Posts Tagged ‘anti-virus’

My post at Avira Antivirus Support Forum

November 23, 2009

Just today I received the Install Disc from your fulfillment center in Illinois, which is very speedy. I felt I would be wise to protect my investment with the small additional expense of an install CD.

The updates are super fast with the Premium Suite, and the Firewall is much less “in your face” than other firewalls which is good for my wife. I am a programmer and I enjoy interacting with a verbose firewall, but most non tech folks do not.

My question is this: In the event that her old machine crashes, I presume that I am free to reinstall Avira on a replacement machine, and that my only obligation as a user is to have it installed and active on only ONE machine at a time. Am I correct in these assumptions? I assume that every time Avira downloads or scans, your servers are aware of the license and IP address and all of that, which would make sense to control the legitimate use of the license and prevent abuse.

Several other machine in my extended family are running free Avira, and I want to report that updates are very fast and reliable. I have only had to resort to a manual update perhaps twice in the past 2 months, and those are quite speedy when they are necessary.

I post what follows simply in the spirit of friendly readable chat because we do get to know each other in these forums (but I am not seeking Ubuntu support in this post)

Regarding my Ubuntu experiments, last night at midnight, I totally crashed my Ubuntu install by experimenting with two different forms of backup,, one a tar to root, and the other a Simple Backup installed via synaptic manager, which places a mysterious folder /var/backup which is unmoveable except by some form of sudo command. I think I crashed it because I did a sudo Nautilus to launch the file manager GUI with root privileges. It did work and let me delete the /backup.tar.gz, but when I rebooted, I got fatal error messages. I realize that this forum is not the place to ask for help on such matters, but I just wanted to also let reader know my latest adventure. I stayed up all night and in 7 hours did a complete Ubuntu reinstall, based upon my elaborate notes in my wordpress blog. And I took elaborate notes on the step by step REINSTALL process, which was a better install because I learned from my first mistakes and so perhaps it is a sounder system now with ext4 rather than ext3, and the installer did its own disk format and partitioning, which did not occur during the first install.

I found the instructions for Avira install under Linux too daunting, involving kernel rebuilds, which I yet lack the skills to undertake. I did find an easy Avast install with a .deb (Debian) which is what Ubuntu likes. But it did some rather strange things both in my Wubi Ubuntu under Windows and my pure Ubuntu machine. I have decided that I do not really need antivirus or firewall on the Ubuntu machine, since each exotic program and install runs the risk to trashing the system. As far as I can see from my readings, the main reason for a linux virus scan is to protect Windows users who might receive emails, but I do not forward many emails with attachments. And Ubuntu is suppose to be farily sound with regard to firewall issues by the default nature of its install. And, now that I know I can restore the system in 7 hours, I can somewhat affort to risk not doing system backups and just backing up as much data as possible, or if I am doing a lot of MySQL Apache PhP, then just building scripts as I go, which would automatically recreate databases.

I do think I will get a large (64 gig) flash drive and practice with their option for an Ubuntu bootable flash, once I have combed google for feedback on the procedure..

Thanks, Avira Forum Members, for all your great help. I am spending a lot of time now in IRC Ubuntu chat using Konversation client, and there are usually 300 people in the channel from around the world at any time, so I take every opportunity to praiise Avira and this forum.

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AVAST ANTIVIRUS Ubuntu Install

November 20, 2009

Free AVAST is available for Ubuntu.

Visit the following link, download the .deb (for Debian, Ubuntu is a variant of Debian).

http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-for-linux-edition.html

Once it installs, just right click and choose the first option to install AVAST.

Once the install finishes, you will find the AVAST link in Applications-> Accessories

When you first launch it, it will ask you to register to receive a key in your email. Fill out the registration and past the key from the email that will arrive.

First do an UPDATE to get the latest virus signatures. Then do a full scan.

My technique is to install something new FIRST on my machine which runs a Wubi install of Ubuntu on windows, because if anything goes wrong, it takes me much less time to reinstall that than to reinstall my pure Ubuntu 280 gig Gateway.

I posted several times at Avira forum, which is always very helpful, asking for Ubuntu install instructions. Finally someone gave me a link to a PDF about Avira Linux installs which seemed to require a kernal rebuild, which is way beyond my abilities. If only they had given me the above link, I could have installed it with a couple of clicks. I kind of gave up on the idea of having Avira.

