Avast, Matey!

I know Talk Like a Pirate Day is long over, but Avast is also the name of an antivirus program.

I’m trying Avast for the first time today. A fellow user at Dave’s Garden recommended it and I noticed it currently has a 92% user review rating Download.com, too.

For the time being, so as to avoid any conflicts, I’ve uninstalled AVG Antivirus. I’ve sworn by AVG and still like it, but I’ve noticed lately that my daily automatic update checks are not connecting to their server very well. I have to do manual update checks two or three times before I get a successful connection. I’m hoping Avast will be better on the update server side.

AVG also has missed viruses contained in several e-mail attachments I’ve received this last week. I could tell they were viruses because of the different e-mails’ vague body and attachments with file extensions like .pif, .exe and .zip. I kept one of the zip files, renaming it so the file extension said ~~~ to keep me from accidently opening the zip file; I kept it as a test document, seeing how many updates I had to do before AVG flagged it for having a virus.

The free online scanner at Symantec.com recognized the virus in the file a good TWO days before AVG’s updates included it. Why AVG would not have this in their update until a couple days later, I don’t know. That slow response, coupled with the problems connecting to their updates server, have me a little frustrated and looking at alternatives.

So, I’m trying Avast for a while. I use POPfile, an open source e-mail proxy, to filter my e-mail. Configuring Avast to work with POPfile is the only hump I need to get over. I changed the port POPfile listens to over to 123, and did the same in Eudora, but I’m missing something when it comes to getting Avast to work with POPfile. I know I need to set it up with proxy chaining since Avast scans incoming and outgoing mail as a proxy.

Right now I’m doing a full system scan with Avast, and it’s found a few things. Interestingly, a couple of the alerts were for malcode from eBay in my temporary internet files folder. I moved them to Avast’s “chest” (their take on “treasure chest” – how corny) and will check those out when the scan’s finished.

UPDATE at 1:20am 3/11/04: I got what I think are false positives in some HTML files in my temp files from eBay. Avast said they were malware script. I looked on Avast’s forums and it looks like they were false alarms that many people got today with the recent update installed.

I did get POPfile to run alongside Avast in harmony. I struggled with it for a couple hours before realizing I had neglected to restart POPfile to make my change to the port number stick. Duhhhh.

I still get errors when trying to check my POP3 mail at Lycos.com, though; I’ll have to see if there are any advanced configurations there I can check. It’s working now. Go figure.

This entry was posted in Techie.

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