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16 May 2012, 18:40

Avira update puts behaviour recognition on hold

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Security firm Avira has disabled the ProActiv behaviour recognition module in some of its products with an update. A few days after the release of "Service Pack 0" last Monday, the company's security software unexpectedly blocked the access to important systems components. As a consequence, some computers didn't start at all, while others could only be booted in secure mode. On Tuesday, Avira announced that it had solved the behaviour recognition problem with an update.

Avira said that the patch can be installed by updating manually to solve the problem. What the company didn't say is that the update simply disables the ProActiv behaviour recognition module – which is not even listed in the extended configuration dialog once the update has been installed.

The problem only affects commercial Avira products, and it only affects users who run the anti-virus program under a 32-bit version of Windows. The ProActiv module supports none of the 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Vista; the free Avira Free Antivirus edition doesn't offer any behaviour recognition by default.

It seems that Avira hasn't managed to tackle the ProActiv problem in the short term – completely disabling the module is, therefore, a plausible emergency measure. What's less plausible is that Avira has neglected to tell the users of Avira Antivirus Premium and Avira Internet Security that their protection is currently limited. One can only hope that the developers will soon solve the problem and provide Avira customers with the comprehensive cover that they pay for.


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