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AVG virus alerts


Andrew Hancock
ID: 2861
Posts: 5
30 Dec 2013 07:06 PM

Hi there,

I keep getting alerts from AVG and Windows Firewall about Charity Engine-related processes and having to continue to click "Allow" and "Ignore threat" is a bit tiresome. Is there anything that can be done to stop this from happening? Why is the software picking it up as a threat anyway?

 


Jo1252
ID: 1311
Posts: 81
30 Dec 2013 09:04 PM

It's probably a false positive.

You can set your antivirus software to ignore the Charity engine / boinc folder in its setting. I am not using AVG, so I have no clue where it is exactly, but have a look in the settings.

About Windows Firewall, you can probably set a rule in it to allow the application access to the Internet at all time, by trusting it. Other solution, disable the windows firewall. If you have a router between your computer and the internet, it probably has a firewall that blocks all the unwanted connections to your computer, assuming it is set correctly.

Happy New Year!

Jo1252


Mark McA
ID: 179
Posts: 205
03 Jan 2014 03:39 AM

Hi Andrew,

Jo is correct, it's a false positive (for both AVG and the firewall). We're getting it white-listed with AVG.

Personally, I much prefer Ad-aware and Malwarebytes. Easier to control (so you only have to click 'allow' once), excellent detection.

Cheers,

Mark 


fridayjunior
ID: 21899
Posts: 2
22 Mar 2014 10:37 AM

AVG is the overly-protective parent of antivirus programs. I prefer the old "windows essentials"


Simon
ID: 1264
Posts: 45
02 Dec 2014 10:09 PM

sounds like the problem I have because CE is wasting our computers resources on crunching bitcoins or similar and instead oh wanting to admit it removed my post on the matter. This makes CE a joke as far as I'm concerned and i may just remove my support. I have minimal chance of winning anything and I can't have my work compter continually flagging virus detections and many of the GPU apps are dodgy and crash.


Mark McA
ID: 179
Posts: 205
02 Dec 2014 10:21 PM

Hi Simon,

I replied to your post within 20 mins to let you know it's *not* crunching for BTC as you thought, but rather alt-coins (which are still worth doing with home PCs) - and as you didn't acknowledge my reply after 36 hours, I removed the post because you'd titled it 'Charity Engine still a massive joke' - which I thought was a bit unfair, really, as it wasn't actually doing what you thought.

We obviously don't want anything to interfere with your workflow in any way, so if you are having any trouble with the client then please let us know and we'll do our level best to sort it out for you. You can always disallow GPU apps too.

Cheers,

Mark 


Graham
ID: 2422
Posts: 27
03 Dec 2014 07:34 AM

Whoa, just a minute!  Where was this announced?  Bitcoin vs Alt-coins doesn't make any difference.  [Also I see "crunching bitcoins or similar".]  With one possible exception (XPM) the underlying principle of all the crypto currencies is the calculation of meaningless numbers in the validation of transactions paid for by the issuing of scrip (coin) that may or may not subsequently be ascribed value from an exchange.

I don't have any problem with crypto-currencies as such, they are not morally any worse than other banking transactions and have no greater potential for "money laundering" and drug dealing than any other system despite the biassed publicity and propaganda put out by the media. They are certainly less anonymous than cash!

Many of the "alt" coins have been pre-mined or a few in the know have got in first and sit there waiting for them to acquire value on exchanges to cash in.  Which does seem reprehensible.

However, the main problem for me is that they perform arbitrary and abstract calculations to facilitate money flow, consuming energy in the process, rather than calculations of more direct benefit that solve problems in health or scientific research. 

The reason Bitcoin is uneconomic to mine with PCs is that the dedicated processors have become so energy efficient that the cost in using a general purpose PC or GPU is too great.  The result is that ever more elaborate schemes are being been devised for Alt-coins to slow the calculations and enable those that missed out in the first wave to cash in.  Those resources should be going to perform real calculations not propping up speculators who are simply cloning and recloning the basic framework.

If I wished to put my computer resources into these systems, I would be mining directly or on a pool - it is not too hard. I would then be using the gains under personal direction both for personal benefit and donating to various free software development etc.

Can someone explain which coins are being mined, why, and how we can recognise such tasks?

 


Simon
ID: 1264
Posts: 45
03 Dec 2014 07:40 AM

All I know is that as soon as i enable GPU computing I start getting virus alerts and some of these have definitly been the bit coin mining exe as i recognise it from when i used to mine (and gave up quickly as I was too late in the game). I don't have a problem with the currencies in themselves, I have a problem with the wasted resource, I thought I was going to be helping valid computational tasks. It seems instead that our PC's are possibly being hijacked when there is nothing better to do as I'm sure all of our GPU's put together make a decent mining platform but a very inefficint one which CE does not have to pay the electric bill for. From an environmental p[oint of view I do not wish my machine to be taking part in such frivolous and pointless work.


