Avast! has updated its Network Shield module to block malware URLs

 

In the past, some avast users have questioned if its Network Shield was actually doing anything…  it seemed as if the total number of items it checked was always listed as zer0.   In response to user queries, Avast explained that the only time you’d see the Network Shield count/monitor items was when an actual threat was encountered and stopped..

 

The latest update to Avast!, build 1282, has enhanced the Network Shield to monitor and block malware URLs (web pages).   For a specific test example, after updating to the newest version, if you were to misspell “Google” by typing-in 3 ‘o’s [rather than 2]:

www (dot) gooogle (dot) com

you’ll now notice a small popup [Avast! On-Access scanner message] above the avast icon in your system tray, advising you that the

Network Shield blocked access to the malicious site www (dot) gooogle (dot) com

--- and accordingly, that webpage will fail to be displayed in your browser(s).

 

[Related note:   For people who don’t have avast, but use OpenDNS, you’ll find that OpenDNS’s  typo-correction feature  will automatically correct this particular typo, and take you to the proper google.com (2 ‘o’s) website.]

 

The latest version of avast can either be downloaded automatically [for those users who have set avast to automatically download PROGRAM updates --- please allow time for its servers to “push” this update over the next few days], or manually:

RIGHT-click on the avast icon in your system tray,

Select UPDATING,

Then PROGRAM UPDATES.

 

A complete list of  the fixes and improvements are as follows:

 

Version 4.8.1282

November 12, 2008

  • - improvements in some unpackers (Zip, 7-Zip, WinExec, Installer)
  • - fixed incompatibility with ext2fsd driver
  • - fixed a problem in The Bat! plugin (causing orphaned thebat.exe processes after the program was closed)
  • - added new unpacker "droppers" (by default turned on in all tasks including the real time scanner)
  • - fixed a problem with actions on infected files with special names
  • - Network Shield: added a component for blocking of malware URLs
  • - added the possibility of sending of statistical information about detected viruses
  • - added a new option of reporting of false positives
  • - improved the submission from the Virus Chest (now based on HTTP protocol)
  • - added a component for gathering of new samples from exploited pages
  • - implemented a limit of the maximum size of the selfdef.log file
  • - speed optimizations in the updater
  • - speed optimizations in the scanning engine
  • - solved a minor conflict with McAfee SiteAdvisor
  • - added support for the Windows Security Center in Vista SP1 (new API)
  • - minor fixes in the Web Shield
  • - removed support for ICQ a MSN Messenger alerts

 

EDIT:   Posted on FOURTH attempt --- and then required editing to remove viewable HTML formatting commands.