The way I discovered this useful link is that I wanted to have an IRC client to seek advice from other Ubuntu users, so I went to synaptic manager and … well, first I installed ircii, but I saw no way to launch it, so then I installed Konversation, which has a gui interface and launch icon and places me right into an Ubuntu chat. I mentioned there about my interest in Avast for Linux-Ubuntu and someone gave me the above link that I need.

I went to the synaptic manager and found the CLAM antivirus scanner, and installed that.

I am sure my Wubi Ubuntu machine will be running that THOROUGH scan of the ENTIRE system for quite some time. But I want to try it out to the maximum before I put it on my Gateway.

I just now took a peek at the screen and it is paused because IT HAS FOUND A VIRUS, which it recommends moving to the CHEST for Quarantine,

Suela -1042 in host/pagefile.sys

which means it is scanning the windows portion of the hard drive, so I think I will ignore it, since that Windows portion gets scanned each day by Avira and also by MalwareBytes.

It is most curious that the file is flagged by the Linux version and not by the Windows version, so I will post this at the Avira forum and call it to their attention. I do believe that pagefile.sys is part of the Windows system and is always locked during scans!.

I never stopped to think that a COMPLETE system scan would include all the files in HOST, which is the Windows partition.

ANOTHER VIRUS WAS FOUND IN ROOT.DISK
WIN32:Qoologic-AH

I decided to leave it alone for now, because if it moves my ENTIRE ROOT.DISK, i think it will crash my wubi ubuntu, and it COULD be a false positive!

Also in Windows, pav.zip pav.sig!!!
Windows sys32 rzdicpya.dll

Also in Windows, Win32.adaware-Gen in system32/mhbo2.dll

Composing my post to Avira Linux forum

November 13, 2009

Dear Avira Forum Members –

I did search the Avira Forum on UBUNTU and found two links

The command from the second link

http://forum.avira.com/wbb/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=92283

seems VERY USEFUL and understandable to me IF I already had Avira installed on my Wubi Windows install of Ubuntu.

sudo /usr/lib/AntiVir/avupdate –product=Guard

BUT YOUR FIRST LINK

http://forum.avira.com/wbb/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=90095

is too vague for a beginner to know how to install Avira on Ubuntu.

Your above first link refers to

http://dazuko.dnsalias.org/wiki/index.php/Downloads

which mentions that the target is Linux 2.6.31 and mentions some TAR downloads, but gives no indication about Ubuntu 9.1 (which is the what Wubi windows installer installs) nor does it give step by step instructions for how one might install it via the synaptic manager, or via sudo commands.

Therefore I shall post here in the hopes that someone might point out the kind of instructions that I need.

MY POST:

I would like to see a step-by-step beginners guide on how to install and run Avira in Ubuntu.

I did about 10 Wubi installs (and subsequent uninstalls) of Ubuntu for Windows on an old Compaq Presario with an 80 gig drive running Windows XP Home edition.

My only successful experiences so far with installing additional packages are by means of Ubuntus Synaptic Manager, installing Apache, PhP and MySQL (Lamp). If you check my blog post you will see in great detail not only the step-by-step method which finally resulted in success, but also the many times that I encountered problems and had to reinstall Ubuntu and start over.

It is my understanding from searching forums that Ubuntu is far less subject to malware, and the main motive for an Ubuntu installing any antivirus is to clean up things which might be emailed to a Windows user and infect them. I would appreciate hearing Avira Forum member’s views on this sort of statement.

I feel that IF Avira could make itself available on the Synaptic Manager, then Avira popularity would greatly increase for many reasons.

BUT, if there are some obstacles to placing Avira on the Synaptic Manager, then, a step-by-step tutorial on how to download, install and launch Avira under Ubuntu would become very popular for beginners who what to get their hands dirty on a successful install.

I will certainly post regarding such a tutorial at my blog and various forums and I do see some activity and interest as people search on tags.

I am truly impressed to see what Ubuntu is like. I only felt comfortable trying it when my step-son gave me his old Comaq Presario, which makes my third Windows machine, so I feel I can afford to be daring and take chances installing and using things that might destroy the Windows installation.

