Help! Avast is blocking my website!

June 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm

avastIf you ever needed a reason to do more thorough code reviews, here’s a good one. I made the mistake of leaving the following link in the code of one of my projects:

http://localhost.me/someJavascript.js

Yes, spare me the lecture. I know this is bad and could easily have been avoided. Nevertheless, I am writing about this, because what was annoying about this was how I managed to find that it was causing issues: a friend of mine actually told me they can’t access the site because Avast is blocking them. Long story short, Avast sees this kind of code as a malware attack. Rightly so too, because a malicious website could do malicious things using a tactic like this.

My problem, however, came in after fixing the link. Even after restarting my machine, and telling Avast that the URLs are safe, it still decided to block the site. First prize would’ve been for it to just forget that it came across the site and rescan it as a new potential threat. This way I would be able to tell if something was still wrong. Unfortunately, Avast doesn’t work like that. In order to fix the problem, you get to do this:

  1. Double click on the Avast icon in the bottom right
  2. Click on “Settings”
  3. Click on “Active Protection”
  4. Disable “Web Shield”

This solved the problem for me, and me only. I still need to figure out how much of a problem this is for other users. There are bound to be other Avast users that are still blocked from accessing the site. I started by reporting the issue as a false positive here.

And now I play the waiting game…

UPDATE

Its a day later and I never heard back from Avast but it seems Avast is no longer blocking my site. So either they saw my complaint, or it expires after a  certain amount of time.