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Avast Hidden Install

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@flippertie thanks for this - outlining your test scenarios in this fashion was extremely helpful. 

Your third time around showed the intended behaviour. The second install attempt displaying the Avast offer would have checked for existing AV before offering, but seems to have failed to detect your Trend Micro since it was switched off at the time. 

I am concerned with what happened the first time around though - that would certainly be a "bug not a feature".  To help us replicate this scenario, are you able to confirm:

  1. Can you recall which 5.4x version you were updating from? Was this in response to an in-product notification advising that you were 11/12/13 released out of date?
  2. At what point did Trend Micro pop up during the first failed install attempt? Do you recall what it said when it did pop up?
  3. At what point did the CCleaner installation show as unresponsive in the Task Manager? Was the failure to delete the old CCleaner executable something you observed, or was there a specific error message that popped up telling you that it had happened?

 

 

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Dave CCleaner: 

  1. Can you recall which 5.4x version you were updating from? Was this in response to an in-product notification advising that you were 11/12/13 released out of date?

Possibly 5.44 but I'm not sure.  There was a reminder that there was a newer version to download.  I usually ignore those because they  just tend to add bloat that I don't use.

  1. At what point did Trend Micro pop up during the first failed install attempt? Do you recall what it said when it did pop up?

During the installation the progress bar was perhaps 1/3 to 1/2 across.  I think TM's message was to the effect the the installer was doing a DLL modification or injection.  The options were to allow once or block once and it said something like 'If you don't press anything the action will be allowed in 30 seconds'. There were 2 of those - and then the installation hung. 

  1. At what point did the CCleaner installation show as unresponsive in the Task Manager? Was the failure to delete the old CCleaner executable something you observed, or was there a specific error message that popped up telling you that it had happened?

I don't remember the exact details of what happened.  There was a message about being unable to delete the executable.  I triedreinstalling a couple of times andwhen I opened the task manager there were multiple CCleaner processes running - without any visible ccleaner windows.

The PC may have been, as you say, a dozen releases out if date - that's exactly why I turn off the auto-update and the auto notifications and the auto-monitoring and the auto-phone-home  and the rest.  Ccleaner was great for me a couple of years ago and all the new 'features' that are being added take away from its utility..  I don't want it running background processes, I don't want the idiot mode, or the dumbed down report etc.

I'll keep an eye out and let you know more details if it happens again.

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2 hours ago, Grisemine said:

I have all the screen grabs that show NOT CHECKBOX or information on avast
But.. avast STILL TRIED TO INSTALL ITSELF  ??? (I have some protection, but still it got partially intalled, very bad garbage)

unlocker has a checkbox, allready checked, and I fought it was bad behavior.  CCleaner, THAT IS VERY BAD BEHAVIOR !!!

Uninstalled CCleaner (and what of avast that got through).
Will never use it again
Preparing big information campain agaist you, on twitter, fb and so on.

You are bad.

While most incidents are from people who clicked through without paying attention to the big purple and orange banner, we do get reports of a bug (no offer but install still triggered) for a small percentage of users.  The bulk of these seemed to be a delayed load of the banner for users on slow internet connections - although this was remedied a while back.  Of the few remaining cases we still see it seems anecdotally to be a particular set of circumstances related to an interrupted install, possibly due to interference from AV or other configuration blocking the successful display of the banner.

Any additional details that you could provide would be most helpful in isolating, replicating and correcting this issue for other users.

In the meantime, the commonly recommended solution for those users experiencing this issue is to use the "Slim Build" installer from https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner/builds which contains no third party offers or optional components in the installer.

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Still shocked.

Idea : if banner is on another server, can be blocked in hosts.

Or by some other protections.

But still shocked. Does it really get you THAT MUCH money to bundle avast ? :/

 

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5 hours ago, Grisemine said:

But still shocked. Does it really get you THAT MUCH money to bundle avast ? :/

Only if a user eventually buys it. Otherwise - nada. Because of this, unlike other creators of free software (who get paid for third-party installs regardless of what happens afterwards) there is zero motivation on CCleaner's part to "drive-by" install anything to users who would immediately uninstall it. 

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, there are rules set up to not even bother offering Avast to users who seem unlikely to want it, and an eye-catching purple-and-orange banner that takes up a third of the install screen for those who might. We are continually tweaking this to minimise unwanted accidental installs, and working on a solution that should be more completely robust to installer glitches from a user's environment.

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1 hour ago, Dave CCleaner said:

We are continually tweaking this to minimise unwanted accidental installs, and working on a solution that should be more completely robust to installer glitches from a user's environment.

1

Users have been telling you the simplest tweak for years - Don't have the offer box pre-ticked. (It's dodgy practice anyway).

Even if you only do it for a trial period it would prevent 'click-through' accidental installs, and let you see the real size of any other problem.

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Since the offers likely won't ever disappear a more "user friendly" approach would be to completely abandon the pre-ticked small box rubbish altogether.

