Avast Secure Browser

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Avast Secure Browser
Avast Secure Browser.png
Stable release
Development statusActive
Written inMainly C++, among others[1]
Operating systemWindows
EnginesBlink, V8
Size488 MB
TypeWeb browser

Avast Secure Browser (formerly SafeZone) is a web browser developed by Avast that focuses on Internet security and privacy. It is based on Chromium, but was subsequently found to contain a serious security flaw not present in Chromium itself.[2][3] Initially, Avast Secure Browser was bundled with paid versions of Avast Antivirus. In March 2016, Avast started bundling it with the free version as well. Avast Secure Browser was originally called "SafeZone" before being revamped and rebranded as "Avast Secure Browser" in early 2018.[4] Before the revamp and rename, SafeZone's design was similar to that of the Opera browser.[5]


Besides the features inherent to Chromium, Avast Secure Browser includes the following features:[6]

  • Ad Block: A content filter that comes with the EasyList and Adblock Plus Acceptable Ads Program subscriptions.
  • Bank Mode: A browsing mode that allegedly protects the user against "a potentially hijacked host or network, and also prevents keyloggers and network-based eavesdropping from capturing any [data]." Bank Mode automatically activates when it detects that the user has reached a banking website or a payment page, although it can be manually invoked. It runs from an alternate desktop that is purportedly isolated from other processes that cannot be called within Bank Mode.
  • Passwords: A password manager and form auto-filler. It also suggests allegedly secure passwords on sign up forms. Passwords allows the user to sync passwords across browsers, desktop and mobile via the Avast Passwords add-ons and apps that are synced to the user’s Avast Account.[7]
  • SafePrice: An add-on that detects whether the user is viewing a product page at an online store and searches for better prices for that product on a list of purportedly trusted websites.
  • Video Downloader: A plug-in that offers to download videos being watched by the user on selected websites. It allows the user to choose video quality and, in some cases, to download the soundtrack of the video as an audio file.

Avast Secure Browser also blocks the user from accessing known malicious webpages and extensions.[8] All of the software's features are controlled from a central user interface called the "Security & Privacy Center."[9]


In December 2015, Google Project Zero researcher and antivirus critic, Tavis Ormandy, unveiled a critical security issue within Avast Secure Browser, which was not originally present within Chromium, but which could easily grant a hacker access to any file stored on the user’s hard drive, and potentially arbitrary code execution. The exploit involved the execution of a malicious JavaScript code in any browser that would evoke SafeZone’s Bank Mode add-on, which could access any URI scheme, such as file:///. The flaw was reported to have been fixed by Avast in February 2016.[2][10][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chromium (Google Chrome)". Ohloh.net. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b Lucian Constantin (5 February 2016). "Serious flaw discovered in Avast's security-focused SafeZone browser". PCWorld. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b Muncaster, Phil (2016-02-08). "Avast Patches Critical SafeZone Flaw". Infosecurity Magazine. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  4. ^ "SafeZone secure web browser rebrands as Avast, adds new features". MobileSyrup. April 6, 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  5. ^ Venkat Eswarlu (24 March 2016). "Avast makes SafeZone browser available to free version users as well". Techdows. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  6. ^ Steve-Avast (27 February 2016). "SafeZone browser - Frequently Asked Questions". Avast forum. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  7. ^ Avast Passwords: FAQ
  8. ^ Avast SafeZone
  9. ^ "Avast Secure Browser: Mehr Privatsphäre beim Surfen". computerbild.de (in German). Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  10. ^ taviso (18 December 2015). "Avast: A web-accessible RPC endpoint can launch "SafeZone" (also called Avastium), a Chromium fork with critical security checks removed". Project Zero. Retrieved 20 February 2017.

External links[edit]