Browser plugins from Avast and AVG yanked for stealing user data

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/12/04/avg-online-security.html

Once trust is gone, it ain’t coming back. Time for a change.

Are there any good free antivirus packages out there or is it time to suck it up and spend $ on bloatware?

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Assuming Windows, Defender is built in and pretty good. I rarely bother with other AV/AM products these days.

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Windows defender is decent.

UBlock Origin along with Noscript is also a good security idea for your browser.

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Avast is free and paid, so even paid AV could steal data.

I dumped the Avast plugin when I noticed the security certificates for secure websites weren’t showing up properly. I freaked out because I was recovering from an email hack used to steal a $40,000 domain from me.

I finally figured out that my AV program had surreptitiously installed its own certificate and was doing a man in the middle attack on my browser as a way of getting a hold of encrypted data to scan for viruses and malware. That was not acceptable because I was unable to verify that I was actually securely connected to the real websites, opening me up to phishing and making it impossible for me to tell the difference between a white/grey hat man in the middle attack by the AV and a black hat man in the middle of attack since they look identical.

The MTM attack/security method still pisses me the heck off.

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Is it old news? I read some articles from 5 or 4 years ago that exposed some flaws…

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AVG used to me my go-to for trusted antivirus but that ship sailed a long time ago. It’s actually better to go without than to use these wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing “antivirus” programs.

Malwarebytes is still super useful IMHO and I still use older versions of Panda Cloud on some of my PCs - although they’re headed towards bloatware status as well (maybe already there actually - haven’t kept up on them in a couple of years.)

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If occurs to me that this is commercial AV evolving to fill the ecosystem-niche of the malware it is supposed to be protecting against. It feels like what you’d get if that fungus that zombifies ants started feeding on mobsters.

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