Dazing Technologies

Why did Avast and AVG cheated their users?

Avast and AVG, some well-known software in the world of Antivirus. They protect our devices against any kind of malware. Avast was founded in April 1988, by Pavel Baudis and Eduard Kucera. AVG was founded in 1991, by Jan Gritzbach and Tomas Hofer.

Both antiviruses have been each other’s rival for more than a decade. But later, in July 2016, Avast bought AVG for $1.3 Billion. Avast wanted to give more security to its user then it already gives. For that Vincent Stickler (the CEO of Avast) made a deal to buy AVG. This would also give them access to AVG’s Zen technology for controlling the protection of all family devices from just one of them. As Avast already had a total of 500+ Million users, AVG users increase their list of users too. The security they were talking about was provided, but earlier this month they kind of cheated on their customers in terms of providing online web protection.

According to Wladimir Palant (who made Adblock Plus), Avast and AVG extensions in Mozilla Firefox were collecting users’ data way more then they needed to protect them from online malware attacks. They were doing it on purpose. This counts as stealing of users’ personal browsing history which is against Mozilla and Chrome’s privacy policy.

“Avast Online Security collecting personal data of their users is not an oversight and not necessary for the extension functionality either,” Palant wrote. “The extension attempts to collect as much context data as possible, and it does so on purpose.”

After reading the reports form Palant, Mozilla took action in 24 hours and remove all four Avast and Avast’s extension form their Mozilla store. The four extensions were:

1. Avast Online Security
2. AVG Online Security
3. Avast SafePrice
4. AVG SafePrice

Mozilla has removed Avast and AVG from their extension store but people can still use it via the original app. The report was also transferred to Chrome, who took no action as expected. Chrome usually don’t focus on these kinds of issues, which means you can still use those 4 extensions in chrome from their (chrome) store.

“Mozilla has recently updated its store policy and we are co-operating with them in order to make the necessary adjustments to our extensions to line up with new requirements,” Avast reportedly said.

Avast admits their mistake and tells that they are no working with Mozilla to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

“We have offered our Avast Online Security and SafePrice browser extensions for many years through the Mozilla store,” Avast said in a statement. Avast is working with Mozilla for more than a decade.

“The Avast Online Security extension is a security tool that protects users online,  from infected websites and phishing attacks,” an Avast spokesperson told ZDNet. “It is important for this service to collect the URL history to deliver its expected functionality. Avast does this without collecting or storing a user’s data.”

If you are using any of these extensions then it’s better for you to delete them for now, and never install multiple extensions. Also, delete the extensions you are not using now. But if you still need something to protect you from online malware attack then you can use extensions like Windows Defender Browser Protection (for Chrome) or the slightly more complicated Application Guard Extension (for Chrome or Firefox), which dumps untrusted websites into an isolated instance of Microsoft Edge.

Do you guys use any of these extensions? Did you ever feels like if they ask permission for un-necessary tasks? Please share your belief in the given section below.

You can share it: