell, I recommend it. Only issue I've had is that it wants to sandbox most Steam games when they first run (but when set to open them normally and not ask again, it works just fine).

Re:Hand in glove (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383847)

I've also found it to be the most lightweight unobtrusive AV out there.

Until it starts shouting "VIRUS DATABASE HAS BEEN UPDATED!" at you randomly throughout the night at high volume. Yes, I know that can be turned off, but it shouldn't be on by default.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39386433)

It's a lot more fun when you set the Language selection to 'Pirate'

Re:Hand in glove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39383881)

Seconded. The paid version is really only useful if you don't keep your email in the cloud (aka web-based email) and POP3 it down locally.
Or if you're using it commercially.

I do recommend turning off the "Virus Database Updated" sound cues, though. Personally, I turn off all the sound cues, as the popup is sufficient for me.

And the website rating toolbar is a useful visual cue for the less aware users (kids, grandma) to know they've drifted to a darker side of the intertubes.

Re:Hand in glove (1, Insightful)

sstamps (39313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39384125)

I am aware of what options there are with the program, thanks. You (and the others here) seem to be missing the point: the NAGGING is UNNECESSARILY intrusive and, no, you can't set it so the nag popup won't popup; it ignores that setting for that particular notification.

Re:Hand in glove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39384741)

"I'm a whiny bitch who demands free things to behave my way!"

Re:Hand in glove (1)

sstamps (39313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385583)

No, I demand products to behave, period. Stupid nagware belongs in the trash bin, free or not.

Re:Hand in glove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39386335)

"free products should behave by MY definition of behave".

Re:Hand in glove (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391899)

Given that other free things (e.g. MSE) do just that, it seems that he is not unwarranted in his demands.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

towermac (752159) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385661)

Lies. 4+ year Avast free edition user.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39386441)

So register the damn thing. It's free.

You just want to whine...

Re:Hand in glove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39385449)

I don't have Avast anymore, but I believe that there's a setting called "Gaming Mode", where it will never use the pop-ups.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383673)

AVG.

I installed it last summer and other than the first scan to remove existing viruses, has not bothered me one bit.

Also have NoScript on Firefox which I suspect has stopped a lot of adware from sneaking on-board.

Re:Hand in glove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39388023)

I used to use AVG but around 2009, if I remember rightly, they started having massive amounts of nag screens wanting me to upgrade to their paid version. Seeing as how the only viruses that I had encountered in the year or two leading up to that point were not detected by AVG, leaving me to clean up the system manually, I decided to try out Avast!. Since then I have not looked back, haven't had a undetected virus infection since. It is unobtrusive and only nags you if you forget to register for free.

Just don't forget to disable the voice effects for events like updating the definitions and virus found. I installed Avast on my neighbour's computer because she had a out of subscription NAV and the "Virus definitions have been updated" went off at 3am and nearly gave her a heart attack...

Re:Hand in glove (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383677)

err lemme check for you open the console click settings then silent/gaming mode check both boxes

btw "trial"?? you do know that the FREE version just requires you to register it every year (for free)

i think you may have not actually installed the REAL avast

Re:Hand in glove (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39384135)

btw "trial"?? you do know that the FREE version just requires you to register it every year (for free)

They do offer a "trial" version of the paid-for version of Avast. I've never felt inclined to try it, but I suppose it *could* remind you that you're on a short-term trial and should really consider paying for it on a periodic basis.

For personal use though, there's really no reason to go for the paid version of Avast. I'm considering buying it for one year, just to give them money, because I've been using their software for years. They're just plain better than any of the other free options.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

sstamps (39313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39384145)

No, like I said elsewhere, it WAS the "FREE" version. It just considers itself Trialware until you purchase/register it.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

dubbayu_d_40 (622643) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383757)

I've never had that experience and I've installed it on several computers over the past few years. I installed the free version, not a trial.

Re:Hand in glove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39383783)

Umm.. it isn't a trial, it is free, and if you just click renew, you get another year for free.. Unless you are running a different version than what you get from avast.com

Re:Hand in glove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39383801)

Used Avast for years - you have to register once/year - hardly a big deal. Then use "Silent/Gaming" mode option so it won't interrupt your gaming/etc. I've been interruption free for a long time. If these two simple steps are beyond your comprehension, I recommend you get an Ipad, and leave real computing to the grown ups. The phrase "we can't fix stupid" certainly applies to YOU.