Simon
ID: 1264
Posts: 45
03 Dec 2014 07:57 AM

Mark So how efficient are GPU's at crunching alt coins ? You were of course welcome to change the title, as you can see I'm not the only one having problems with the software itself and the idea. I have two different anti virus programs that are not AVG flag it in addition to malware bytes. So bassically no antivirus likes it. I know that it's a sticky one for antiviruses as there is the potential for a virus/trojan to hijack a machine for crunching whereas plenty of us are happy with the idea one way or the other, but in the case of CE using it we have no control. Are you saying that GPU tasks consist only of mining applications ? in the past the GPU tasks have proved to be unstable (of CE's own admission) due to variations in GPU's


Mark McA
ID: 179
Posts: 205
03 Dec 2014 09:50 AM

Hey guys,

Thanks for the feedback. I think some background will help; what CE is designed to do and why.

Traditional volunteer computing does not (and cannot) do two crucial things; appeal to people who don't care about science (sadly the vast majority), nor be used by any computing task that isn't wildly popular with the public.

This has led to a plateau in the numbers of both volunteers and projects. Us geeks are already involved and there's no shortage of very worthy projects already out there competing for our attention. Setting up another BOINC project is not cheap and, frankly, a gamble. Scientists can't work like that.

CE solves these two fundamental problems. Firstly, it appeals to the non-geeks too. According to BOINC market research, 5% of people polled said they would support volunteer computing. But when Oxfam did similar research about CE, 54% said they'd run it. That's a huge difference.

Secondly, because we've made it a commercial service (it has to make money - the charities can't use free computing), that means new BOINC projects can now be guaranteed volunteers. No worries about trying to advertise their projects and impress the public, they can now just buy the computing time. The result is the world's lowest-cost, low-carbon - and soon to be world's largest - computing platform for hire, usable by any ethical project. BOINC at its full potential. 

Most of these apps will not be science, they will be purely commercial. Sometimes they'll be both (the perfect scenario), but ultimately every task is supporting the same good causes. That's the whole point of Charity Engine.

(That said, because we love the science, we constantly donate at least 5% of the grid to existing volunteer projects anyway. So it actually does both!)

Right now we have two customer apps running, but they don't use the whole grid. PCs which have no other work are "multi-mining" whichever alt-coin is most profitable at the time or, if they are not suitable for that, then crunching for one of four existing volunteer projects (Rosetta@home, Malaria.net, Einstein@home and ClimatePrediction.net). Mining bitcoin itself was retired last year because, as you correctly point out, it's just not worth it. Alt-coins are still worth it though, so long as the software is smart enough to jump from one to another.

Even so, mining is only a reserve app that uses up the grid's leftovers and it's set to very low power. Customer apps pay a lot more, and that's our focus.

Simon - Would be very interested to know why you're getting AV alerts, as we fixed that once. Please can you ping us here with the details?

Cheers,

Mark


Simon
ID: 1264
Posts: 45
03 Dec 2014 10:08 AM

Mark what information do you need ? the exe name that is causing a problem ?

Regarding people willing to take part in grid computing the problem is that people don't trust a bunch of geeks they have never heard of, they will trust charities (well unless they do stupid things like give awards to war criminals). The problem is that grid computing has had no press coverage and when breakthroughs happen that grid computing contributed to our work goes unmentioned. I bet if the BBC made a thing of grid computing instead of wasting their time reporting on non news there would be a sudden surge in volunteers.

I run all the machines i use with boinc, including my work one with a rather powerful GPU that was put in under the misaprehension that our 3D cad software required it when in actual fact i can run 3d cad and run GPU tasks at the same time with no knockon effects as the 3d cad does not actually use the GPU. But I can't have continual virus alerts. My work PC is the most powerful machine i use (192 cuda cores and an intel i7) although my home one has plenty of puch to it as well. If boinc is found to be the cause of virus alerts the IT sub contractor just removes it.

 

I'm re-enabling CE and GPU tasks and will gather what information i can, in fact ce3 1.51 just crashed when I tried. I'll report back on any virus alerts.


Mark McA
ID: 179
Posts: 205
03 Dec 2014 10:22 AM

Hi Simon,

You're spot-on about the press coverage. It gets a bit, but should be so much more. Imagine if all 3Bn (yup, it's 3Bn now) of the world's PCs were all crunching to fight diseases or unravel nuclear fusion, etc. Heck, doing *anything* would be better than the status quo; the average CPU usage across the Internet is now <1% (!). The biggest wasted resource in history.

Totally understand re. AV warnings - we don't want them any more than you do. The tech guys will probably ask you a couple of questions, hence why I posted the link to the contact page. Please tell them the name of the .exe as you suggest, and which AV it triggers. They'll take it from there.

Thank you so much for letting us know, as well. It's the only way we can keep improving.

Cheers,

Mark 


Graham
ID: 2422
Posts: 27
03 Dec 2014 02:54 PM

Hmm, OK

 

Just out of interest what are you doing with the alt-coins?  Just cashing out to fiat? Exchanging for BTC?  Or does a client pay you for the time?