Instead have a whole window ad inside of the installer that offers it to the user with very obvious big buttons that read along the lines of [Yes] and [No] on them which would be better served if they were also well enough separated to avoid any possible accidental wrong clicks.

You could even go one step further and have two cartoon like characters in the window one with a thumbs up, and another with a thumbs down.

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On 6/21/2019 at 21:13, nukecad said:

Users have been telling you the simplest tweak for years - Don't have the offer box pre-ticked. (It's dodgy practice anyway).

Even if you only do it for a trial period it would prevent 'click-through' accidental installs, and let you see the real size of any other problem.

This ^^^^  <applause>

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Overhauling something that has been baked into the installer since 2010 is not exactly an overnight job. There's no official date for the change to be made, and the execution may still undergo some alterations and tweaks, but the final result ...

On 21/06/2019 at 18:02, Andavari said:

Instead have a whole window ad inside of the installer that offers it to the user with very obvious big buttons that read along the lines of [Yes] and [No] on them which would be better served if they were also well enough separated to avoid any possible accidental wrong clicks.

... will most likely bear an uncanny resemblance to this.

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1 hour ago, hazelnut said:

Will 'Yes' still be the default ?

TBD, but if we end up with something like @Andavari's proposed design, the concept of a "default" would only apply to the product configuration settings and third party options would require an explicit YES/NO decision - but probably without the cartoon characters.

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3 hours ago, Dave CCleaner said:

Overhauling something that has been baked into the installer since 2010 is not exactly an overnight job.

 

Sorry, but exactly the same argument was/is used for the main product when users keep suggesting putting the Registry Cleaner into Tools.
"It's too difficult to change the sidebar".
But that seems not to be the case, a new button for Easy Clean was soon put in there when wanted.

I note that in another thread it has been said that they are now looking at moving the Reg Cleaner.

BTW. It is good to see that, in the person of @Dave CCleaner, Piriform does seem to be taking more of an active role in the forums and listening to user opinions.
As regular members here we can sometimes be pretty critical of what we see as faults with CCleaner, mainly as a desire to see an improved product.

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1 hour ago, nukecad said:

BTW. It is good to see that, in the person of @Dave CCleaner, Piriform does seem to be taking more of an active role in the forums and listening to user opinions.
As regular members here we can sometimes be pretty critical of what we see as faults with CCleaner, mainly as a desire to see an improved product.

Constructive criticism is always welcome. Not always fun to read - but still helpful. Can't promise that everything will move at the pace that people would like - but everything here gets read and taken into consideration. Even prior commercial decisions are subject to review if we can find a smarter (ie: less annoying) way to achieve the same objective.

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Signed up just to add another comment - Avast installed with no opt-out option here as well.

I was extra careful, when going through the installer, as I already knew the installer offered the installation of third party software.

Nothing in the first screen, nothing in the more screen. Nothing.

I'm not saying this is out of any malicious action - but you've obviously got something buggy in your installer which actions the install in some situations without offering a opt in/out option.

Changing the default to no would be the simplest approach to fixing this, if you're wanting to prevent accidental installations as much as you say you are - then this should be the obvious fix, even if it's just until you have the new installer out.

Actions, not words are what's important. For the time being I will be unable to suggest the installation of your software, because I fear I'd just be adding work for myself, guiding people to uninstall applications they never wanted in the first place.

Edited by surpriseantivirus

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Avast/Piriform supposedly fixed the installer... or not.

They've had a periodic lag/latency issue over the years (used to be a Google bundle-ware issue) where the offer is not shown when it was supposed to be. It's the default ticked box for Avast that causes it to install.

They would probably do better to not offer anything at all during installation due to prior and on-going unwanted bundle-ware, and instead use the pop-up notification offers CCleaner Free has had for awhile now to advertise Avast Free Antivirus, and if:
1. The user clicks upon it then open a webpage where the download is available.
2. The user has to actually download it like all other software on the web - manually themselves because they want it.
3. Finally the user would run the installer themselves in their Downloads folder.

Three point install authentication, well sorta. In that scenario unwanted installs would no longer be an issue.

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To put the nail in the coffin, along with piriform's silence on this matter - Avast has been collecting browser history, selling it on. Avast can now be considered malware, and this situation has changed to a more disturbing case of piriform silently installing malware on users computers. 

Owned by the same company or not, this is disgusting.

I will never suggest the use of piriform's software again - good riddance.

 

Edited by surpriseantivirus

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Hi @surpriseantivirus

Please be assured that CCleaner does not collect browsing data. CCleaner only wipes browsing data held in databases and other files.

Whether you’re using a free or paid version of CCleaner, it is necessary for some other data, such as the operating system of your device and the language you’re using, to be collected. This data allows us to maintain CCleaner and make sure that it works well. We’re transparent about the data we collect and what it’s used for. More information is available in our Data Factsheet: https://www.ccleaner.com/about/data-factsheet and the CCleaner privacy policy: https://www.ccleaner.com/about/privacy-policy
 

We are also working on improving the installer flow and this should be available soon, with clear yes/no install option for our Avast offering.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. 