Re:Hand in glove (0)

sstamps (39313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39384091)

If their way to get you to register once per year is to drive you batshit insane with persistent nagging popups weeks in advance, you can have it.

Heh. "grown ups". I guess I should have expected that kind of irony in some moronic AC reply.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39386449)

Go be dumb somewhere else...

Re:Hand in glove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39383843)

Mod parent Troll.

I've had it for years, and have only been interrupted once, to prompt me for a major version upgrade. Using the trial and complaining about the nag screens is just fail. The free version is there for the using... why you would download the TRIAL for the paid version instead.... just baffles me. Oh well, your loss. Have fun with Symantec! If you have any spare CPU cycles left...

Re:Hand in glove (0)

sstamps (39313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39384059)

I downloaded and installed the "Free" version. After installation, it considered itself Trialware, nag screens and all. I didn't mind being notified occasionally, but literally every freaking hour, minimizing other applications, no matter what I did to shut the damn thing up, was the last straw.

No, I won't have fun with Symantec, either; they've been high on my shit list for nigh on two decades for being similarly useless.

I normally use AVG, but I wanted to try Avast because it detected a particular website drive-by that one of the sites I frequent got hit with that very few others could detect. After that experience, I think I would rather take my chances.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39384207)

And did you consider hitting the "Register" button and being done in 2 minutes without paying anything? Did you consider doing this to 'shut the damn thing up' ?

Re:Hand in glove (0)

sstamps (39313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39384451)

Yes, and I probably would have, on MY time, not theirs. One notification would have been sufficient.

Unlike most of the "internet generation", I value my privacy, and don't just willy-nilly hand out my info without due consideration.

I shut it up, alright. MY way.

Re:Hand in glove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39385035)

Sounds like the Dad who shot up his daughter's computer instead of actually, you know, parenting. What's he going to do the next time she posts something critical about him? Shoot her? Fucking imbecile.

If you weren't going to register for FREE, you weren't ever going to register. It wasn't the program you had a problem with. You had an absurd notion about getting something for nothing.

Best regards.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

sstamps (39313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385557)

Yeah, that makes sense -- conflate a legitimate product nuisance complaint with violence against objects and bad parenting. Escalate much?

I never said I wasn't going to register. I was still in the decision period determining if I was going to continue using the product. If it had not irritated the shit out of me, I most likely would have registered it, then would have gone on to buy a full version (like I have with AVG) for my business and recommended it to my customers.

Fat chance now, eh?

Regards

Re:Hand in glove (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39387285)

Yeah, if you enter a disposable email, a fake name and the wrong country it'll still work.

I think the latest versions don't even need you to check the email address. Its not like they ask you for CC information, blood type, or a resume.

Yeah I am so worried about my privacy.

You're making a massive deal over what is less than nothing.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

VoidCrow (836595) | more than 2 years ago | (#39387809)

He's just in touch with his inner 'grumpy old man'.

Uh, Avast has a free version (1)

Shauni (1164077) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385513)

If you don't like popups, don't use the "trial" version. Use the free version, which only sends a popup for update notifications, and can be disabled.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

towermac (752159) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385613)

Ignorant disinformation. I don't know what you trialed from Avast, but the free version is the bomb.

Once a year, you have to register. They want to know it's for a home, not a business PC; they want your email name and state even. I may have given them my phone number. When you do that, they will try to upsell you a fancy firewall spyware package. It's not a bad deal as granny internet packages go; but I don't feel the need for all that on my WoW and Chrome appliance. So I click the "No Thanks" button, and re-register my free AV, for the 4th year in a row at least. It's been a long time..

Avast doesn't slow your system down at all. It's main feature is "Silent/Gaming Mode", which of course I have on. That means I hear from it exactly once a year, when it's time to re-register. the two exceptions to that have been: The one time it actually caught something, a Word file from the internet. It put it in it's little piratey treasure chest for me to geek out over. When I was done with that, I clicked the "Delete" button. Kind of anti-climatic, really. The other time, it felt the need to scan a Steam game in real time as I was playing it, causing 3 second freezes every 20 seconds. While I was in that match, I clicked the task bar thingy and selected "Disable for 1 hour" in the Avast real-time shields control. Game was instantly fixed; so after the match, I went into exceptions and exempted the Steam folder from Avast's shields. I did the same thing for Warcraft, although I never noticed any problems or difference in WoW before or after.

