Wednesday, December 2, 2009

100% detection for 100 million users

AVAST recently announced (ahem bragged) about how they were about to hit a major milestone - 100 million registered users. Personally I think that is bullcrap because even Norton doesn't claim that many users and they are the market leader by a wide margin. Anyway, I digress.

To commemorate this major milestone (ahem lie), they decide to give all their 100 million customers a little gift. The gift that every Antivirus customer dreams of..

No silly, we are not talking about a 25% discount. We are talking about something far more valuable, the holy grail of antivirus - 100% detection. Detection of all threats, no exceptions, nothing gets through.

The catch ?? just a little extra gift of appreciation - 100% False Positives.

Yes, my friends, AVAST released an update today that was generating false alerts on every executable on your hard-drive including Windows Signed executables. Here is a sample of the alert.

What a bunch of jokers. This false positive has completely trashed millions of computers and flooded security newsgroups with postings from frustrated users trying to fix the mess that Avast created. Ofcourse, none of them can go crying to Avast because they dont have a leg to stand on since they didn't pay for Avast, Avast being a free product. You can see a sampling of the outcry here

These Free AV outfits seems to have a history of large scale mayhem. Right after their acquisition of LinkScanner, AVG was caught artificially generating tons of internet visits to websites you haven't even visited. That was eventually fixed through a design change in LinkScanner. You can read all about that fiasco here

Just another reason for why you should stay away from Free AV products.


Anonymous said...

A Symantec antivirus signature update mistakenly quarantined two critical system files in the Simplified Chinese version of Windows XP last week, crippling PCs throughout China.

No antivirus is immune to screwups, even norton which is not free!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

AVAST could easily have 100m users - of course most of them for free, while Norton does not provide free AV. As far as I know they are #1 in France, Brazil and several other countries..

MLim said...

Anonymous said...

The False Positives are from AVAST, not AVIRA, at least get your facts straight before posting such a rant!

OkiNava said...

Sorry for the typo on Avira. I've fixed it.

OkiNava said...

Simplied Chinese.. haha. Avast convicted hundreds of files in every OS in the civilized world. The Symantec one doesn't even come close.