The other piece of the puzzle that made this Ubuntu experiment possible for me was realizing that I can connect additional computers to my Verizon DSL by means of an inexpensive Belkin Wi-Fi USB port adapter ($30 USD). If you visit my blog on the Wubi installation, you can see how I finally got Ubuntu to connect to the Internet.

The biggest obstacle for the beginner to try Ubuntu the lack of a solid step-by-step tutorial on how to install it, connect to the Internet, and then install other useful packages.

One post regarding Wi-Fi adapters and drivers on unix machines (and the issue of wrappers vs. native linux drivers) made one observation that really caught my attention, saying “two years ago Ubuntu was more like a toy, and it would have been difficult or impossible to connect Ubuntu via Wi-Fi, but two years from now Ubuntu will have matured into a serious option for businesses.”

I remember in the 1990s asking a Linux programmer out of curiousity if there were any businesses that ran on Linux. He surprised me by saing that Sy Simms Clothiers (“An educated consumer is our best customer”) was on Linux.

I started out with a Radio Shack Model I, moved to a Model III, then switched to MS-DOS machines on an inexpensive network product (not Novell). Finally, I moved to Windows in the 1980s.

The glimpses that I had of Unix and Linux gave me the impression that they were very difficult to use. I finally found a few years of stability using XP, and was horrified by the Vista problems in the rumor mill. I dont even hear anything very positive about Windows 7, but rather see commercial after snide commercial from Apple Mac, mocking Microsoft as an incompetent buffoon.

I wonder how Avira Forum members feel about the future of something like Ubuntu becoming dominant in the business world.

Years ago, I perceived MySQL as a kind of educational toy and curiosity. But now I receive re

But now that I have a glimpse of what Ubuntu is like, for the first time I have the urge to switch totally to open source and escape the uncertainties of proprietary software and license agreements.

http://forum.avira.com/wbb/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=90095

http://forum.avira.com/wbb/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=92283

P.S. I just went to a HUGE computer store near my home J and R Computer world in Manhattan, and I looked at EVERY wifi and ethernet card to see if ANY mention Ubuntu or Linux, and only ONE mentions LINUX which is http://www.startech.com and the card is only $10 USD. But it utterly AMAZES me that manufacturers so ignore such a market as Ubuntu.

I have found this forum VERY CORDIAL and helpful to me as a beginner, and you have EMPOWERED me to attempt things that I was hesitant to attempt because I do not have a lot of spare money or spare computers. But I do want to observe how OBTUSE most technical types are, especially in the LINUX world, when you go somewhere like SOURCE FORGE for example to download something, there is VERY LITTLE plain English (or plain German or French) instructions to help guide the beginner, and yet it is the BEGINNER audience, and adolescents who will one day become adult users and consumers of products and operating systems.

Post at bleepingcomputer.com

November 10, 2009

I realize you are overwhelmed at times and could not get to my post.

Please consider this solved.

My JHOOS experience inspired me to dig deeply into Avira Antivir support forum.

Part of my concern was that repeated scans by malwarebytes and avira, both in normal windows mode and save mode, did not seem to eliminate my problem. Avira support volunteers suspected that there were remnants of old McAfee and Norton installations which can only be removed by special and two special and little know uninstall utilities provided by McAfee/Symantic. Once I ran those uninstall utilities, Avira and and Malwarebytes were able to do their job, and I had a clean system. Then, I inquired which is the best firewall which would be compatible with Avira and was directed to Online Armor. Online Armor, in turn, periodically points a finger of suspicion at some file, and I can then google on it, and block it if I feel uncomfortable. I feel that the worst that will happen is that some other important application will cease to function correctly, and then I can unblock it, and that it is better to err on the side of caution than on the side of complacency.

Another tool which many speak well of but which always scared me is Ccleaner. When I saw so many people using it in the AV and Firewall forums, I took courage and experimented with it on the oldest and least important machine. It REALLY helped me with the old Compaq, because it quickly found and deleted 40 meg of temp files that I could not have manually found so quickly, and there was something buried in those that was giving Avira a hard time.

The scariest thing to me is REGISTRY. But Ccleaner allows you to make a backup before each change, and you can restore if something goes wrong. The real wisdom is to realize that one SHOULD NOT automatically clean up everything that the cleaner finds, but do a little at a time, and be ready to restore.

