An update to the Avast antivirus has blocked users' ability to access the Internet, most customers needing to disable the antivirus in order to be able to get online (and complain to Avast).
The issue seems to have been caused by an update Avast released late Wednesday night. Hours after the update, users started complaining about the problem, flocking to the company's support forum.
Many of these complaining users reported they were using Avast's free antivirus version.
While users could still connect to the Internet after they temporarily disabling the Avast antivirus, some users reported fixing the issue for good by uninstalling the antivirus and performing a clean install. Later, Avast team members started recommending the same thing.
"I tried doing a repair too. It didn't help," an Avast user wrote on their forum. "I then Uninstalled and re-downloaded. That did the trick."
An Avast spokesperson did not respond to Bleeping Computer's request for comment, so we can't know for sure how much of Avast's userbase is affected.
This is not the first time an antivirus goes bonkers. Barely two weeks ago, the Webroot antivirus flagged core Windows OS files as malicious and started moving a few to quarantine, effectively trashing customers' computers.
By this point in time, almost every major antivirus maker has faced with these types of snafus.
UPDATE [May 11, 2017, 15:10 ET]: An Avast spokesperson told Bleeping Computer the following:
We have identified that the problem is caused by an update issue of the dynamic link library (dll), which is part of the WebShield feature. We are preparing a patch that we will provide to the small number of users affected as soon as possible.
h/t jonas_me for the tip