ES-Ice

License check timing and Privacy issues

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Win7Pro on all licensed devices.

This has been bugging me for more than a year since some change in the software long ago. Now it likes to appear even more often and I have a couples minutes to post my problem.

I do not allow any auto update or telemetry or cloud options that I ever know about for any program including blocking at the router if it can not be done on the machine.

Why does the software NEED to phone home every single time my computer(s) start?  I could assume someone just wants some telemetry to sell to marketers about when I start my computer or who knows what else it could be phoning home about. I only assume in this instance from what I see it is a license check not spyware like I could also suspect.

And if it has been more than 24 hours since the last update it will disable itself and treat me like a pirate until I can get the current machine I am trying to use on the internet. We do not all have 24/7 99% reliable internet access; like my laptop that goes weeks without getting online and due to this could easily get a virus if I happen to say put in an infected USB when I am trying to help a friend and do not have time to waste updating before I grab it to go and the virus was already in the database but sadly the company does not trust anyone for a second so you must be a thief so we will not let the software you paid for work at all.

I would expect not to feel like the company treats paying customers like thieves and assumes that even a small glitch must be intentional to hurt the top dogs that can never get enough pennies. The software even gives an option to "try for 30 days" so I would then assume maybe the license check should NOT BE NEEDED FOR 30 DAYS at least. Like am I going to have a valid key one day after years and then suddenly; even though yesterday it was valid for the next 6 months I will suddenly change it up and it will be an invalid copy; come-on that is a stupid way to think and program the software!

How I know Is I log every communication and have my machines firewall set give warnings about any connection outgoing to an non-local/approved address before a set time that the computer will definitely be finished loading or I know I am opening my browser. Even after that If I do not approve of a regular communication I set it to always pop-up to tell me if something in the background is being promiscuous.

Now this happens even after less than a day if I leave my computer running some code and turn off my network adapter as part to make sure nothing even legitimate runs behind my back to disrupt the lengthy time a process might take and I set my computer to turn off after finishing. When I start up my computer in this circumstance Emsisoft WILL disable itself and call me a pirate even if I had manually updated a few hours prior. And now before I can do anything on the computer and have malware protection I must first rush to re-connect to the internet, let it validate again; hoping of course not virus just ran while it was off, there is no random error or my internet is down or your validation host is screwed up (like Microsoft just had happen) and then I am left in the lurch and could lose more time and money or what else  because of corporate policy maker greed and lack of moral trust.

If I had a choice I would even ask that the data about my computers not be kept in such an easily accessible format as I can see when logging in to the customer portal under 'devices'. I would rather even minimal licensing data (I actually consider machine names to be private data at a minimal level) to only be some database that is just for licensing and less likely to be leaked or hacked. Yes I can easily see the current history system could be useful to many people saying when each machine was last seen and updated; But I would expect an option to NOT participate in that system and have the data not be part of a more vulnerable access point or even deleted/not kept at all. The last time each of my computers was updated should not be needed anywhere but on each of my machines and customers should have the easy option to disable. Having that data outside my control could be a risk if the data is decided to be sold/hacked if say they now knew they just needed a piece of malware newer than my last update to infect me and definitely is not needed to operate the company. Your server logs give all the data about used capacity you should need.

Lastly, yes this issue has had me planning on a new provider if it at least the level of trust does not change by the time renewal comes. I already turned away a few people who I know from going to Emsisoft products and who knows whom they talked to after seeing things like this and other dumbing down changes over the past year+; especially assuming no one would ever need a better firewall or even interface than windows gives you. I could give many reasons that even have to do with stopping MS's built-in spyware and forced apps that the built-in firewall will not stop no matter what a person tries to do; but a good 3rd party system will with ease.

Rant over

 

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Emsisoft is known to be the most conscious (borderline paranoid) on privacy. If you have issues with Emsisoft you will have hard time to find a suitable alternative. 😀. The post seem rather generic do you have more concrete evidence on connections and related spyware? Unless something has changed recently, in the link below you find what is collected by Emsisoft.

https://blog.emsisoft.com/en/7308/emsisoft-quite-possibly-the-most-privacy-conscious-anti-malware-around/ 

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21 hours ago, ES-Ice said:

Why does the software NEED to phone home every single time my computer(s) start?

To download updates to the threat databases that Emsisoft Anti-Malware uses.

 

21 hours ago, ES-Ice said:

And if it has been more than 24 hours since the last update it will disable itself and treat me like a pirate until I can get the current machine I am trying to use on the internet.

Running without the latest database updates is dangerous. If you keep your machine offline and don't allow Emsisoft Anti-Malware to update, then when you do go online the machine will be more vulnerable. Emsisoft Anti-Malware will report to the Windows Security Center that it is "out of date" if it has been more than 24 hours since the last time it checked for updates.

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Thankyou-not for answering not what I asking about. I am a BIG BOY. I can CHOOSE NOT TO UPDATE and take the risk Do not treat every customer like and idiot unless only idiots even use anti-malware products as many people say now adays it is just a scam by companies like you to profit; but we do know that is not really the case--- or is it after the way things have been going.

The BIG QUESTION is... WHY does it not treat me like a paying customer if it can not phone home for a license check every time my computer starts. F. THE UPDATES THANK-YOU if I know I am safe as I am NOT ON THE WEB IN THE FIRST PLACE. The program should continue to operate with the older version if I am not able to get on the internet or I chose to not want my computer phoining home every time I start it. For instance today I had to re-license 3 f'ing times because I was doing program updates that need my other protections off so I must disconnect between restarts. And I am in Canada where you must be semi-rich to have mobile data for data spammers like this program if I want to even use my laptop away from home and still be able to even put a USB in it with a minimal of safety. Maybe I updated 5 minutes before I left and it IS THE LATEST VIRUS DEFINITIONS by the time I turn the laptop back on. But NOOOOO I AM A THIEF BECAUSE YOUR PRODUCT CAN NOT PHONE HOME. And it is not phoning home to get updates. As it does not care if I have 23 hour old updates most of the time IF IT CAN PHONE HOME WHEN IT WANTS. The second I do not have internet at start up and can not turn it on your protection is USELESS as it will not operate without its ability to basically spy.