I have decided that it is good to join various fine forums like this and keep well informed about what problems others may be having.

Someone gave me their old Compaq XP from college (2002) and it was LOADED with 100 serious viruses and trojans even though it had a Sygate firewall (back when that was free) and symantec and spybot search and destroy and spyware blaster. But then, a college student may be too distracted to really stay on top of such AV and firewall software, update signatures, run scans, etc. The old Compaq is now clean and protected, and I can affored to take some risks with it and explore the unknown, so I did a Wubi Ubuntu install, which is blowing my mind away with awe and joy, since I never thought it would be so user friendly.

Thanks to all of you in all these fine forums! United we stand, divided we fall!

Avira Manual Update FAILS in IE

November 5, 2009

I went to my step mother’s apt. today, to check on her old Hewlet Packard Windows machine, which I had left yesterday evening running some kind of HP critical update. I had just installed free Avira yesterday with no problems, quick update, and clean scan.

I was shocked to see that the HP critical update was still running and downloading “fixes” that were 1/2 meg each. She only has Windows Internet Explorer installed as a browser.

I tried the automatic Avira update and left it running for 45 minutes, but no success. I tried several times. Then, I logged into my Gmail, and clicked on the manual update link, but it failed, and I tried 10 more times and it failed. Meanwhile, I downloaded, installed updated and ran Malwarebytes and found no infections.

NOW HERE IS THE INTERESTING PART!

I decided to install Mozilla Firefox browser, which was quick and easy. The MINUTE I logged into Gmail and clicked on the manual update link for Avira, it INSTANTLY worked. So, my suggestion is to try different browsers IF you are experiencing problems with manual updates.

I KNOW that my internet connection was ok, because I could download and install things like Firefox and Malwarebytes. The Hewlett Packard update process looked kind of sad. The THIRD huge fix downloading said it was crucial to fix some printer problem. I kind of wonder if HP is on some kind of decline.

posted to http://forum.avira.com

Integrity of Avira Antivir

November 5, 2009

I have two machines in my home right now, one running free, and one running 30 day trial Premium Security Suite which I shall definitely purchase. I can see the difference between the free and the paid in terms of update speed. The paid (albeit in 30 day trial mode) is obviously downloading from different servers at lightening speed. The free DOES take 20 minutes at times BUT there is always the option to manually download, and IF you subscribe to Aviras email notices, then the link is right there for you should you need it.

It occurred to me this morning that the world needs a company and product like Avira far more than Avira needs the world, for the simple reason that there is so much malware in the world, and the talented and dedicated group of people who produce Avira have many other areas of business endeavor if all they desire is commercial success, profit, growth.

We have to be able to trust the people who produce the software that we use. If we want everything for free, and want it to run smoothly, well, that is a bit unreasonable. Our own time is worth money, and I dare say in some cases far more money than the price of paid support which would have proactively avoided whatever messes we get ourselves into.

I realize that I need to have a new AV AND Firewall (ohhh… and by the way, as I type this, my free classic Avira just popped up an update message all on its own, and my Blackberry had jingled minutes earlier with an Avira update notice)…. as I was saying, I realized that I needed to clean up my eight year old machine, with its hodgepodge of AVG free, and Sygate firewall (the free one… not supported for several years now since Symantec bought them out). I had the wicked thought of using free Avira and toying around for some free firewall which would be compatible. And THEN I said to myself, what sort of base ingrate am I, to receive all this wonderful free help at the forum, saving my newer XP from certain disaster, and then be too cheap to pay a few dollars a week for peace of mind!? So, if I tried to get something for nothing, I would possibly spend hours trying to make a free AV work with a free fire wall. So IF I run into huge problems, and lose my machine, then I’ve been penny wise and pound sterling foolish, haven’t I? And if I spend hours on end ironing out compatibility issues between the AV and the fire wall, then I should divide the yearly license fee by those hours and see just what my rate of pay is for all my cleverness. There is an old joke about a fellow who goes out and buys a Lamborghini and then tries to save money by not changing the oil frequently. We have to ask ourselves how much our own time is worth to us. We also have to ask ourselves how much our data and applications are worth, and what we would pay to restore them if they were suddenly lost. You know, I went with WordPress as a free blog because I can instantly BACK UP everything, so my years of writing will not suddenly be lost. I went with Clipperz for password storage because I can BACK UP everything, and not lose hundreds of hours that I could not even BEGIN to recreate were it suddenly lost. We should make every effort to PROTECT our data with backup/restore procedures, AV and Firewalls, and regular updates to all products.

