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I am running a laptop with Windows 10 and free avast antivirus installed for protection. I keep the antivirus up to date all the time.

A couple of months ago I noticed that sometimes my antivirus is being turned off and disabled without my information (see picture). On some occasions I get a pop up notification on my desktop saying and unknown application is attempting to disable your avast protection.

I scanned my system with both avast and Kaspersky security scan but no threats was found. Can anyone help me find the reason behind this and suggest a solution?

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  • It could be that some of Avast's program files are corrupt. Have you tried reinstalling the program? – Marc Woodyard Oct 21 '16 at 17:17
  • Thank you Marc. Yes I just uninstalling avast and installed another antivirus/security software. Now I have to wait and see if the same problem occurs again. – PMD Oct 22 '16 at 5:44
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It's worth noting that scanning your system with an anti-malware/virus application does not guarantee the detection of a virus.

It is possible that you have installed what is known as a trojan. This is a piece of malware that is disguised as a regular program or application. So think, have you installed any software from untrusted sources recently? Including pirated software.

If your computer IS infected, then your safest bet is to completely wipe the machine and start over. I imagine to disable your anti-virus this malicious application must have administrator access on your machine, either through some exploit allowing for privilege escalation or through such privilege being granted to the application by the user.

As something of an afterthought, have you tried checking your windows defender settings? I am aware that in some cases in the past my windows defender has attempted to disable my third party anti-virus software and configure itself as the primary anti-virus solution.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fully_undetectable

  • Thank you Xeenenta. I had installed open-source softwares from Sourceforge.They must have a security protocol to check the softwares on that website otherwise it would be impossible to detect the trojan if it is hidden in the open-source software. – PMD Oct 22 '16 at 5:51
  • I checked windows defender. No problems there. Is there anyway to monitor if a trojan is really installed by checking running processes?or maybe monitoring network traffic/ports? – PMD Oct 22 '16 at 5:55
  • @PMD Yes that is one way of doing it. Look for processes that you do not recognize and have no reason to be there. – RedBullNinja Oct 25 '16 at 8:02

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