If I sound like a paid shill; well, I have been paid. They have bought me, thoroughly and completely; and I feel as if I am in their debt. Years of free kick-ass AV, in return for a minor amount of marketing info and a once-a -year soft upsell attempt. Companies like Avast, I can count on one hand..

Re:Hand in glove (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385745)

I was using Avira and it began to shit all over me. So I switched to Avast and haven't had a problem since. I stopped using Avast in the first place because they switched to a shit interface, which they have long since abandoned apparently. I switched away from Avira because it became super nagware.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39386735)

I uninstalled the Avast trial a couple months ago with extreme prejudice

No prejudice here, Avast just wouldn't work with me. I installed Avast recently and went to test it
at http://vx.netlux.org/ [netlux.org] (Be aware this is a malware collection site).
I was blocked from the entire site, so just uninstalled it. I like to test a malware checker
but being blocked from doing so (and for good reason if I was my Mom) I couldn't really
rate it (for myself).

Went back to my fav which has around an 80% detection rate (5 downloads one got by)
which is good.

So I'm neutral on Avast but hear many good things about it.

Re:Hand in glove (1)

Mabhatter (126906) | more than 2 years ago | (#39388855)

I call BS. I have had the personal free version on my machines for years with none of that behavior.

avast! Ye skurvy dogs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39383665)

Avast! used to be my free anti-virus of choice. these days i prefer the free microsoft offering. The times they keep a changin!

The Problem is Google and Uneducated Users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39383891)

My company also sees this regularly. Customers go to Google, search for XYZ Support, and the top ads are always for these iYogi, GuruAid, or other similar services. Google doesn't care, unless you want to buy all the adverting for the search terms. And it doesn't help the Sponsored Results are barely colored differently from the real search results. Of course, Google is the 800 pound gorilla, so we can't say squat.

Let me count the ways... (3, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39383953)

...that outsourcing has benefited our corporations, and our economy. Joy.

From now on... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385157)

...they're going with iBoo-Boo!

Seems about right... (1)

WillHirsch (2511496) | more than 2 years ago | (#39385581)

I thought it was great when I was having problems with Avast a few months ago and found that there was 24/7 free telephone support for a product that I hadn't paid for. Guess the alarm bells should have been ringing sooner than they had.

For reasons unknown to this day the background protection process reported itself to be disabled and refused to turn on. I thought there might be some advanced diagnostics that would explain why it was behaving like that without any UI feedback. Instead, I was asked when I had "last had my machine serviced" and how long my computer takes to boot. Then we ran a piece of remote desktop software and he sifted through my task manager, raising flags with every bloaty, but otherwise innocuous, process like "iTunes Helper" and then poring over registry entries from uninstalled software that had been bundled with the machine.

It took about half an hour to confirm that the best advice I was going to get was to reinstall the software, and about five seconds after that to hang up as he started listing price plans for the various service contracts that he seemed to think were what I really called to ask about.

They will not be missed...

Re:Seems about right... (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 2 years ago | (#39386667)

Yeah, you definitely had unrealistic expectations. Try to remember which planet you are on ;)

For reasons unknown to this day the background protection process reported itself to be disabled and refused to turn on. I thought there might be some advanced diagnostics that would explain why it was behaving like that without any UI feedback. Instead, I was asked when I had "last had my machine serviced" and how long my computer takes to boot.

In context, this is perfectly reasonable. You have to remember these people are sitting there for who knows how many hours a day taking calls and you are far from their typical caller. Most of them are likely to be people that have no idea whatsoever how a computer works. Talking about 'having it serviced' as code for a tech getting on periodically and cleaning up their messes (along with those caused by windows and other application programs, all of this stuff way over the head of the typical user) to keep the machine running makes sense, it invokes a car analogy they can feel like they understand to make a genuine point. The guy that keeps getting his computer "hacked" every 2 weeks and noticed that the boot time doubled yesterday but doesnt think to mention that until 20 minutes into the call because he is focused on trying to get his toolbar back; the lady that clicks OK before *I* could possibly see what the dialogue said (and doesnt read anywhere near as fast as I do); the guy that is trying to run his law office on his old PC and hasnt the slightest clue how to secure his wireless network or tell whether or not his antivirus or OS is up to date, these are people that probably *should* pay someone a couple hundred dollars a year to look after them and consider themselves lucky. I

You, on the other hand, probably knew just as much about the situation as the person you were talking to, and therefore should have known to try the uninstall/reinstall before picking up the phone.

