CyberTech Rambler

July 3, 2008

AVG scanner is malware (updated)

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 5:32 pm

[Updated: 20080708: AVG reply in comment]

The web is full of the news that AVG realtime malware scanner generates a lot of web traffic. Generating a lot of web traffic is a problem for everyone. Those who have set traffic quota find their sites feels the effect directly and immediately as their site went down because they run out of traffic quota or have to pay for higher traffic quota. Those of us who do not have traffic quota problem will eventually be affected since our service providers will be forced to invest in equipment to maintain the services we expected from them, and they will have to pass the cost to us eventually. All internet users will eventually pay the price as servicing this traffic cost money.

At the minimum, AVG malware scanner is a selfish product. It protects the few computers that runs it and do not care that it create cost and headache for others. AVG refusal to disclose how to block the scanner, citing that the information can be equally exploited by malware website and good website alight, is proof that the technology is fatally flawed. It is not an acceptable excuse that is capable of legitimising this piece of malware. The harm it caused to others far outweight the benefit it brings to the selected few. This is precisely the behaviour of a selfish person.

After reading that it can deliberately avoid generating fake clicks for Google paid-for service, it is clear that AVG is aware that this piece of malware will generate problems, and AVG is trying to fend off lawsuits from big companies which it knows it will lose.

AVG actively rework the scanner to stop webmasters from distinguishing the malicious traffic it sends from legitimate traffic. This not only shows that it is unrepentent, but also shows its contempt for everyone, since it effectively treats all webmasters, including those that has strong legitimate reason to block it, as malware purveyors trying to block its scanner.

It is sad to see an malware detection and removal company itself sell malware. AVG must tweak the product in a way that it does not harm other legitimate users of the internet. If it does not, I hope a class action lawsuit will be organized to forced it to. AVG had overstepped the mark and must be held to account for selling malware.



  1. Following is AVG’s official response to LinkScanner concerns:

    We’d like to thank our web community for bringing these challenges to our attention, as building community trust and protecting all of our users is critical to us. We have modified the Search-Shield component of LinkScanner to only notify users of malicious sites; this modified version will be rolled out on July 9th 2008. As of this date. Search-Shield will no longer scan each search result online for new exploits, which was causing the spikes that webmasters addressed with us. However, it is important to note that AVG still offers full protection against potential exploits through the Active Surf-Shield component of our product, which checks every page for malicious content as it is visited but before it is opened.

    Comment by Pat Bitton — July 4, 2008 @ 10:40 pm | Reply

  2. […] AVG’s “malware”. For a tech-savvy company, I was not surprise to find that I was served the standard official climb down by its PR. [Please note that I have no information whatsoever to say the poster works for AVG or its PR firm, […]

    Pingback by AVG damage control « CyberTech Rambler — July 8, 2008 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

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