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Old 07-16-2012, 12:37 PM
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Default Avast! with remote assistance, questions.

I recently became an Avast! reseller mainly because I have used it and have reccomened it for years. I haven't used it in awhile but since I became and reseller (and got Avast! 7 pro for free in the process) I figured I better install it and become familiar with it again. So with their new Avast! 7 line of software they have added remote assistance even on the free version.

My question is, is this a good option for remote support? My thoughts were "I get a customers computer, fix whatever is wrong with it, try to sell some version of avast! to them if not recommend the free one. Then if they call later and say something isnt working I already have Avast! installed and I can remote into their computer and fix the issue for a fee"

Here is a short page on the Remote Assistance they have added:

"The Remote Assistance tool in the new avast! 7 makes it easier for users to help their friends without requiring a house call.

With Remote Assistance, an avast! user needing help with a technical issue can remotely connect their computer to a second avast! user, allowing the “helper-friend” to have direct control over the computer.

“We wanted to make it easier for avast! users to help each other,” said Vince Steckler, CEO of AVAST Software. “Our data shows that two thirds of new avast! users come because a friend recommended us – and this helping process continues after the initial installation.”

To start Remote Assistance, the person wanting help just opens the avast! user interface and clicks on the “Allow Remote Control” button. This generates a unique code which is sent to the avast! “helper-friend”, enabling the recipient to have remote access to the other computer. The session is routed through the AVAST servers, bypasses potentially blocking firewalls, and can be ended at any time by the initiating person. The only requirement is for both computers to be turned on and have active internet connections."
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:55 PM
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WOW, Kudos to Avast! I will have to check that out!

First downside that comes to mind though is if the virus kills the AV there goes the remote.
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:03 PM
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WOW, Kudos to Avast! I will have to check that out!

First downside that comes to mind though is if the virus kills the AV there goes the remote.
Yeah that or "It wouldnt let me download music from (Insert p2p software here) so I removed it"

But if it works 90% of the time sounds pretty good to me.
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by brock029 View Post
So with their new Avast! 7 line of software they have added remote assistance even on the free version.

...

“We wanted to make it easier for avast! users to help each other,” said Vince Steckler, CEO of AVAST Software. “Our data shows that two thirds of new avast! users come because a friend recommended us – and this helping process continues after the initial installation.”

To start Remote Assistance, the person wanting help just opens the avast! user interface and clicks on the “Allow Remote Control” button. This generates a unique code which is sent to the avast! “helper-friend”, enabling the recipient to have remote access to the other computer. The session is routed through the AVAST servers, bypasses potentially blocking firewalls, and can be ended at any time by the initiating person. The only requirement is for both computers to be turned on and have active internet connections."

Do they have anything in place to prevent their own software from becoming a trojan? A virus could target Avast and create a remote support session with the malware author (more likely to a compromised machine the author remotes into, or automates a session). Granted, it wouldn't be the easiest way to get into somebody's PC, but it would be something to brag about, and would be highly embarrassing (at a minimum) for Avast and its resellers.
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:16 PM
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Do they have anything in place to prevent their own software from becoming a trojan? A virus could target Avast and create a remote support session with the malware author (more likely to a compromised machine the author remotes into, or automates a session). Granted, it wouldn't be the easiest way to get into somebody's PC, but it would be something to brag about, and would be highly embarrassing (at a minimum) for Avast and its resellers.
I haven't checked but that is defiantly something I will contact them about. Ill let you know.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:33 PM
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Do they have anything in place to prevent their own software from becoming a trojan? A virus could target Avast and create a remote support session with the malware author (more likely to a compromised machine the author remotes into, or automates a session). Granted, it wouldn't be the easiest way to get into somebody's PC, but it would be something to brag about, and would be highly embarrassing (at a minimum) for Avast and its resellers.
That's the first thing that came to mind for me. Yes it's nice having remote support built into Avast, but look how easy it is for the malware authors to disable just about any AV. I imagine it wouldn't be that much harder for them to figure out an exploit to take over the remote support function in Avast.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by rjframe View Post
Do they have anything in place to prevent their own software from becoming a trojan? A virus could target Avast and create a remote support session with the malware author (more likely to a compromised machine the author remotes into, or automates a session). Granted, it wouldn't be the easiest way to get into somebody's PC, but it would be something to brag about, and would be highly embarrassing (at a minimum) for Avast and its resellers.
If the virus is already running on the system then thats that. If the user can turn on the remote support then its possible for a virus to do so as well. They could require a user password to make it more difficult but lets be serious here if someone really wanted to go through the trouble it would happen.

Edit: I take that back I suppose if the password check is server side that should secure it.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:27 PM
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Well so far the first email back from my question said "The remote assistance has to be activated through the gui so a virus could not do that" then i replied something like "I have seen plenty of automation software that can do whatever you want, so it would take allot of work and time but if someone specifically targeted avast they could make it go through the gui and start the remote assistance and read the code and send it off" then the reply to that was "I just do tech support for resellers but I can send your question to QA, I would say the fail safe would be the real time shields and automatic updates"

So far not an answer im still waiting to hear from QA.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by brock029 View Post
Well so far the first email back from my question said "The remote assistance has to be activated through the gui so a virus could not do that" then i replied something like "I have seen plenty of automation software that can do whatever you want, so it would take allot of work and time but if someone specifically targeted avast they could make it go through the gui and start the remote assistance and read the code and send it off" then the reply to that was "I just do tech support for resellers but I can send your question to QA, I would say the fail safe would be the real time shields and automatic updates"

So far not an answer im still waiting to hear from QA.
Most of the time thats childs play to do, doing it without the user being able to visibly see it is quite a bit harder but most of the time it can be done. I really don't think anyones going to go through the trouble of doing it though.
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Last edited by ComputerRepairTech; 07-16-2012 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:51 PM
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Most of the time thats childs play to do, doing it without the user being able to visibly see it is quite a bit harder but most of the time it can be done. I really don't think anyones going to go through the trouble of doing it though.
That's what I'm thinking, you might infect a few people before avast! finds it. Not really worth the time to target 1 antivirus. But either way I am a reseller now and I need to get some good ways to push buying vs. the free edition. Technically the remote support would be an added bonus for the end client unless they ask this very question then its kind of a gray area, the remote support works on the free one too but depending on how much I make on the sell I could throw in like 2 remote sessions free or something along those lines if you buy.
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