I suspect that programmers are inspired to get into their area of specialty in much the same way that a poet or novelist or painter or sculptor or architect becomes inspired to express themselves in some style or genre. They take pride in their work. They don’t sit around like scoundrels scheming how they can make their product produce false results, to scare people into purchasing, or slow down the free product in the hopes that more people will make purchases.

If there is any reason why the free update is slower than the premium paid, it is simply that Avira is growing in popularity, and everyone wants a free lunch. And WHY is it that Avira is growing in popularity? Is it because they are scalawags who scheme all day long on how to trick people? Our virtual Internet world is pretty transparent. If something good or bad happens, everyone knows it very quickly.

Of course Avira could dump money into a better server farm for the free updates, but these are difficult economic times for all industries around the world, in every country. Well I could go on and on, but I think you get my point.

And IF you are going to come back to this forum and thumb your nose at Avira, saying that you have chosen A Competitor’s free anti-virus, well, that is rather silly, now isn’t it? In what sense has Avira lost out because you have changed your allegiance? Avira will only lose IF it ceases to grow in popularity, and it will only cease to grow in popularity IF the world realizes that the product is not performing, or IF the world senses that Avira is doing something underhanded to promote sales.

Purchasing Avira Premium Security Suite

November 5, 2009

I made breakfast while I waited for the update. It is a WONDERFUL thing to be subscribed to Avira email notices, because they come to my Blackberry, and right inside the email is a link for the MANUAL update should the automatic not work for some reason. I do notice that my Premium Avira updates instantly every time, so no problems with paid Avira in that regard.

The Avira red banner flashing up is rather comforting as a sign of success. I am now the proud owner of one free classic Avira, one 30 day trial Premium Security Suite (which I shall surly purchase) AND last night I installed free Avira on my mother-in-law’s machine. She had NO antivirus and I was shocked to see that no infections were discovered. Thee installation and UPDATE went very smoothly.

I am often on free Paltalk which is advertisement supported, and for the first time, I entered Paltalk while Avira Premium Security Suite was running, and right away Avira caught three infections! I became suspicious some of Paltalk’s advertisers are up to no good. But then, I switched to my other machine which has free Avira with no fire wall, and noticed that I was not picking up any infections, so perhaps it was just coincidence. I do know some of the Paltalk team so I feel that Paltalk itself is trustworthy, so if there are problems it is the advertisers or some other source. Perhaps it is the case that logging into such a product exposes one’s IP address to predators, but I don’t know.

On my old machine running Premium Avira Security Suite, I spent hours archiving thousands of old files to a USB drive in the hopes of reducing scan time for Avira and Malwarebytes. I uninstalled many programs which were never used, and I deleted 3 Windows users which were never used. So my Avira scan in Premium ran in under 2 hours in normal Windows mode. I had tried to run Malwarbytes in windows and it was very slow for some reason, still running after 8 hours, so I aborted it. This morning, I booted the same machine in SAFE mode (F8) and Malwarebytes ran in 2 hours, and caught two infections in the RESTORE areas.

I did notice the post of one disgruntled user who passed by to say they had installed a competitor’s AV, and the staff retort was “how is their message board doing”. Out of curiosity, I did try to visit said message board, and sensed that it is not as active or responsive as the Avira forum.

What does scare me a bit regarding all these virus/trojan/malware issues is that I am age 60 and have been working with computers since 1978 (including a Radio Shack Model I and Z80 assembler) and yet I find some of these tasks daunting, so I pity the poor devil who is totally baffled by these sorts of technical things.

I do intend to use American Express to purchase my Premium license (although I also have Visa/Mastercard), and was curious if Avira accepts Amex. A search on the forum led to a post in French, which was then translated by Babelfish, and confirmed that Amex is accepted.