 

Graham


Simon
ID: 1264
Posts: 45
03 Dec 2014 02:57 PM

If they are worth anything they are probably cashed in for money to give to charities or for the jackpot.


Mark McA
ID: 179
Posts: 205
03 Dec 2014 03:08 PM

They're cashed out almost immediately, every few days. Would have been great if we'd kept some BTC from before the ASICs took over, but that's with the benefit of hindsight and we're not in the business of crypto-currency speculation. For us, it's just a neat reserve app that uses all the grid's leftovers.


simke88
ID: 642243
Posts: 1
03 Dec 2014 06:03 PM

i have problem with ce3 exe crash

Podpis težave:
  Ime težave:    APPCRASH
  Ime programa:    ce3.exe
  Različica programa:    0.0.0.0
  Časovni žig programa:    5356771b
  Napačno ime modula:    ce3.exe
  Napačna različica modula:    0.0.0.0
  Napačen časovni žig modula:    5356771b
  Šifra izjeme:    c0000005
  Odmik izjeme:    00031e2b
  Različica operacijskega sistema:    6.1.7601.2.1.0.768.3
  Področne nastavitve:    1060
  Dodatne informacije 1:    0a9e
  Dodatne informacije 2:    0a9e372d3b4ad19135b953a78882e789
  Dodatne informacije 3:    0a9e
  Dodatne informacije 4:    0a9e372d3b4ad19135b953a78882e789

V spletu preberite izjavo o zasebnosti:
  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=104288&clcid=0x0424

Če v spletu izjava o zasebnost ni na voljo, preberite našo izjavo o zasebnosti brez povezave:
  C:\Windows\system32\sl-SI\erofflps.txt


Mark McA
ID: 179
Posts: 205
03 Dec 2014 07:09 PM

Hi Simke,

Please can you send the crash report to our tech guys here, thank you!

Cheers,

Mark


Simon
ID: 1264
Posts: 45
05 Dec 2014 08:59 PM

I just got a message from avira claiming ce7.exe is a virus. When I went looking for the virus information I was told that it is a known false positive and I needed to update my antivirus.


Simon
ID: 1264
Posts: 45
09 Dec 2014 07:51 AM

C:\ProgramData\BOINC\projects\work.charityengine.com\ce3-0004cuda.exe

was detected as a virus by my works sophos antivirus, because of this computations keep failing.


Mark McA
ID: 179
Posts: 205
09 Dec 2014 05:49 PM

Thanks Simon. Did updating the antivirus work for ce7?

We let the AV companies know about false positives, but all we can do then is wait for the updated definition files to take effect. 

As for ce3, I think you've solved it. Sophos is the one and only AV vendor that refused to whitelist anything, something we're still working to resolve.

Not an uncommon problem among small app developers, either...


Simon
ID: 1264
Posts: 45
09 Dec 2014 06:13 PM

Yes ce3 is no longer a problem. I guess I'll just have to disable ce on my work machine, I keep trying to add an exception.


Marcel Aubron-Bülles
ID: 16156
Posts: 17
11 Aug 2015 11:51 AM

It's been a while but I am getting this from free Avira:

C:\ProgramData\BOINC\projects\work.charityengine.com\ce7-1-06-windows_x86_64.exe
  [FOUND]      Trojan Horse TR/BitCoinMiner.Gen

What about it?


Mark McA
ID: 179
Posts: 205
11 Aug 2015 02:23 PM

Hi Marcel,

Another false positive, thanks for letting us know.

ce7 is not, and has never been, a bitcoin miner (totally pointless to run them on home PCs, they earn literally about a penny per year), it's doing completely harmless CPU-only X11 mining as a low-power reserve app. Certainly not a trojan horse either!

Nothing wrong or unethical about crypto-coin mining, except that mining BTC itself would be incredibly inefficient‎ use of resources. X11 is worth doing, and we are quite happy to make use of it. All ends up supporting the same good causes.

Still, the more false positives that an anti-virus "detects", the better it appears to be working...

Cheers,

Mark


Mark McA
ID: 179
Posts: 205
19 Aug 2015 10:16 AM

A quick update on this, because I believe in credit where it's due: contacted Avira and they fixed the ce7.exe false positive the same morning.

Just a heads-up for the future; all CE tasks are digitally code-signed using codes stored on 'air-gapped' laptops that are not, and never have been, connected to the Internet. They're also off-site in secret locations (even I don't know where).

The CE app literally cannot run any task not signed with these codes, so even if hackers took over our servers completely, they could still not use the grid for anything dodgy. And nobody can remove that safeguard either, not even us.

A bit like Apple and the App Store, nothing can use the CE grid unless checked and approved by us first. Any AV warning will always be a false positive.

Cheers,

Mark


evabrown
ID: 6553067
Posts: 1
25 Feb 2019 09:14 AM

Is this compatible with Windows 10? I want to avoid Windows 10 Preparing Automatic Repair Error. Please help me to fix it.