Then we ran a piece of remote desktop software and he sifted through my task manager, raising flags with every bloaty, but otherwise innocuous, process like "iTunes Helper" and then poring over registry entries from uninstalled software that had been bundled with the machine.

This is where they have been getting bad reports. They put a commissioned salesperson in a highly competitive environment (a few percentage points of conversion make the difference between a big bonus and everyone loves you versus get your stuff the guards are escorting you to the door now in a sales gig) answering calls all day long from people like I am describing, and add in remote control. The ability is there, the motivation is strong, the bosses can do nothing more, indeed fire anyone actually caught at such tricks immediately, and rest assured that the rest of them will keep right on doing it, to keep their jobs and earn their paychecks and employee of the week awards and so on.

Re:Seems about right... (1)

WillHirsch (2511496) | more than 2 years ago | (#39390205)

Uninstalling an antivirus package when some unknown problem is causing it to shut itself off seems like a Bad Idea if you can avoid it. It's been long enough to reassure me that it was a software malfunction as opposed to some aggressive self-defence strategy by some malware, but I'm sure there are attacks out there which would have left me locked out if I responded in the same way.

Ultimately, the only practical advice I got was the most generic possible, which also happens to require the least effort from the guy in the callcentre. Everything else that was said, including about getting serviced, was part of a sales pitch for something I didn't need.

Re:Seems about right... (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391663)

Uninstalling an antivirus package when some unknown problem is causing it to shut itself off seems like a Bad Idea if you can avoid it.

Unfortunately you cannot, because in the windows world the first step to troubleshooting a malfunction is to reboot, and the second is to re-install.

If you are worried that uninstalling will amount to yielding the battle to the malware, forget about that. There is no battle. If malware shuts your AV down once, the battle is over, the malware won.

It's been long enough to reassure me that it was a software malfunction as opposed to some aggressive self-defence strategy by some malware, but I'm sure there are attacks out there which would have left me locked out if I responded in the same way.

Those attacks have already succeeded by the time you notice the symptom, so in large part you are right, but it really doesnt matter.

Ultimately, the only practical advice I got was the most generic possible, which also happens to require the least effort from the guy in the callcentre. Everything else that was said, including about getting serviced, was part of a sales pitch for something I didn't need.

Welcome to the world of computer technical support. Those lines are clogged with people who cant possibly get through an uninstall/reinstall without someone else holding their hand, along with people who do stupid crap and get a new virus every couple weeks then call in loudly demanding that it be fixed for free, and so on. People like you and I, statistically speaking, dont call (we hit the support forums where we know we have a much better chance of getting some useful advice rather than being offered a paid service we could do ourselves,) so their scripts and training understandably dont prepare them to offer us anything useful.

Re:Seems about right... (1)

WillHirsch (2511496) | more than 2 years ago | (#39395025)

Those attacks have already succeeded by the time you notice the symptom, so in large part you are right, but it really doesnt matter.

It matters whether I'm still feeding my credentials to a keylogger or not. It's just progressively less likely that I am the longer it goes without any holes appearing in my bank balance.

Firsthand account (3, Interesting)

Pranadevil2k (687232) | more than 2 years ago | (#39387689)

I dealt with these guys once, and I definitely understand what they mean by 'aggressive tactics.' I bought a new Linksys router several months back and was having trouble getting the wi-fi working, so I looked on Google for the Linksys support and the iYogi site was the first thing to pop up. Since I couldn't find a support number to call at Linksys's website I didn't really have any choice but to call the one number I could find.
So I describe the problem to the guy and he has me download some java program to screen-share with me, then has me run through the various troubleshooting steps... So far no real problems. But when he couldn't find a solvable issue (ie: hardware problem) he asked me to open regedit and open a couple random keys, then told me my registry was corrupt but they could sell me their service which would fix my registry so the router would work.
I'm decent enough at fixing computers myself to know that was a load of crap, but Average Joe Consumer would be pretty far in the dark. Not only was my registry fine, but the router was defective, so their service would have been completely worthless.

Re:Firsthand account (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39389305)

If you knew what you were doing, why would you need to call in support in the first place for a fucking home router?!

Re:Firsthand account (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39390587)

He knew what he was doing with his PC (enough to know it wasn't the problem), not necessarily with the router he had no experience with.

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