I do have some curiosity questions in the back of my mind regarding the license as a physical downloadable entity. I presume that should a machine with premium on it die and need replacing, then all one has to do is reinstall Avira using said key. I assume that each time one boots up, the Avira software contacts a server and confirms that it is indeed the only copy of that license running. In other words, I assume that a license may be transferred to another machine when it becomes necessary.

Another curiosity question is this: IF I had to replace a Dell XP TOMORROW, should I consider a Windows 7, or go with Mac, or some kind of Linux/Ubuntu. It would be interesting to hear opinions on that one. I notice that one trusted member’s signature swears that they will never touch XP service pack 3 again. All the XP’s that I have worked with during the past 8 years seemed to work reasonable well.

I do know some Windows fans who do a lot with Adobe flash and laugh at Mac users who experience more instability with Flash (but then that was about a year ago.)

My boss from Paris, for 3 years, lugged his Mac notebook all around the world, and used it in the office on our Wi-Fi, and it seemed to serve him well.

I suppose it all depends on what sorts of things one cares to do. The photoshop graphic design world seems to center on Mac.

You know, speaking of Paltalk, it would be possible to have a free Avira chat room. All one needs is a headset and microphone, and the voice quality is excellent. There are thousands of rooms, many of which are active 24/7. One amazing room is run by Vietnamese around the world who want to master English. There are always at least 50 people there, 24/7 doing exercises, asking and answering grammatical questions. I was astounded by their dedication, industry and tenacity. It is interesting also to note that there are FIFTY Kurdish speaking rooms. I have been on the internet since 1998 and never saw a Kurdish presence.

Avira Antivir Antivirus Manual Update

November 1, 2009

I joined the Avira Antivir Support Forum today because the automatic update was not working. The clear instructions here enabled me to quickly do a manual update. Free Avira Personal has served me well for several years, so I don’t mind taking a little time to do a manual update.

I did search and search for how to post a reply to one of the other threads, but find no REPLY button, so I can only assume that it is because I am a new member and have not been placed on a TRUSTED member list.

Several days ago, I received a JHOOS social networking/dating invite from a school friend of 40 years ago, who had previously not been on speaking terms with me, so I was hasty in signing up for JHOOS. I became suspicious of all the questions it was asking, starting with my yahoo email address and password (promising that it would NOT use it to send invites to other members without my permission). Then it was demanding things like my hope telephone number, which made me pause and google on JHOOS. Suddenly, I received an invite to one of my main gmail accounts (because that address is in my secondary yahoo account.) Just then AVIRA ANTIVIR came up with a warning. I kept trying to say delete, or quarantine, but, I think the malware kept relaunching itself, so did alt ctrl del, killed all tasks and powered down. When I powered back up, Firefox RELAUNCHED the malware installation. SO, I rebooted, ran Avira Antivir scan, which removed the trojan. Next I entered Windows Explorer Browser and deleted all cookies and temporary files. Thirdly, I booted in safe mode and ran the Avira virus removal tool, just to be on the safe side. I notice that that removal tool has not been updated in several years, but I imagine it is still effective, and it found nothing further after its scan. The above-mentioned virus attack made me pay more attention to Avira Antivir and its up-to-date status.

Thanks for your several years of free service.

++++++
subsequent post:

As soon as my manual update of Avira completed successfully, I did another scan, which has not finished yet, and it is showing TR/Crypt.ZPACK.Gen . I was not clever enough to take notes as to what was found during the problem the other day with JHOOS social networking program’s trojan. I am hoping that when the Avira scan finished, that it will sucessfully delete or quarantine this TR/Crypt.ZPACK.Gen and that it will not reinstall itself in some fashion. If it is still present, my only thought is to boot in SAFE mode and try to run Avira, with the notion that in SAFE mode, the trojan will not have as many opportunities open for reinstallation. Failing that, I may resort to downloading a different antivirus which I shall not mention in this post, since that would violate forum rules of etiquette, but I shall feel quite desparate if TR/Crypt.ZPACK.Gen is not gone from the system soon, and I do not look forward to reinstalling Windows, since I am inexperienced, and it would cost me money that I cannot really spare. I shall post the results of this current scan as soon as it completes. What I have read regarding TR/Crypt.ZPACK.Gen so far in search engines makes it sound quite difficult to remove, but then, those posts seem rather old.