 

ONCE AGAIN MY MACHINE WHEN OFFLINE SHOULD STILL GET PROTECTION I PAID THE FREAK FOR. AND IT SHOULD NOT NEED A LICENSE CHECK EVERY DAY OR EVEN WEEK. THAT IS NOT THE SIGN OF A COMPANY WITH MORALS WHEN TREATING CUSTOMERS LIKE THIEVES.

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12 hours ago, ES-Ice said:

WHY does it not treat me like a paying customer if it can not phone home for a license check every time my computer starts.

Because the product is designed to be used online. Its Behavior Blocker is dependent on a cloud network for optimal protection, and the File Guard is dependent on frequent updates to its database. It is not intended to be used offline.

 

12 hours ago, ES-Ice said:

For instance today I had to re-license 3 f'ing times because I was doing program updates that need my other protections off so I must disconnect between restarts.

Emsisoft Anti-Malware doesn't do that unless the license key is being remapped to a new computer. There have been some rare instances where the unique ID used to identify a specific computer kept changing, which caused the license key to be remapped during updates. Those are the only two conditions I am aware of under which what you experienced could have happened.

 

12 hours ago, ES-Ice said:

... IT SHOULD NOT NEED A LICENSE CHECK EVERY DAY OR EVEN WEEK.

How is the software supposed to know that you renewed your license key if it doesn't check your license information on a regular basis?

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I checked your license key, and I can see that one of the seats on your license key is frequently being remapped. It looks like it may be the same computer, but the unique ID that Emsisoft Anti-Malware generates to identify the computer is changing periodically.

Do you use hot swappable hard drives on this computer? Or make any other regular changes to the hardware?

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On 11/24/2018 at 11:01 AM, GT500 said:

Because the product is designed to be used online. Its Behavior Blocker is dependent on a cloud network for optimal protection, and the File Guard is dependent on frequent updates to its database. It is not intended to be used offline.

 

Emsisoft Anti-Malware doesn't do that unless the license key is being remapped to a new computer. There have been some rare instances where the unique ID used to identify a specific computer kept changing, which caused the license key to be remapped during updates. Those are the only two conditions I am aware of under which what you experienced could have happened.

 

How is the software supposed to know that you renewed your license key if it doesn't check your license information on a regular basis?

1. I am not using any of the cloud checking "features". Only updating. So does not NEED internet every second I use my machine or turn it on. The software works perfectly fine OFFLINE once it gets its phone home except for this constant license checking. If it did not it would not be something most people would buy as internet is not 100% reliable. And mobile devices do not have 24/7 internet so you could not sell to mobiles.

2. Only thing that changes on my machine is hooking up USB and backup drives. And still have issues just not as often on other machines as they do not get used nearly as often or are left in a sleep state to make sure they are quickly accessible. My machine definitely does not change or should not need to do a license check 3 times in 30 minutes just because I am running windows updates. Once a month or even week should be hard programmed to not ever even try to re-check unless doing an update. As a pirate would never even bother using software of this type if it could not get the latest defs.

3. Yes it needs to check if I renew. But that check should not be needed to run the software if it "HAS" a valid license already and it is a license valid for days weeks or months still. For those days weeks and months it should just operate no problem with whatever version of the software and out of date definitions if currently has until I ASK the software to get updates and then and only then should it NEED to check the license to see if status has changed.

4. The thing that is triggering the issue is always to do with being able to phone-home immediately. If I leave my internet on while the computer boots I can see the log of it going out each boot even if restarted 20 seconds apart. If I have my network disabled it at startup it immediately calls me a thief and to verify again (that once again I can not do on a portable with no internet); that is a buggy piece of license programming for such a small time or change to trigger unless that was on purpose to rake in on the goldmine that is the meta-data market.

Bottom line is some programming needs fixing if it is that temperamental or some executive needs bringing back to reality of how the majority of the planet does not live on the internet 24/7.

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Why do you believe Emsisoft Anti-Malware constantly checks your license key?

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On 11/24/2018 at 2:01 PM, GT500 said:

Because the product is designed to be used online. Its Behavior Blocker is dependent on a cloud network for optimal protection

Just a quick question: Why Behavior Blocker is dependent on a cloud network????

From what I remember, Mamutu had a set of rules implemented locally . And what if you take your laptop in a trip where you do not have internet connection (airplane, remote area, some other country) and want to watch a movie /read a book from an USB stick which is infected? How are you going to be protected?

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9 hours ago, andone said:

Why Behavior Blocker is dependent on a cloud network????

There are a number of technical reasons. Mostly to reduce false positives, however there are a few cases where the Behavior Blocker does need a connection to our cloud network to detect a specific malware.

 

9 hours ago, andone said:

From what I remember, Mamutu had a set of rules implemented locally .

The Behavior Blocker has local rules as well, however I would believe that even Mamutu was supplemented by a cloud network.

 

9 hours ago, andone said:

And what if you take your laptop in a trip where you do not have internet connection (airplane, remote area, some other country) and want to watch a movie /read a book from an USB stick which is infected? How are you going to be protected?

When deprived of an Internet connection, the Behavior Blocker will automatically quarantine almost anything that isn't digitally signed and performs any sort of action the Behavior Blocker monitors for. There are some rare malicious files that need the cloud network for proper detection, however the vast majority does not, and you're not likely to run into these malwares in the wild anymore.

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