I ran a netstat and noticed that my computer has an always-established connection with my anti-virus (Avast) over port 80. I haven't gone as far as to parse through it in Wireshark, so I can only assume that the connection is there to pass unknown hashes or files back up to their database for analysis.
My question is twofold:
- What other types of information does Avast (or any anti-virus for that matter) collect from their users' machines?
- Does this pose as a security risk? If someone malicious were monitoring my traffic, would they be able to glean anything of value? Also, if there were a malicious file on my computer, would they be able to modify that traffic before it got to the antivirus' servers to keep the antivirus from flagging that file?