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Avira blocks BitDefender beta

Avira blocks BitDefender beta

Avira's software briefly detected a beta release of rival anti-virus BitDefender as a Trojan.

It's bad news when your anti-virus package breaks games, and worse when it kills Windows, but when it begins attacking other anti-virus products people start asking questions.

That's the unenviable situation Avira has found itself in after its popular anti-virus package detected a beta release of competing software BitDefender 2011 as a Trojan - leaving any users attempting to try out the beta without un-installing their existing anti-virus fighting a false-positive warning.

First reported by a Romanian blog and then picked up - and translated - by The Register, a fix has now been put in place to prevent the false positive, but the experience will have left many with a sour taste in their mouths and Avira with a tattered reputation.

Avira's Sorin Mustaca confirmed that his company's anti-virus "mistakenly reported that the BitDefender 2011 product, that hasn't been publicly released yet, was a Trojan,[i]" and blamed the issue on "[i]some components in the installer [being] modified so that the digital certificates became invalid" for the false positive.

BitDefender's Vitor Souza was quick to point out that the false positive was "an issue with [Avira's] detection, and not a problem with BitDefender."

Although only likely to have affected a small number of users - it's rare, after all, to install two competing anti-virus packages on the same system - it's an embarrassment for Avira and one which could have left it facing BitDefender in the courtroom if it hadn't resolved it as quickly as it did.

Are you surprised to see that anti-virus companies still aren't able to resolve the issue of false positives, or will these problems continue to occur until a detection system that isn't signature-based is perfected? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

14 Comments

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proxess 11th August 2010, 11:54 Quote
Whatever that blog is, it's definitely NOT Portuguese.
Mraedis 11th August 2010, 12:09 Quote
Romanian. ^^
mi1ez 11th August 2010, 12:10 Quote
How many people have I told over the years to never run more than one anti-virus at a time?
Gareth Halfacree 11th August 2010, 12:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mraedis
Romanian. ^^
Cheers - article updated.
SaNdCrAwLeR 11th August 2010, 12:42 Quote
how the hell did that look like Portuguese to you?
seriously :o
How?

EDIT: Ok so the Register has a pack of dumbasses on their editing room... How can they translate something that isn't even on the language that they say it is?

anyway... isn't it still dumb to be running 2 AVs on a system?
worst of all... to be trying a beta on a personal system?
ZeDestructor 11th August 2010, 13:10 Quote
I'll take the odd false positive over missed viruses any day.
shanky887614 11th August 2010, 15:03 Quote
im no security expert but installing any beta software is a bad idea for your main machine becasue its a beta it will have many bugs and may even bsod your pc
phantombudgie 11th August 2010, 15:43 Quote
Doesn't installing multiple antivirus products (as opposed to one antivirus and one antispyware) really slow down the PC?
ZeDestructor 11th August 2010, 16:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanky887614
im no security expert but installing any beta software is a bad idea for your main machine becasue its a beta it will have many bugs and may even bsod your pc

Yes, but then you are also testing the newest stuff (in his case detection routines). The risk of BSODs, instability and other mayhem is one you take.
Quote:
Originally Posted by phantombudgie
Doesn't installing multiple antivirus products (as opposed to one antivirus and one antispyware) really slow down the PC?

Depends on which antivirus/antispyware/security suite combination you use. I haven't seen any slowdowns running ESET with Symantec
g2tegsown 11th August 2010, 16:38 Quote
I personally love Avira, it's kind of like a Hypochondriac Antivirus (Rather be safe than sorry).
Also I don't think this was a false positive either, Bit Defender is such a POS that Avira was just trying to protect you... and isn't that what AV software is for?
wiak 11th August 2010, 19:28 Quote
many antivirus warns you of having two antivirus on the same system so hehe ;9
pimonserry 12th August 2010, 00:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor
I'll take the odd false positive over missed viruses any day.

QFT

I love Avira and it's false positive madness - it's started detecting Crysis Warhead (Steam copy) as a Trojan :|
ZeDestructor 12th August 2010, 08:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by pimonserry
I love Avira and it's false positive madness - it's started detecting Crysis Warhead (Steam copy) as a Trojan :|

Its probably the DRM portion of the exe thats messing with it :/
dicobalt 12th August 2010, 11:05 Quote
Avira is great, best antivirus I have ever used. As for running two antivirus software programs, fire up a VM and you will see it often doesn't work right. At least Antivir allows you to do it at all.

With that said I haven't used antivirus software in 5 years and have never gotten a virus since. I am rewarded with a computer that runs faster and more reliably. The only way a smart user will get a virus is if they intentionally install it. Otherwise it is a rare occurrence of 0day bad luck that I have yet to experience in 5 years. I use VM's for visiting websites and running software I don't trust. A kind of proving ground for security and reliability too.

I know you can get a virus come through a VM but that is a sophisticated attack that just isn't implemented by malware writers. Probably because they use VM's too in order to write the malware and don't want to infect their own machines. Whatever the reason it appears to be an ignored vector of attack.
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