Thanks,
Sandra 

 

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9 hours ago, Sandra CCleaner said:

Hi @surpriseantivirus

Please be assured that CCleaner does not collect browsing data. CCleaner only wipes browsing data held in databases and other files.

Whether you’re using a free or paid version of CCleaner, it is necessary for some other data, such as the operating system of your device and the language you’re using, to be collected. This data allows us to maintain CCleaner and make sure that it works well. We’re transparent about the data we collect and what it’s used for. More information is available in our Data Factsheet: https://www.ccleaner.com/about/data-factsheet and the CCleaner privacy policy: https://www.ccleaner.com/about/privacy-policy
 

We are also working on improving the installer flow and this should be available soon, with clear yes/no install option for our Avast offering.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. 

Thanks,
Sandra 

 

 

@Sandra CCleaner You're probably correct that CCleaner does not collect browsing data - I'm talking about avast here. I'm not going to link to third party websites, but avast most certainly does collect browser web history. Plenty of reports for people to read through. Seems to involve a subsidy called Jumpshot.

If only your response to this silent installation issue you've had for at least the past TWO YEARS was as prompt as your response to my claims about avast being malware lol.

Hopefully this news about avast will cause more people to complain, and cause this to become a PR issue. Seems that might be the only thing that'll get you to fix this damn installer.

A few small excerpts from articles 

Quote

The software (Avast) appears to track users clicks and movements across the web, and collects data on things like searches on Google and Google Maps, as well as visits to specific LinkedIn pages, YouTube vids and p**n websites

 

Quote

The collected data is then reportedly repackaged and sold by Jumpshot, which says on its website that it's able to deliver data on users actions behind "the Internet's most valuable walled gardens." Some past and present Jumpshot customers, as well as potential clients, include Google, Yelp, Microsoft, Pepsi, Home Depot, Intuit and others, according to the report, which cites "leaked user data, contracts and other company documents."

 

Edited by surpriseantivirus
more infomation

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Maybe the Avast issue is better to address/complain about on the Avast forum?

As for the CCleaner installer issue I agree, and have made my thoughts about it clear in the past.

We are told there are changes to the installer coming.

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48 minutes ago, nukecad said:

Maybe the Avast issue is better to address/complain about on the Avast forum?

As for the CCleaner installer issue I agree, and have made my thoughts about it clear in the past.

We are told there are changes to the installer coming.

 

Sorry, I know it's slightly off topic - but to be fair this does involve Ccleaner since their current installer installs avast. This data collection issue avast has therefore directly impacts CCleaners users - since not all are given the choice of whether they want avast or not.

Essentially the Ccleaner installer has an x% chance of silently installing an application that can honestly be considered spyware, without the users consent. There is no angle that this can be looked at for it to be considered acceptable.

With piriform being owned by avast, I doubt there's any chance of getting it removed from the installer - therefore the only way to fix this issue for Ccleaner users is to fix the installer, and make the choice 100% up to the user. A default option change to a no would solve this, but since that hasn't been done I'd imagine there's pressure from avast involved.

48 minutes ago, nukecad said:

We are told there are changes to the installer coming.

This, I'll believe when I see it. "changes are coming" loses meaning when it's repeated over a period of 2 years with no fixes. Lets be honest - this is clearly a very low priority issue for piriform - and benefits avast, their owner. This looks shady no matter how you look at it, and it's getting hard to believe they want to fix it at this point.

Edited by surpriseantivirus

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1 hour ago, surpriseantivirus said:

Essentially the Ccleaner installer has an x% chance of silently installing an application that can honestly be considered spyware, without the users consent. There is no angle that this can be looked at for it to be considered acceptable.

I actually agree with this point. If this were any other software we would be kicking off about it installing spyware without user permission. That the software in question is (formerly) reputable should make no difference.

Also it's becoming increasingly difficult to believe the "fix coming soon" that has been promised for a ridiculous time now is anything other than deliberate delaying to keep up Avast installs. It's such a simple fix that it is inconceivable to believe that a billion dollar company couldn't have fixed it straight away, let alone a year or two down the line!

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Quote

this does involve Ccleaner since their current installer installs avast

 

Actually it doesn't, the Avast offer has been turned off for a couple of versions now, pending the new installer design.

I can't say if that is the case if you try and use an old, not current, installer. (Maybe by following a link from a third party site that hasn't been updated?)
Old installers may still include offers.

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14 hours ago, JDPower said:

it's becoming increasingly difficult to believe the "fix coming soon" 

Actually, the "fix" was back in October of last year (and mentioned in the release notes at the time).  The structure of installer offer was overhauled and it worked a treat - we saw a huge reduction in the accidental installs that were no good for anyone.  After piloting it for a couple of weeks we took it down pending some back end tweaks, but rather than revert to the old model we stopped the offers entirely in the interim.  No-one would have seen one for the past 3½ months unless, as Andavari mentioned, you dig up an old installer - in which case, naturally, you would still be seeing an old experience.

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